Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies all over the world have had to cancel in-person meetings and conferences. But many have come to realize that the pros of large-scale virtual events sometimes outweigh the cons. These new virtual experiences will most likely continue to be commonplace for years to come.
Not only do virtual events keep us all safe during a pandemic, but they are cheaper and generally less work for companies to organize. Plus, many virtual event platforms come with great customer service and coordinators that alleviate some of the work for event planners.
There are several impressive virtual event platforms that can help with both large and small virtual events. You can check out a list of the best options below, but first, let’s go over all the benefits of hosting a virtual event.
The benefits of a virtual event platform
Though the pandemic forced many businesses into virtual events, there are actually a number of other reasons to hold virtual events. Virtual event platforms are now so advanced that they have many features you couldn’t take advantage of in person. Some of the benefits of virtual events include
- The ability to easily customize the event environment
- Fewer capacity limits
- Cost savings on event space and catering
- Reduced costs and more convenience for traveling guests
- The ability to host hybrid in-person/at-home events
- No onsite staff requirements
- Options for interactivity and language translation
- Easier data collection to improve future events
Top virtual event platforms of 2023
If you’re looking for the best options to set up a virtual event without a hitch, you’ll find some top choices below.
Want a virtual event platform that’s highly flexible? BigMarker offers over 15 premade modules to choose from. The modules cater to different use cases, and you can combine them to make each event truly unique. And for those with a competitive side, you can set up a leaderboard where participants can earn points for activities like networking.
There are also several integrations with well-known apps like Mailchimp, Salesforce, and more.
Eventzilla is truly an all-around event tool. It can be a great option for virtual event-planning novices who need help with every step of the process or for anyone who wants to keep it simple with one platform for an entire event.
One benefit is the option to create your own event website and run marketing campaigns right from the platform. You can also easily stream to popular social media sites without requiring your guests to download anything.
At this point, not including Zoom in a post about virtual event platforms seems like an oversight. Zoom has become the leader in videoconferencing, but you shouldn’t overlook its virtual event capabilities.
Zoom meetings have a cap of 1,000 attendees, but its video webinar option allows up to 10,000. Since many people are already familiar with Zoom, you won’t have to worry about asking your attendees to learn a new platform. And if you’re set on streaming to social media, Zoom has both Facebook Live and YouTube Live integrations.
Hubb is a platform that offers both hybrid and in-person events. It acts as a full event management platform where you can access reporting dashboards, organize event attendees, and wrangle sponsors and exhibitors. Hubb is a great choice for large trade shows and conferences because it allows your exhibitors to take a hands-on approach to setting up their company profiles and/or their virtual booths.
Hopin lets you host events of all sizes — whether you’re presenting to thousands or just a few. The personalization options allow you to add branding and colors to your virtual event, so even though you’re not there in person, you can still create an immersive environment. Hopin also allows for different privacy settings, so you can make your event invitation-only or password-protected.
6. Run The World
If you’re hoping to really bring your participants together, the cocktail party and roundtable features Run The World offers might be just what you’re looking for. In addition to larger-scale events, you can bring people together one on one for a speed networking event or create table topics that allow people to rotate to different rooms and join different conversations.
vFairs is the option for the virtual event planner with aesthetics at the top of their priority list. With the option for 3D visual designs and animations, you can create an event where your attendees will actually feel like they’re walking the conference hall, talking to exhibitors at their booths, or sitting in an auditorium.
If you need help, vFairs has event managers and coordinators available to guide you through the planning process. It’s one of the best options for job and career fairs, trade shows, new student open houses, and alumni events.
How to use Jotform for your virtual events
So you’ve chosen your virtual event platform, and now it’s time to get started. Jotform is a great tool for collecting registrations or exhibitor applications. Just choose from hundreds of premade virtual event form templates.
And if you’re collecting fees, Jotform can handle those as well. Each form can include a payment gateway. Popular options include Square, PayPal, and Stripe. There are no fees (aside from the gateway’s standard rate), and it’s easy to start getting paid immediately.
If you’d also like to use Jotform to manage your participants’ details and contact info, Jotform Tables has you covered. Once someone submits a registration form, you can automatically access the information in the associated table. From there, you can build reports, organize your data into categories, or easily search and filter responses.
Virtual events shouldn’t be more complicated than in-person events, and with the right tools, you can ensure a successful experience for all attendees.