The virtual event market has witnessed massive growth in the last year. According to Grand View Research, the virtual event market is expected to have 33% of CAGR from 2021 to 2025. And is currently valued at 269 Billion USD. The reasons for this growth are multiple. But the most significant one is the convenience offered by virtual events during the lockdown.
The situation that 2020 brought gave the virtual event a chance to prove its worth. As a result, people during the lockdown attended virtual events. People attended virtual conferences, virtual trade shows and virtual exhibitions to begin with. This showed the versatility of virtual event technology.
The boom in virtual events also led to the rise of many virtual event platforms. And because of so many choices, it is easy to understand why people get confused while selecting the platform/software. However, one can easily choose the right platform for their event. All you have to do is to compare the features offered by the different platforms. And the platform that gives the most features is the one to go with.
Now many of you must be wondering which are the best features for virtual event platforms? So here are some of the most popular features that you should have on your platform.
15 Best Features Available on Virtual Events and Webinar Platforms
We have divided the features into three categories, namely Audience engagement, networking and others. This will help you to understand the purpose of each feature. So let’s look at each feature.
Audience Engagement Feature
It is undoubtedly one of the most popular audience engagement features out there. And what can be a better way to engage the audience than providing games. Gamification is the most effective technique to engage the audience.
The attendees at the event play games while waiting for the event to begin. Or while switching from one online session to another. You can provide support for third-party online games. Or can come up with your own games. Either way, the attendees will be able to relax and entertain themselves.
- Social Wall
A social wall displays social media posts that are uploaded by the attendees at the event. These posts can be anything about the event. It can text, picture or video.
There are multiple advantages of having a social wall at the virtual event. Firstly, you will be able to see what the attendees are thinking about the event. And secondly, the social wall will encourage the other attendees to post something about the event on social media.
The more attendees will post about the event on social media the more visible will be your event on social media. It means your event can be promoted by the attendees on social media. As a result, more and more will see your event on social media. And might end up attending your event.
- Live Polls
If you want to create excitement in your event, you can use polls. It will help you in different ways. One, you can excite the attendees at the event. And another, you get to know the attendees at your event. With the help of polls, you can find out the audience’ preferences.
A poll usually contains one or two questions. And the audience has to pick one option from multiple choices. This helps you in determining the likes and dislikes of the audience at your event.
Now it depends upon one choice that how many polls he/she wants to conduct. One can also conduct polls at regular intervals to maintain the energy level at the event.
Surveys are similar to polls in many ways. One can use surveys also to engage the audience at the event. And also can understand the audience’ preferences. However, there are some stark differences between both polls and surveys.
Unlike polls, surveys have a higher number of questions. Also, these questions can be open-ended, not just multiple-choice ones. It means you can get a deeper insight into the audiences at the event.
You can conduct surveys at any time. It can be before, during and after the event. Also, it depends upon one’s preferences on how many questions they want to ask. But don’t make the survey forms too long. As it will become boring to fill out.
- Live Chats
Live chats help you to engage the audience without interacting with them. It lets you focus on other necessary things while the attendees are busy communicating with each other.
Live chats increase the networking opportunities at your event. It enables the attendees to chat with other attendees, exhibitors and speakers at the event. One can use 1:1 or a group chat. Also, you can have the option of text, audio and video chat.
It depends upon you to provide an indigenous chat feature. Or provide support for third-party apps or even both.
- Push Notification
Often people interested in an event forget to attend the event. However, you can save people from this using push notification.
By enabling this feature, those registered for the event can get a reminder about the event. This reminder is usually sent before the event gets started. It means you don’t need to worry that you may miss the event. Also, during the event, you can enable notifications for your favourite online sessions or exhibitor’s booth. So that you can get notification on time. Also, you get a notification if you are leaving the event without attending your favourite session or booth.
- AR Photobooth
AR photobooth is based on AR (Augmented Reality) technology. This feature allows the attendee to get the event background in their photos. It means an attendee at a virtual event can also get a picture of themselves with the event in the backdrop. And can share photos of themself on social media.
- Emoticon Integration
Emoticons are popularly used in chats. They help us to express ourselves without using many words. But how can you use emoticons in a virtual event?
An emoticon can be used for chatting. Also, you can use emoticons in online sessions to give your reaction to the speaker. It also makes the online session speaker feel good and appreciated.
- AI Matchmaking
The AI Matchmaking feature is based on Artificial Intelligence. And is one of the most effective networking features out there. But what does this feature do?
As the name suggests, it helps in connecting the attendees. It uses AI technology and displays a list to each attendee. This list contains the name of all those people at the event that share similar interests with that attendee. This makes networking easy, fast and effective.
- Networking Lounges
This feature takes the networking in virtual events to a whole new level. The attendees in the event can meet with other attendees, exhibitors and speakers at networking lounges. Not only this, but you can also meet with delegates present at the event here. In other words, it is a dedicated space where people can meet and chat together.
Also, if you don’t have a pre-booked meeting, you can see who is available and can chat with them at different tables. These tables are called networking tables.
- B2B Meeting scheduler
This feature allows the attendees to schedule a meeting with an exhibitor before the event has started. This feature helps in saving time. And makes networking much more effective. However, not only attendees but the exhibitor can also use this feature. Making it easier for both attendees and event participants.
If you are thinking, what if one forgets to schedule a meeting before the event? Can they do it during the event? Yes, one can book meetings in advance during the event also. All you need to do is to coordinate with the person with whom you want to meet.
- 2-way interaction
An attendee can have 2-way interaction with the session speaker or the guest. But how does it work? Let’s understand.
During an online session, attendees can ask questions with the speakers and guests. But only a few most important questions are selected by the moderators. And based on these questions, the speakers and guests can reply. Also, they can have a video chat with the attendees. Hence, making it 2-way interaction.
- Unlimited Live Streaming
Many virtual event platforms offer unlimited event streaming service. It means you don’t have to worry about getting disconnected in the middle of the event. However, not all event platforms offer this feature. Therefore, you should check this feature before selecting the platform for your event.
This feature is crucial, especially for digital events like Webinar and virtual meetings. Also, this feature lets you deliver the content without worry about any time or data limit.
- Download documents
As the name suggests, this feature lets the attendees at the event download documents. It is quite helpful, especially if you want to distribute necessary documents. And all the documents can be accessed or downloaded by just clicking. It is an easy to use feature yet is one of the most convenient features available.
These are some of the best features available at virtual event and webinar platforms.
Share your experience of attending/hosting virtual events. And tell us about your favourite feature offered by virtual event platforms.