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15 Virtual event platforms worth using in 2021

Last updated September 22nd, 2021
brooke

It is the most exciting and rewarding job on the planet. There is nothing quite like the buzz of delivering a live ‘show’ - often with no rehearsal - it's creative, energetic, intense & totally varied . No day is the same

Lorne Armstrong, Director, The Event Academy

Virtual events exploded during the pandemic and are expected to remain just as popular now we’re coming out the other side. The possibilities when using such platforms means we can provide more innovative events and offer so much more than group Zoom calls and quizzes.

While they often require an investment of time and money, virtual event platforms deliver a lot of value in the right hands.

With that in mind, we have collated a list of what we think are the 15 best virtual event platforms to watch in 2021.

What is a virtual event?

Many of us are familiar with virtual events but not everyone has had the pleasure as yet. Virtual events were beginning to become popular before the pandemic but exploded over lockdown.

They are an online event that delivers so much more than a simple Zoom meeting. Think of a computer game with a lobby, different areas to explore, ‘rooms’ to visit and watch video or listen to guest speakers, a chat function, perhaps a meeting or networking area.

Essentially, a virtual event platform provides a digital version of an event space with the same level of immersion and engagement.

To pull off a virtual event properly, you need a platform to host it. Zoom meetings or Microsoft Teams just aren’t up to that.

Which is why we’re here.

What event types can these platforms support?

The virtual event platforms in this list can support many event types but some will be more geared towards some events than others.

Supported events include:

Virtual events – That includes guest speakers, live broadcasts, on demand videos, performances and more. Hosted either through a landing page, dedicated interface or full 3D reproduction of a conference hall.

Workshops and classes – Want to teach or learn? Many of the event platforms we highlight below can accommodate show and tell, video or teacher-led learning.

Live streamed events – Nothing replaces live in terms of engagement so all the event hosting platforms we list support live events. Some will also support hybrid and on demand too.

Fireside chats – Being scalable for large events and huge audiences is all very well, but the intimacy of a smaller space is something special. Many of the below support smaller fireside chats, breakouts or 1:1 meetings.

Q&A, polls and feedback – Many of these platforms support chat throughout the event while some will support question and answer sessions, interactive Q&A, audience polls and other interactivity.

The following are some of the best virtual event platforms available right now. If you’re thinking of hosting a digital event, you should try one of these!

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Hubb

Hubb is a very competent virtual event platform that includes a wide range of tools to cover most eventualities. Those tools include virtual lobbies, exhibitor booths, live streaming for events, speakers and entertainments, concurrent sessions, on-demand catch ups or access after the event and a whole lot more.

A strength of Hubb is the 3D virtual building you can create to mimic real life. You can build it with booths for exhibitors, add advertising, brand it, scale it and provide an immersive experience that takes it much further than a simple webinar.

Eventcube

Eventcube is another competent virtual event platform designed specifically for the task. The company is well known within the events industry for their event management platform, but the ability to host an event as well as plan it makes this a platform to watch.

It includes tools for every step of the event, from ticketing to follow ups. It includes virtual event space design tools, broadcasting tools for video and audio, on demand video, classes, conference tools and a white range of production, management and analytics tools.

BigMarker

BigMarker is built mainly for video events but has a lot of tools for planning, managing and metrics too. It’s a browser-based tool, so requires no installs for users. Feature video, audio, live broadcasts, on demand video, chat and more with this simple but feature-rich events tool.

It doesn’t have the whole 3D experience like Hubb, but it’s a very easy to use, no-nonsense event hosting platform. It has a chat section, embedded videos, multi-layered presentation options, marketing tools, works with Facebook and YouTube and includes everything you need for more straightforward events.

Accelevents

Accelevents is a complete events management platform that can also handle virtual. It has design tools for events, ticketing and registration features, gamification tools, analytics, marketing options and plenty of security.

The platform itself is relatively straightforward. It has a white label option so can be branded however you like and can handle video, live broadcast, webinars, group chats, main stage events, breakout rooms, networking options, chat and more. Well worth checking out.

Hubilo

Hubilo is another purpose-built virtual events platform designed to deliver so much more than just webinars. It integrates with popular event and marketing apps like Salesforce, Hubspot, Zapier and others and provides a range of tools to help build an engaging event.

The interface can be branded, the app includes video, audio, chat, a breakout lounge, live notifications and can be scaled to fit almost any type of event.

vFairs

vFairs is a very well-known name in events. It has an excellent virtual events platform that can also handle hybrid events. It has a lot of tools and can support live, on demand and semi-live (hybrid).

vFairs can work for virtual conferences, food shows, trade shows, trade fairs, networking, open days and all manner of event types. You can create 3D lobbies and event spaces, exhibition halls, chat, breakout rooms and more. The platform also works on mobile and is translation-ready too, which is why it’s a market leader.

Orbits

Orbits is an intriguing mix of powerful event hosting platform and gamified events software. It has a friendly and approachable cartoon feel reminiscent of the computer game The Sims and is almost as engaging.

The platform supports 3D venues and isometric views of event spaces. It supports interactions, meetings, conferences, chats, exhibition booths, breakouts, virtual performances and everything you could want from your event hosting platform.

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GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar is another browser-based virtual event platform. It’s a simpler idea than Orbits but still as effective in its chosen niche. This is more of a flat design that looks more like an office app. It’s well-designed, easy to navigate and very simple to use, all things we look for.

GoToWebinar includes marketing and promotion tools, video and audio playback, integration with popular applications, support for up to 100,000 attendees, design tools for the interface and plenty of analytics. It’s also one of the few platforms here that is open about pricing and doesn’t hide it behind a ‘contact us’ form.

HeySummit

HeySummit is another browser-based event hosting platform that likes to keep things simple. In this case, it is simple to design and build the event as well as simple to attend it.

You can design your own landing page for the event, manage registrations and ticketing, customize visuals with branding, use video, webinars, live broadcasts, on demand videos, integrate live chat, hold competitions and a whole lot more. You can then follow up with analytics and post event tasks too. All from the same platform.

Aventri

Aventri can handle virtual and hybrid events and deliver high levels of engagement within a straightforward application. Aventri includes registration and ticketing tools, reporting and analytics, branding and sponsorships and many of the event planning tasks we undertake.

The platform includes an attractive interface with chat sidebar, videos on the main pane, video browser, notifications, closed captioning, meetings, breakout areas, AI matchmaking for networking, group chat, polls and a lot of other innovative features.

SpatialChat

SpatialChat is a lower key version of Orbits with a similar 3D approach to meeting spaces. It includes animated conference areas, simulated audiences in broadcasts, chat, virtual meeting rooms and other useful tools.

It’s less ambitious than Orbits but does an equally good job of creating an engaging space for events. You can customize the look and feel of the space, white label it, configure it to your specific needs and host a range of event types within those spaces.

Hopin

Hopin is another complete events platform that includes event hosting. The virtual platform includes a very smart design toolkit where you can design your spaces, create your own broadcast streams, create marketing materials and add your own ads and banners.

The events side of things supports virtual, hybrid and in person. It includes the ability to create booths, have breakout areas, meetings, hands-on sessions, live performances and report on almost every conceivable metric.

Airmeet

Airmeet is designed for events where marketing and sponsor visibility is paramount. It has some excellent design tools where you can design your space, place sponsor or stakeholder ads and make your event an attractive, engaging place to be.

You can build a lobby area with a list of exhibitors or events, staging areas where those events are being held, a lounge area for networking and mixing and individual booths for exhibitors. All those things you would find at a real event, which is why we like this platform so much.

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Meetingplay

Meetingplay, formerly Socio, is an all in one virtual event platform designed to deliver a 3D event space for attendees to explore. You can build and brand your own event space, create and host live sessions, broadcasts, networking areas and exhibitor booths.

The platform itself helps you build the space, market the event, handle subscriptions and ticketing, manage audiences, keep the space secure, engage live audiences, market to them and analyse the performance after the event.

Mixily

Mixily is a useful virtual event platform for smaller events. It is designed for small businesses and much more intimate events with simple needs. That isn’t to say it isn’t good at what it does, because it is.

If your needs are more around meetings and video sessions, this tool enables you to create attractive or branded interfaces, manage multiple attendees, video and chat, screen sharing, tickets, invites and more. Whether it’s for virtual weddings, book readings, coaching or whatever, this tool could work.

 

So, there are 15 of what we consider the best virtual event tools worth checking out. Each is a little different and is capable of handling different event types, scales or characters.

Do you have any event hosting platforms to suggest? Tried any and want to recommend it?

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