Virtual events quickly gained popularity even before the pandemic. The advantages of any way to communicate with the audience are obvious: you remove the geographical and physical limitations.
The full lockdown of 2020 caused a breakthrough in the market of virtual events. Everything happened online: from school lessons to theatrical performances. Although offline events are back in our lives today, people have appreciated the benefits of virtual events.
Let’s talk about which video hosting platform to choose for a virtual event?
Types of Online Events: Webinars, Meeting, Livestream, Virtual Conference
First, let’s look at the most popular formats of online events. The technical requirements and the choice of platform for video hosting depend on the format of communication with the audience.
What Is a Webinar?
The webinar format works well with large groups where activity is required. The peculiarity of this format is that control over the communication process remains with the speaker.
The main advantages of webinars:
- you can ask participants to turn on the cameras to see their reaction to your speech;
- by turning off the sound, the listeners do not disturb the speaker;
- participants can exchange opinions and questions in the chat;
- the “raised hand” function allows everyone to speak in turn.
Only invited people can follow the link. You control the entrance to the webinar room.
A webinar is an effective tool for working with your audience. Participants leave their data, and a free webinar is always part of the sales funnel.
What Are the Features of the Meetings?
This format is suitable for small groups where the high activity of participants is required. Mostly in the Meeting, everyone leaves the cameras on and actively discusses.
A useful function of the Meeting is to divide the listeners into subgroups for close interaction. Teachers often choose Google Meet for practical lessons. Although in parent chats, there are fierce debates on the topic: zoom webinar vs. Meeting.
Advantages of Livestreams
If your goal is to attract an as large audience as possible, then choose Livestream. In this format, you focus more on the broadcast than on the interaction with the audience. However, the tools for interaction are also present here: likes, sharing, and chats.
It is an active tool for promotion on social networks. For example, many people are familiar with Facebook live.
The Virtual Conference
This is primarily a large-scale event. A virtual conference requires certain resources for preparation: time, finances, team.
There are many advantages in this format:
- question and answer tools;
- chats for active communication of visitors;
- exhibitions and performances.
- If you are preparing a powerful online event for a certain community of people, then choose the Virtual Conference.
Which Video Hosting Platform Is the Best?
The answer to this question depends on the format of your event. A stream of the concert of your favorite band and an online lesson on making greeting cards are different things. Let’s move on to the list of the most popular platforms.
Zoom webinar is an effective format for presentations, meetings, school lessons, and educational products. Recruiters also often use Zoom for interviewing potential employees.
Features of the Zoom platform:
- You connect participants to the URL address.
- Participants can turn off cameras and microphones while someone is talking.
- Active interaction of participants through chat and the function of “raised hand.”
- The free version and several paid versions with advanced functionality are available.
If you know how to record a webinar, you can send the video to all participants later.
This is one of the webinar platforms for business. Although at first, Vimeo was created as a community for creative people. The feature of the platform is high video quality and additional features. Vimeo is paid, but corporate offerings make it profitable for business.
Features of Vimeo:
- Conducting online meetings with simultaneous recording of events.
- Secure access via passwords or permissions.
- Many useful settings for video recording and editing.
- Various tools for interactive participation (chat, CTAs, email capture, live stream Q&A).
- An ability to broadcast the event on the site or social networks.
This is the best resource for the Livestream format. Brands are actively using YouTube as one of the promotion channels. A teacher of physics, a handmade craftswoman, a furniture maker, a young singer, and anyone else can become famous thanks to YouTube.
The Benefits of YouTube:
- The video is stored on your channel after the broadcast stops (make sure you have not set private settings).
- Viewers can chat during the broadcast.
- And the most important bonus: this is a free resource.
This is one more free resource for the Livestream format. Learn how to download Facebook videos.
If your audience is Facebook users, then the platform allows you to increase your reach. The charity marathon is conveniently organized on Facebook Live.
Features of Facebook Live:
- You can give viewers access to past streams.
- The audience comments, likes, and shares the broadcast in real-time.
- Pages with a special setting can be supplemented with the Donate button.
This is a popular platform for gamers. Twitch streamers are creating their popularity in the community of their viewers.
Benefits of Twitch:
- Viewers have access to past broadcasts for 14 days (for videos of popular streamers for 60 days).
- The platform has its model of content monetization.
- Viewers can chat during the stream.
- This platform is free.
What Do You Choose?
As you can see, there are many options for video hosting. The choice depends on the format of your communication with the audience. Set your own goal, choose a convenient resource, and discover the endless possibilities of the world of online communication.
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