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By Sean Begler
As new programs, platforms, and technologies emerge, it’s become challenging to decipher what concepts are worth investing in and what is better left untouched. That’s why here at Resi, we research the ins and outs of the tech industry for you—leaving you with the answers you’ve been waiting for. One matter in tech that we’ve taken a particular interest in is virtual events, hybrid events, and even more so, the platforms that stream them. Our top 5 choices as the best virtual event streaming platforms are Sardius, Brushfire, SOCIO, Church Online Platform, and Cvent, which cover all types of organizations. So, throughout this post, we will share our learnings on what virtual event streaming platforms are, the benefits of using one, and what features to look for when choosing the right platform.
Looking for some supplemental video content on this subject? Check out this quick video we put out in 2021 about creating and hosting engaging virtual content.
To begin, let’s go over just what virtual event streaming platforms are and what their functionality includes. Virtual event platforms are digital environments that use audio and video technology to host—you guessed it—virtual events! Unlike standard virtual conferencing tools, these programs are browser-based systems that simulate large-scale, in-person events through immersive and interactive features. These features can include virtual booths, live message boards, networking spaces, payment counters, workshop facilities, games, and many others.
It’s not just about audience participation though; they also boast robust capabilities for event organizers. Designed as complete end-to-end management systems, these virtual event platforms can automatically keep track of complex event schedules, provide analytical data on attendance, offer hybrid-event capabilities that allow you to hold events in-person and simultaneously online, and much more.
Obviously, once you break down what virtual event platforms are and what they offer, it’s hard to argue their significance in the digital event landscape. For starters, unlike standard conferencing tools, virtual event platforms can handle massive audiences—we’re talking thousands of simultaneous viewers. Under normal circumstances, an in-person event would involve over-crowded spaces filled with guests, but with a digital environment, you can fit countless people into your event who can all socialize and interact comfortably.
However, that’s not even the only stressor these platforms can help alleviate. Virtual event platforms can nearly run the show for you from running registration, keeping track of finances, plus much more—saving you time and money.
Another benefit to using a virtual event platform is that you can still offer a physical experience alongside your virtual offerings. With hybrid-event capabilities, you have the option to host both an in-person and digital event, where attendees from each side can interact through event management systems. You can also design your virtual spaces to directly reflect the environment you use in your physical venue so every guest can have the experience you envisioned.
Overall, virtual event platforms provide organizers and audience members with a seamless experience that can increase engagement across the board.
So what’s the best platform for you? There are countless to choose from, and sometimes narrowing down that many options can be a grueling task. So, to help you get started, we decided to put together a list of our top five choices for the best virtual event platforms! Read below to learn more about our options and how they can help you host your best virtual event!
Remember, this isn’t a comparison of virtual event platforms! It’s simply proof that there is a multitude of platforms to choose from that can compliment the vision you have for your event.
Sardius Media began in 2014 and works to provide reliable and interactive online video solutions for large events. They serve an array of different customers ranging from ministries to corporations to even government clientele! Their list of features have everything you could need, including streaming, ticketing and monetization, custom video players and video interactions, viewer interactions, analytics, and even custom development. Overall, Sardius is a trusted virtual event platform highly recommended by audiences and clients alike.
Brushfire is another incredible virtual event platform that provides an all-in-one solution for your online and virtual events. They offer a diverse set of features to help make organizing a large-scale event as easy as possible, including streaming, ticketing and registration, communication and interaction capabilities, customized event-apps, and much more! Designed with organizers and audiences in mind, Brushfire is a great option for those looking to simplify their virtual event workflow.
Another great option is an all-in-one event platform that drives continuous engagement, ensuring better results for virtual, in-person, and hybrid events—SOCIO. SOCIO is one of our top choices thanks to its cutting-edge technology and offerings. Their list of features includes live streaming and sim-live, branding and customization, engagement, sponsorships, networking, and many others. Not to mention, they also include a long list of popular products like check-in and badge printing, mobile event apps, community platforms, registration, and more.
Church Online Platform is a great choice for organizations looking to focus on the connection amongst their audience. They focus primarily on serving ministries distributing their services to online or hybrid events as a virtual event platform. Their features include:
With these tools and a great price point (FREE), Church Online Platform is committed to engagement and ease of use.
Our final top choice for best virtual event platforms is one self-defined as a “global events marketplace with powerful network effects.” Cvent offers a comprehensive suite of tools for marketers, organizers, suppliers, and venues—all of which have their own section on the site addressing the exact solutions each will require to create a successful event from conception to execution. Their list of features includes communication and engagement capabilities, event and attendee analytics, various virtual spaces and exhibition solutions, and full-time support! Clients report a 40% increase in registrations and a 3x increase in revenue using the Cvent platform, showing their effectiveness as a reliable event platform.
Honorable mentions include Brand Live, Hopin, and Altar Live.
Now that you have a solid list of platforms for consideration, you may still be questioning how to choose the right platform to fit your organization’s needs. Every platform will include pros and cons for users depending on what their specific event requires. That’s why it’s so important to begin your platform search by first examining the vision for your event! Your specific list may include components like event management features if you’re looking for help with organization, automation if you plan on regularly hosting hybrid events, communication and engagement features if you want to ensure audience interaction, customization and branding if you want to focus on an authentic feel, analytics if you wish to know your audience better, or some unique combination of features. Virtual event platforms are meant to be helpful, so if things start feeling complicated, maybe your platform of choice isn’t the right one for you.
We hope you feel informed and ready to go when looking for your next virtual event platform and feel confident knowing that your events can become a simpler and smoother experience for you and your audience. Oh, and don’t forget that, no matter what virtual event platform you end up choosing, you’ll also always get a perfect streaming experience for your audience members by utilizing Resi. If you have any questions about streaming services or want to know any other information on hot tech topics, be sure to check out our other blog posts and contact our Sales Team today to learn how you can stream the perfect event.
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