What Should I Look For In The Best Online Meeting Platforms?

Posted by Sophia Duplin

Grow Your Business With Video Conferencing Events

Video meetings are a great way for virtual workers to engage with one another. Human interaction is often welcome and preferred for the physically isolated than traditional in-person meetings and conference calls.

 

The best video conferencing software will help your participants receive in-person interactions and face-to-face contact with guests. 

 

Online meeting platforms allow people to catch nonverbal expressions such as tone of voice, facial gestures, or hand positions that otherwise would've gone unnoticed.

 

If your company is looking to transition to a video conferencing platform, you need to find the right conferencing tools to support your business and improve employee engagement. 

 

A group of people attend a webinar

Photo by Smartworks Coworking on Unsplash

 

What are the Advantages of Online Events?

Virtual events have become an increasingly popular way to host meetings. With organizations pivoting from physical spaces, many are turning their attention towards virtual meeting solutions and leveraging digital transformation opportunities to save time or money while still getting the same services they would with a traditional event hosted off-site at either location.

 

Let’s look at a few benefits that online events offer your audience and organizations today!

 

Expand Your Audience

Sometimes the organizers of business gatherings want to bring in an expert to help them solve their challenges. Such things may or may not be achievable in physical meetings. Still, with online meetings, the host can easily ask anyone to join the meeting without physically traveling to a central location. 

 

Not only will more people be able to attend your events, but you will also be able to schedule meetings at any time so your audience can attend a web meeting from the convenience of their web browser! No more travel time or jet lag!

 

Save Employee Time & Reduce Costs

When you add up the costs of travel, venues, and time, meeting physically in a mutual area becomes prohibitively expensive. Video conferencing software can help replicate all the benefits of traditional meetings without the negatives. 

 

Your audience shouldn’t have to spend lots of money or time traveling to an event to receive high-quality information or education. 

All of these hassles are eliminated with virtual meetings. There is no commuting, planning, or wasted work hours, and it is simple to bring in more colleagues at a moment's notice. Once the meeting is finished, you and your team can easily continue your daily activities. And you'll never have to compete to book the best rooms against every other employee!

 

Also, joining a virtual meeting is simple and easy. It allows you to significantly increase inclusion since presenters only need a webcam and enjoy HD video with live streaming technology.

 

By using video conferencing platforms to host a virtual meeting, you've created a platform where all employees have a better chance of attending and participating in discussions or updates.

 

Improve Event Flexibility

The right video conferencing platform allows everyone to interact without traveling from one location to another. Enterprises need to streamline every aspect of their business to stay ahead of their competitors. Hosting a video conference is one way to ensure you share information with your employees while eliminating wasted time and resources required for travel and booking costs. 

 

Now that we know the benefits of video conferencing and online meetings let’s look at several features you should look for when choosing a video conference platform. 

 

What Features Are Important for A Virtual Event Platform?

Whether a small business owner or the CEO of a large corporation, you will most likely find a reason to use an online meeting program for your company. 

 

With so many online meeting platforms on the market, deciding on the best one is a daunting task. There are different types of providers on the market that promise different types of functionality and integrations to help your company reach its goals. 

 

The essential features that a good online meeting platform must-have for a highly satisfying online meeting are as follows:

 

1. Text Chat Functionality

Your employees need online meeting software to chat with each other and other participants without disrupting the entire group. 

 

Text chat features allow your teams to communicate amongst themselves without interrupting other members, which can save a lot of time and stress among the group in the long run. Plus, chat functionality allows audience members to generate a transcript to review notes after the event concludes. 

 

2. Screensharing Options

If you’ve ever participated in web conferencing, then chances are the importance of sharing your screen with attendees has come up. 

 

It makes it easier for them and yourself when simultaneously following along during presentations or walkthroughs, as well as being able to reiterate any points made by either speaker if necessary - all while clicking through files more efficiently than ever before!

 

3.  Networking & Engaging Features

Face-to-face meetings help audience members interact with each other. While you can’t replicate this feature in online meetings, you can choose a video conferencing platform that encourages networking and participation throughout the event. 

 

It is essential to communicate with your participants at all phases of the event and keep them interested during your virtual sessions. As a result, you should ensure you ask the vendor with questions such as:

  • Is there a talking, messaging, or group chat feature on this virtual events platform?

  • Is there a FAQ or Q&A option on this virtual event platform?

  • Does this online meeting platform include live polling?

  • Is there a feedback survey tool on this online meeting platform?

Suppose you want your webinars to be successful. In that case, you need the functionality and integrations to allow for your audience to interact with each other and with the presenter like they are in a face-to-face meeting. 

 

The power of online meetings is that they allow your audience to consume information like they were in a traditional meeting area, so you need collaboration tools to keep your audience engaged throughout the presentation. 

 

4. Automation Features

Automation is a must-have element for any event planner to help your team streamline the process to produce and promote a successful video conference. Why? Because automation simplifies online meetings and event preparation while also saving planners time and money! 

 

Automation is essential, especially if you need to produce online meetings rapidly. Any online meeting platform must include automation tools to streamline outreach, follow-ups, and marketing efforts. When assessing virtual meeting platforms, ask the vendors the following questions:

  • Can I view how your virtual events platform's backend works?

  • How automated are the systems and processes of your virtual event platform?

  • How long does it take to upload data (for example, speaker information)? Is it possible to automate it?

  • How long does it take to create event pages? Is it possible to automate sections of it?

There are many elements of an online event that can be automated. For example, your online event tool could push notifications to participants about upcoming presentations and use instant messaging to remind participants about essential items throughout a presentation. 

 

Your tool should also integrate with popular calendars like Google Calendar and Outlook to help participants remember the upcoming events. 

 

5. Sponsorship Opportunities

The best video conferencing solutions enhance the partnership between your company and other sponsors or stakeholders. This means that you won’t just host a web meeting with engaged participants, but you can also boost profits by collaborating with paid sponsors. 

 

Instead of simply posting a sponsor's logo on a sheet with a bunch of other logos, a fantastic method to attract sponsors is to offer a logo placement opportunity on the event's welcome page. 

 

High-level sponsors can display standard logos or video messages aimed at attendance here. You can also provide sponsors with customized pages within the virtual meeting where they can upload and display live product demonstrations and other content, like:

  • An online exhibition hall.

  • Networking areas.

  • Social media platforms.

  • Ad banners that rotate while advertising.

  • Digital show bags, in which guests can save contents of interest.

Because a range of sponsorship choices are available to put together an amazing virtual conference that draws sponsors and eventually improves their entire event experience.

 

You would want to know the types of sponsorship packages provided by a certain vendor and if those sponsorship types can be customized and personalized. Be sure to choose a conferencing tool that can help you build relationships with sponsors and secure more funds at the same time!

 

 

 

6. Detailed Post-Event Reporting

Your company needs detailed information about each webinar or video conferencing event to ensure you provide the best information to your audience. Real-time data can give you valuable information about what works for your audience so you can revise future presentations. 

 

You should only choose a web conferencing platform that offers in-depth analytics that shows detailed information about your audience. These tools need to be easy to use, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time trying to find the information you need. 

 

As soon as an event is over, you should be able to obtain reports on attendance, archived views, typed messages, and so on. You should also export reports in Microsoft Excel format and automatically use APIs to download them and integrate them with your CRM systems.

 

7. Customized Registration Pages, Web Pages & Event Sessions

Planners should search for an online meeting platform that provides customization tools such as customized event websites, capabilities for customizing registration, customized web rooms, and editable email templates. There are many conferencing tools available on the market, but the best video conferencing platforms offer standout features like ease of use and have lots of great reviews. 

 

The ability to incorporate your company's identity and message throughout the platform will aid in creating a consistent experience for guests. 

 

Choose The Right Video Conferencing Solution For Your Business!

Not every firm or employee prefers online meeting platforms for business communication. Still, with the right video conferencing solution, you should be able to deliver an excellent experience for all attendees. 

 

Be sure to review video conferencing software that offers essential features like end-to-end encryption, meeting recordings, breakout meeting rooms, and video calls. 


 

Topics: Conference Calls, Hybrid Events, Virtual Events, Webinars & Webcasts

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FAQs

How does a virtual conference work?

Much like a live conference, a virtual event attends planned sessions, but they receive a link instead of receiving an address to attend. 

How long does it take to plan a virtual conference?

Some events can be planned and produced in a matter of weeks, whereas larger corporate events that guarantee ROI for virtual event exhibitors and sponsors can take around 2-3 months.

Much like a live conference, a virtual event attends planned sessions, but they receive a link instead of receiving an address to attend.

How long should a virtual event breakout session be?

Keep breakout sessions to 30-45 minutes to maintain audience engagement.