Top Virtual Conference & Event Platforms 2021

A Look at Virtual Conference & Event Platforms 2021

 

As we continue to evolve to a more hybrid way of living and working, these virtual platforms are here to stay. We’ve had some experience using and researching these and have had to weigh up the pros and cons depending on the event/conference/meeting. We get a lot of questions from people about which is best so let’s shine light on the best online meeting platforms that tick the requirements of most users. Hopefully you will find some answers you’ve been looking for when it comes to the best video conferencing technology.

 

1.    Zoom

Zoom is up there with the best. Having the feature of HD videos and audio, online meetings and events can be conducted with impact and quality. Any particular meeting has a room for 1000 participants. An internet connection and a gadget is all that the participants need to join anywhere from the world.

Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly, no tech knowledge or particular software required
  • Chat function, breakout rooms, Gallery view means you can see everyone at one time
  • Can use via the app or via the browser
  • High-quality video and audio
  • Good quality filters – from lipstick to eyebrows, to moustaches and everything in between
  • Ability to change your background to whatever or wherever you like- even if you are just at your office window
  • Integrates with Outlook
  • 24/7 customer support. Very responsive
  • Most people use it – this is a big pro for us!

Cons

  • Restricted meeting time on the basic plan
  • The paid versions are slightly on the pricier side

Zoom Pricing

In terms of price, it has 4 packages:

Free – supports up to 100 participants for 40 mins or one-on-one for unlimited time.

Pro (€139.90 /year/license)- allows 100 participants for up to 30 hours.

Business (small or medium) (€189.90 /year/license) - 300 participants and a minimum of 10 hosts

Enterprise (large) (€223.20 /year/license) - 500 participants and a minimum of 50 hosts.

2.    Zoom Video Webinars

For greater impact and penetration, Zoom Video Webinars allows 10,000 view-only attendees with 100 panelists. There are options for streaming over YouTube and Facebook.

Pros

  • Enables recording of sessions that can be shared
  • Options of integrating with other platforms to widen the reach
  • Ideal for town halls, educational lectures, global MNC quarterly updates
  • Can set up event registration page (alternative to Eventbrite) so everyone really is in one place

Cons

  • Integration with other platforms can be glitchy at times.

Zoom Pricing

In terms of pricing, it has 2 packages:

Video Events - Up to 10,000 attendees (€1,300/year/license) - unlimited webinar sessions with no time limit per session. Option of live streaming and video recording along with in-depth engagement reports.

Large scale video events- Up to 50,000 attendees (Contact their sales to get ideal pricing) - ideal for large-scale video events.

 

3.    Airmeet

We used Airmeet for Adam Fidler's Global Summit with the techical assistance of GlobalEvents247.com. Please get in touch with us if you need technical support for your event.

Airmeet is a fast-evolving web-based platform for virtual events. It is generally a preference for organising and hosting virtual and hybrid conferences, workshops, expos, etc. Organisers have to hold over branding on Airmeet, allowing them to customise the session stage, the lounge areas, the event reception, and a lot more.

Pros

  • Seamless to use for both the hosts and attendees.
  • The flexibility of holding both large and small virtual meetings.
  • Great features to engage the audience
  • Has a ‘backstage feature’ for host and speakers to prep before going live in the session
  • Has great sponsorship capabilities like exhibitor booths with networking tables, sponsorship tiers.

Cons

  • The safari browser does not support some networking features.
  • The full profile of other attendees is not visible to other participants.
  • The chat of networking tables doesn’t support file submission

Airmeet Pricing

Airmeet works on a usage-based pricing feature. The monthly bill depends on the number of registrations required per event.

The free version allows 1 organiser and up to 100 participants per event. Access to some features like the social lounge, 1:1 networking, polling, Q&A.

Business (€99/month)- allows 10 organisers and up to 100 registrations per event.

Enterprise (Contact their sales to get the best deal)- allows 10 organisers and up to 100,000 registrations per event.

 

 

4.    Livestorm

Livestorm is a browser-based video conferencing platform that allows the marketing, sales, or HR team to organise online events for the audience. The events range from webinars, conferences, podcast interviews, online training courses, or product launch and demonstrations.

Pros

  • A co-host can be invited who doesn’t hold a subscription
  • Excellent customer service support team
  • Supports integration
  • Good data availability for analytics
  • It also offers various audience interaction tools

Cons

  • Sometimes, starting a seminar gets glitchy
  • It no longer hosts recorded webinars

Livestorm Pricing

It has 4 packages to offer:

Free trial.

Webinar and meet basic- free.

Meet Premium and meet basic- €40/host/month

Webinar Premium- €110/host/month€

 

5.    Hopin

We used Hopin for our very own Symposium and The Executive PA Forum 2020 via our hybrid event partner Fuel. Please get in touch with us if you need technical support for your event.

Hopin is an all-in-one platform for online events that supports tools for virtual or hybrid events like ticketing and registration, limitless event rooms, chat, and networking, as well as some tools for audience engagement. It is also supported on mobile, both iOS and Android.

Pros

  • Hopin has taken over the platform StreamYard which is a great and simple solution for the live studio
  • Has some extra in-built features like a speaker’s lounge, a private channel resembling slack
  • Quick customer service
  • Supports 1:1 networking element
  • Also has a sponsor area that is great if the event has sponsors

Cons

  • Does not allow adding of pre-recorded videos to the platform for use during different events
  • Charges are based on “registrants” and not “attendees”
  • Has customer support staff just in the UK and not other countries

Hopin Pricing

In terms of pricing, it has the following packages:

Starter ($83.25/month) - hosts up to 100,000 attendees and unlocks Hopin’s easy core features

Growth ($667/month) - 5 seats and includes 5 organisers

Business- provides advanced services and is customisable so you’ll have to contact sales.

Enterprise- custom pricing and custom API integrations, so contact sales.

 

6.    Whereby

Whereby stands top in terms of being the most reliable collaborative tool for business executives who wish to host fuss-free and secure video meetings. It is well known as an easy-to-use tool that allows small and medium scaled businesses to connect to their teammates, clients, and partners.

Pros

  • Easy to join with just two clicks. Does not require any additional downloads or no setup, just sending the link and the user can join
  • Customisable rooms
  • It has an extensive emoji collection

Cons

  • Up to 60 users can be added to the room, however only 20 can turn on the camera
  • Video quality deteriorates in a large room and is only good in a small room
  • Does not support dial-in to calls

Whereby Pricing

In terms of pricing, it has 4 packages.

Free- hosts up to 100 participants. Unlimited one-on-one meetings, however, group meetings last 45 minutes.

Pro ($6.99/month) per host per month- no time limit on group meetings, unlimited recording.

Business ($9.99/month) per host per month- priority support and early access to new features.

Embedded (Contact them to get the best bet!)- customisable.

 

Please make sure to leave a comment below if you have any pros or cons you would like to mention if you have used these platforms - I will then add those comments above so as to make it even more helpful for those who need it.


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March 31, 2021

MORE ONLINE LEADERSHIP TRAINING OPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE FOR EXECUTIVE SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS IN THE UK AND EUROPE.

 

A new strategic partnership for Australian-based The Global Assistant Online, with Ireland's Centre of Excellence by The Executive PA Forum, will benefit administrative professionals seeking high-end, online courses in global skills.

 

The collaboration gives executive and personal assistants in Ireland, Europe and the UK more opportunities to build in-demand competencies for the new way of work. They'll be able to access exclusive pricing offers on The Global Assistant Online's training products through The Executive PA Forum's Centre of Excellence.

 

"It's always great to align with organisations that share a vision for the profession," said The Global Assistant Online founder Patricia Butera. "In 2020, we supported Zoom In Events' hugely successful Executive PA Symposium and Executive PA Forum. This partnership, the first at an international level, is the natural progression of that collaboration which allows us to continue to contribute to The Centre of Excellence's 'quality over quantity’ ethos through the platform's high-quality e-courses and coaching programmes." 

 

As organisations evolve with the changing economic times, they look to their people to help meet global business demands in the new normal. Executive support professionals have a broad skill set that is readily optimised through focused capability building. The international skills offered at The Global Assistant Online prepare assistants to be the agile support leaders need in these challenging times by strengthening competencies that are determinants for future success.  These include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, cultural competency and leadership acumen.  

 

"We are proud to announce our partnership with The Global Assistant Online, which offers one of the best training programmes available for the executive support profession - no matter where they are in the world," said Fiona Kelly, co-founder of The Executive PA Forum and The Centre of Excellence. 

 

Co-founder Aisling Kelly added, "We have been working with Trish for the past six months - our values and goals align with what we want to achieve for the profession. This partnership makes absolute sense for us, considering our shared mission for every EA/PA and executive support professional to reach their fullest potential and thrive."

 

Free Webinar:  Fiona & Aisling from the Executive PA Forum have invited Trish Butera from The Global Assistant Online to host an insightful Lunch 'N Learn on April 14th with our network. There is no registration charge, but you do need to register your details HERE...

Join us for an exclusive lunch'n learn with Trish Butera, where she will share some insights she teaches only through The Power EA International Masterclass.  Learn a little more about 'future skills' competencies to succeed in the modern workplace and leadership and communication skills that are universally in demand, plus meet international graduates of the programme from the US, Italy and Australia. 

 

The Centre of Excellence will offer discounted enrolment on any of The Global Assistant Online's programs when using code EXECPACE on purchase.  

For more information, contact: Patricia Butera: pbutera@60zone.com  Fiona Kelly: fiona@executivepaforum.com 

 

About The Global Assistant Online 

The Global Assistant Online is a hybrid e-learning platform supporting career executive support professionals in their leadership skills development. The platform offers affordable and accessible e-learning opportunities and professional coaching to assist in their career growth. Since its launch in June 2020, the platform has welcomed registered students from across five continents. As a strategic learning partner, The Global Assistant Online offers organisations the opportunity to implement targeted Learning & Development programs for their executive support teams. http://theglobalassistant.com 

 

About Executive PA Forum 

Our purpose at the Executive PA Forum is to champion and empower EA, PA and administrative professionals so they can reach their fullest potential and thrive. Our motto is quality over quantity, and the learner is always at the centre of everything we do. This is why we have created the Centre of Excellence – to offer you the highest quality in learning and self-development opportunities, with a select number of qualified national and international coaches and trainers. https://executivepaforum.com/centre-of-excellence-training/