Virtual event technology allows businesses to share information, deliver content, connect with employees or clients, and engage in various projects. Like any type of technology, the virtual event platform you choose to conduct your meetings plays an important role in its success. Features and prices vary from provider to provider, so you should spend time analyzing which platform will meet your needs best. At Worktank we have spent years testing out and working with a wide variety of virtual event platforms. This allows us to give clients insights into what works and what doesn’t based on specific business goals. Below are six of our favorite platforms for virtual events:
1. Skype for Business
Already use Skype as a chat feature? If so, you can enjoy the user-friendly webcast feature for free. Skype for business is ideal for virtual events with an audience size under 250, so it is best suited for small team meetings, basic inter-company presentations, or private meetings. Some key features include:
Skype for business allows meeting attendees to join in on the conversation from any device that is convenient for them. We typically recommend this platform for clients who are looking for increased privacy. Skype for Business offers security features that make it ideal for confidential virtual meetings. For instance, attendees can be restricted to only those on the internal network and/or approved domains.
On24 is a virtual event platform ideal for marketers, sales webinars, and product demos. On24 allows companies to reach virtually an infinite audience number as the audience size license scales in real time. This means that if your virtual event is a huge success and goes over your audience limit it won’t lock people out. Instead, you will be charged for any attendees over your audience limit. It is considered the Cadillac of user experiences, with tons of customizable features. Be careful though, because you will pay for them. As one of the most expensive virtual event platforms on the market, cost can be a barrier for many companies. However, for those with the budget to spend, On24 offers many great features and widgets to give your virtual event a truly unique experience. Some features include:
Unlike most virtual event platforms, there is no need to download any software to view an ON24 event. Overall this a very robust platform, but due to the price tag, better suited to larger companies.
Zoom is an online video conferencing platform for 1-10,000 attendees depending on the package you choose. Packages start at an affordable cost of $14.99 per month. One of the great things about Zoom’s virtual event platform is clients can make monthly payments with no contract. This means you can use it when you need it and stop the services at any time. Another feature we love is the ability to pull in up to 50 HD video streams at the same time. While other platforms may boast similar claims, we have found that when you try to implement a large number of video streams you experience issues such as lag time, poor video quality, etc… Zoom’s platform really excels in this area, providing a seamless experience for a large number of video streams.
4. & 5. Adobe Connect & WebEx
Adobe Connect and WebEx are basic web conferencing platforms that are most often used for one-to-many company meetings. These platforms are ideal for interactive events where you want to incorporate PowerPoint presentations, text Q&A, live streaming video, and more. We grouped these two platforms together as they have very similar features. Both platforms are nothing fancy but are extremely affordable (WebEx being the cheaper of the two). If you are working with a limited budget we recommend selecting one of these two platforms. However, there are a few differentiators between the two platforms. Adobe Connect is the better option is you are looking to upload video clips or use multiple webcams at once. WebEx typically encounters buffering and latency issues when uploading video clips and has poor webcam functionality. Also keep in mind that WebEx will not save your video files in a standard format. If you are looking to share the recording using WebEx as the player, you won’t have to convert the file. However, if you want to upload the recording to say your website or YouTube channel, you will need to convert the native file to an MP4. Regardless of which of these two platforms you choose, be aware they have a scaling fee. This means you purchase a license for a certain number of virtual event attendees, once you reach the max it locks out anyone else from viewing the event.
6. VE Connect
We would be remiss if we didn’t include our own virtual events platform on our list of favorites. VE Connect was originally developed as a creative solution to a client’s problem. Our platform is extremely flexible and can integrate seamlessly with any current licenses you may have. For instance, say your current platform license maxes out at 100 attendees, yet your virtual event has well over 100 registered attendees. VE connect can accommodate these extra attendees at a more affordable rate than upgrading your existing license. Some other cool features include:
As you can see just from this list that some platforms are better suited for certain objectives than others. Each platform has their highlights and pitfalls. It is important to make your selection based on your goals for the online event, your budget, and the features that are most important to you. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t panic! Worktank is here to help. Give us a call at 1.877.975.8265 or fill out our online form.