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Posted on 04/14/2020

Why a video call tool alone isn’t enough for your online conferences.

In order to manage professional webinars, training sessions, or any kind of online conference, you’ll need to treat it as a proper event. And for that, a video call tool alone won’t make it.

First of all, it’s good to remember that, if you’re already making use of a video call tool, it’s fine. We’re not going to tell you to get rid of it.

The thing is that, as might have seen, dozens of invites for webinars are invading our inboxes during these last weeks. So, to stand out of the crowd, your virtual events will have to have a few more things to improve their online presence and stand out above the crowd.

At the end of this read, you’ll know exactly what to investigate and look for when planning and executing online conferences.

What a video call tool can’t do for you

We know that an incredible amount of new software is created everyday. So how to keep up with? The answer is simple: integrations. We have previously talked about it in this article: Why you need these 5 digital integrations to sell more.

So, when hiring a service,be sure you’re clear about what it can do for you. These are simple concepts for planners who are used to negotiations, but when it comes to hiring a streaming service or audiovisual production company, you may have some doubts.

In case you’re building up your foundations about event management platforms, we recommend you to read this article before moving on. Let’s do a summarized overview of what you need to have clarified before choosing the tool you’re using to hold your online event:

  • Regarding data, is your platform of choice a robust, secure software?
  • How many people can it afford without crashing or damaging the transmission quality?
  • Does it offer the possibility of interactions with the audience? Live polling, Q&A’s and chats are one of the richest parts of live content overall value.
  • How does this tool allow you to have full control of your event? You will need to create registration forms, emails websites, post-event surveys, manage RSVP and market your webinar / virtual conference, just as an in-person experience. This point is important, as video call platforms are not created to handle with pre and post event important steps to reach your marketing goals.

Video chats are only a portion of what online conferences are supposed to provide.

We have published the step by step guide to create / migrate your events online, as well a Guide + Tool on How to Choose an Event Marketing Tool.

Also, our 5 digital integrations to sell more blog post explains why counting on tools that integrate with your current operations is essential to build your business intelligence and apply it when taking important decisions

Video call tools

The operation of video call tools usually goes like this: the meeting administrator can create a room and send an invitation via email or link to anyone to join. These invitees access the call via browser or the application and enter a name to enter.

The user who controls the session needs to have the program installed to have access to the main functions, such as mute members and control screen sharing. The manager can configure it so that only he can share his own screen, or allow other users to do it simultaneously.

A professional event marketing tools has to provide a fully equipped virtual lobby to hold your online events

Currently, 61% of event planners and organizers use event martech tools. That clarifies a situation that is not necessarily new. Online events have been there for a while and they need to be considered part of a diverse and complete event marketing portfolio.

There are mainly three virtual session scenarios that can be part of an online event: conferences, in which one of the members presents to an interactive audience; for meetings, where participants have the same assignments and can switch on their cameras and mics simultaneously; and conventions, in which it is possible to expand the audience to up to 100,000 participants which are going to be only viewers.

Choosing the right platform among the sea of offers we get everyday isn’t easy. Go through the checklist below when interviewing a software vendor clarify all of the questions you need to clarify with vendors when selecting a platform for your online events.

The most common questions you need to clarify when analyzing proposal from event marketing platform vendors:

  • Who have been your main clients?
  • What cases of successful clients can you show me?
  • How exactly is your software going to help me grow?
  • How do I manage my VIP’s an other customer segments in the same event?
  • How do you integrate your solutions with other tools I’m already using (eg: Salesforce)?
  • How much exactly it’s going to cost me?
  • What kind of support do you offer?

Why you need a proper event marketing platform, in a nutshell.

Your events are, at their core, tactics to generate Marketing ROI. It’s tempting to just open a video call tool and start talking to people – that sounds simple and quick.

But without being able to manage workflows or measuring event success, video calls will eventually leave this gap at the end of your strategy execution.

Video call tools are not enough to carry on with essential event management workflows such as registration, email marketing, networking, push and app communications, real time analytics, reports and dashboards.

A robust, reliable platform to hold online conferences must:

  • Target and craft messages that turn attendees into customers
  • Provide matchmaking networking opportunities
  • Run interactions
  • Gather real time intelligence for more informed decision making
  • Generate insightful reports based on actual attendee behavior data and social listening.
  • Save time

Save time, gather intelligence for more informed decision making, get social listening and insights from actual attendee behavior data, run interactions, and target their messages to turn attendees into customers

In this context, choosing a professional event management platform becomes vital for teams that want to provide the same experience of an in-person trade show, but online.

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