By Beth Barnhart – Conference Managers, Linda Cohen – Sponsorship Boost, Emma Hoover – Conference Managers, Dana Jones – Sponsorship Boost, Nicole Tisdale – Conference Managers

First, the good news. There are many platforms capable of effectively hosting your virtual or hybrid event. Now the bad news. Differentiating between the multitude of various options can be formidable. Identifying the capabilities, technological requirements, and limitations of each platform will help you determine what will give you the best return on investment (ROI). Often it can feel like learning a new language.

Our virtual event planning services are designed to help clients navigate event technology and identify tools that will result in an event that creates value for attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors. We have carefully evaluated the many leading platforms to help our clients confidently select the right technology for their event, without wading through the abundance of available material.

Platform Research and Selection
These key questions are designed to help you measure and compare features on event platforms and management tools. Your answers will also help you decide if a full service event technology package or a mix of individual tools is right for your vision.

  • What is your budget?

  • Do you need API between client registration and membership databases?

  • Will your event be held live, on-demand, or both?

  • Do you require networking capabilities such as live chat, Q&A, or polling?

  • Will your event feature a virtual exhibit hall?

  • What types of sponsorship opportunities do you plan to offer?

  • Must continuing education credits be recorded, and do you need to record attendance?

  • Do you require attendance monitoring?

  • Will your event be offered to international attendees who require translation?

Additionally, when reviewing platforms, ask vendors to outline their tech support services during the event. Surprisingly this isn’t always a standard feature, and it is important to mitigate against a technological glitch during your live event.

Next Steps for Planning a Virtual Event
To read more about virtual and hybrid events, start with our previous blog post, “Strategizing Your Virtual or Hybrid Event.” In the coming days and weeks, we will be posting more information sharing our expertise regarding these and other topics:

  • Profitability and monetization

  • Best practices

  • Engagement and fun in a virtual world