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The world of Events has now expanded even further given the many changes that have occurred over the past year; with the increased (or in some cases, new) adoption of virtual event management, video-conferencing or integrated virtual solutions.
I’ve had the opportunity to use them given the varying needs of my clients so I share my personal take on the platforms I’ve interacted with. In this blog, I’m breaking down some of my Pros & Cons for Zoom, Hubilo, Cvent, Remo and one usually considered Social Media Livestreaming. Choosing a platform is the equivalent of choosing a venue for your event so it’s important to know what it offers to know if it can work.
Let’s start off with one of the most popular Video Conferencing Platforms, Zoom.
We all by now have heard of and used the platform Zoom for personal or business use. Pros
hugely popular and used almost 300 million times a day. It means that there isn’t as much “scare” to introducing it as a Virtual Event Solution.
ease of adoption is also heavily due to its comfortable and easy to use user interface. Your clients and their users or viewers have very little between them getting connected to the platform and then getting connected to you.
breakout rooms functionality. This means that you can break up the full audience into smaller groups for conversations/activities etc.
perfect quick, ready-to-go solution that is easy to implement and execute.
affordable pricing options
its simplistic user experience does not give a lot of options for attendee engagement. Outside of a simple chat area and the polling feature, there isn’t much else that can be done via Zoom that will allow for easy integration into other elements of your event or event campaign.
with its saturation of use, persons’ are also perceiving it to be of lesser value given its multi-faceted uses. (you may prefer more experiential or data driven platforms that can be used in a way that integrates into your goals. The fact that grandma uses it every Sunday to check in, may be a deterrent)
(Here’s a fun fact: When you use an “all-in-one” platform, Zoom more than likely will be the default option for their streaming service. Zoom is by design a streaming software which is a bit different to an virtual event management software like the 3 I touch on next)
it’s as visually close to an in-person event that you can get. It features a virtual map that can be customised based on the type of event that you will be executing. It visually mirrors what your face to face may have looked like. This is ideal for Conferences that may have main areas, breakout rooms (and there’s even an option for a Cafe/Lounge Room).
Features allow for table discussions, white boarding, networking across the room, table and public chats, ability to invite attendees on stage during presentations.
has a very specific time limit and does not have the generosity of Zoom’s “time overruns”. This means that the time, is the time, is the time. There will be a lot more pressure to ensure that your clients’ and their presenters stay on a very strict schedule to ensure the user does not experience a sudden end. This can get tricky and as we know in the world of events things just always find a way to not go as they should.
there’s limited room and opportunities for sponsors compared to other platforms.
Cvent is an Event Management Software Platform that provides easy-to-use, integrated technology solutions to maximize the impact of meetings and events of all sizes. They help organizations plan and market events, execute onsite, engage audiences and measure and analyze results.
gives an integrated solution for an “All in one option” for virtual event management. Think registration/ticketing, audience engagement, waiting areas, attendee hub etc.
their experience in the industry is matched by very few. They have 21 years of virtual event management technology and have been able to amass quite an impressive catalogue of users and clients which definitely puts it up there as a trusted selection.
For our particular region there is a price point that may be out of reach for some and that does impact the attractiveness given the many alternatives (even some I’ve highlighted here).
“A start-up at heart, Hubilo slowly found its way to the corporate events space with one goal in mind; transform the way events are organized and executed with the help of event technology.”
In comparison the others with similar features, Hubilo comes in at an affordable price-point especially given the wide variety of features and elements that are available.
Variety of features! This platform has managed to create a space for all key stakeholders of your event – Attendees, Speakers, Sponsors, Exhibitors and checks the box for most of your requirements at events – meetings, breakout rooms and yup, even the networking! It’s as close to face to face as you can get with real time voice and video conversations – speed networking style!
For us in this region: inability to process payments for your events. There is a payment option with their ticketing feature but the processor is not available to us in this region.
There is a learning curve involved with using the platform to maximise its use. If you’re not able to put in the time or don’t have the capacity to onboard before your next client, put Hubilo down to use when you’ve given yourself some time to get familiar or contact us to help you. As a strategic partner, we have invested a lot of time in learning and using the platform for our clients.
Hopin is a virtual venue with multiple interactive areas that are optimized for connecting and engaging. Attendees can move in and out of rooms just like an in-person event and enjoy the content and connections you’ve created for them. (Source: www.hopin.com)
presents as an all in one option in their free plan and lowest priced tier that still gives you an opportunity to host an engaging event with some limitations (understandably).
built in backstage feature for main stage presentations. This allows you to interact with your speakers and do mic/camera checks before they go live.
ability to explore other events being hosted on the platform / have your event listed on the platform and possibly reach attendees outside of your market (if public).
users are required to create an account when attending an event on the platform.
limited opportunity for event branding to make the event as visually appealing as other platforms are.
it’s time consuming to get the event set up
We all know social media! You may think that it’s strange that I’ve included this in the list. However, it was the first go to (along with Zoom)
gives the ability to tap into an already interested community. (I’m sure you’ve thought at some point – can we just “go live”?).
if you have established communities in their social spaces, choosing Social Media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc.) allows for a very wide reach.
as a space where almost everyone is already engaged there is a very low barrier for use.
With these platforms there is little to no analytics gathered with live events other than the viewer count. This creates a barrier for being able to provide reporting to your clients on yours and their effort.
Monetization will not be the option for a paid event and will require you to integrate donation options. (See blog on that here).
many restrictions and limited features, social media is really useful only when your client has an event that requires lots of eyes and want a “quick and easy” solution to bring awareness to something.
We hope you enjoyed our breakdown of the platforms. It is by no means exhaustive of platforms available or the features of the ones mentioned. Site visits have been replaced by platform demos so request your “walk throughs” with the companies and ask all the questions you may have.
If you wish to chat with us on which platform will be best to help you transition your event to online, click on the button below to schedule a call with us. Until then,
Download our Corporate Brochure for a list of all the ways we can help you achieve your objectives!