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Practical Techie: Optional virtual conference offerings for ’22

Virtual meetings are here to stay, but there is life beyond Zoom, Microsoft Meet, and Skype.

Let’s peek at the newer virtual conference platforms to help users find for 2022 one that adjusts to their particular needs.

True, Zoom is reliable for significant video calls, as Google Meet is great for regular Google Workspace users. Microsoft Teams works well for combining a team chat.

Skype is a popular VoIP app suitable for video conferencing for small teams of up to 50, and it’s also free of charge in its basic form.

FUNCTION — A good video conferencing platform must offer three options to make it functional. First, it must be stable. No one likes sudden interruptions, glitches, coding bugs, or time-limiting advisories while streaming an important meeting.

Second, it should have an essential, easy-to-use, intuitive structure for the speakers or the participants in a meeting session. Thirdly, a “breakout” option allows dividing up the leading conference into small groups for more interactive sessions. This leads to deeper relationships for attendees and a better long-term participatory experience by keeping people connected after the meeting. So, let’s check out a few of the new services.

BEVY — While Bevy defines itself as the world’s first community event engine, it’s also a reliable platform for live streaming both in-person and virtual events with capable digital event management options for big corporations. It offers new tools to make it even more digital-friendly, helps branding in public events, and provides premium analytics.

One limitation is that the platform’s community building is based on emails, surveys, and in-event networking, the latter of which is only possible via Zoom, according to the specialized platform Mighty Networks. This limits after-conference networking. Bevy is for big brands in mind, so it’s not a cheap service.

CONVENE — Great for streaming in-person venues, either live meetings, events, or conferences. It hosts virtual events, but Convene’s forte is live, real-time viewing.

One advantage of this platform how it helps keep records and post-meeting transcription. Administrators can later view, edit, and download the transcript along with the meeting recording for good record-keeping. Also, it has regular live polling and questionnaires, breakout rooms, and one-on-one chats. Convene is full-service, which means it’s a bit pricey.

AVENTRI — A good platform for complicated virtual events is Aventri. It powers virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. It is described as a video conference software that covers all bases from email marketing to attendee surveys. It has a website builder and offers mobile apps. The rates are based on subscriptions starting at $3,000 a year in 2022. Yet, using the platform’s tools for top performance requires a high learning curve. But, for the more cost-conscious organizers who want more of a traditional conference structure, there is hopin.com which is basic and even offers badge printing for in-person events.

ACCELEVENTS — This one is the top virtual conference platform for the basics of virtual meetings.

Accelevents allows for monetizing events by assembling virtual booths for sponsors and exhibitors. One feature missing, though, is a mobile app creator that gives clients continual connection once an event is over. Accelevent is affordable for small and middle companies. It is most appropriate for very active events such as auctions.

CVENT — Is even more fundamental. It lacks analytics, real-time chat, and customizable branding. There is no playback of the conference video, yet clients can build a quick website for an event where attendees can register and pay for their tickets. Then there is a one-on-one interaction, personalized content, and minimal event data.

In summary, there are many more virtual meeting options for 2022. They include the brand new Run the World good for a single event. There is also ON24 for webinars, virtual events, and multimedia content experiences. Add VFairs, a robust virtual conference platform for mid-level entrepreneurs which offers matchmaking for assistants and chat tools for ambitious business ventures and or university events. And there is Mighty Networks, a top platform host for community building, website, apps, online courses, surveys, and paid memberships, all in one place and works on all devices.

Author Details
Author Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, a professor of digital narratives and university mentor. He may be contacted at cccrafael@gmail.com.

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