With event cancellations & postponements occurring left & right, online events become an important part in almost every industry. Many organizations have never had to explore this realm before so we wanted to help you all out by doing the heavy lifting for you!We broke down the best features, pricing, and support policies for each one. Please let us know in the comments what aspect is the most important as you make your decisions & which platform became your new go-to! *Please note that the following platforms are listed in alphabetical order, this does not represent a rank. The authors of this post are affiliated with Accelevents.
Summary: While newer to the virtual event space, Accelevents should not be discounted. Their newly released streaming platform makes both hosting & attending virtual events easy & affordable. Interactive features such as live chat & breakout sessions make it easy for attendees to forget that they’re in their home offices. Accelevents boasts quick & helpful live support to supplement their platform, but the system is designed to be simple enough that a first-time event host shouldn’t have an issue. Best for: Event hosts looking to connect with attendees, first-time virtual event hosts Capterra Rating: 4.7/5
Summary: Brandlive is a US-based company first founded in 2010 that offers simple virtual event features suitable for most event organizers and attendees having served over 16k events. Audiences analytics and custom branding are a friend to the organizers while tools like event multistreaming and live audio/video chat will be favorites for attendees. Brandlive integrates with Salesforce and Google Analytics for organizers to easily track their customers and monitor their ad performance. Brandlive does not have virtual booths and lobbies that help simulate the live experience but you can add a password to your event to make it feel more exclusive. The ability to have an archive of event videos into collections and incentivize attendees to share the event on social media make Brandlive a great tool on the event organizers' belt! Best for: Events with streams that need to be accessed long after the event is over. Capterra Rating: No rating
Summary: Facebook was founded in the United States in 2004 (if you’re interested in learning more, The Social Network is an entire movie based on its founding!) as a social media platform that has since then, grown to one of the largest tech companies in the world. In 2016, the platform released its new Live feature, which allowed any account holder to run & share a live broadcast to their friends. Facebook Live makes broadcasting incredibly easy & affordable- so no matter the event budget or committee’s experience level, this is a great option. Users can interact with broadcasts with any of the normal Facebook reactions (Like, Dislike, Laughing, Love etc.) as well as leave comments of their own. Once the stream is over, the host will still be able to share, view & access your content. Best of all, Facebook is known for their robust analytics, so event hosts can check on performance. Best for: Organizations with a large social media presence, low budget events Capterra Rating: No rating
Summary: Created by the same company that created the business staple GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar offers all of the same ease of use, but formatted for live streams & webinars as opposed to your department’s weekly stand up. The platform is designed to make webinar hosting easy for anyone. GoToWebinar provides premade templates with a plug & play design that allows hosts to quickly add their organization’s information & branding, without the headache of learning to code. In addition to easy set up, the recording studio is intuitive to navigate & videos can be recorded live or in advance & shared at a later time. On the attendee side, GoToWebinar offers interactive options like screen drawing, polls, surveys & even “audience spotlighting” which allows event hosts to give members of the audience the microphone and/or camera. Once the webinar has concluded, hosts will have access to a variety of analytics on their event & attendees. Best for: Business events, simple set up, new event hosts Capterra Rating: 4.5/5
Summary: Livestorm was founded in 2016 in France & provides support for events & webinars of all forms & sizes. The system is incredibly customizable to allow hosts to create an event that perfectly fits their organization’s needs & goals. The platform’s webinar options allow for live, interactive sessions as well as prerecorded & easily shared sessions. In addition, hosts can create automated webinars so that certain actions can be seamlessly added into an easy “set it and forget it” option for busy organizations. On the analytics side, hosts will have access to data from each webinar, allowing them to grow & identify key audiences & goals. The system also integrates with Salesforce, MailChimp, Drip, and over 1,000 other platforms so make data export a breeze. Best for: Busy event hosts, small budgets Capterra Rating: 4.8/5
Summary: Socialive was founded in the United States in 2016. The platform is perfect for easily creating, editing, & distributing engaging content to your audience. Socialive allows you to host a live event & stream it to multiple social media platforms at once, or you can record & edit your videos to share at a later time. The platform’s modern design & clean UI make it a great option for both tech-junkies and new hosts alike. And in addition to looking great, it makes the system intuitive & easy to use for hosts, speakers & event attendees.Socialive’s platform encourages engagement via polls, live chat & surveys. Their studio allows you to completely customize your videos with branding, any stickers or graphics you’d like to add, and other fun features to help make your content your own. Best for: Events with streams that need to be accessed long after the event is over. Capterra Rating: 4/5
Summary: Vimeo has been a big player in the video hosting space for years now but their live streaming platform, Vimeo Live was released in 2017. The platform offers multiple plans to fit every budget, but only some offer real-time interaction with viewers, so be sure to analyze your event’s needs before committing. If you’re looking for easily branded content, Vimeo is a great option as their platform allows users to add custom end screens & cards. These features are also perfect for enhancing SEO. Vimeo also is an appealing option for data-lovers, as they provide all users with a robust analytics page. Best for: Event planners working with multiple events Capterra Rating: 4.7/5
Summary: Founded in 2013 in the United States, WebinarJam is a great option for hosts looking to hold a sales-based event. The platform offers the interactive options that hosts are looking for like Q & A sessions, live chat, & polling, but also offers a unique option that incorporates sales opportunities right into streams. The Active Offers option inserts an “offer” pop-up right into the stream, making it easy for the audience to click to redeem & make purchases, without having to search for a provided code or link. This makes the platform appealing for not just sales events, but recruitments as well.In addition to the features that aid in event production, WebinarJam also provides event hosts with an expansive analytics page & plentiful data. Last, but not least, the platform also integrates directly with Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Drip, Best for: Professional event hosts, sales events Capterra Rating: 4.2/5
Summary: Since its founding, WebinarNinja has made hosting & sharing webinars easy & intuitive for anyone. The platform utilizes interactive features such as live chat, Q&As, polls & surveys not to replicate an in-person experience, but to make webinars an even more appealing option to hosts.In addition to an easy-to-use webinar studio, Webinar Ninja allows users to create custom landing pages for their events, allowing hosts to fully maximize their branding efforts. Once the webinar has completed, hosts will also have access to a robust analytics page where they can view information about their webinar’s performance, audience participation, as well as download contact information from viewers. Best for Interactive events, repeat event hosts Capterra Rating: 4.4/5
Summary: Youtube launched the ability to live stream in 2011 & has made it easy for anyone with computer access to run their own live events. Just like with recorded & posted Youtube videos, viewers can comment, like & dislike live streams, adding to the interactive experience. While their training & support is more limited than some of the other options on this list, the platform is simple & straightforward enough that there isn’t much needed to get going. Another benefit is that as the largest video hosting platform in the world, Youtube videos & streams can be integrated directly into almost any website. Best for: Low budget events, No-frills streaming Capterra Rating: No rating
Summary: With many countries being under a shelter in place order, almost everyone has heard the phrase “I’ll send over a Zoom invite” recently. Zoom makes it easy for anyone to set up & participate in a webinar or online meeting. The system is simple, easy to use, & for some use cases, free of cost.As it is a popular option for businesses, Zoom offers dozens of native integrations with platforms such as Mailchimp, Salesforce, and Constant Contact. While it does not include quite as many interactive options as other platforms on this list, Zoom still allows users to chat, & participate in polls. Overall, Zoom is one of the most popular online event platforms for a reason, they’ve helped to make online events easy & accessible for anyone. For hosts looking for a simple but classic platform, Zoom is a terrific option. Best for New event hosts, simple events Capterra Rating: 4.6/5
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