The business conference world looks a little different in 2022, even as things bounce back. Gemnote outlines the best virtual conference platforms to use when you can’t meet in person.
The move toward all things virtual started before 2020. The events of 2020 simply pushed the world further online.
Statistics show that holding virtual events has a wider reach than in-person events. They also cut down on costs for planners and attendees. Nonetheless, business professionals look forward to attending in-person conferences, seminars, and trade shows. However, the data gathered shows that virtual events have a higher attendance rate.
In 2021, just over half of event planners surveyed believed that they would hold in-person events. And half of them would add a virtual component too. Therefore, when you explore a virtual event platform comparison chart, check if the platform provides hybrid options. Even when they hold in-person events, they expect to keep it small.
Our virtual conference platform comparison offers virtual conference platforms for large groups. We also explore virtual conference tools that these online conference platforms provide. For example, user-friendliness is an important feature. For instance, nonprofit organizations might not have an IT person on staff. Thus, virtual conference platforms for nonprofits require simplicity.
The good news is that virtual conference software ranges from simple to intricate. APIs, integrations, and setting up more than one webcam enhances virtual conferences for participants. However, it’s OK to keep it simple too. It’s the seamless experience on platforms for virtual conferences that counts.
We outline a list of virtual platforms that receive favorable reviews, continue gaining traction with clients, and provide an array of virtual conference platform pricing options. Several offer free trials, and a few provide free features. Event planners who hold many conferences annually can expect to make an investment on a few online meeting platforms. When the frequency is high, it’s worth the price of admission.
1. Zoom Video Webinars
Business professionals who worked remotely over the last two years attended at least one online meeting over Zoom. Therefore, it makes sense that the video conferencing provider also ranks among the top platforms for virtual conferences. It’s a solid option for virtual conference platforms for large groups and among the best online virtual conference platforms.
Zoom Webinar can host 500 to 500,000 view-only attendees. Simply purchase the correct number of webinar licenses. Your attendees will have access to the chat, question and answer features. Best of all, the virtual conference tools allow them to interact with the hosts and panelists and your hosts receive access to the sharing features.
For those hosting a more intimate event, GoToWebinar is a nice choice. The virtual conference software supports up to 3,000 online attendees. Hosts can use the service for training, marketing, or corporate communications too.
If you are searching for virtual press conference platforms, this is one to consider. The virtual version is not that different from in-person press conferences. Journalists like to receive information through email. Thus, virtual press conference ideas include sending email announcements and adding influencers to the guest list.
When the press conference is meant to announce a new product launch, you can mail related and personalized corporate swag items to invitees. It’s a good way to create a buzz.
3. Cisco WebEx Events
Cisco WebEx Events is great for those who have a guest list of up to 40,000 attendees. A top pick for virtual conference platforms for large groups, the service offers recording capabilities and HQ video and audio.
Founded in 1984, Cisco has a long standing reputation of stability in the technology sector. Therefore, users of these virtual conference tools will experience what one of the best virtual conference companies offers.
Enjoy the breakout session features and controls for hosts that include real-time translations, live polling, Q&A, and emoji reactions. Professionals also enjoy virtual conference companies that provide access to a virtual conference one time room; it helps participants receive more information on the spot.
For large scale events, consider Workcast too. The platform can host up to 50,000 attendees. Workcast provides some unique features such as a free trial and no need for plugins or downloads.
This platform remains flexible, scalable, and helps make virtual conferences engaging. It features a seamless experience that integrates translations and breakaway sessions.
Many event planners wonder how they’re going to make a virtual conference engaging, fun, and unique. The virtual convention platform you pick becomes the starting point. When you can incorporate chat, live polls, and announcements, you will maintain your audience’s attention longer.
ClickMeeting serves virtual meetings of 25, 1,000, and up to 10,000 attendees. The platform keeps things simple. It doesn’t require installation, downloads, or set up.
For large events, hosts can sell tickets and easily collect payment. In addition, the platform allows API integration with online ticketing services and social media accounts that makes marketing the event easy.
In addition to marketing online, remember that you can market by sending personalized corporate swag to registrants before the event.
It’s tough to find the best free virtual conference platforms; all of them charge a fee. It takes ample resources to provide these services. Virtual conference platform pricing generally follows a tiered-system. The more you pay per month, the more services you receive. If you require an enterprise plan, most platforms for virtual conferences will customize your quote.
Livestorm helps conference planners hold intimate virtual events. They accommodate up to four-hour events with a maximum capacity of 1,000 attendees. As one of the best free virtual event platforms, you can enjoy features that include unlimited events, moderators, and 10 registrants per event.
To obtain more features, upgrade to a premium plan. Other features include access to unlimited Instant Meeting Rooms that accommodate 12 participants. Thus, it’s among the virtual conference platforms with breakout rooms.
In addition, Livestorm is a good option for those seeking the best virtual conference platforms for associations.
Convincing individuals from your guest list to attend events on the best free virtual conference platforms isn’t that difficult. Just highlight the reason for the event, the speakers, and that they can attend from the comfort of their home.
Eventzilla lives in in-person and online spaces. The platform leverages its event management experience to help organizers put on virtual events online. Its event management experience also makes it a virtual party platform.
A successful event requires a seamless experience for attendees. On Eventzilla, organizers receive access to easy attendee registration, marketing tools, and post-event management features.
When an event planner must entertain a large crowd, they must pick from the best virtual meeting platforms. In addition to Eventzilla’s ability to rank among the top platforms for virtual conferences, it's in their best interest for your event to succeed. Thus, they pass on their experience and knowledge to help your virtual conference shine.
On Demio, virtual conference organizers can put together events up to 1,000 attendees per room. In addition, each session can last three hours and can receive support as needed.
Demio makes its pricing structure flexible. This platform benefits professionals who hold virtual events several times a year. Events for 500 to 1,000 participants receive custom domains, premium integrations, and up to 10-hour session limits.
Whova is another all-in-one event management platform that offers virtual conference capabilities.
The service has ranked as one of the best free virtual event platforms for many years. Although it offers some free services, Whova does charge a fee. However, the company also customizes quotes. Thus, get in touch with the platform and submit your event’s details.
10. Communique Conferencing
Communique Conferencing integrates a 3D environment that mimics trade show exhibitions, booths, and hallways. Therefore, attendees feel like they attend the event in-person even though they participate online.
This virtual convention platform provides a seamless experience as speeches from keynote speakers, presenters, and product demonstrators get delivered without interruptions.
Our list of virtual platforms concludes with Webinar Jam. WebinarJam is a solid option for professionals who hold webinars. The platform allows event organizers to run chat and Q&A sessions during the virtual conferences.
In terms of costs, the platform provides tiered pricing on a monthly basis that is billed annually. Therefore, this service suits event organizers who run virtual events frequently. For example, the Enterprise plan offers unlimited webinars of up to four hours each. Each session includes chat, customizable pages, flexible scheduling, and live offer displays. It holds up to 5,000 participants who benefit from the platform’s broadcasting technology.
Even though this list of virtual platforms include a few webinar providers, they double as the best virtual conferencing platforms with similar technology.
As you think through your virtual or hybrid event, keep in mind that it takes time to plan it. As much as two months can be spent planning the gathering, and up to six weeks or more promoting it. Once you find the best virtual convention platform, you will want to dedicate time marketing your event. By integrating corporate swag items, you can promote your event and keep it engaging and fun. Talk to your Gemnote rep for ideas.