Nine Essential Features of Your Virtual Event Platform

Whether you’re new to the game or a veteran virtual meeting holder there’s one fact you can’t escape; The right platform is essential to pulling off a good meeting.

Why can we say this with confidence? Because we’ve seen how a subpar platform can turn even the best of speeches into a snoozefest. The features that your event platform brings to the table can spell success or disaster for your next event.

Key Features You Don’t Want to Miss Out On

As virtual and hybrid meetings took off during the pandemic, so did the number of virtual meeting platforms. The sheer number of options can be a bit overwhelming.

….and the list just keeps going. So how can you sort through the choices and pick the one that’s right for you? Start by finding platforms that offer you these key features.

1.  HD Video

Few things will send your audience picking up their phones and browsing through Instagram faster than poor video quality. Pixelated speakers and blurry figures are frustrating to watch and aren’t likely to hold attention.

The solution? Choose a video conferencing platform that offers HD video. If possible, do a “trial run” virtual meeting before purchasing to see how the video quality really delivers.

Pro Tip: Bad internet connection is the enemy of good video quality. To ensure your team gets to enjoy your beautiful HD video, try sending out pre-meeting instructions. A proper setup that includes strong internet will ensure they are seeing the crystal clear images you want.

2.  Recording

Choose a virtual event platform that allows you to record the meeting. It’s likely that not everyone will be able to attend the live event. By recording it, you can email it to those that aren’t present.

You can also watch the recording later for quality assurance, to discover things you’d like to repeat next time, and maybe some things you’d change.

Recorded meetings are also valuable for resolving disputes. It’s no longer a “your word against his” situation. You have proof of the conversation that took place and the decisions that were made.

3.  Screen Sharing

Do you remember in-person meetings where the tables were covered in charts and papers? There’s a reason for that. Company meetings are rarely held without showing something to other team members such as:

  • Charts
  • Photos
  • Presentations
  • Videos
  • Or any other project-related material

The fact is there’s probably something on your computer you’d like to show the team during your next meeting.

A picture is worth a thousand words. So why not show your employees EXACTLY what you’re talking about? It will invite collaboration and keep your audience engaged.

Screen sharing lets all participants in the virtual meeting see the computer screen of the sharer. What if a team member has something they’d like you to see? Many virtual event platforms allow for all participants to screen share when requested to do so.

4.  Live Chats

The LAST thing you need in a virtual meeting is everyone talking at the same time. Enter the “Live Chat” feature to save the day. Use the chat to send updates to everyone or a private message to a specific team member.

Participants can use the chat to ask questions instead of asking aloud and interrupting the flow of the meeting. Questions or comments could be sent to the entire group or to a designated person so participants can send questions privately, without distracting others.

5.  Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms add significant value to a virtual meeting platform. They also offer some flexibility on when and how you can create them based on the platform you are using:

  • Pre-assign groups beforehand
  • Divide them up on the spot
  • Let the platform assign participants automatically or
  • Manually assign groups.

Try this: Divide up into separate groups to collaborate on projects, have leaders meet with their teams after the meeting to discuss decisions and ideas that were presented, or create smaller groups for peer reviews or training.

All of this is possible with the breakout room feature. It eliminates the fear that everything, including sensitive topics, must be discussed company-wide for all to hear.

6.  Custom Branding

When you go to a Packers game, you expect it to feel like you’re at a Packers game. You want to be surrounded by green, yellow, and an abundance of cheesehead hats. It makes you feel like you’ve come to the right place, and admit it, you enjoy the game that much more because of it.

The same is true with virtual events. You want attendees to FEEL like they’ve come to the right place. It puts them in the proper headspace so they can focus on why they joined; the program you’ve prepared.

Many virtual event platforms allow you to “brand” the event by sprinkling your company’s flavor throughout the event by use of company:

  • Logos
  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Imagery

Branding makes your team feel like they are a part of something special, not just another cookie-cutter virtual meeting.

7.  Gamification

As the name suggests, gamification adds game-like elements to your virtual event. It’s a clever use of psychology to keep people focused, motivated, and happy to be there. We experience this every day without even noticing it.

  • Starbucks gives us gold stars
  • the Nike app gives us rewards
  • eBay makes a game out of bidding on items, instead of just buying them directly

With what result? We keep coming back! Whether we recognize it or not, the gamification of these processes reels us in and we’re here to stay.

In a similar way, gamification during an event uses rewards, competition, and teamwork to drive curiosity and engagement. This means your next virtual event won’t be just another mandatory meeting but an enjoyable event that your team will actually look forward to.

8.  Surveys and Polls

Acquiring feedback during your virtual event can be a nightmare, especially if you are part of a large company with many attendees. Selecting a virtual event platform with a survey/poll feature will make your life much easier.

Try this: Create single or multiple-choice polls to accomplish two major tasks:

Make decisions:

Rather than casting a vote through the live chat or out loud, use the poll feature. What’s more, poll and survey results can be downloaded and saved for you to reference later.

Gather honest feedback:

Lots of event platforms give you the option to report answers to polls and surveys anonymously. In this way, your team feels more comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns.

9.  Closed Captioning

It goes without saying that closed captioning is crucial for your team members that are hearing impaired. This feature allows them to have a full share in the meeting. Members that are forced to join in noisy environments are also able to stay focused and get the most out of the meeting.

But they’re not the only ones that benefit from closed captioning. Studies show that subtitles actually improve overall video comprehension and retention across all audiences. So really, offering closed captioning at your next virtual event is a bit of a no-brainer.

Added bonus: Closed captioning can be compiled and used as a transcript of the meeting post event.

We’ve Got Your Back

Still not sure which event platform to choose? Or afraid you won’t be able to use these features to their full potential?

Our team at Virtual Velocity has spent years learning the ins and outs of virtual events. From choosing the right platform, to dealing with unexpected technical difficulties during the meeting, we’re ready to help with whatever you need.

Let’s get together and talk about it. Tell us exactly what you’re hoping to get out of your next virtual event and together we will make it happen.