The global events industry has been turned on its head over the last eighteen months. Our much-coveted visits to large-scale events in glamorous locations around the world have, at least for the moment, been put on hold while we wait for the world to open up safely. We can’t wait to gather in large numbers again: to talk shop, drink vermouth and eat delicious tapas (the last two are Barcelona-specific delights!)
Over the last eighteen months, organisations of all sizes have scrambled to find viable virtual alternatives for gathering their industries, companies and communities in meaningful ways. Though many established large-scale event organisers and trade associations have been able to develop bespoke event platforms in an attempt to mimic real-world events, smaller players have been forced to look at various off-the-shelf solutions to stage their events during the pandemic.
To meet this new demand, a flood of virtual event platforms have appeared on the scene. All chasing user growth and hoping for that elusive VC cash injection, they are trying to fill the gap in our lives left by physical events. Early in 2020, Tenacity Works and some of our partners looked into leveraging our years of event tech experience to create a platform of our own. After initial discovery and costing phases, we concluded that the field had already become way too crowded and our efforts would be best spent working with an established platform rather than joining the fray ourselves.
Over the last year, we have attended online conferences, summits and webinars of all shapes and sizes and have also worked with several clients hosting virtual events of their own. As a result, we have experienced a wide range of the currently available platforms, these are our three favourites…
Of the three platforms we have looked at, Hopin is by far the most intuitive option. All the features you’d expect from a real-world event are there and they are all superbly realised within the app. Reception areas, expo booths, agenda, networking and sponsorship functionality are clear and easy to use for both organisers and attendees. Hopin also includes some really useful integrations such as Miro for an even more interactive experience.
Run the World
Run the World is also an excellent online eventing option and has spent a lot of time recently improving what was initially a relatively clunky UX. While the experience is still not as clean as Hopin’s, RTW is packed with some pretty impressive features. Their networking functionality and live session features especially around interactivity and commenting are pretty impressive. Feedback from clients and industry colleagues around RTW’s ticketing and registration functionality has always been extremely positive.
Airmeet has a slightly unusual take on online eventing, they have a relatively quirky interface which is quite a refreshing change after hours spent within homogenous virtual conference experiences. Setup is easy and all the features you’d expect such as reception areas, agenda planning, multistream sessions, speaker greenrooms, networking lounges and a robust chat client are all in place and perfectly functional. Branding your event is slightly more limited than with other options but the overall experience is a nice break from the norm.
All three options offer basic free or low-cost options for individuals or small businesses with larger-scale or enterprise events requiring a chat with sales to establish pricing options.
Need assistance in setting up your next virtual event? Get in touch and we’ll assist you every step of the way!