In the past few months, you’ve probably encountered the term ‘virtual event platform.’ Whether you’re a business owner or an attendee, it’s no surprise you’d come across virtual event platforms at this time.
The reason is the world of physical and on-ground events was literally rocked in 2020. The year, and its highlight being a pandemic, forced the physical event industry to shift, change, and reshape tremendously.
At the same time, a pandemic forcing people to stay at home for months on end has only helped an already-growing industry bloom and flourish.
That industry is the virtual events industry.
And that’s why, it’s important to understand what a virtual event platform is, how it works, and how you can make the best use of it for your business.
That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss here.
What is a virtual event platform?
A virtual event platform is a platform that allows you to host and create a virtual event. It’s software that allows you to host different types of virtual events such as job fairs, trade shows, and conferences online.
Nutshell.com describes a virtual event platform as “a tool that will allow you to recreate the vibe of an in-person conference or trade expo over the internet.”
A virtual event platform offers your business the venue or rather the virtual venue where you can launch and host your online event.
We’re not talking webinars and Zoom meetings but rather events that house hundreds and thousands of attendees.
Eventtus is a virtual event platform. And one of those mega events that’s hosted on our platform is RiseUp.
In 2020, RiseUp launched two virtual events on Eventtus. In its physical form, RiseUp attracts thousands of attendees from investors, to startups, to students, to job seekers, to press, to everything in between.
Depending on the virtual event platform, you can host multiple speakers at the same time and have pre-recorded and live-streamed sessions in your event.
At Eventtus, we allow our customers to do both. There’s also the option to even create a hybrid event, which is part physical event and part online event.
How a virtual event platform helps your business
A virtual event is pretty much a replication of a physical or in-person event.
Aspects like booking, ticketing, and organization all are available in the virtual format. Albeit, a lot easier and less time-consuming.
The rising need for virtual events, that are bigger and with more tech options, has prompted virtual event platforms to enhance and develop their offerings to meet these growing needs.
Take Eventtus for example. Every month we’re building new features and enhancing new ones.
In December, we launched our Eventtus Virtual Mobile App to help attendees access all events from a single app. Businesses too could make use the app to manage their end of the event, whether it’s the event host or exhibitors with virtual booths at the event.
As a business owner, marketing manager, or CEO, you’ll first want to define what kind of event you want to host, virtual or hybrid, and what the end goal of the event is.
Virtual events, like their physical counter parts, can be used to unveil a new product or service, grow your customer base, build relationships, and generate leads and sales, among other ideas.
The virtual event can be a conference, tradeshow, job fair – or any kind of fair, product launch, just to name a few options.
By using virtual event platforms, businesses can create unique and intimate experiences where attendees can come together to share a passion, topic, or cause.
Virtual event platform benefits
There are many benefits to using a virtual event platform.
In 2020, many business owners struggled with the shift from physical to virtual. It was hard for them to wrap their minds our virtual events. And it’s no surprise.
We’re human and we get used to things, even if they require more time, effort, and money.
But, in many ways, a virtual event is similar to its physical or on-ground counterpart. Plus, virtual comes with various benefits.
Here are the 5 main benefits of hosting virtual events:
- Easier to plan
Events in a virtual setting are much easier to plan than in-person events.
Why? Because the hassle associated with the physical event is reduced significantly in the virtual format.
When you’re a business launching an event in a virtual venue, you don’t have to worry about attendees getting lost, arriving late to sessions or workshops, or even about catering!
All of these pains are non-existent in the virtual version. Well, attendees can still come late but you don’t have to impose limits on the number of people who can attend your workshops in a virtual setting.
- Easier to attend and accommodate
Part of the easier planning for virtual events comes with the fact that you don’t have to book a venue months or even a year in advance.
With a virtual event, both you, as a business owner or marketing manager, and your attendees don’t have to be physically present anywhere specific to attend the virtual event.
Attendees can attend from their living room or their bed or a coffee shop or anywhere. The same applies to you, the host. Although we don’t recommend attending from the kitchen or the bed – just in case.
All you need is a good internet connection and laptop or your mobile. With Eventtus Virtual Mobile App, attendees don’t have to be glued to their desktops.
When it comes to hosting a virtual event, all you have to do is get in touch with a virtual event platform provider like Eventtus, get setup and get ready to launch your virtual event.
- Less costly
Since virtual events don’t require a physical venue, they are therefore less costly compared to on-ground ones.
This can make the price of your event ticket a lot less expensive for attendees.
Moreover, some physical events often required driving or travelling long distances. The case is reversed in a virtual setting. Attendees no longer have to travel from neighboring cities or from other countries to attend your event.
In other words, virtual events are significantly more affordable for both businesses and attendees.
- Wider and more diversified audience
One of the top benefits of hosting virtual events and using a virtual event platform is the larger and more diverse audience you can get.
On-ground or physical events limited the number of attendees that could attend the event. The geographical location also offered limitations.
If you held an event in California or Washington, attendees in other states might find it harder to attend. Even worse, if people had to travel from Europe or Africa to attend.
Many people just couldn’t make the trip, not to mention that they would have to incur travel and hotel expenses.
With a virtual event, these problems – or excuses – are no longer viable.
Attendees can attend from anywhere. This means, you as a business owner, can use this to your advantage and expand your audience targeting to more cities and countries.
In other words, people are no longer limited by travel or higher expenses.
- Better ability to accommodate changes
A physical event came with many limitations. Chief among them is having to make changes to the event, whether in terms of the agenda, the speakers, or even changing the venue.
All these spelled trouble and massive headache for businesses. We know. We’ve been there.
But in a virtual setting, these issues are reduced to a pebble.
If a speaker cancels, you’ll still have to find an alternative. But you don’t need to worry about flying the new speaker to the event location or even accommodating them during their stay. It’s all virtual. They can attend from the comfort of their home.
Make the most of your virtual event platform provider
You’ve now understood what a virtual event platform is and what the top 5 benefits of using one are.
Now let’s look at 5 tips that can help you make the most of your virtual platform provider and achieve the highest results with your virtual event.
- Know the purpose of your event
Why are you creating a virtual event? What’s the end-goal of this experience?
Once you have an answer to these questions, you can then begin drawing up the plan for your virtual event.
Also by answering these questions, you’ll generate new questions and ideas that you can ask your virtual event platform provider so you can plan your event better and know what to expect.
- Know your audience
If you’re a marketing manager, you probably never tire of reminding everyone on your team about the importance of knowing one’s audience and segmenting them.
The same applies to your virtual event.
You need to know what your purpose is so you can segment your audience – and customers – accordingly and tailor your event content and agenda to their needs.
Knowing this will help you focus on your virtual platform provider’s resources and how to best use them to engage with your customers.
- Understand and use the benefits of your platform provider
What does your virtual platform provider have to offer? Ask them. Or ask the Eventtus team.
Understand all the offerings available on the virtual event platform and see which of the perks meet your needs.
For example, in Eventtus, we offer online booking and ticketing. In addition, we have the Circles feature for networking within the event.
Not to mention the booths section, where Exhibitors and sponsors can showcase their products and services. Then there’s the pop-ups feature.
Pop-ups allow you to chat with attendees, alert them to changes in events, or send updates about your event.
These are some of the features Eventtus has to offer.
Want to learn more about our services? Ask our sales team.
- Use analytics to track and engage
Another major benefit of shifting to virtual is having analytics.
Analytics can show you where attendees are, what they’re doing, and which of the sessions and speakers are getting the most engagement.
Analytics is a powerful tool. Ever used Google analytics or Twitter analytics or any other analytics? You probably know their benefits.
The same applies to your virtual event.
With Eventtus analytics, you can track the number of tickets bought, the number of promo codes used, the number of people who attended the tech event at 1 pm and lots more.
- Use popups to help and engage
Pop-ups, also known as triggered messages, help event organizers connect with and direct customers.
For example, you notice that the fireside chat on innovation at 3 pm isn’t getting any attendees. Or no one has added it to their calendar for the day.
You can send a pop-up to attendees who are interested in innovation or technology that there’s a session at 3 pm with speaker X. Using analytics, you can see the impact of that pop-up.
You can also use pop-ups to generate engagement. Like, asking attendees to leave questions in the chat box for a certain session or exhibitor.
Or you can send them a pop-up to answer a quick and short questionnaire about the event.
Data by Markletic shows that “90% of virtual event organizers use surveys to measure attendee satisfaction.” It would be a good idea for you to do the same.
Survey answers can offer insights about what to do and what to avoid in your next virtual event.
Pop-ups are a great tool for engagement. You can use them with both your attendees and your exhibitors and sponsors.
But remember, never overdo a good thing 🙂
Despite being forced to stay at home, businesses are still struggling with launching and creating virtual events.
Working with a virtual platform provider helps businesses overcome their fear and offers support that they wouldn’t normally find in a physical event.
The thing is, virtual event platforms, like Eventtus, can guide and support businesses from A to Z in their virtual event attempts.
These platforms are able to make recommendations, suggestions, and provide support with what works and what doesn’t.
In addition, they are in constant motion, growth, and development to meet equally fast-growing needs and demands.
At Eventtus, we have monthly and sometimes weekly product and development updates. Why? Because we want our platform to not only stand out, but be the go-to virtual event platform for our customers.
Now that you know what a virtual event platform provider has to offer, are you ready to launch your virtual event?
Get in touch with the Eventtus team for expert help and tons of tips!