I’ve always said this - not all event platforms are created equal.
Why? Because different platforms have different features that can help you reach different event objectives. I know there are TONS of platforms out there so let’s dive into the MAIN questions that you absolutely need to know and decide on before choosing your very own online “venue”.
1. Do I prefer pre-recorded or live format?
This is a bigggg one and the first question that you need to answer. The main difference for pre-recorded and live is mainly community engagement.
If you are looking to build a connection with the audience, have an opportunity for Q&A and general interaction, a Live format would be perfect. I know there are summits who do a live version and then send out the link to replays.
As an audience, I really dislike replays - I can't count the number of times I skip the interaction portion and try to find the main point. Also, do you know how many times I signed up for an event in the US only for it to be 3am in Singapore? Many. So it’s not my favourite format as an attendee. I came to learn and absorb, not to make new friends but that’s just me as an introvert!
I prefer the pre-recorded format and recommend all of my clients to do the same (especially if you have neither the time, capacity or technological capabilities to deal with live event glitches - like me!). But the BEST part of it all is the fact that you get to
a) Fix your videos and crop out errors : like the time I edited out 5 seconds of my speaker dropping her phone during an interview!
b) Include awesome event branding : your personalised 3 second intro or outro
c) Reach out to speakers and audience in different parts of the world : my pre-recorded event saw audiences from different countries which means when it went live, it was US time (11am), Singapore (11pm) and New Zealand (3am) and stay open for 24 hours for attendee’s viewing convenience.
2. How much attendee engagement do I want?
Pre-recorded attendee engagement is quite limited to the comments section and you can ensure your platform has that. For my clients who wanted to maximise engagement while on this format, I recommend that you have your panel of speakers to be present and interact with the audience during the first hour of going LIVE. You can also announce to your audience about this so there’s an extra incentive to be there during the event launch.
For Live events, the type of attendee engagement can mean different types of features on your platform such as: a) Live Networking of attendees with each other -> Break out rooms where attendees can chat with each other
b) General Interaction -> A chat box function below the speaker’s video
c) Targeted Interaction with Speakers -> A form submission area for attendees to submit questions to speakers
3. How many attendees am I targeting?
I used to think that the “register now before the seats run out!” bit for virtual summits are just a sales thing they do. 1 pax or 1 million pax, who’s counting right? Aren't online events open for everyone and have unlimited seats?
Well, there is such a thing as seats running out since different platforms have different capacity and different tiered packages.
For example: HeySummit USD$29 package can host up to 2,000 attendees and the USD$99 package can host up to 7,500 attendees. So yes, seats can run out! If not, they can at least affect your expenses.
4. What kind of payment processing feature do I need?
Basically the money aspect of your event. Look at the fine print of your platform and find out what they offer in terms of:
Processing Fees : some will take 5% from ALL of your transactions, some have 0% transaction fees
: if you are selling various things on the platform (tickets, upsells, memberships etc), the transaction fees can add up so consider getting a platform with 0% transaction fees
Payment Options : some offers only Paypal or Stripe as a payment option, or a combination of different payment methods for your attendees
: it is known that some attendees click away from paying because they don’t have a wallet with them at the moment and then forget all about it, so it’s great to have as many payment options as possible ready (especially Paypal!)
5. Do I need affiliate partnerships?
If you want an Affiliate Partnership feature, you definitely have to invest a little more on your platform since this requires its own set of dashboards and functions for your partners. For both ClickFunnels and Kajabi, only their premium package has this function. I highly recommend having this feature as it can really boost your registration numbers and event income.
Event platform is a HUGE component for your virtual summit so I recommend for you to take your time and choose wisely. If in doubt, I highly recommend the 3 popular platforms for events - HeySummit, Kajabi and ClickFunnels (I’ve personally attended events that were hosted on these because it’s THAT popular)
The beauty of these platforms is that it helps YOU the event organiser to achieve your summit objectives easily and to lighten your load through their automations and pipelines.
To your event’s success!
P.S: If you are looking to have your personalised event success plan (and I'm talking about everything from the perfect partnerships, income strategies to execution plan), I got the thing just for you!