Choosing A Virtual Platform Can Be Complicated
Choosing a virtual platform is not easy. We’ve all gotten familiar with Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams for regular meetings, webinars and even distanced family dinners, but what if you need to plan an event or conference? What happens when the realization that your company Day of Learning is going to have to be virtual this year? Is Zoom going to cut it??
When planning a virtual event, there are so many factors to consider. Not only do you need to ensure that you select a platform that will allow you to achieve your goals and objectives, but you will also need one that will give you the attendee engagement and experience that you desire.
Too Many Choices
Like that tempting box of gourmet donuts, there are many options to choose from. It goes without saying that all events are not created equally and not all virtual event platforms will check all the required boxes. One size does not fit all!! You will need to do some homework, prioritizing, and re-imagining to make sure that you are choosing the right platform. Just because it looks fancy on the outside, it doesn’t mean that when you get into it you’re not going to be disappointed.
Defining your event goals and objectives is the best place to start.
- What type of an event are you planning?
- What is the purpose of the event?
- What is the desired outcome for the organizer and for the attendee?
- What is the focus? Is it education, sales development, team building, recognition or purely social?
- What experience are you looking to create?
- What core messages are you looking to deliver?
- Who is your target audience?
- Are they likely to be familiar with virtual?
- How intuitive does the experience need to be?
- What kind of experience and engagement will they need or expect?
- Do you have sponsors and what are their expectations and objectives?
Prepare List of Priorities
Once you’ve answered these questions, then you need to set a list of priorities that will be crucial in your search for an appropriate platform.
Things to consider are:
- Do you need one main stage or will there be multiple concurrent sessions happening at the same time?
- Do people need to see each other?
- Does the speaker or workshop host need to see the attendees faces?
- How important is networking? Is connecting via chat enough?
- Do you need to record the content?
- Do you need to live stream in the key presentations from a studio?
- How many people do you need to accommodate?
- What’s your budget?
Identify Your Wants & Needs
There are a host of other considerations that can be in the mix, but it is important to identify your wants and needs BEFORE you start the platform search and settle on a format. Break the list into the must haves and nice to haves and then use that as the key evaluation tool. Working with a planner is best, as they will do a needs assessment with you to make appropriate recommendations.
To read more about creating the perfect virtual event, please download our FREE e-book called Donuts in the Lunchroom, engaging teams through virtual events. Or call us to discuss your event and all of the ideas we have gathered over the last 3 decades.
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