In the past few weeks, organizations have been forced to operate remotely due to the global crisis surfaced as a result of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Enterprises are habitual to conduct their communication online and virtually via video conference solutions like “Zoom”.
However, not everyone can work around with only what Zoom has to offer, especially conferences & events. This made us study about, what are the best alternatives to Zoom for virtual conferences?
- Why not use Zoom for Virtual Conferences?
- What about Peer-to-Peer Networking?
- What about audience engagement before, during & after the event?
- What’s in there for Sponsors?
- Solution: Alternative to Zoom for Virtual Conferences
- What is different about virtual event platforms for Organizers?
- What is different about virtual event platforms for Attendees?
- What is different about virtual event platforms for Sponsors?
Video Conferences call compliment a Virtual Conference but never can it be a substitute for the latter.
But, before we proceed, we must give Zoom its due credit for providing the best in class video & voice communication services right since they launched themselves in 2011. While there are many players in the market, Zoom is the best known for Videoconferencing, Video Meetings and Virtual training solutions.
Enterprise has had a decent experience using video calling services and webinars for a variety of business purposes, like say, a sales and marketing meet, general review meetings, remote collaboration, sales demo calls, and marketing presentations.
However, never did anyone imagined having to also conduct conference events virtually, but times have changed and event professionals along with the enterprise they are associated with the need to embrace this way of life as well.
So, Why not use Zoom for Virtual Conference?
Any conference or an event that is being held has four main points of differentiation for being an in-person occasion and not simply a webinar.
What about Peer-to-Peer Networking?
People attend conferences and events to expand their professional and personal networks. Networking is a very powerful tool when it comes to business growth and expansion.
No wonder organizations spend a heavy buck on conferences and event marketing. However, considering a video conference to substitute physical conferences heavily restricts peer-to-peer networking.
Conferences that are live offer solid attendee-to-attendee networking, where the attendee is in entire control of who he needs to spend more time networking.
What about audience engagement before, during & after the event?
Engagement is another unique proposition of any conference or event, replacing an actual event with video conferencing or a webinar would not let conference organizers let them interact over and above polling and Q&A.
What engagement is actually needed is something similar to a community forum, where organizers have more space and flexibility to offer attendees. For example, attendees and organizers can post their ideas, image file, video file, ask for a poll, share introduction card and ask questions. This could be on a global feed or a session-specific feed.
Organizers can also run contests before, during and after the event to keep attendees engaged and reward them.
What about managing Communication/s & Content/s?
The conference is about the content and communication that it offers, while webinar also does this no doubt. However, when you say “Conference” and “Summits” they are meant for a large and diverse audience.
Webinars are mostly a one-to-many delivery of content which may fall short for organizers planning to cover a large spectrum of topics and audience.
Additionally, organizers require to set up multiple emails to land attendees’ mailbox in order to share with them the content displayed during to webinar.
Is it possible to replicate a scenario of a conference, where an attendee can pick and choose what session is he interested in attending? Also, take along collaterals and documents from the registration desk? Well, it is not with a Webinar.
What’s in there for Sponsors?
At the end of the day conference and events need money in order to be organized. Sponsors seek some kind of value against their sponsorships.
Enterprises need not sponsor webinars, they do it themselves. Hence, a Webinar or Video Conference often fall short of providing value worthy of sponsorship.
Alright, so we now know “Why not?” now let us see “What then?” part, i.e.:
What is a better alternative to Zoom for Virtual Conference?
A Virtual Conference needs a platform that takes the entire real-life conferences online. And to do this the technology one must consider using is a Virtual Event Platform.
So, What is a Virtual Event Platform?
A Virtual event platform is a software application made to re-create an online version of your physical conference. A virtual event platform lets organizers build an online event where they cam host multiple sessions with various speakers, allow 1–1 networking for attendees and provide marketing opportunities to sponsors just like a real event.
What is different about virtual event platforms for Organizers?
- Ease of organizing
- Provide Sponsorship Package
- Provide multilayered networking
- Moderate content
- Host multiple sessions at the same time
- Host Digital Speakers
- Run Contests and Display Leaderboard
- Organize meeting booths
- Registration and ticket-based sessions
- Get analytics for every dimension
What is different about virtual event platforms for Attendees?
- Peer-to-peer networking
- Attend different sessions
- Participate in contests
- Engage with the community through forums and discussions
- Explore Exhibitors
- Download presentation and collaterals
- Exchange business cards
What is different about virtual event platforms for Sponsors?
- Get online brand visibility
- Network with potential partners and clients
- Give sponsored posts
- Showcase product videos and collaterals
- Get data analytics for visitors and other dynamics
- Sponsor speaker sessions
It takes months to plan, a lot of hard work and huge capital investments to bring forth an event that is meant to let people interact, network and share knowledge. There has to be a better solution than cancellation.
A virtual event works very well during such times. Consider taking your event digital with Hubilo’s Virtual Conference & Meeting Solutions.