Best Platforms for Organizing Online Events

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Best Platforms for Organizing Online Events

Some of the best platforms designed for online events are Run the World, Hopin, InEvent, MegaMeeting, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex. These platforms can help individuals and companies host virtual events such as webinars, panel discussions, professional training sessions, and online hobby classes that go beyond the conventional video conferencing experience. These online event platforms help organizers manage every aspect of their program from managing registrations to securing payments.

#1 Run the World

Company and Product Overview

  • Run the World is a startup virtual online events platform founded by former Facebook senior product manager Xiaoyin Qu and her Facebook associate Xuan Jiang. Funded by Andreessen Horowitz, the San Francisco-based company was developed with the aim of assisting people to form “stronger relationships as well as knowledge”. According to its founders, the virtual online platform primarily targets small scale events and is focused on “hosting a large volume of online gatherings than big, 100,000-person events”.
  • Run the World allows companies, event planners, associations, communities, non-profit organizations, podcasters, and writers to create various kinds of events such as meetups, fireside chats, fundraisers, online conferences, workshops, networking sessions, and virtual parties.
  • Established earlier this year (2020), Run the World has already experienced a staggering uptake with over 2000 organizers utilizing the online collaboration platform from more than 40 countries. The platform provides built-in templates for various types of events and offers a wide range of features. Some features and templates include presentation, panel, video handshake, group chat, explore people, event page, sponsor emoji, ticketing and registration, and cocktail party.
  • Some examples of the varied online events that were hosted through Run the World are a fundraising event for an elephant conservation reserve called Mandalao by an Asian Elephant Conference, Wuhan2020 International Hackathon which was dedicated to the novel coronavirus crisis, and a Product Management Interview Bootcamp where attendees experienced the benefits of interpersonal connections through virtual cocktail hours. Some upcoming events include Camber Creet Happy Hour, Virtual happy Hour — TBLI, and Innovate Her Business Community Launch Party.

Pricing Information

  • Individuals or companies looking to host events through this platform can create a free account with their email address. With the account, users can create, organize, sponsor, attend, and speak at events on the platform. According to an article published by TechCrunch, the virtual events platform charges organizers a standard 25% of the total ticket sales for hosting events.
  • The company has announced that it would waiver all set-up fees for those events that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

#2 Hopin

Company and Product Overview

  • Hopin is a London-based virtual event platform founded by Johnny Boufarhat and was established in 2019. The online event startup allows organizers to host live events, conduct panel sessions, and develop unique networking opportunities for up to 100,000 people. Hopin’s offerings go beyond the conventional video conferencing and provide organizers with features that will enhance the experience of attendees.
  • Due to the current coronavirus crisis, Hopin is experiencing higher demand than expected. The company is also fast-tracking certain programs that focus on helping people through the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Boufarhat claims that while “Zoom and Slack can be good alternatives to face-to-face interactions”, they do not cover all the necessities of large-scale programs. So far, the platform can connect with 100,000 users and intends to reach 1 million participants in the near future.
  • While the platform is designed to accommodate groups of large-scale events, Hopin also offers its best fit design for small-scale programs online. The platform offers three basic solutions for event organizers to establish meaningful human connections, which includes one-to-one interaction, one-to-many in the form of broadcasting, and many-to-many in the form of video conferencing. The company offers special event segments that assist organizers with reception, stage, networking, sessions, virtual booths, and registration.
  • The platform supports networking events, meetups, conferences, fairs and trade shows, hybrid events, webinars, company events, broadcast to event, online courses, summits, workshops, and exhibitions. So far, the company has obtained an average event rating of 4.9/5 and has hosted over 200 events with more than 30,000 attendees in total.
  • The company has built-in video conferencing capabilities and does not depend on third-party integrations. However, if required, organizers can request custom integration with third-party software for their events.

Pricing Information

  • Hopin offers two pricing models — Hopin monthly and Hopin Pro. The Hopin Monthly plan costs $99 per organizer per month and is targeted at small scale events such as workshops, online classes, and meetups. The Hopin Pro is designed for organizations that expect a large number of registrations and require several integrations with a dedicated support team.

#3 InEvent Virtual Lobby

Company and Product Overview

  • The company has hosted events and provided solutions to some of the largest organizations in the world such as Amazon, Honda, and Coca-Cola. To enhance its user-experience capabilities, InEvents has made strategic partnerships with prominent tech companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, and Twitter.
  • According to the company’s official website, the platform can be customized with features that are specific to the industry a company operates in, such as finance, corporate, technology, insurance, and automotive.
  • InEvent Virtual Lobby supports a wide range of online events including but not limited to video conferencing, learning sessions, online classes, and webinars. Additional features on InEvent Virtual Lobby include secure access for attendees’ registration, white-label, pre-recorded videos on-demand, analytics live, speaker control, host control, and group chat.
  • Companies can choose the features they need from a list of over 86 software features categorized under InEvent Start, InEvent Registration, InEvent Live, InEvent Compliance, InEvent Hospitality, InEvent Pass, and InEvent Support.
  • So far, the company’s award-winning platform has hosted over 4,000 events with more than 500,000 attendees in total. InEvent Virtual Lobby has its very own video conferencing capabilities and does not depend on third-party software.

Pricing Information

  • InEvent Virtual Lobby has a subscription-based pricing model that companies and individuals can purchase either through their website “or tender through Request for Proposals (RFP)”. InEvent offers five plans containing a varied number of features — Essential software bundle with 41 features, Basic software bundle with 50 features, Express software bundle with 63 features, Advanced software bundle with 73 features, and Full software bundle with all 86 features.
  • The Essential plan costs $1.60 per registration while the Basic plan costs $2.40 per registration. Enterprise and advanced plans are catered towards large-scale events whose prices are informed on contacting the company directly.

#4 MegaMetting

Company and Product Overview

  • MegaMetting was established in 2003 with the goal of making video and audio conferencing simple, affordable, and user-friendly for people online. The platform operates on all the major operating systems and offers compelling virtual conferencing solutions that are “secure and highly accessible”. It claims to be the top web-based platform for webinars and meetings on both, mobile and desktop.
  • The company offers two specific products focusing on video conferencing and webinars. Companies looking to conduct events via these products can do so with additional features that are designed according to their field of work, for example — education, HR/Interviews, telemedicine, healthcare, and law firms.
  • Some of the features that are offered via the platform are peer-to-peer WebRTC, webinar web conferencing, VOIP audio and teleconferencing, presentations, screen sharing, attendee registration, email invitations, chat, recording, secure conferencing links, custom DNS, file sharing, private branding, and GraphQL API.

Pricing Information

  • MegaMeeting offers three cost plans — starter, pro, and enterprise — that can either be billed annually or monthly. Under the annual payment plan, the starter package costs $19 per host per month, the pro package costs $29 per host per month, and the enterprise package costs $79 per host per month. However, the plans that are billed monthly cost $29, $39, and $99 for the starter, pro, and enterprise packages per host.

#5 Cisco Webex

Company and Product Overview

  • Webex Events and Webcasting is an interactive and powerful platform that helps individuals and companies host events, conferences, and webinars, connecting people around the world. Cisco, one of the world’s largest tech giants, was established in 1984 and has been a leading player in the markets of networking, wireless and mobility, security, collaboration, data center, analytics, IoT, and software engineering.
  • Webex Events offers organizers to host webinars and collaborative events for up to 3,000 attendees. Webex Webcasting further expands the reach of an event by connecting with over 100,000 participants via its white-glove service. The platform provides end-to-end solutions for organizers, offering assistance at every step of the event planning, management, and execution process. The company also provides organizers with training material from experts and real-time technical support during the event.
  • Some of the basic features provided by Webex Events are HD video, in-app voice listening, screen sharing, record meetings, and chat. The platform provides organizers with advanced professional features such as event analytics that offers insight into the impact the event has with the attendees. According to an article published by Growth Marketing Pro, this platform is best for small-scale events that target small groups.
  • The platform has its own video conferencing features and does not depend on third-party software.

Pricing Information

  • Webex offers three pricing plans based on the number of people attending the event — Premium 8 (up to 8 people per event), Premium 25 (up to 25 people per event), and Premium 200 (up to 200 people per event). Organizers have the option of being billed annually or monthly.
  • Billed annually, the Premium 8 plan costs $19 per month (or $228 per year), the Premium 25 plan costs $29 per month (or $348 per year), and the Premium 200 plan costs $39 per month (or $468 per year).

#6 Google Meet

Company and Product Overview

  • Developed by one of the largest tech giants in the world, Google Meet was modeled to be accessible to everyone, individuals and companies alike. This communications' platform was designed to offer high-quality video and audio capabilities to connect people around the world. While the primary focus of the platform is video conferencing, the application can be utilized to host small-scale events such as webinars, workshops, online classes, and meetups.
  • Google Meet can be accessed on the web and has a dedicated mobile app as well — Meet. The platform’s video meetings can be recorded, shared, and can be used with other products such as Outlook. Google Meet allows organizers to invite up to 250 participants to their virtual event while large streaming events can be broadcast to over 100,000 people across the globe. Attendees can join events from Gmail, Google Calendar, or the Meet app.
  • Google Meet runs on its proprietary video conferencing software and does not support integration with third-party conferencing software.

Pricing Information

  • Google’s Meet platform with video conferencing services is offered to individuals and companies for free.

Research Strategy

We started off our search by looking into technical publications, media reports, and market analysis reports on some of the best virtual platforms to organize and host online events. An extensive search through these channels provided us with detailed lists with examples of the top collaborative platforms designed specifically for online events. Each company/platform was then individually researched to identify the best event platforms that cater to small-scale online events. The six best online event platforms were determined by focusing on metrics such as high user-ratings by companies and individuals on review sites, awards won for the company’s proprietary software, developed by notable technology companies such as Cisco and Google, and the number of times the platform has been called the “best” or “top” in industry publications.
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