In today’s competitive event platform market, it has become increasingly important to take the time to choose the best event platform production partner for your business events. In the last 18 months or so, lots of companies have been building and marketing online event platforms, capitalizing on the sudden explosion of the online-only audience that evolved as in-person events were canceled worldwide.
Thanks to the numerous offerings from which to choose, it can be overwhelming to make sure the event platform production partner you go with is a perfect match for your meetings, conferences, trainings, trade shows, and fundraising events. There’s more that goes into it than simply picking the company with the flashiest and most exciting bells and whistles.
To help you find the perfect fit for your business events, here we highlight five of the most important things to consider when choosing the best event platform production partner.
#1 Price Tag Within Budget
Much like when budgeting for in-person event management, be sure to watch for hidden operating costs, charges for digital storage, or fees for changes you may end up requesting before your event launches. The best bet, of course, is to get a locked-in price that is guaranteed not to change.
Event management platforms are meant to power the event-planning process from beginning to end, so it is important to take the time to outline and describe every detail to be sure you’re not missing any hidden costs prior to signing on the dotted line. Make sure the event platform manager you hire respects your budget and signs off on it in the initial contract.
#2 Hybrid vs. 100% Virtual
Why choose? Do both! Virtual events are here to stay for the foreseeable future, but as things start to open back up, some attendees may be getting the itch to be back in-person, especially those suffering from “screen fatigue.” Make sure the event platform production partner you choose has the capability to produce a successful hybrid event to meet the complex needs of a blend of online and in-person participants.
#3 Mobile Friendly
People may be working from home these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re permanently planted within the four walls of their actual dwelling. Event platforms need to be built for mobile devices like phones and tablets, equipped to fully integrate with existing technology. Be sure to get reviews from existing clients to be assured of the mobile functionality of the event management platform you choose.
#4 Archive Capabilities
There are many reasons you will probably want to have your event content available after the event is over. This allows people who were not able to attend the event to access the content, and it also grants content access to participants who did attend and want to view parts of it again. In addition, if the content is properly recorded and archived, it can be converted to future digital marketing efforts and recycled for future events.
#5 A Partner, Not Just a Platform
Perhaps the most important element to take into consideration when deciding on a virtual event platform production partner is how well they collaborate with you in making your event come to life. An effective event partner should expertly guide you through knowing your audience, knowing your presenter, possessing an ability to share solutions and ideas that have worked with other clients. Look for a company that presents—in a sense—mini case studies, so you can have relatable evidence of what your project could look like. Pay attention to both the requests of the company and the results of the event.
Here at ICV, we think the perfect way to be a partner and not just a platform is by being a one-stop shop. A one-stop shop comes with huge advantages. By having the ability to not only produce the event but also host it with our own event platform, Rubicon (and knowing it inside out), we provide the added benefits of:
- Letting clients lead the conversation to direct what features are important to them.
- Knowing that what was important to the client 6 months ago might not work now, and quickly adapting.
- Being reactionary and nimble—knowing how to quickly pivot to meet change requests.
- Possessing the technological know-how across all functional areas to seamlessly problem solve before, during, and after the event.
There’s no passing the buck, because we’re responsible for it all. We’re able to fix problems very quickly, unlike a third-party platform working with the company that has produced your content. When the event platform production partner can handle all aspects of the event, from production to execution and beyond, there is a comfort level created that is unmatched. Clients consistently tell us, “We know you’re going to take care of us,” and that gives them confidence.
Virtual event platform management is still, in some ways, in its infancy. So, it’s important to do your homework and not just choose the newest and most inexpensive option out there. Your business is important and your event is important, so the decision needs to be made wisely. By focusing on the price tag, versatility, archive-ability, and finding the best partner for your needs, you’ll be sure to have a successful event now and ensure successful events in the future.