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August 16, 2021

5 virtual event platforms that will turn your event into a success

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5 virtual event platforms that will turn your event into a success

The demand for virtual events has grown over the last couple of years. For a good reason: Online events help planners to expand their audience, promote inclusivity, effectively increase revenue and track critical data about the audience. To host such an event, you need a fully equipped platform. Selecting the right platform can be a challenge since there are multiple ones, and at first glance, they all seem quite similar. However, if you take a closer look, you will see some unique differences between them. This guide will explain everything you need to know about virtual events and help you figure out which platform suits your needs best. 

What is a virtual event platform?

Unlike Zoom or Microsoft teams, which are meeting platforms where a small number of people come together and engage in an intimate setting with each other, an event platform is multifunctional. It serves more purposes than just video and audio sharing. Virtual event platforms provide waiting rooms, surveys, polls, Q&A's, live chat and much more. A virtual meeting software puts everybody in the same room, in comparison to a virtual event software which is supposed to offer a speaker platform for the presenters while the attendees (the audience) have their webcam and microphones turned off. 

What are the benefits of an online event? 

The advantages of virtual events are numerous. They promote inclusivity for people who have health issues, have certain disabilities, are on a tight budget, or face logistical challenges. Online events are about 75% less expensive than offline events. That is because planners only need to consider the platform fee instead of the revenue or general expenses like food, lodging, or travel. This benefits their wallet and the environment since offline events produce way more greenhouse gas emissions than virtual ones. Another significant benefit is in-depth reporting. Since everything is happening online, the event organizers can track the behavior of the attendees and collect valuable data. With online events, the sky's the limit. Organizers can get creative and explore new features, which only exist with virtual events. An example of this would be the auto-matching networking sessions, where random participants are matched with the help of artificial intelligence. 

What are concrete features included in an event platform?

There are quite a few features that can be included. However, we will only cover the most relevant ones. 

Live Broadcasting and Recording: Of course, the same goes for an offline conference. It should have the ability to live broadcast the keynote speakers and let them interact with the audience. A way of doing this online is through polls, Q&As, live chats, tradeshows, surveys, and more. Another option to spice up your online event is through interactive workshops, where attendees can actively participate and ask questions about specific topics. 

Other than that, there is the question of multi-speaker sessions, which allows (as the name suggests) multiple speakers to speak simultaneously. Another exciting feature is automated synchronized subtitles in different languages. Although, not every platform offers this feature. Finally, if you want to save time and energy, you can select the pre-recorded option to schedule and upload your recording for a specific time. 

Reports and Insights: A benefit from online over offline events is the reporting. Everything happens online, and therefore all the activities can be tracked, which allows the organizers to give you valuable insights into the audience. Furthermore, by using online platforms, a lot of data is collected, which offers real-time analytics.

For example, you can trace the engagement (know when the attendees logged on/off, how much they paid, how much they actively engaged, and the exact number of people that attended). In addition, it provides insight into the presentation, which part of the speech is best perceived, and the overall event's success. If this seems like a valuable feature for you, make sure to check out if the platform is willing to share the data with you. 

Network opportunities: Networking is a crucial element for an offline event. Although it cannot imitate a face-to-face interaction, other options can be used: Chats, either in a group chat or private, virtual booths, and one-to-one networking through live chat videos. One clear benefit of this is, if you have an unpleasant conversation, it makes it easier to exit - just blame your WIFI connection.

Automation & Customization: Automation reduces time and costs and makes planning easier. Check if the online platform offers the following features: sending automated email or event reminders, automated uploads, and synchronization with your schedule. If you want to create a consistent and excellent user experience, you should look for a platform that offers custom landings pages. This way, you can include your company colors, logos, video content, and audio that reflect your brand.

Customize the events' websites to your needs, including branded web rooms, lobbies, email templates, and a custom registration page. The attendees will have the best experience if there is no sign for a middle man and the event looks like it was specifically designed for your company. Customization also helps to seek sponsorship since they can make their mark in your virtual event space. 

Our top 5 picks for virtual conference software

We have gathered a list of our favorite event platforms for 2021 for you. All of the platforms offer the standard features: live stream broadcasting, recordings, engagement features (Q&A, polls, etc.), and so on. That’s why we focused on highlighting the perks which make the platform unique and stand out from others.

Hopin vFairs Accelevents GoToWebinar Eventcube
Unique Benefits AI networking features Graphic Design (3D) Versatility & customization for every event type Stability & reliability User-friendly interface
Overall Limitations Maximum span for 72 hours - Pricing transparency Difficult setup Limited number of features


If you are interested in getting more in-depth information about each platform's unique features, benefits, and limitations, scroll a bit further.

Our top pick 

Hopin is an all-in-one platform that you can use for small-scale events with 50, 500, or large-scale events up to 100.000 attendees. It has multiple interactive areas where attendees can move in and around the room, just like at an actual conference. Hopin works with pre-recorded as with live broadcasting streams. So, you can either go full out with your video production or keep things simple. In addition, their fun auto-matching networking feature brings a benefit to online over offline events.

Overview of the most distinct features

Insights:

  • Live analytics 
  • Analytics Dashboard: summary of important data 

Interactions: 

  • Networking chat roulette: virtual booth with auto-matching feature (limited time, pre-set by organizers) 
  • Appealing virtual lobby 

Customization:

  • Custom training: onboarding, technical reviews, speaker dry-runs
  • Personal customer success manager at the event 
Advantages Disadvantages
Easy-to-use-features Maximum span for 72 hours
Networking features Alerts:popups & notifications
Modern Design: virtual lobby Mobile app: not user-friendly

Our top networking pick 

Vfairs is considered the world's leading virtual event platform. It organizes virtual events of all sizes: for organizations, big corporations and universities. It is a top pick with remarkable features like its unique 3D virtual venue, full customization options, and fun event gamification features. 

Overview of the most distinct features

Design

  • Unique 3D virtual venue
  • Extensive customization features and integrations 
  • Variety of self-select avatars for attendees 

Insights

  • In-depth reporting: real-time metric board, individual user journey etc. 
  • Post-event report: useful filter options 
  • Option to migrate data to CRM and marketing platforms 

Interaction

  • Great customer service and technical support 
  • Auto-matching feature 1:1 (networking)
  • Variety of engagement features
  • Event Gamification: scavenger hunts, leaderboards, trivia games, live polling 
Advantages Disadvantages
Graphical appeal Difficult usage of push notifications
Scalability -
Fun engagement and gamification features -

Our Allrounder


Accelevents's an ideal self-service online event platform. Due to the platform’s versatility and customization features, it is suitable for almost every event type: live festivals, professional conferences, and online fundraising events. Their customer base ranges from freelancers to large enterprises. The offers are entirely customizable for each client (event type, price, attendee size etc.). They are known for their easy setup, which takes less than 15 minutes, great customer service, and versatile platform. 

Overview of the most distinct features

Real-time analytics report

  • Dashboard: Registration, attendance performance, ticket sales for all revenue streams, activity data, average attendance/duration, sponsor data
  • Number of connections matches during the session (during Q&A, poll results, networking breaks) 
  • Detailed lead retrieval data, the interaction of attendees with your booth content 

Interactions

  • Artificial Intelligence networking sessions 
  • Workshops, breakout sessions
  • Great customer support 24/7 
  • Simultaneous translation

Customization

  • Various gamification functions
  • End-to-end solution: event registration page, payments, own live stream function
  • Everything is customizable: depending on the plan 
Advantages Disadvantages
Versatility for every event type Mediocre assistance with customization
Outstanding customer support system Pricing transparency
Easy setup -

Our reliable choice

GoToWebinar is a tool designed for seminars, webinars, and online conferences, with up to 6 simultaneous live streams and 3000 guests. The most distinct features of GoTowebinar are its stability and reliability. The stream is smooth, doesn't freeze, has no audio or video issues, and the synchronization is on point. 

Overview of the most distinct features

Live Broadcasting:

  • Hosting live and automated webinars
  • Stable and reliable hosting service 
  • Interface: can edit and trim recordings 

Reports and Insights:

  • Detailed view of the most important statistics 
  • Dashboard: engagement (audience questions, contact information)
  • Source tracking 
Advantages Disadvantages
Stable connection Not cloud-based: requires downloading
Attentiveness tracker No landing page customization
High-quality webinar recording editor Difficult setup

Our full-service solution 

Eventcube is fully cloud-hosted and provides a good solution for festivals, university fairs, and corporate conferences. In addition, they are fully customer-orientated, so they have excellent customer support, answering every question with high technical expertise in real-time. 

Overview of the most distinct features

Customization: 

  • White label solution - adaptability at its core 
  • Post-event content behind a paywall 

Integrations

  • Management platform: ticketing, registration
  • Special ticketing features: group buy discounts, buy now pay later, ticket resales, upsells, ticket sales analytics 

Interactions

  • Workshops 
  • Great customer support 
  • Interactive Virtual venue - designed to reconnect audiences 
Advantages Disadvantages
Great Customer support Limited number of features
User-friendly interface Expensive booking fees
Direct payment (no middle man) Often error in overselling tickets

Final words

Virtual event platforms are an attractive alternative for many event planners. Will they ever replace in-person events? Probably not. You can perceive them more as an addition to offline events rather than a replacement. Fact is that virtual platforms connect significantly more attendees with your session’s speakers, provide a better brand outreach and offer detailed insights into the attendee's behavior. By integrating and using virtual technology, there are no limitations to what future online event platforms can surprise us with. 

We're now ready for beta applications!

The demand for virtual events has grown over the last couple of years. For a good reason: Online events help planners to expand their audience, promote inclusivity, effectively increase revenue and track critical data about the audience. To host such an event, you need a fully equipped platform. Selecting the right platform can be a challenge since there are multiple ones, and at first glance, they all seem quite similar. However, if you take a closer look, you will see some unique differences between them. This guide will explain everything you need to know about virtual events and help you figure out which platform suits your needs best. 

What is a virtual event platform?

Unlike Zoom or Microsoft teams, which are meeting platforms where a small number of people come together and engage in an intimate setting with each other, an event platform is multifunctional. It serves more purposes than just video and audio sharing. Virtual event platforms provide waiting rooms, surveys, polls, Q&A's, live chat and much more. A virtual meeting software puts everybody in the same room, in comparison to a virtual event software which is supposed to offer a speaker platform for the presenters while the attendees (the audience) have their webcam and microphones turned off. 

What are the benefits of an online event? 

The advantages of virtual events are numerous. They promote inclusivity for people who have health issues, have certain disabilities, are on a tight budget, or face logistical challenges. Online events are about 75% less expensive than offline events. That is because planners only need to consider the platform fee instead of the revenue or general expenses like food, lodging, or travel. This benefits their wallet and the environment since offline events produce way more greenhouse gas emissions than virtual ones. Another significant benefit is in-depth reporting. Since everything is happening online, the event organizers can track the behavior of the attendees and collect valuable data. With online events, the sky's the limit. Organizers can get creative and explore new features, which only exist with virtual events. An example of this would be the auto-matching networking sessions, where random participants are matched with the help of artificial intelligence. 

What are concrete features included in an event platform?

There are quite a few features that can be included. However, we will only cover the most relevant ones. 

Live Broadcasting and Recording: Of course, the same goes for an offline conference. It should have the ability to live broadcast the keynote speakers and let them interact with the audience. A way of doing this online is through polls, Q&As, live chats, tradeshows, surveys, and more. Another option to spice up your online event is through interactive workshops, where attendees can actively participate and ask questions about specific topics. 

Other than that, there is the question of multi-speaker sessions, which allows (as the name suggests) multiple speakers to speak simultaneously. Another exciting feature is automated synchronized subtitles in different languages. Although, not every platform offers this feature. Finally, if you want to save time and energy, you can select the pre-recorded option to schedule and upload your recording for a specific time. 

Reports and Insights: A benefit from online over offline events is the reporting. Everything happens online, and therefore all the activities can be tracked, which allows the organizers to give you valuable insights into the audience. Furthermore, by using online platforms, a lot of data is collected, which offers real-time analytics.

For example, you can trace the engagement (know when the attendees logged on/off, how much they paid, how much they actively engaged, and the exact number of people that attended). In addition, it provides insight into the presentation, which part of the speech is best perceived, and the overall event's success. If this seems like a valuable feature for you, make sure to check out if the platform is willing to share the data with you. 

Network opportunities: Networking is a crucial element for an offline event. Although it cannot imitate a face-to-face interaction, other options can be used: Chats, either in a group chat or private, virtual booths, and one-to-one networking through live chat videos. One clear benefit of this is, if you have an unpleasant conversation, it makes it easier to exit - just blame your WIFI connection.

Automation & Customization: Automation reduces time and costs and makes planning easier. Check if the online platform offers the following features: sending automated email or event reminders, automated uploads, and synchronization with your schedule. If you want to create a consistent and excellent user experience, you should look for a platform that offers custom landings pages. This way, you can include your company colors, logos, video content, and audio that reflect your brand.

Customize the events' websites to your needs, including branded web rooms, lobbies, email templates, and a custom registration page. The attendees will have the best experience if there is no sign for a middle man and the event looks like it was specifically designed for your company. Customization also helps to seek sponsorship since they can make their mark in your virtual event space. 

Our top 5 picks for virtual conference software

We have gathered a list of our favorite event platforms for 2021 for you. All of the platforms offer the standard features: live stream broadcasting, recordings, engagement features (Q&A, polls, etc.), and so on. That’s why we focused on highlighting the perks which make the platform unique and stand out from others.

Hopin vFairs Accelevents GoToWebinar Eventcube
Unique Benefits AI networking features Graphic Design (3D) Versatility & customization for every event type Stability & reliability User-friendly interface
Overall Limitations Maximum span for 72 hours - Pricing transparency Difficult setup Limited number of features


If you are interested in getting more in-depth information about each platform's unique features, benefits, and limitations, scroll a bit further.

Our top pick 

Hopin is an all-in-one platform that you can use for small-scale events with 50, 500, or large-scale events up to 100.000 attendees. It has multiple interactive areas where attendees can move in and around the room, just like at an actual conference. Hopin works with pre-recorded as with live broadcasting streams. So, you can either go full out with your video production or keep things simple. In addition, their fun auto-matching networking feature brings a benefit to online over offline events.

Overview of the most distinct features

Insights:

  • Live analytics 
  • Analytics Dashboard: summary of important data 

Interactions: 

  • Networking chat roulette: virtual booth with auto-matching feature (limited time, pre-set by organizers) 
  • Appealing virtual lobby 

Customization:

  • Custom training: onboarding, technical reviews, speaker dry-runs
  • Personal customer success manager at the event 
Advantages Disadvantages
Easy-to-use-features Maximum span for 72 hours
Networking features Alerts:popups & notifications
Modern Design: virtual lobby Mobile app: not user-friendly

Our top networking pick 

Vfairs is considered the world's leading virtual event platform. It organizes virtual events of all sizes: for organizations, big corporations and universities. It is a top pick with remarkable features like its unique 3D virtual venue, full customization options, and fun event gamification features. 

Overview of the most distinct features

Design

  • Unique 3D virtual venue
  • Extensive customization features and integrations 
  • Variety of self-select avatars for attendees 

Insights

  • In-depth reporting: real-time metric board, individual user journey etc. 
  • Post-event report: useful filter options 
  • Option to migrate data to CRM and marketing platforms 

Interaction

  • Great customer service and technical support 
  • Auto-matching feature 1:1 (networking)
  • Variety of engagement features
  • Event Gamification: scavenger hunts, leaderboards, trivia games, live polling 
Advantages Disadvantages
Graphical appeal Difficult usage of push notifications
Scalability -
Fun engagement and gamification features -

Our Allrounder


Accelevents's an ideal self-service online event platform. Due to the platform’s versatility and customization features, it is suitable for almost every event type: live festivals, professional conferences, and online fundraising events. Their customer base ranges from freelancers to large enterprises. The offers are entirely customizable for each client (event type, price, attendee size etc.). They are known for their easy setup, which takes less than 15 minutes, great customer service, and versatile platform. 

Overview of the most distinct features

Real-time analytics report

  • Dashboard: Registration, attendance performance, ticket sales for all revenue streams, activity data, average attendance/duration, sponsor data
  • Number of connections matches during the session (during Q&A, poll results, networking breaks) 
  • Detailed lead retrieval data, the interaction of attendees with your booth content 

Interactions

  • Artificial Intelligence networking sessions 
  • Workshops, breakout sessions
  • Great customer support 24/7 
  • Simultaneous translation

Customization

  • Various gamification functions
  • End-to-end solution: event registration page, payments, own live stream function
  • Everything is customizable: depending on the plan 
Advantages Disadvantages
Versatility for every event type Mediocre assistance with customization
Outstanding customer support system Pricing transparency
Easy setup -

Our reliable choice

GoToWebinar is a tool designed for seminars, webinars, and online conferences, with up to 6 simultaneous live streams and 3000 guests. The most distinct features of GoTowebinar are its stability and reliability. The stream is smooth, doesn't freeze, has no audio or video issues, and the synchronization is on point. 

Overview of the most distinct features

Live Broadcasting:

  • Hosting live and automated webinars
  • Stable and reliable hosting service 
  • Interface: can edit and trim recordings 

Reports and Insights:

  • Detailed view of the most important statistics 
  • Dashboard: engagement (audience questions, contact information)
  • Source tracking 
Advantages Disadvantages
Stable connection Not cloud-based: requires downloading
Attentiveness tracker No landing page customization
High-quality webinar recording editor Difficult setup

Our full-service solution 

Eventcube is fully cloud-hosted and provides a good solution for festivals, university fairs, and corporate conferences. In addition, they are fully customer-orientated, so they have excellent customer support, answering every question with high technical expertise in real-time. 

Overview of the most distinct features

Customization: 

  • White label solution - adaptability at its core 
  • Post-event content behind a paywall 

Integrations

  • Management platform: ticketing, registration
  • Special ticketing features: group buy discounts, buy now pay later, ticket resales, upsells, ticket sales analytics 

Interactions

  • Workshops 
  • Great customer support 
  • Interactive Virtual venue - designed to reconnect audiences 
Advantages Disadvantages
Great Customer support Limited number of features
User-friendly interface Expensive booking fees
Direct payment (no middle man) Often error in overselling tickets

Final words

Virtual event platforms are an attractive alternative for many event planners. Will they ever replace in-person events? Probably not. You can perceive them more as an addition to offline events rather than a replacement. Fact is that virtual platforms connect significantly more attendees with your session’s speakers, provide a better brand outreach and offer detailed insights into the attendee's behavior. By integrating and using virtual technology, there are no limitations to what future online event platforms can surprise us with. 

We're now open for beta applications!