Podcast

Picking the Wrong Platform

The platform that powers your event can be one of the most critical decisions you make.  Picking the wrong platform will leave you frustrated, cost you more in time and money, and underperform.  It’s critical that your technology match the size of the audience, the complexity of the event, and your capacity to manage some of the components if needed.

I should know because I manage the product and platform that drives Cloud Conventions.  Certainly, we are not a perfect technology, but we’ve been evolving the platform based on mistakes that we ourselves have made and ones we see customers make when they pick a platform that doesn’t work for them.  Here are some common mistakes to avoid in selecting your event platform.

Mistake #1:  Not accounting for size & complexity

I’m a car guy and everyone that loves cars knows that they are often under or over-powered.  This is also true in virtual events.  If your audience is large and the event is complex, don’t skimp on your technology.  On the other hand, don’t overspend on platforms if the event is smaller and simple.

Mistake #2: The wrong balance of self & fully managed

Don’t expect that managing an event platform is like getting the keys to the car and knowing how to drive for the first time.  Understand the complexity of the platform and your team’s ability to manage it before you decide on a self or fully managed platform.

Mistake #3: Not enough automation

Platforms should automate most of the functionality that it takes to stage an event including attendee onboarding, the virtual booth experience for exhibitors, session management and delivery, and content posting.  Make sure that critical processes are automated in the technology you choose.

Mistake #4: Poor session management & delivery

Sessions are a huge part of any virtual event, so it’s critical to understand how your platform manages them.  Make sure that attendees can register for a session, get it on their calendar and be reminded to attend.  Avoid platforms that only have one webinar technology that may be at or over capacity when it comes time to deliver your event.

Mistake #5: Not having the right feature set

Make an inventory of all the features you need in the technology and make sure the platform does not have glaring holes in its capabilities.  By the same token, select a platform that can turn off features that you don’t need or want to streamline your experience.

Mistake #6: Poor analytics and reporting

Exhibitors and sponsors expect you to provide an analysis of attendee engagement from the event to analyze the ROI from participating.  Make sure the platform has a lead management capability to deliver contact records to exhibitors during and after the event.  Reports should be easy to run, downloadable and available to the event management team and exhibitors.

Takeaway

No event platform is perfect, but virtual events are complex productions that require a platform that is feature-rich, stable and secure.  The platform should have compliance built in to be responsive to any device that it is viewed on, accessible to those that may have disabilities, secure enough to protect your data, and flexible enough to offer the right level of customization for your event.

Our platform was developed over the last 8 years as a content and marketing portal service and pivoted to offer virtual events in May of this year. We’re evolving to make sure that it’s strong enough for even the largest event, easy enough for others to manage, automated to streamline processes, has a strong session component, and all the features needed for its audiences and exhibitors.  

Picking the right technology platform will either make or break your event, so choose wisely.

Have an upcoming event? Explore Cloud Conventions to see how we can help.