What platform(s) have you found to provide the best experience online? As a planner and as an attendee?

What platform(s) have you found to provide the best experience online? As a planner and as an attendee?
Hybrid and online events are one of the biggest topics in the industry right now. Attendee engagement and experience is critical as with live events, but the process is obviously not the same. Event pros share what has worked best for them and their clients.

If you’re looking to create an “experience” that rivals a face to face event, a customized virtual environment platform is the way to go.

At Echelon Events Group we recommend the platform that best fits the needs of the group.  The same way we would pick a hotel or venue.  At this point, everyone is familiar with Zoom, which is a great platform, but it has its limitations. If you’re looking to create an “experience” that rivals a face to face event, a customized virtual environment platform is the way to go. We can customize every detail, combine any number of spaces and designs to create the perfect virtual event – including the lobby, auditorium/theater, exhibit hall & booth, networking lounge, classroom, resource center, etc. – as well as leverage an integrated webcast platform for presentations to match the virtual event program – such as live, or on-demand, polls, Q&A, feedback surveys, white-boarding and more.

We’ve all attended some really horrible virtual events, and most of the time it fails due to audio, connection, or tech issues. It’s important to match clients with platforms that are capable of handling the number of attendees expected, as well as have proactive solutions that we can implement prior to any potential failure, such as private servers and on-site tech support.

Planning a virtual event “experience” is more than just coordinating a glorified Zoom call. With so many platforms available it really depends on the client’s needs, what might work for one would never work for another and vice versa. A virtual environment platform customized to the client’s needs will always provide the best online experience for the attendee. As a planner its exciting because with creativity, anything is possible. Sky is (not) the limit!

Dorie Beacham

VP of Sales

Echelon Events Group, Las Vegas, NV

I suggest taking a step back and taking a look at which virtual platforms fit your goals, needs, and will help you move your career forward throughout this continual unknown pandemic road.

It’s been a long road these past few months, but throughout everything I have seen the industry go from a standstill state of mind to a resilient and innovative mindset. In the beginning of the pandemic I had been on so many virtual events, just like so many of my colleagues. But at some point I took a break to regroup and see what my new normal looked like with regards to virtual events, meetings, seminars, conferences, etc.

While still working on client accounts, featuring my new book and working on future projects, I wanted to still keep involved in industry updates while still having time for personal & family life. I suggest taking a step back and taking a look at which virtual platforms fit your goals, needs, and will help you move your career forward throughout this continual unknown pandemic road. Here are a few virtual platforms I follow, and it may change based on my current needs.

1. Biz Dev with Cameron Toth – He features so many knowledgeable tidbits and professionals, plus I love his motivation and energy. I also love the music intro too.

2. Annette Naif – A Turn of Events. She has interviewed so many professionals with great information and knowledge. A great interactive platform.

3. Liz King – Techsy Talk. For years Liz has been known for her great wealth of virtual knowledge. At the start of the pandemic she was (what I called) one of the pioneers in creating a platform for the industry bringing knowledge for different types of tools and platforms that would provide a better experience for our clients’ events and our business. The event she featured at the beginning of the pandemic was the Pivot Virtual Summit (which I call it the right on time summit), and in November she is having Techsy Talk Global. She is truly amazing.

The list goes on depending on the week and relevance of the platform, but I can’t leave out EventPros.com.

Jacqueline Vazquez

Owner & CEO

Lifetime Events by Jacqueline, Scarsdale, New York

...some of the platforms that we have found to provide the best experience for a virtual/hybrid event are Zoom, Veekast, and vFair.

While there are many to choose from, some of the platforms that we have found to provide the best experience for a virtual/hybrid event are Zoom, Veekast, and vFair. These platforms can range in price anywhere from free up to $20,000 for the platform alone.

It’s important to hire a production company that has experience in producing a virtual/hybrid event, who will hold your hand through the process to create a fun, engaging, educational, and profitable event.

Of course, the needs of every event are different. We conduct a thorough meeting with every client to match them with the best platform that will meet their goals for the event.

Annette Naif

CEO

Naif Productions, New York City, NY

As a wedding planner, I have been using zoom like it’s my right hand! 

As a wedding planner, I have been using zoom like it’s my right hand!  It allows me to connect face to face with the couple and their parents simultaneously even when they are in different cities.  The share screen and share file options allow us to look and update websites, invites, and floor plans live.

For online floor-plan programs – I’ve been very happy with All Seated.  Before the client could look and make changes but at a different time than the planner.  When combined with Zoom – we can walk through changes and turn it into a 3D model with a click of a button.

It’s a time saver for sure and I am going to continue to use this even when we go back to a more normalized world!

 

Keith Willard

Owner/Designer

Keith Willard Events,

I’m loving Hopin right now for a number of reasons.

I’m loving Hopin right now for a number of reasons. First, it’s wonderfully easy to design/develop your event and incorporate effective strategy, with so many features (including it’s unique networking module).

And equally important, the user experience is simple and seamless for participants, so they can jump right in and navigate with ease. The production and engagement components also make it a fantastic choice.

Heather Herrig

President/Chief Event Strategist

Every Last Detail, Atlanta, GA

The platforms that I have found to be most useful for virtual events are a fully customized platform or Zoom.

The platforms that I have found to be most useful for virtual events are a fully customized platform or Zoom. For most of the events I have been working on, they need to have the flexibility to fully customize the platform to provide specific functions for registration, the general session, and for breakout sessions.

Knowing that we have a couple of resources, that we work with to have the site built to fit our client’s needs.  As for Zoom, everyone is using it now and has an understanding of how it works. It’s familiar and not intimidating for someone joining a virtual event for the first time.

Anthony Navarro

Creative Director

Liven It Up Events, Chicago, IL

My go-to platform is Zoom.

My go-to platform is Zoom.  I have used it for client calls and for committee meetings.  The multi-screen view capability is a great option; people connect better and are more engaged with the capability to see those with whom they are speaking.The meetings are easy to setup – attendees need to download the application prior to participating, but that is about it in terms of setup.

I have also used the platform to show clients look boards or other visuals, which is useful in this time of remote interaction.

Rene Kraus

Owner/Chief Event Officer

Agnes Verano Weddings & Events, Big Sky, Montana

My tried and true go-to is definitely Zoom.

My tried and true go-to is definitely Zoom. Zoom has all the features that I need in a simple format which makes creating events so easy! With this type of platform I can develop events in record time and know that my attendees will find the platform easy to access.

Heather Roeper

Heather Roeper

Owner & Event Director

Roeper Events, Chicago, IL

Swapcard is one of the virtual platforms I'm really liking these days from both perspectives.

Swapcard is one of the virtual platforms I’m really liking these days from both perspectives. It’s a very simple user interface for organizers & attendees, great networking capabilities and flexibility to work with many streaming platforms!

Liz Caruso

CEO

Liz King Events, New York City, NY

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