A Guide to Finding the Right Platform for Your Event
Spoiler Alert: It all boils down to how much lead time you have.
Since the start of COVID, we’ve noticed event planners are juggling shorter lead times and tighter budgets. So whilst you mightn’t have the luxury of a generous planning window to organise your next virtual or hybrid event, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options to bring people together in exciting new ways. In fact, a wealth of high-quality platform solutions exist to help you expand your in-person event reach, connect with new audiences, encourage remote/in-person participant collaboration and engagement. One of the best ways to determine which event platform and how much support you need is to start with how much time you have to plan.
Too pressed for time to research event platforms? Encore provides a curated selection of best-in-class solutions, organised by event lead time. And if you’ve already selected a platform, the Encore team can provide production and/or creative support.
If you only have 1 - 2 weeks lead time
Zoom video conferencing is best for small, casual meetings. It’s also often used to stream content, like webinars and concurrent sessions, that is embedded in more dynamic event platforms. The simplicity of the platform is why it’s often the first choice for event planners organising small meetings. However, when you have a short planning window it’s easiest to delegate the technical side of things to an expert whilst you focus on other important tasks. This is why Encore offers Encore Connex – a small hybrid / virtual meeting solution that utilises Zoom’s enterprise solution.
What’s the difference between using your company’s professional Zoom license and using an enterprise Zoom account provided by Encore?
- Multiple licenses are at your disposal, which helps you create educational “tracks” or concurrent streams for your event
- Content can be recorded to the cloud rather than desktop-only
- You don’t have to purchase a new license if your event grows; enterprise licenses can scale to handle groups of 500 or 5,000
Plus, if you go with a full-service event technology provider, like Encore, your event will be supported in real time by a human staff who can troubleshoot and produce a seamless event for you. Another benefit of partnering with Encore is that our team stays on top of the newest third-party Zoom integrations, which means we can point out solutions that you can add to Zoom to increase functionality and enhance participant engagement. To make planning easier, Encore has created a new solution for Hybrid Small Meetings that’s ideal with Zoom and essential technology ready to go — so you can just show us and let us worry about the set up.
If you have at least 3 weeks lead time
Looking for a Do-It-Yourself solution? Cvent Attendee Hub is best for events that need a way for exhibitors, sponsors and attendees to network and set up 1:1 appointments with each other before they arrive on-site. It also works well for conferences that have multiple sessions and activities.
Cvent Attendee Hub allows you to quickly get your event up and running. Features include:
- Integrated video equipment to create virtual events with live or pre-recorded content
- Engagement features like live Q&A, chat, polling, and feedback surveys to keep sessions interactive
- Meeting scheduling capabilities for groups or individuals so participants, exhibitors, and sponsors can connect and network
- CEU tracking and certificate delivery for professional development education
- Participant tracking to analyze attendee patterns of attendance and survey responses
- A quick start, branded conference site accessible via mobile or other devices to elevate the attendee experience , with self-registration, agenda, map pdfs, ability for participants to ask questions (customer moderated), upvote other’s questions, and take notes that they can send to themselves. Add-on options include sponsor banners and fundraising links
- A hybrid-ready microsite with all of the above, plus the option to include streaming windows for participants to watch live broadcast or on-demand content. Other options include chat and sentiment stream, closed captioning, Zoom meeting integration , and more
If you have at least 4 weeks lead time
Interested in blending the in-person experience with the digital one? Consider creating a choreographed hybrid experience with Chime Live, a powerful digital storytelling platform. Chime Live works well for high-profile events where you want attendees to feel special. It also is a good fit for events that prioritise two-way conversations between the presenters and the audience, as it provides robust collaboration and engagement tools.
- Pre-event, Chime Live provides a branded registration platform, sponsor areas, social media sharing, and pertinent event information.
- During the event, participants interact with Chime Live via mobile app to view, vote on, submit questions, and interact with conference content.
- Post-event, Chime Live shares insights on participant interactions, submitted questions, and other data
If you have more than 6 weeks lead time
Looking to maximize engagement and impress your audience? Chime Live is ideal if you have at least a six-week planning window. These Chime Live engagement add-ons enhance the in-person and remote elements of events by providing a deeper way for presenters to connect with the audience, and for event participants to customise their event experience. You’ll receive all the bells and whistles mentioned above, plus:
- Choreographed event design to focus attendees on what they need to see or do in the platform by pushing slides and pop-up interactive polls, Q&A, and more, in real time
- Customised user interfaces for in-person and remote experiences
- Personalised journeys featuring segmented or integrated experiences and customised agendas to support your organisation and participants’ objectives
Another option is the Cvent Attendee Hub platform, which you can transform into a full-service solution by engaging the Encore team to help . The Encore team can support you during the design, set-up, and production phase. It’s a great choice for larger events, especially if you want to maximise engagement and let professionals manage the technology for you. In addition to the bells and whistles with the self-service option, the full-service version offers:
- Worry-free tech set-up, streaming and production support, provided by the Encore team
- Integrated Cvent registration
- On-demand viewing functionality
- Customized attendee hub configured to suit your needs
If you have more than 8 weeks lead time
Consider leveraging all the above-mentioned perks of the Chime Live platform and elevating the experience for your remote attendees by adding a virtual lobby that allows them to “physically” interact with each other and content at the event through avatars. This functionality works well with global expositions, conferences and trade shows that need to provide an interactive online environment that is as compelling for its remote participants as for its in-person ones.
Create an immersive 2-D or 3-D virtual environment that recreates elements familiar to in-person conferences, such as lobbies, theatres, virtual trade show booths and networking lounges with Notified from Intrado. This platform accommodates large events and exhibitions and is a fantastic choice for events attracting a large number of remote attendees. Benefits of the platform include:
- Broadcast studio-quality streaming
- AI-driven matchmaking software and video chat options
- Sponsorship packages
- Custom-branded areas
- Full-service creative, production and design assistance from the Encore team
If you have more than 12 weeks lead time
- Design presentation templates and create presentations
- Transform your brand logo into an animated asset
- Produce short and long-format video segments and interstitial video “stingers” to introduce speakers, promote sponsors and highlight event elements before, during and after the event
- Create motion graphics and animations to spice up in-person and broadcast content
- Coach speakers and ghost-write executive speeches
- Capture images and video on-site
Finding the right platform based on your event planning window
One of the easiest ways to select a virtual or hybrid event platform is by how much time you have to organise it. Here’s a quick recap of what we just went over for you to reference. Still need help making the right choice or need assistance getting set up and running? Encore have a whole team of experts ready to help!
Get in touch for an obligation-free chat about your event.