When you’re planning a virtual event, it’s not enough to set up some presentations and exhibit booths and expect it to run as is. You need exciting virtual event features to make it as engaging and successful as possible. 

Virtual event features are more than just ‘fun’ and ‘games’. Though they do also make virtual events more fun, and improve the attendee experience, they can also be used as tools to help you hit your event goals. Let’s dive into how you can make that happen for your organization.

Table of Contents

What is a Virtual Event?

virtual event features

A virtual event is where people and exhibitors meet in a digital environment, rather than a physical one. Over the past year or so, the pandemic caused physical events to become a rarity. Social distancing and lockdown restrictions resulted in canceled events. However, before COVID-19, virtual events were picking up momentum. With the pandemic, they became the next best alternative. 

But what is a virtual event platform? How do you host them? Which virtual event features should you use? Hold on, hold on. We are here to answer all these questions. 

Why Do You Need a Virtual Event Platform?

auditorium

A virtual event platform is a tool where you organize and host your virtual event. Think of it as an online venue for your event. There are numerous such platforms out there, each one with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. However, many of them simply give you the technology to host a virtual event, with no other guidance or support. 

What you need is a platform that helps you every step of the way, and is easy to use for your entire team. Otherwise, you’ll be left offering a subpar event experience, with lots of loose ends. 

Opt for a platform that is completely equipped with a wide selection of virtual event features, and 24/7 customer support. This way, you will have many facilities to choose from, and you will be able to tailor your event to your needs much more effectively. 

These features, along with all the support vFairs offers, will let you host the best possible event to reap some excellent results. After all, you don’t want to spend huge amounts of money on some other platform which leads to a dull event with no leads or revenue for your company. 

What are Virtual Event Features & Why are They Important?

an image of a virtual lobby

Virtual event features are the ingredients to make your event successful. They consist of a wide variety of tools and mechanisms at various stages of the event at your disposal. Then, you can incorporate these throughout your event, from the planning to the post-event analysis stage, to get the results you desire. 

These virtual event features are quite important and can make or break your event. After all, if your audience or sponsors feel that your event is dull and not likely to be interactive, you won’t get the footfall or results you want. 

You need these features to create a dynamic and exciting virtual event, which will gather the largest audience possible. You want that while still being able to manage everything in a highly organized manner. 

vFairs caters to these requirements holistically, as it offers a huge list of virtual event features, but you don’t need to have any sort of technical expertise to use them. 

The 12 Types of Virtual Event Features

While there are countless virtual and hybrid event features out there, you can divide them roughly into various types. Even when you break them down this way, you can see that you have an immense list of options to carry you from the basic planning stages right to the post-event statistical analysis. Here are the types you can easily explore on vFairs. 

1. Virtual Environment

software for event planning

When you plan your event, you need to make sure the virtual environment is appealing enough to gather as many people as possible. You can do this if you offer a dynamic environment, complete with the right sort of designs to capture audience attention. 

A virtual environment also makes it easier for users to join and get more value out of the event. This helps improve engagement and increase registrations. Virtual environment features let anyone who’s not tech savvy understand how to navigate your event, and where to go for assistance. These features include: 

  • 3D animated designs 
  • Customized venues
  • Immersive rooms 
  • Branded booths 
  • Animated avatars
  • A live help/information desk 

These make the whole event experience much more immersive and life-like, and are game-changers in the industry. 

2. Virtual Exhibit Halls

Exhibit hall aerial view college fair

Your virtual exhibit hall needs to be easily navigable and must offer an interactive and fun experience. Ensure that the booths are as engaging and well-run as possible. After all, your aim is to keep your attendees fixed on the booths for as long as possible. 

Of course, the goal is to help them derive maximum value as well. An easy-to-use exhibit hall and exhibit setup process will also attract more potential exhibitors, helping hosts better monetize their events. These custom exhibit halls include:

  • Branded exhibit booths for exhibitor marketing
  • The ability to host limitless documents & resources
  • Self-select avatars for an interactive experience 
  • Live chat features for two-way communication
  • Meeting schedulers/appointment booking for future meetings & interviews

3. Webinars

virtual

You’ll have a large list of webinars to showcase at your virtual events, so you need to offer an interesting and memorable experience. Many people have webinar fatigue at this point of their remote working lives, so you need to spice things up. 

Add a few features to your auditorium for an excellent webinar experience. You can incorporate:

  • Realistic 3D designs for visualization
  • Multiple presentation options for variety 
  • Multilingual sessions for a global audience 
  • Personalized webinar agendas for visitor plans 
  • Q&A sessions for visitor queries 
  • Video platform integrations for a smooth experience
  • Polls, trivia, & quizzes for gamification

4. Chat & Networking

You can help your attendees and exhibitors develop and nurture their industry relationships with a plethora of networking features. The aim of these virtual event features is to add value for your audience, and promote connections. You can incorporate:

  • Embedded live chat for instant communication
  • Meeting schedulers for group chats
  • Private chats for individual discussions 
  • Breakout rooms to accommodate grouped discussions
  • Profile search capabilities for better matchmaking 
  • Chat moderation to keep discussions directed and valuable
  • Conversation context for late joiners to refer to
  • Chat transcripts to refer to later 

5. Integrations

integrations

One of the best parts about vFairs is how adaptable it is. You can integrate a large number of apps into your virtual event, so that you and your stakeholders enjoy maximum  benefits. This is because these integrations offer a highly enhanced event experience for you, your visitors, the exhibitors and even your sponsors. Here’s a list of all the apps and programs you can integrate into your event for more convenience and functionality.

CRM & Sales Automation

Push resumes, registration and other profile data to CRMs to effectively manage the information you’ve gathered at the registration phase. You can integrate with any CRM or customer database, including:

  • HubSpot
  • Marketo
  • Oracle Eloqua
  • Salesforce
  • Zapier*

*Zapier can share information to and from any other CRMs of contact databases you use.

Conferencing & Video Streaming

Most virtual conferences involve some sort of video interaction. You need various video call hosting and streaming integrations to get the best video experience possible. You can choose whichever platform you want:  

  • Zoom
  • Vimeo
  • WebEx
  • YouTube
  • ReStream

Q&A + Polling

You can let your visitors ask all the questions they want with Q&A features. In addition, you can host various polls to get an idea of their opinions with:

  • Embedded webinar chat (i.e. Zoom chat)
  • Slido
  • Kahoot! 

Captions & Translations

When you have a global audience, it is imperative to talk to them in their own language. Offer a personalized experience reaching the maximum number of people through our integrations that simply translate and offer captioning. A few of these at vFairs are: 

  • Interprefy
  • KUDO
  • SyncWords
  • Worldly
  • spf.io

Social Media

Make your events more interactive and social with social media integrations. These let you boost your social media presence. In addition, you get to highlight your audience as well. For instance, with a unified social media feed your audience can see who is posting about your event at the time with walls.io

Payment 

Offer payment integrations for event tickets and access and easily capture payments at the time of registration itself with: 

  • PayPal 
  • Stripe

All of these integrations have their own functions and add to your virtual events in their own specialized ways. They serve the event before, during and after the event, making your experience effortless. 

6. Event Sponsorships

event sponsorships

In many cases, you’ll have to entice sponsors to come on board your virtual event. In return, these sponsors will want to get the maximum exposure, fill their pipeline, and generate leads. You can cater to these requirements with features like:

  • Customizable exhibit booth designs
  • Brand visibility on the landing page & throughout the virtual venue
  • Gamification for especially sponsored games
  • Special sponsored webinars to highlight sponsors
  • Live statistics for the sponsors’ reference & complete post-event reports. 

Present these features as a pitch to potential sponsors for optimal results. This will help you get the sponsorships you want, and you can even offer tiered sponsorship packages which offer varied levels of exposure based on the package sponsors opt for. This will help you generate more revenue for your event.  

7. Event Builder

virtual event features builder

You can have a hassle-free event experience with a tool like vFairs. This is because you’ll get access to various event-building features which simplify the whole process considerably. From setting up to planning and execution, you won’t have much to worry about. 

Throw in exciting features such as email marketing and customized landing pages and you’ve struck gold. These are also the foundation of your event, so you should focus on this stage with the maximum amount of planning and strategizing in mind.  

8. Virtual Event Marketing

Event marketing plays a major role in making your virtual event succeed. Make it a point to  focus on it from the initial stages. You can promote your event and increase registrations with features like:

  • Custom domains for dedicated websites
  • Branded landing pages for visibility
  • Cross-platform marketing for wider audience targeting
  • Trigger setups for marketing automation
  • Email pre-scheduling for convenience 

These features showcase your event and brand, compelling visitors to see what it’s all about. This way, you can target a large number of people, and get the highest digital footfall possible. 

9. Event Gamification

leaderboards

Of course, you don’t want your event to be the same run-of-the-mill series of dry webinars and stiff networking. Instead, you can use event gamification to add some excitement. This will increase traffic in the key spaces of your events, and help your audience stay engaged. These include:

  • Virtual leaderboards to encourage interaction
  • Trivia games to promote competition
  • Scavenger hunts for visitor engagement
  • Live polls to gather audience opinion
  • Photo booth & photo contest for interactivity

10. Customer Support

customer support

You don’t want to be left high and dry when you’re hosting an event. Therefore, use the numerous well-rated customer support features vFairs has to offer. These help you become excellent hosts and run your event without any hurdles. This is possible with facilities such as:

  • Easy onboarding for smooth setup
  • Pre-event, live-event & post-event support for consistent service
  • 24/7 services for prompt response 

vFairs’ customer support is set up to help you every step of the way. Dedicated staff members will be there for any query you have at any stage of the event. This enables you to host your event smoothly, with nothing to worry about. 

11. Event Reporting

reporting

You can go through some highly detailed metrics and statistics in your event report. These cover various aspects of your virtual event. You can evaluate your success, as well as gauge audience behavior and reorient future marketing practices. These stats can also help you determine your ROI, so explore them as thoroughly as you can. Track attendee journeys in order to understand where they found most value and get a sense of which areas of the events were more successful.  

You can easily do this with excellent features such as: 

  • Real-time metrics dashboards for immediate data reference 
  • Individual user journeys to gauge audience behavior
  • Exhibitor statistics to determine their success 
  • Post-event reports for later reference
  • Data migration options for cross-platform usage 

You can look at all of this data to measure your event’s success, and also plan future events. Use these metrics when devising future marketing strategies, with a deeper insight into your audience than before. In addition, you can even share this data with other companies for a price to earn some extra income. 

12. Accessibility Features

accessibility

Just as in physical events, you need to make sure your virtual events are as inclusive and accessible as possible. Attending these may be hard for people who are visually impaired or cannot hear properly. 

In addition, you may find that not all your attendees have English as their native language, especially if you’re going international with your events. You should accommodate all these people by incorporating as many accessibility features as possible. These include color contrast, screen readers, text size adjustment, video translations, live webinar translations, and live captions. 

So, once you know you have all these options, you can choose the best ones for your event, and incorporate them accordingly. Most of the time, you won’t need all of them, and can do quite well with a curated selection of top-notch features. 

What Virtual Event Features Should You Choose?

virtual event features included

There is no set list of virtual event features that you must use. You need to carefully evaluate your requirements and see what suits you and your audience. However, make sure the whole experience is as convenient and accessible as possible. 

In addition, it is always recommended to include networking features in all types of events. This will encourage conversation, promote industry networking, and also help you become the go-to organization for major industry conversations.

There are a few other must-haves that we recommend. Let’s take a look.  

Data-Centric Features

Include features that allow you to capture the data you want. Also, opt for features that make data analysis easy. This will not only give you hard stats to base any claims on but will also help you improve future events. 

Virtual Atmosphere

Of course, the virtual environment, exhibit halls, event builder, and webinars will form essential parts of your event. Therefore, you must use as many of these features as possible to create a complete experience for you and your attendees. 

Support Features

You also need consistent customer support before, during and after your event. Therefore, you need to go for a platform that offers personnel dedicated to answering all your concerns and queries. Furthermore, if anything goes wrong, you don’t want to halt your event to get it fixed. Instead, support staff available 24/7 should immediately address the problem right there. 

Marketing Features

Last, but definitely not least, virtual event marketing features are a necessity if you want your event to gather the maximum number of visitors. After all, if no one really knows about your event, how will they even register for it? Market rigorously and leave no stone unturned, or any avenue unexplored. 

You now know very well. The virtual event features mentioned above are quite essential for any great event. You would be wise to avail all of these facilities. 

What Specialized Features Are There?

poster hall

You’ll be glad to know that there are a number of specialized features that offer a more holistic and customized experience to your attendees. Therefore, they work well with unique events which go beyond basic virtual conferences. A few of these specialized ones include:

Job Board

If you have a virtual career fair or job fair, then consider including a job board. This will let your exhibitors find the right prospects for the roles they have open. A job board lists all the available vacant positions and helps prospects find the roles that best fit them. This ultimately speeds up the hiring process for employers. 

So, companies and prospects won’t have to go through a lot of effort to get in touch with each other. Instead, all the information will be right there for them to find each other and discuss hiring possibilities. 

Poster Hall

If your industry is more research-oriented, then you must include a poster hall. This will let teams share their posters and accompanying presentations, and engage with the audience in Q&A sessions. While their presentations might be pre-recorded but they can answer attendee questions live. 

These benefit industry professionals who want to present any data, findings from research, graphics etc. So, this poster hall will be a separate place in your event, and your audience can access it from the dynamic lobby or the navigation bar at the top. 

Shopping Cart

If you want to process your product orders right at your event, then you don’t need to think too much. Instead, you can just include a shopping cart complete with multiple payment options and shipping details. 

You can let people add products to their cart, and they are eventually taken to the e-commerce website of the host where they can finally make their purchase. Then, this boosts the revenue generated at the event itself. 

This is especially useful if you are hosting a virtual trade show, which is all about driving sales.  

Auto-Match Profiles

What would you say if your event could serve as the perfect matchmaker for industry networking? You’ll be quite proud, obviously, and gain a solid reputation for excellent events if you manage to do this. The auto-match profile feature lets you achieve this easily, as it shows audiences and exhibitors recommended people to interact with. 

You can fill in your user profile or your registration form with the relevant details. Then, the platform will use these details to match you with similar audience members and exhibitors for a more valuable experience. 

Exclusive Access

Would you like to create an air of exclusivity at your event? This works especially well when you have a ticketed event with various tiers on offer. You can offer special webinars, discussions and private lounges to your high-tier registrants, so they have exclusive spaces for various talks and activities. 

This sort of restricted access adds hype to your event, and encourages people to register for higher ticket tiers. So, if you want to monetize your event, this is a great way forward. 

How Can You Customize These Virtual Event Features?

networking lounge

You can choose what virtual event features you want and can customize them according to your needs if you get in touch with your virtual event platform’s representatives. 

When you host an event with vFairs, you’ll be able to talk to a well-versed representative, who will walk you through all these features, and adjust them for your event, wherever possible. 

They will guide you according to your event needs and objectives. Just make sure to communicate with your sales rep and you will be in good hands.  

How Can You Leverage These Features Post-Event?

user journey track in hybrid event

While many of these features are for the pre-event and during event stages, you can also leverage them well after it’s over. When it comes to data collection, you can use the information you gather to improve future events and also gauge audience behavior. 

In addition, your virtual event marketing features will gel well with your regular marketing strategies and you can cross-pollinate your marketing lists and audiences. This means that you not only gain from these features at your virtual event but can also get immense benefits from it much later. 

Conclusion

To sum up, incorporate as many of these virtual event features as you’d like into your events. In the end, it is about creating the best experience for your attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. 

A quick round-up of vFairs virtual event features: 

  • Offer appealing designs and an excellent user experience by creating a life-like virtual environment. 
  • Create customized and branded booths in the virtual exhibit halls. 
  • Offer an interactive experience with dynamic webinars in the virtual auditorium. 
  • Make interactions more versatile with various chat and networking facilities. 
  • Support attendee experience by integrating with apps. 
  • Help sponsors get maximum exposure with event sponsorship features. 
  • Easily set up and customize your event with the event builder. 
  • Drive registrations with virtual event marketing features.
  • Enjoy a host of specialized features that serve your particular event. 
  • Get the audience hooked with event gamification. 
  • Make sure things run smoothly with customer support features.
  • Get invaluable insights with post-event event reports. 
  • Accommodate all your visitors with accessibility features. 

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