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Managed virtual event or DIY: What should I choose?

Virtual events are fast becoming the popular choice for organisations worldwide, who are discovering benefits of with moving their physical events online, including reduced costs and time saved.

But is it best for organisations to run their virtual events self-serve, handling all the tasks related to event registrations, participant instructions, coordinating multiple speakers and presentations, running polls and Q&A sessions, and post-event support, without professional help? Should we consider how a virtual event management service could make our life easier?

Here’s some questions you should ask yourself before making your decision between running a virtual event yourself or using a virtual event management service.

Have you got experience?

Virtual events have gained a lot of traction in just the last few years, so  you might not have had a lot of experience hosting your own. The truth is, even if you’re a pro at pulling off exceptional physical events, you may find that moving things online requires a whole new set of skills and challenges.

If you’re not 100% confident that you know all the ins and outs of running a virtual event, it’s advisable that you work with a managed virtual event provider—at least for your first go.

As experts, they have plenty of experience dealing with virtual-event-specific tasks such as moving between speakers seamlessly, managing guests as they come in and out and running Q&A and other interactive sessions.

A good provider will also give you easily available support in the lead up to, during and after the event, managing the entire process for you, saving you from unneeded stress or making any potential mishaps.

How’s your knowledge of the platform?

If you only have a handful of people attending your event, then there’s no problem with jumping onto a free online service and hosting your own. However, more than a few guests and you’ll likely find that your event quickly gets out of control or you appear unprofessional because the platform isn’t reliable or built for the needs of your event.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider using a dedicated virtual event platform with the infrastructure capabilities to handle connecting thousands of guests, and which offers a managed virtual event service where features such as guest registration and monitored Q&A sessions help to keep things running smoothly.

Their knowledge of the platform will make a big difference. If there’s a technical glitch or you need to remove a troublemaker from the event, would you be able to quickly and tactfully deal with these scenarios without an inside-out knowledge of the platform? Some things are just better left with the experts.

Do you have time?

Preparing for an event is hard work. The level of organisation required to get all the moving pieces working together, including coordinating speakers, guests and the content of the event, could be a full-time job in itself.

If you’re pushed for time, do you also need to be worrying about the technicalities of streaming your event? By working with a managed virtual event provider, you can take the time and stress out of managing the streaming platform and focus on the million other important tasks and all-important content that’s required to pull off a successful event.

Do you want to save money?

One of the benefits of investing in a managed virtual event rather than hosting your own is that you can potentially reduce your overall costs. 

It all comes down to getting expert advice from people who have extensive experience putting together virtual events and who’ll give you sound advice on what sort of equipment you’ll require. This could be whether it’s worth holding a hybrid or 100% virtual event, and other little details you may overlook if you try and plan the event yourself.

Will you require someone to host Q&A and polling sessions?

One of the great features that come with managed virtual events is the inclusion of a moderator who can host and manage interactions between your attendees and speakers. 

Encouraging interactivity has many benefits including improving how attentive guests are to your message, networking opportunities, and the ability to gain valuable feedback and insights into your attendees—all of which can turn into great sales leads or help you provide a lot of value to your event attendees in future events.

Would you like a deeper insight into your audience?

Another positive that comes with using a managed virtual event platform is that a good provider will supply you with a post-event report which can be invaluable for discovering rich information about your audience that may not be voluntarily offered up to you.

You can also have the session recorded and transcribed, which you can then make available on-demand afterwards for those who couldn't attend, or as documentation. So, if you’re wanting to really squeeze the most value out of your event as possible, consider using a managed virtual event service.

Will you require technical support?

Easily one of the most nerve-wracking elements of hosting a virtual event is the possibility of technical problems. Of course practice and preparation will always minimise the chance of something going wrong on the big day, but you can never 100% guarantee a seamless event. 

However, there is good news. Good managed virtual event providers will offer you readily-available technical support pre, during and post event. They’ll be monitoring your event continuously to catch any potential problems before they arise and troubleshoot on the fly so that if the worst happens, they can jump in before your attendees know anything has occurred. 

What is the best option for your organisation?

When it comes to hosting a seamless end-to-end event, having a professional step in and manage the process for you is going to be the best option, in most cases.

If you’re still wondering if it’s the right decision for your organisation, get in touch with the team at Express Virtual Meetings. We are experts in both managed and unmanaged virtual events, and can give you the best advice to fit your unique circumstances.

We’re completely Australian-owned and operated with nearly 20 years experience helping Australian businesses with their audio-visual conferencing needs.

We’re confident that you’ll love hosting your next virtual event with us, so we’re backing it with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee. Book a demo of our virtual event platform online or call us on 1300 849 300, today.

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