Transitioning from an in-person to a virtual event presents a fair share of challenges even to a seasoned event planner. Having the perfect digital event strategy doesn't mean your event will be flawless, as technology has its challenges any given day. A lot of things can go awry — the key speakers' video feed might crash, the chat feature might not work properly, or even the platform itself might be unstable. If such challenges are not prevented, your credibility and bottom-line could be in serious jeopardy.
According to Stefka Ivanova, a Forbes Council Member, having the right platform is an essential factor in delivering a successful virtual event. To get the most out of your virtual event, and be successful at it, take your time to research and get the right virtual platform for your needs.
What Purpose Does an Event Technology Platform Serve?
In the pre-COVID-19 era, event planners used various event management software to handle registrations and manage communications, agendas, and itineraries. Now — and into the future — event strategists are using similar pieces of technology to design the right types of events, whether it be in-person, digital, or integrated. Even the least tech-savvy event strategist had to learn how to integrate technology and event design software into a killer event design if goals, bottom-lines, and targets were to be met.
So, why does your event technology platform matter?
- Offers wider geographical area coverage since the attendees aren't concentrated in one area
- Promotes a better user experience. User-friendly software is easy to use, provides the necessary features, and serves to achieve its intended purpose.
- Includes multipurpose tools. Such software integrates multiple features such as other websites and social media platforms.
- Guarantees security, especially when the software has end-to-end encryption.
- Promotes event fluidity. Unlike an in-person event, certain eventualities such as venue double bookings are a rare occurrence.
- Time and space management. You can control different aspects of the event from a single point, including digital breakout sessions, itinerary organization, and more.
What to Look for in an Event Technology Platform
As an event manager, choosing the right event technology can be overwhelming especially with the numerous options in the market. Luckily, your bottom line and event design will come in handy when looking for the right tech to get the job done perfectly. But, if you get stuck, then consider the following factors.
1. Chat and Video Conferencing
Chat is a paramount feature of any event. Through chat, attendees can simultaneously network, real-time Q&A, easily form groups and receive info that's relevant and unique to them. On the other hand, your event team can utilize chat for troubleshooting, announcements, communication, and marketing purposes. Having a chat feature promotes open dialogue among the attendees thus creating a welcoming, inclusive, and connecting environment.
Video conferencing takes the event a notch higher. It not only improves face-to-face interaction but also eases communication throughout the event. Hosting events that heavily rely on video conferencing, such as breakout meetings, webinars, or trade expos, makes this feature all the more crucial.
2. Live Broadcast and On-Demand Capabilities
A high number of virtual events employ a combo of live broadcasting, simulive, and on-demand content to back up their event designs and strategies.
Live streaming enables all the attendees to enjoy features such as real-time engagement, live polling, Q&A, and keynotes, all geared towards the success of the event. As the planner, you can reach a larger audience, humanize your brand, and syndicate the live feed.
At the same time, the proper event tech should have the capability to capture, record, and deliver the live stream on-demand. This is essential for the participants who'd like to re-visit the event as well as those who missed it altogether.
3. User-Friendly Interface
If you want to stay ahead of the pack, make sure the platform you choose is easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. Users find it hard to engage with and use software that is not pleasing to the eyes or is hard to navigate through. Similarly, attendees will stick around more when they spot user-friendly and pleasing software that's easy to use. Exposing your attendees to software that's difficult to navigate will cause them to immediately disengage.
4. Branding And Customization
Whether the event's theme is business, educational, or just casual, the platform you choose should play the role of representing your brand as well.
A boring and plain platform or site lacks originality and that doesn't sit well with your customers, potentially creating a negative customer experience. The platform you choose should have a host of customization features, such as individual background change, appealing menus, auto-alignment of elements, and multi-design chat rooms, just to mention a few.
Others will give you the option of uploading an image or two for branding, so go ahead and do so — it's good for marketing your business. Having exciting and fun customizations will make the event less formal, welcoming, and easy even if it's business-themed.
5. Analytics And Data Reporting
In this post-COVID-19 era where a vast majority of brands are digitizing, data collection and analysis have never been more important.
For any business, success will come down to how you utilize the digital data the platform of your choice generates. Your platform should have data reporting tools such as graphs and tables that collect information regarding your customers. It's up to you to put this data under the microscope, analyze it to better understand your clients, gauge your performance, and invent ways to better improve it.
The Growing Frequency of Combined Technologies
There's no such thing as the perfect event design software. Finding one that suits all your needs might be an uphill task, if not impossible.
As a response to COVID-19, event planning, design, and strategy have evolved. In turn, there's been an urgent need to combine an array of technologies to create a custom-made platform. Such platforms not only put your customers' preferences first, but they also reduce challenges such as digital fatigue.
Even when things go back to normal soon, virtual events will still be a preference to most, even though many long for the conventional events.
The Key Takeaway
Having the right event technology platform can be the difference between creating return customers. If you’re looking for a high-performing team with a high level of expertise in digital event design, Impact Point Group is one call away. We have services that will revolutionize all your events and cater to your customers' and employees' preferences. Don't hesitate to contact us so we can impact your event.