Virtual Event & Hybrid Platform Comparison
You've decided that you don't want to host a fully in-person event, but now you must decide which platform you want to utilize for your event. The virtual and hybrid event platform selection is an important one. Like an in-person venue, you need to select one that will support your programming and attendees' needs while keeping your attendees as engaged as they would be at an in-person venue.
A few things to note:
- Each platform has their own pricing structures.
- Some platform elements are additional costs.
Over the last year, our team has produced hybrid and virtual events using the following platforms. Here are some Pros and Cons of each site:
PATHABLE EVENT PLATFORM
Is an event platform that utilizes their conference app - the built-in calendar of events supports live webinars; real-time networking; one to one video calls; exhibitor/sponsors promotion and other engagement tools. With Pathable, you or your production company will do the build of the platform.
- PRO: The event page design options are very flexible. For example, you can have a rotating sponsor banner anywhere on any page.
- PRO: It can handle larger attendee sizes.
- PRO: It offers attendees option to create their own schedule and add to their personal work calendars.
- CON: There is no way to do simulive, which is pre-recorded video that starts at a specific time like a live event.
- CON: There is no formal registration system.
ENGAGEZ EVENT PLATFORM
Is a cloud-based platform which is designed to promote attendee engagement through chats, polls, surveys, games, and video messaging. With Engagez, you or your production company will do the build of the platform.
- PRO: Our AV team can stream straight to the platform without having to use a third party such as Vimeo or YouTube.
- PRO: If you have prerecorded content, you are able to use the simulive function, meaning your presentation plays at specific date and time.
- PRO: If your event has different ticket levels you can create permission or access groups. They are very easy to setup and manage.
- PRO: It offers several opportunities for 1:1 networking with attendees/exhibitors – video chat, messaging, polls, surveys.
- PRO: Flexible design and layout options.
- CON: Doesn’t support events with more than 3,000 attendees.
- CON: Occasionally has glitches with the data reporting.
HUBB EVENT PLATFORM
HUBB is an engaging event management system that is user friendly for attendees and allows for lots of interaction whether it’s through 1:1 meeting or the chat on all session pages. With HUBB, your team inputs session and attendee information, but the platform build is handled by HUBB.
- PRO: The site is easy to navigate and very user friendly.
- PRO: The site supports large audience sizes.
- PRO: There are several customizations that can be added for an extra cost - expert meetings, gamification, photo booth, arcade games.
- PRO: Project teams are knowledgeable and helpful
- CON: There is a charge for everything including each session that appears in your agenda, regardless of if it’s live or simu-live.
- CON: Takes time to build out the site so you need to factor that time into your production/build schedule.
- CON: The platform is unable to provide reporting data on how long attendees viewed sessions and has limited exhibitor data
- CON: If your breakout sessions are in a live zoom room the session is not embedded in the session page. You are taken out of the site to the zoom platform.
- CON: There aren’t a lot of branding opportunities.
VFAIRS EVENT PLATFORM
Is a virtual and hybrid customizable platform that can support a 3D design look and feel. With VFairs, they build the entire site.
- PRO: Session descriptions can include special characters and colored text/fonts.
- PRO: VFairs provides a look book of several lobby options to choose from. These lobby options offer plenty of branding opportunities.
- PRO: Exhibitors can build and design their own booths using provided templates. Exhibitors can upload their own content materials.
- CON: You are limited to a maximum of 24 exhibitors in an exhibit hall. Anything over that will require an additional hall and cost.
- CON: The platform is unable to track click throughs in the lobby (who clicks on a sponsor link, opens a pdf, etc.).
- CON: You need a minimum of 12 weeks to build out the site from event date. This means that you need to have content and graphics ready to go at the beginning of the 12 week process. Since turn-around times for builds and updates are very lengthy, unless you have everything ready to go, allow much more than 12 weeks for your build.
HOPIN EVENT PLATFORM
Hopin is a virtual venue that supports multiple interaction points with attendees. Attendees are given the opportunities to engage in live sessions, chat rooms and exhibitors. With Hopin, you or your production company can do the simple set-up using the site template.
- PRO: Attendees can participate in Roundtables that are supported via the platform’s networking system. Attendees do not have to leave the site.
- PRO: The networking feature allows attendees to be paired randomly with other attendees. You are able to set permissions, for example Exhibitors can only be connect with attendees and not other exhibitors.
- PRO: They have an interactive chat area in which you can include your twitter feed. Roundtables can happen on the platform rather than leaving to go to zoom.
- PRO: In the education session rooms, you can bring audience members on screen to participate in the conversation.
- CON: Suffers from a lot of technical glitches, mostly in the breakout session rooms with attendees often having issues with seeing the video, hearing the audio, or access the rooms.
- CON :Hopin does not support an On Demand feature. So, you are unable to host content after the event and attendees can not access materials post event.
- CON: There is no Live Technical Support with the basic package.
CADMIUM (EventScribe Live) EVENT PLATFORM
Is a meeting management system that is known for its continuing education and exhibitor selection and support. Their virtual event platform supports live or recorded education sessions, audience engagement including games and other networking functions, digital poster recordings, virtual exhibit hall and a robust CE tracking system. With Cadmium, it’s a mix of contributors involved with the build of the platform.
- PRO: You can access the event both via your mobile device and a website.
- PRO: Attendees can take notes on session presentation slides.
- PRO: There is a robust Audience Engagement system, which includes live polling, crowdsourcing, and in-session social network.
- PRO: AV production teams are able to use an RTPM stream to share the Live Content.
- CON: The event creation and set up process is not user friendly
- CON: Customer service is hard to pin down and get answers to questions
- CON: There are quirks with how the session listings work when featuring live programming that can be confusing and not a true representation of programming
Choose from simple 2D or stunning 3D virtual environments to support a wide range of virtual and hybrid event experiences. Communique offers both easy self-service set up or full white glove support.
- PRO: Highly customizable design
- PRO: Jam-packed with engagement features such as networking, text, and video chat, push notifications, Q&, polls, surveys, meeting scheduling, gamification with leaderboard, photo booth, and social media wall
- PRO: Guests can access the event both via a mobile device and desktop
- CON: Pricing may not be affordable for small businesses
- CON: Limited white labeling capabilities
PICK THE BEST PLATFORM FOR YOUR VIRTUAL OR HYBRID EVENT
The LAI Live Team is here to help you plan and select your next hybrid or virtual event platform! Whether you're preparing to go hybrid, co-planning for a hybrid and virtual event, or hosting a virtual event, LAI Live is ready to help, even if you're not quite sure what the difference between virtual event production and a virtual event platform is. Let's get started!