Since March 2020, DRIVE has hosted 48 online events with a total of over 1000 attendees across three different software platforms. Behind the scenes, I had stress beyond belief and planned for every worst-case scenario; but once a smooth and successful event (virtual or otherwise) comes to a close there is no greater feeling. Throughout the pandemic, we have strived to support our event clients and guide them through the unknown and ensure that they are able to hold events offline.
In contradiction to this blog title, no one can be a virtual event expert due to the ever-changing online platforms, software and skills needed; but I can lend you my expertise and experience to help you become an expert for today - because who knows what new technological advances there will be? I will explore the flexibility needed from a platform and advise you on tailoring your choice to create the perfect virtual event. A successful online event is not solely down to the software; much of its excellence will come from the planning and management in the lead-up.
This is an important decision and I’m sure you are as overwhelmed with the choices out there, as was I! Zoom was very popular from the start; Google was being scrutinized for not living up to their technological genius reputation and there were thousands of competing platforms claiming to be the best in the industry. DRIVE had limited time before we had to become online event hosts, so this meant we had limited time to make decisions. I signed up for multiple free trials and made a decision based on what our clients required but remember - it’s not the tools we use that makes us succeed, but rather how we use them.
Requesting free demos are worthwhile but sometimes you can explore the offerings within a short phone call with the sales team or simply browsing the website. When you have limited time to source a platform to execute your online events, you need an action plan. I had a list of requirements to fulfil and discovered the software platforms which met my priority list. I’ve conducted so much research and I still don’t believe there is a platform out there with everything you need and within budget!