Event organizers and planners were thrust into the unfamiliar territory of virtual and hybrid events in 2020. Most had to rise to the challenge very quickly with internal resources. In doing so, many realized that they needed an external partner to take the production planning and technology burden off their shoulders.  

Platforms are not events; events require coordination and people working behind the scenes with the goal of delivering your message and bringing people together. The biggest consideration is whether you have the team necessary to learn the software and produce the event from A to Z. All events are different and may require a different solution. There is no one-size-fits-all. 

 Virtual Event Platforms Are Not One-Size-Fits-All  

There are several virtual event platforms available, and understanding the benefits and limitations of each – and knowing when to call in professionals – is crucial to the success of your event. The platform selection should ultimately serve your needs and event objectives.   

From registration to post-event engagement, your chosen platform will need to help you reach your event objectives, pre, during, and post event. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • What virtual platforms do you have available internally, and will they meet your event objectives and format? 
  • Is your internal staff capable of managing the technology requirements of the platform? 
  • Do you need interaction tools, polling, Q&A? 
  • Do you need pre-recorded, live stream, or both?
  • Will you require breakout sessions? 

 Will Your Speakers Be Set Up for Success?  

Your presenters have a lot to deliver.  Their sole focus should be on their content and not the technology. Will you be able to provide ample support to your speakers beyond providing a virtual platform?  

  • Are you able to provide speaker coaching to ensure a smooth presentation? 
  • Can you offer best practices for virtual presentations 
  • Are you scheduling rehearsals or technical reviews prior to live days to ensure everyone is comfortable with the platform? 
  • Do you have backups should a presenter lose internet?   
  • What type of behind-thescenes audio and visual support can you provide your speakers 

 Can Your Platform Provide Seamless Attendee Experience?  

Attendees are over technology snafus and eager to learn, network, and engage with thought leaders.  Can you guarantee they will be provided with broadcast-grade video, audio, and the ability to interact with speakers and stay engaged with the content? If you have attendees from outside of the US, keep in mind that some video delivery platforms are restricted in certain countries.  Do you have multiple streaming options to suit global attendee needsOther things to think about: 

  • Can your platform support your forecasted attendee count and transition them from one platform to another if necessary 
  • Does your platform provide the ability to manage single-track or multi-track breakout sessions? 
  • Do you have the right amount of support staff to assist with questions or poll responses from attendees as well as speakers? 
  • Do you have a seamless way to allow your attendees access into your platform? 

“It’s very important for organizations to be able to focus on content and have a really good partner to aid you in technology so if and when things go wrong, they can help.” 

– John Rubsamen  |  Senior Director of Meetings and Events, Americans for the Arts 

 SmartSource has helped companies like yours with pre-production planning, behind-the-scenes support, and all things in between. External support isn’t an “all or nothing” proposition, and a great partner can assess your team’s strengths and fill in the gaps with theirs.   

 In addition to our virtual and hybrid meeting services, SmartSource also offers Remote Presentation Kits designed to help presenters look and sound their best.  Don’t settle for inadequate lighting, poor audio quality, or low-resolution video. Our Remote Presentation Kits are quick and easy to set up.