Technology created by event organisers. For event organisers.
As the coronavirus pandemic gained momentum in March this year, governments across the world introduced a variety of lockdown measures which had a massive, negative impact on many industry sectors. None more so than the events industry. Conferences, seminars, exhibitions all closed down.
Ever resilient, events companies looked at moving their physical events online, and the virtual event ‘gold rush’ was born. However, as many organisations discovered, many, if not all, of the available off-the-shelf event platform software packages were far from flexible, and the after sales support left much to be desired.
Having investigated a number of these virtual event platforms, and found them wanting, Angel Business Communications, a major UK-based event organiser, decided to build its own solution. Called “Connect”, this virtual event platform has already been used by the company to host several its own highly successful events.
Recently, specialist IT events organiser EVITO ran a series of six conferences and exhibitions for a leading client in the open source arena and have more events confirmed before the end of the year using the platform while several organisations in the semiconductor and quarrying industries are using the virtual platform to run major events in the near future (one of which has 500+ exhibitors!).
We have so far flipped a number of our physical events into a virtual event and we have more of our events planned over the next few months. With current social distancing guidelines, we just don’t believe we can host a physical event in 2020 and probably a fair way into 2021. We are now offering this platform to the wider industry and we would love the chance to show you what it can do for your virtual and hybrid events.
The value of an event organiser designing a virtual event platform cannot be overestimated. With an impressive platform features list, there’s an intuitive understanding of how an online event needs to function, with support being a major part of the process. Next year virtual/hybrid will become more relevant and the “Connect” platform will cater for this.
Features of the Connect Virtual Event Platform include:
- Multiple days and multiple tracks which can be live, semi live or pre-recorded.
- Registration for delegates, which can include payment gateway.
- CMS to manage registrations.
- Processing of registrations, including confirmation emails, event reminder emails.
- No limits to number of attendees.
- No limits to number of exhibitors.
- Our team can help guide speakers through recording their presentation, through a recorded demo, documentation or live on the day help.
- Tagging of content, exhibitors and attendees. The platform then uses Artificial Intelligence to recommend content, exhibitors and attendees.
Event platform to include:
- Login page.
- Lobby, which can have a bespoke design. This will direct attendees to important areas of the virtual event.
- Welcome video on first visit to portal. This will include on-boarding so attendees can select tags, if they have not already done it.
- Notifications to notify participants of important information – i.e. product demos, keynotes starting.
- Organisers area, where visitors and exhibitors can contact organising team with any questions.
- Conference area for presentations. Speakers will be live with video for Q&A and discussion.
- Expo area – Exhibitors can be searched and filtered.
Booths to include:
- Live chat and video calls
- Uploaded videos, pdfs and company documents
- Autoplay intro video on first visit
- Social media integration
- Book a meeting option, where attendees can book a time slot
- Branding to follow exhibitors colour scheme
Other features include:
- Event platform to be live 3 weeks before event, so networking and meetings can be booked beforehand and then 3 months on-demand.
- My event section to include personalised agenda, virtual delegate bags, favourited exhibitors, accepted connections, messages, meetings.
- Social wall where attendees can live chat/comment.
- Media room.
- Demo area.
- Exhibitor portal, where exhibitors can create their booths and track who visits/interacts with their booth.
- Organiser portal, to give visibility of event statistics and allow organisers to set up their exhibitors.
- Angel Business Communications expert staff live on the days of the event, to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Next year virtual/hybrid will become more relevant and the “Connect” platform will cater for this.
It’s no exaggeration to say that plenty of Angel Business Communications’ existing client base have had what can only be described as bad experiences attending virtual events hosted on a range of other platforms – to the extent that some have now issued a blanket ban on what they see as a waste of marketing spend. However, those companies who have engaged with Connect, either for the events Angel has run itself, or those run for third parties, have been universally impressed.
Paul Trowbridge, Managing Director of EVITO comments: “The Connect virtual event platform has opened up new opportunities for us, who, like most event organisers, was impacted severely by the pandemic and resulting lock-downs. We looked at a wide range of virtual event platforms that didn’t reach the price point or functionality that our clients required but in working with the team at Angel we have now found the best solution for them.” Paul continues: “I was confident that Connect gave us a virtual event platform that we could stand behind and we have already run a series of very successful events across Europe and our clients have been delighted with the performance of the platform, and the attendee feedback has been almost universally positive.”
With no immediate end in sight to various flavours of local, regional, or national lockdowns, and with social distancing very much the new normal, virtual events are going to be here for some time yet.
We don’t see virtual events ever replacing physical events, nor would we want them to. However, they have been a great interim way for us to keep our communities connected, networking and learning, whilst physical travel and gatherings are not possible.
We are not a software company, we are an publishing and event organising company which has had to develop a software platform for our own virtual events. We are now offering this to other event organisers. Over and above the Connect software platform, we offer our expertise to put together and run the virtual event. We know what is needed and provide maximum support to ensure a successful virtual and hybrid conference, exhibition or a combination of the two.
So if you have had to cancel or continually postpone your physical event, we would now like to open up our event platform to other event organisers, so get in touch to see what we can do for you to help you continue to make revenue during these difficult times.
Contact me to arrange a demo so you can see first hand what our platform can do for you.