If you think you can successfully organize and host your virtual event without implementing an intuitive software for event planning — then, my friend, you are so misdirected because virtual event hosting software makes things possible. Trust me on this one! They have everything you need to get you started right away even when you are not very tech-savvy. 

Having said that, virtual events are on the rise – from open days to educational conferences – they make it all worthwhile. But there are so many similar platforms available in the market — how will you decide which type of software do you need for virtual event planning and execution? What features should they have? Do I need just a virtual or a platform with hybrid capabilities? How much should they cost? So many questions, right? I know it’s very challenging to make a decision when we have, oh, so many choices.

software for event planning

The thing is, there are multiple things one should consider before making a buying decision. Because it’s not just about cost or set up — it’s about market trends, event needs, the complexity of the system, registrations, engagement, user-friendliness, etc. But at the end of the day, it’s your decision and yours alone — you are the event manager, it completely depends on your requirements and the kind of experience you want to provide to your target audience. All I can do is help you narrow down your research because the lesser the options the better!

In this blog, I will clue you in on some of the most essential features that your ‘type’ of software for event planning should have to make your decision as effortless as possible and some steps to successfully manage your online event. Excited? So am I, but first things first!

What is an Online Event Planning System?

An online system for event planning allows organizers to host, access, and manage all aspects of their online, large or small-scale, events, open days, trade shows, festivals including attendee registrations, sign-ins, marketing activities, webinars and presentations, attendee engagement, integrations, analytics and so much more. 

Now let’s look at some of the important features that virtual event planning and hosting platforms should have. So make sure to keep an eye out for the below-mentioned features when you are shortlisting your platforms. 

Essential Features of Virtual Event Management Software

1. Customized Landing Pages to Build Hype, Identify Potential Leads & Generate Sign-ups

Just like physical events, virtual events should have a dedicated event landing page. Because this is the first page where your prospects will land and is considered one of the most important and beneficial aspects of your entire virtual event. Good-looking, informative landing pages  help you attract sponsors and  increase attendee sign-ups. 

customized landing page

Moreover, it conveys the purpose and goals of your event and generates interest since it provides a detailed agenda, information about keynote speakers, and a complete event schedule. Do you know what’s better than a simple landing page? A highly customized landing page. Therefore, a little bit of branding here and there can make you stand out. So make sure that your choice of software for event planning provides you with all the custom options to make your landing page really pop. 

Speaking of which, let’s take a sneak peek into vFairs’ designed landing pages and what do they have in store for you but yes of course landing pages are flexible and designed after gathering requirements from the clients:

  • The sticky navigation bar enables potential attendees to seamlessly navigate through the entire event web page
  • Sign up or ticketing feature for instant registrations
  • Event title followed by the description and goals to familiarize attendees with the event
  • Branding options to match your brand such as logo, brand color, fonts, etc. including promotional videos
  • Complete event agenda to promote a sense of curiosity and interest
  • Sponsor logos to highlight sponsorship partners
  • Bios and complete profiles of guests who may be conducting a keynote presentation or a webinar
  • Social buttons for brand awareness and social shares
  • A list of frequently asked questions to instantly deal with basic queries 
  • Contact information for further details about the event

It’s crucial for any virtual event management software to have a registration analytics feature – because since it offers a way for attendees to register, it should also offer you a way to measure key metrics, and vFairs virtual event planning and management system will bestow this capability. You can access attendee data which you can further use for strategizing and providing personalized experiences. The event registration page should gather:

  • Attendee information
  • Ticketing levels such as VIPs or general access
  • Session sign-in
  • Payment gateway

2. Dedicated Project Managers for Easy Collaboration

As in virtual events, you have to manage the expectations of major stakeholders therefore you should have a project manager making sure you are familiar with the technologies and how to successfully set up the event. In addition, from initially setting up the event to the live date – you need to ensure that everything runs smoothly as it should and for that sole reason not only should you have a project manager but also a project management tool to keep your event tasks and work organized. 

Moreover knowing the tool – you being the event host can share varying levels of user access with your team for easy collaboration and help your sponsors/exhibitors to be able to set up their booths altogether. Speaking of vFairs, we assign dedicated project managers to each of our clients to assist them at every stage – pre, during, and post-event. Even though the platform itself is very easy to use and set up, having another pair of eyes and perspective is always a win-win. 

3. Event Management System with 3D features for Intuitive Customer Experiences

It’s time to say goodbye to the old 2D graphic interfaces because it’s an era of 3D. Therefore, choose a virtual software for event planning that mimics the real-world environment because that’s what people want. Attendees don’t want to be a part of something boring or static, they want to have fun, and play around. It can be challenging to pump up the attendee’s energy while in a virtual environment but having 3D avatars, exhibit booths, virtual lobbies, auditoriums, and tours can make your virtual event come alive and there is no way that it won’t excite your attendees. 

exhibit halls - vfairs

3D interfaces have been in the spotlight for many of our clients – don’t just take our word for it – you can read the success stories here. vFairs’ virtual environment settings and floor planning are a game-changer – the platform offers plenty of 3D features for immersive attendee experiences such as:

  • Realistic 3D designs that you can personalize according to your brand guidelines and marketing collateral
  • Multiple 3D design templates to choose from
  • Fully customizable 3D booths
  • Visually vibrant lobby, exhibit halls, auditoriums, and networking lounge
  • Animated avatars with various apparel, ethnicities, and ages to make your event more inclusive

4. Endless Networking Opportunities to Foster Relationships & Trust

So if your choice of software for event planning and hosting has few networking or engagement tools then you need to think about changing to something that offers more. Because the entire idea of virtual or in-person events is to make sure that people interact, connect and engage with their fellow attendees, exhibitors, and event sponsors. 

Features like chat and 1:1 meetings improve the chances for attendees to network with like-minded people. Therefore they should be able to chat and schedule meetings with another through the platform itself. vFairs has built-in chat tools to keep your attendees connected. 

chatrooms

  • vFairs offer 1:1 meeting schedulers to reserve meeting spots with exhibitors and attendees
  • Online webinars and conferences to encourage Q & A
  • Through 1:1 chat options (text, audio, visual) and chat rooms, attendees can seamlessly foster relationships with exhibitors and admins
  • Breakout rooms for collaboration and engagement
  • Attendees can apply filters to search specific profiles for initiating conversations
  • Auto Matchmaking feature to connect attendees and exhibitors with other event-goers.
  • Private and public chat view options

5. Gamification Features to Encourage competition and collaboration

Now, who doesn’t like fun and games? If you are spending money on getting the best software for event planning, out there. Then you definitely should have a gamification feature to break the boredom. 

Also, it’s a nice-to-have feature. Rewards always influence people to act and the same is the case with your virtual event attendees. Therefore, you should be able to offer gamification activities in exchange for rewards. vFairs’ additional engagement and gamification activities include:

  • vFairs game mechanics allow attendees to complete challenges and receive points on successful completion and see their score on a leaderboard. Higher scores win prizes
  • Scavenger hunt – attendees can find items hidden throughout the virtual platform
  • General trivia questions to incite the feeling of competitiveness among your attendees
  • Gather live feedback through live polls
  • Make memories with virtual photo booths 
  • Real-time push notifications to enhance attendee engagement in ongoing webinars

6. In-Built Marketing Tools for Virtual Event Promotion

If you not only want to host a virtual event but also want to promote it — then you need a software that offers both! Email marketing is a must-have! Therefore your software for event planning must offer in-built marketing tools to make promotional activities easier and help drive sign-ups altogether. With that said, vFairs offer in-built tools for virtual event marketing. You can send out automated and personalized messages to your potential attendees to create a pre-event hype and buzz.

in-built marketing

Moreover, make sure that your choice of virtual event management software offers comprehensive analytics and event key metrics such as to measure leads, popular event sessions, success rate, social shares, etc. so that you can improve or change your marketing strategies to make a greater impact next time. vFairs offers all that and more. Additionally through vFairs organizers can share live attendee and post-event stats with their sponsors to help them measure results. Exhibitors can also view booth metrics within their individual dashboards to measure ROI.

7. Improved Connectivity Through Integrations

Most importantly, your virtual events should be able to integrate with user databases, CRM, and engagement tools to improve functionality and connectivity. vFairs offers a number of integration options to capture valuable insights – all in one place. 

  • Salesforce and Hubspot to migrate user data and capture fields of interest in one place
  • Marketo for marketing automation
  • Oracle Eloqua for tracking leads
  • Restream for broadcasting webinars across social channels
  • Cvent for capturing attendee data
  • Paypal & Stripe for payment management
  • Interprefy and Kudo for event interpretation
  • Walls.io displays social media content using an interactive social wall
  • Slido for enhancing webinar engagement and many more

How Do I Manage an Online Event?

Want to plan and host a successful virtual event? Just follow these few simple steps to stay organized and kick-start your event:

  • Identify your target audience – people who will be more interested in your online event
  • Decide on your event format – such as will it be a virtual conference or an open day or more like a career fair?
  • Choose your virtual hosting platform – make sure they have all the important above-mentioned features
  • Hire industry leaders or keynote speakers to conduct live sessions
  • Promote your event – build pre-event hype through social media, email marketing, and more
  • Choose your schedule – such as day, date, and time, make sure there are no conflicting time zones
  • Offer simple event registration 

So to answer your question, “what type of software do you need for virtual event planning?” The simple answer is the ‘kind’ which has everything I just mentioned in this blog and then some more. 

Want to know more about vFairs? Book a demo now.

Request Demo


Related Blogs

Engage your Audience with an Amazing Virtual Event

Take your events online & boost your ROI. Let's show you how:

Request a Demo