It won’t be wrong to say that virtual events have become the norm in today’s world. They have become a part of our life in some way or the other. For instance, the students attend virtual college fests and conferences. While the professionals join virtual trade shows and virtual meetings regularly. It highlights the fact that virtual events are serving everyone.
However, things were completely different a few years ago. Virtual events were not popular as they are today. And the world focused more on physical, live events. So when the pandemic struck. And the lockdown was imposed, it gave a significant push to the virtual events.
Virtual events rely on virtual event technology. But before we discuss virtual event technology, let’s first look at the concept behind virtual events.
Virtual Events Concept and Categories
Virtual events have existed since the 1990s. But it took them a long time to achieve their current form. Virtual events are the product of our digitalising society. And is one of the most essential things for the people of the 21st century.
Virtual events are those events that can be organised digitally or virtually. These events are beneficial for a large number of the online audience. And this is what happened during the pandemic when everyone was shifting their operations and work online. As a result, virtual events quickly became a social and professional trend.
Virtual Event Categories
Virtual events are the broad category of digital events. As a result, one can literally host any event virtually. This is because of the versatility of virtual event technology.
Here are some popular categories of virtual events
- Virtual product launches
- Virtual conferences
- Virtual fests
- Virtual fairs
- Virtual trade shows
- Virtual Award shows
- Virtual exhibitions
- Virtual town halls
These are a few of a large number of categories of the virtual event. Now, let’s talk about the technology behind virtual events.
Virtual Event Platforms
Virtual events depend upon virtual event technology. But what is this technology? And how does it work?
To host a virtual event, you need to have a virtual event platform or virtual event software. These virtual event platforms act as the venue for virtual events. And they offer a 3-D and enticing interface to provide the audience with a superior experience.
Since the virtual events platform is the bridge connecting the host and the attendees. One needs to have the best virtual platform for their event. So you need to ask a few fundamental questions from the platform provider while looking for a virtual platform/software for your event. Let’s have a look at some of these questions.
7 Questions You Need to Ask While Getting the Virtual Event Platform
1. How many participants can be accommodated in the virtual event platform?
The first question you need to ask is the number of people the platform can accommodate. It is the most basic yet most essential question. Since many event organisers estimate the number of attendees that they are going to host at their event. So it is better to check that the platform you are looking for can host the expected number of people. I would suggest asking for a higher number of people than expected. Because you may see more people at your event than expected.
2. What is the process of setting up the event?
Nowadays, not many people have time to read long instruction guides. So they prefer a platform or software that is easy to set up. And similarly, you also might desire to get a platform that can easily set up the event. So ask how to set up the event on the virtual platform? Also, don’t forget to ask about the customisation features available on the virtual platform.
There are multiple benefits of getting virtual platforms that are easy to set up. First, it reduces the time required for setting up the event. And second, it is easy for the host to manage the platform. Hence, one can expect a smoother experience.
3. Which communication features/tools are available on the platform?
One of the most crucial things in a virtual event is audience interaction. And it also affects the experience of the audience in the event. That is why you cannot afford to miss these features. So ask about the communication features from the platform provider.
Some powerful communications features are Live Chats. This feature allows the attendees to communicate with other attendees, exhibitors and guests at the event. Also, ask for other options like 1:1 or group chats. Or chatting options like text, audio or video chats.
4. Is event data tracking, recording and storing possible with the platform?
Many virtual event platforms enable the event organisers to track and record data. For instance, the number of attendees present in the event. Or the number of visitors to a particular exhibitor’s booth or online session. And so on. This data comes in handy in calculating the performance metrics. So ask the platform provider about the option of tracking and storing the data.
Often people forget to attend the event, so you have the recording of the event for these people. It helps in generating leads and engaging the people for a long time. So before deciding the platform, ask for this feature from the platform provider.
5. What features are available on the platform to engage with the audience?
Multiple factors affect the outcome of the virtual event. And one of them is audience engagement. Many event organisers make sure that they have features to engage with the audience of their event. So just like them, you should also ask for engagement features from the platform provider.
Some highly suggested features are gamification, social wall and AR Photobooth. You can also get similar features.
6. Are there any monetization features available on the platform?
Every event organisers desire to earn money from the event. So when the events went online, many were searching for ways to monetise their event. Also, monetisation features help the sponsors, exhibitors and vendors to sell their products. So you should ask about the monetisation features for your event from the platform provider. Even if you are not intending to use these features directly.
7. Does the platform support live webcasting?
Last but not least, ask about the support for webcasting the event from the platform provider. If you are planning on hosting a virtual or hybrid event. Then you need webcasting to enable the attendees to access the event in real-time. This feature is necessary, especially for the live online sessions. So get the live streaming webcasting feature. These are some vital questions you need to ask while selecting the platform for your virtual event.