If you’re thinking of hosting a virtual event, then you are likely sourcing the perfect digital environment for your brand’s needs. With a range of options out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Should you opt for a streaming platform like Youtube or social media, or would an event technology better suit your needs?
These questions are even more challenging if you have a limited budget or are expecting small numbers. However, there are some important factors that you should consider, and you don’t have to have a large virtual audience or big brand to make these choices.
Here’s a breakdown of the biggest differences between an event platform and a streaming platform for hosting a virtual event.
Event Platform Overview and Advantages
An event platform is event planning technology that allows event organizers, event planners, and brands a singular space for organizing, marketing, and hosting their online events. Event platforms are versatile pieces of software that can be accessed in web apps or in software and allow for a range of functionality.
Much of the time, an event platform will allow brands the ability to market an event, register through the platform, facilitate ticket sales, and host the functions of the digital platform, like live video, pre-recorded video, live chat, networking opportunities, and more.
Features typically included in an event platform:
- Event ticketing, sales, and registration
- Marketing and event promotion
- Event branding
- Social media integration
- Live video hosting capabilities
- Email and CRM integrations
- Data and analytics
The biggest advantages of using an event platform are synchronicity, automation in event hosting, and having an all-in-one platform to help you host your event.
So in addition to hosting the actual event, event hosters can also collect sales leads, connect email and social integrations, and experience more synchronicity within other marketing or branding projects.
Streaming Platform Overview and Advantages
If your online event is a live event, then you might turn towards streaming platforms for hosting. Streaming platforms are typically widely available, so that online viewers can access the event even if they don’t have an account with the platform. In this way, the live event can be open to more than just registered attendees, as viewers can come across the event in real-time or by word of mouth on social media.
Common streaming platforms used for online events include Facebook Live, Periscope, IBM’s Video with Watson, Livestream, Youtube, Instagram Live, Intercall, or platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The streaming platforms described above are solely for streaming and do not integrate other features like analytics (unless it is provided through a broader service as Youtube does), event branding, and email integrations, to name a few.
Streaming platforms come with a number of advantages. They are easy to operate, and only require a few simple steps to set up the platform. Once your event is ready, all you need to do is stream the content. There are some settings to consider, such as commenting and public/private availability or invite-only aspects of the event technology. Depending on the service that you use, the content may remain online for an extended period of time and host for free through the service.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Platform
There are clear distinctions between event platforms and streaming platforms, and you’ll want to consider the platform that works best for your brand’s goal and image. For example, if you are an influencer on social media, then it is likely that you will want to use your social media platform to host your event.
However, many of the streaming platforms require manual reconciliation, outsourced event registration, and so on. If you want to streamline these aspects of the event, and if you plan to monetize the event, then an event platform will provide more control to the brand operator.
When choosing a platform for event streaming, you’ll want to look into things like streaming quality, streaming types, content types, and the versatility of the platform. Some event platforms come with a pre-setup event space, where online attendees can navigate between sessions, trade areas, networking connections, and general mixing halls.
Even in the digital space, a virtual event platform can simulate a real-life experience, so that the event experience is improved and the online attendees are more engaged.
Event Platform vs Streaming Platform: Which is Right for You?
If you are looking for something simple for your event stream and either don’t expect a lot of attendees or want to monetize the event through your own digital platform, then the streaming platform offers the most ease. With a streaming platform, you can quickly upload a video or record a video and your event is up and running.
Some streaming platforms might have upload limits or live stream limits, so be sure to look into those details before the event is live.
If you want to run a longer event or run the event knowing that these little things are handled, then an event technology platform is what you want. Event technology is versatile and meant to integrate several aspects of a brand’s marketing campaign into the platform so that things like event registration, ticketing, marketing, and lead collection are easy.
In identifying your event platform, try to find one that can affordably and easily scale with the attendee size, like Accelevents. Accelevents offers live streaming capabilities, contains native video production tools, and charges only a small fee per viewer, so you know exactly what costs will look like as the event grows. It also comes with 24/7 customer and IT support, so you know that if anything goes wrong during the event, then you will someone to turn to for support!
Testing streaming platforms is easy. But once you move to an event platform, you’ll see the difference. With synchronized integration and easy-to-follow user guides, you’ll see notifiable improvements in your event experience. See the difference Accelevents makes for your event today!