One of the most popular tools out there, used by many top organizations and brands, Zoom prides itself on ease of use and smooth experience. It offers both ZoomWebinars, for more 1 to many lecture-style sessions with minimal back and forth, and ZoomMeetings which facilitate plenty of communication in both directions and feature breakout rooms. Meetings also offer some great security features to important internal meetings.
Capacity: 200 attendees with Business, 500 with Enterprise, 1,000 with Enterprise Plus
Built to Livestream to massive audiences, Livestream is a one-to-many platform that allows to you broadcast through Facebook Live, YouTube and Periscope. It’s a technology powerhouse, that is quite flawless in its delivery. Most solutions are custom-built but have robust options including monetization, full custom branding and more.
Hopin is the most robust online event platform we’ve seen. It mimics all the facets of a physical conference – from the main stage to breakout sessions, networking and a tradeshow. They are still ahead of their full launch, but we have used the system and the experience was fluid and engaging.
From Cisco, WebEx was built as a conference calling replacement that has evolved to be able to host up to 3,000 people in an online event, with streaming capabilities for up to 40,000.
Capacity: 100 attendees with Plus, 200 with Business, and up to 3,000 with a customized premium account
Available for paying GSuite users, this is designed largely for team meetings, screen sharing and group calls. To support businesses through this time, GSuite is offering all Business users the ability to have 250 people on one call, and 100,000 streaming until July 1.
Capacity: Currently 25, going up to 250 as of July 1, 2020
Every day millions of people participate in virtual meetings,, and every day, millions of people get frustrated with those meetings. While the technology has vastly and wifi connectivity is generally strong – still, virtual meetings often go awry.
We’ve spoken with hundreds of meeting organizers and attendees to gather useful tips for improving your online meeting experience.
Without a proverbial “head-seat” at the virtual table, the meeting can feel chaotic and unorganized. Ensure that the leader of the meeting establishes their position, and uses their authority to efficiently lead the team through an agenda. Tip: As a leader, you should cut off sidetracks and keep your team focused.
While some people jump on 16 Zoom calls a day, the platform is still new to others. Often, someone will request a specific platform for a meeting that not everyone is familiar with. To ensure you are able to connect without issue, hop on the line 2 minutes before the actual meeting. Tip: If you are leading the meeting, be sure to hop online ahead of time. People testing the line will be able to chat with you through any issues they may have.
It’s a sign of the times- virtual meetings are becoming more popular. While most team members will be familiar with the virtual meeting process, there may be team members who are new to the e-space. Take a moment to set rules for each meeting and help participants understand virtual etiquette. Tip: Rule #1? Mute when you aren’t speaking!
Said it above, but it deserves its own section.
Unlike meeting in a physical space, a quick conversation in the hall before a
meeting or cryptic body language will not be effective in a virtual meeting. Assign your team with specific roles or tasks to prepare for the meeting. Tip: Send out an agenda through email or slack to keep everyone on one page. This will remind everyone of what they were required to do, and it will help maintain a steady flow of the meeting.
We all need to do a better job making virtual meetings more human. Don’t be afraid to ask people how they’re doing, to share news – or their favourite meme – and give little human breaks throughout a longer meeting. You would do a little stretch during a 2-hour in-person meeting, why not do a team stretch in the virtual version.
Taking a historically IRL conference and putting it online is challenging- there’s no doubt about it. As many event planners venture into this new format, we wanted to share, from our experience, a few things that you can keep in mind:
While nothing will ever replace the experience of human connection and the amazing good that can come from fully immersing yourself in an event experience, it’s important to recognize the benefits of virtual experiences. Technology advancements are happening daily and as society is… well, we’re effectively being forced…to embrace virtual meetings more, the experiences and opportunity to bring people together online will only get better.
Creating a virtual event that is remarkable and memorable is important. It’s a new way of thinking, but applying design thinking, similar to how you approach creating fantastic physical experiences, is key.
The goal of creating remarkable moments during conferences is often to:
Keep your audience engaged in the content of the meeting by offering a prize or giveaway. Sure, you won’t be tossing free shirts their way, but you can send a snazzy e-gift their way!
Online events won’t always need to be entirely remote for attendees. When and where it’s safe to do so, encourage small viewing parties allowing people to still come together, bond in small groups and elevate the experience. Remember to implement safe social distancing practices.
The costs of having a celebrity or special guest join your virtual event are much lower than a traditional celebrity appearance. Take advantage of the savings and wow your audience with a presentation, conversation or Q&A with famed personalities.
While there is a temptation to worry less about the event’s brand and simply get it done, consider taking the brand even more seriously. Design assets that pop, be thoughtful about your event title and theme that can make it unforgettable for attendees and potential attendees.
Many online event platforms have built-in networking and direct attendee messaging tools, so be sure to facilitate those interactions. Make time and space for networking in your agenda, promote the function to attendees and offer conversation starters.
There are a lot of masks worn by people at conferences and events, so let’s collectively allow virtual events to become real, honest gatherings. Don’t shy away from addressing the challenges people are facing, encourage people to be honest and we’ll see an elevated dialogue in our events.
Just because your whole event is online doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be experiences, moments and opportunities for attendees to share on their social channels. Think about the “Instagrammable” moments you can create in your virtual environment or the social campaigns that can accompany your event.