April 7, 2022
Wild Apricot notes that the number of organizations planning a virtual event doubled in 2020. This was a complicated time for many as virtual event planning was a new concept for most event planners.
We’re all relatively used to virtual events at this point and are looking for ways to uplevel the audience’s experiences moving forward.
Here are five tech tools you need to run successful virtual and hybrid events in 2022 and beyond. Please note that tools mentioned in specific categories can also belong in another as many features overlap and will evolve.
The most important tool you need to run a dynamic virtual event is the virtual event platform. Do you plan on having breakout sessions? Will your event be live streamed or pre-recorded? Will you have additional assets and resources for attendees to take advantage of during or after the event?
The best virtual event platforms should have the functionality to create your dream event. However, each virtual events platform gives a different experience and can determine how your entire event flows. Therefore, it is essential to take your time to research, test, and vet the company.
Most people are familiar with smaller gatherings and presentations happening on Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, but those video conferencing tools limit the breadth of a dynamic and collaborative virtual event. With a virtual event platform, event planners and administrators can create a powerful event by gaining access to additional tools. These extra tools will help create a multi-layered, effective event.
A solid registration experience is just as critical as the virtual event platform. Registration systems give event planners a comprehensive list of registrants. It’s nice to find a registration tool that allows you to incorporate your company's brand so that registrants know they are in the right place.
Create seamless connections by choosing an event registration system that integrates with the virtual event platform and automatically captures event information. When creating the registration form, have attendees in mind. The process to sign up should be straightforward for attendees and have few fields. It is also crucial to make it easy for attendees to access pertinent information.
Common event registration tools include Sched and Eventbrite. If your company uses HubSpot for marketing and sales, you can create a simple form to keep your potential leads in one tool.
Filo has event registration built into our app to make registration a breeze.
It is critical to include engagement opportunities in the event programming. For example, utilize breakout sessions to keep the energy flowing. Breakout sessions also allow attendees to connect with and learn from keynote speakers and each other.
Attendees should have several ways to participate in the event. The most straightforward engagement tool for a virtual event is an active chatbox. A chat feature allows for live commenting, which can be viewed during and even post an event. If your event has a broadcast feel, include on-screen calls to action or factoids.
Other fun examples include polling. Slido is a great way to engage participants, capture their views and give them connections. The engagement tools you find and use must integrate with the virtual event platform.
Other helpful engagement tools:
Viewers don't want to devote time to a mediocre event. Keeping the audience engaged is a must as virtual events become increasingly more prevalent.
In person events typically have physical takeaways. How will you give out important files virtually? It is key to find file sharing tools to securely store and share your files and documents during the event. It's pivotal that those tools integrate seamlessly with the virtual event platform.
Have a dedicated, easy to find space to share slide decks, recordings from YouTube or Vimeo, downloadable PDF worksheets from Dropmark or Box, and even ways for people to schedule time with your team or panelists via Calendly. Utilizing Google Workspace is another commonly used sharing tool that also allows for collaboration.
Filo allows for file sharing in many ways, the most common being a Resource Title.
Collaboration engages an audience during a virtual event. Giving a space for attendees to be heard boosts their overall interaction. Guarantee that attendees don't feel as if they are missing out on connection because they aren't face-to-face with others.
Will your event have a brainstorming session? Meeting Pulse is a tool to engage your audience with real-time Q&A, polling, and brainstorming tools. Tools like Miro and Mural are also visually pleasing for whiteboarding and natural for collaboration. If your event includes different presenters, set them up for success by giving them access to collaborative tools as well.
Program and design your virtual event for impact. The tools used determine how the virtual event runs. Do your due diligence to find tools that will leave a positive, ever-lasting impression on attendees.
Looking for a customizable platform and helpful team for your next virtual event? Hit us up!