In this new era of online learning and remote working, the best virtual conference platforms have paved the way for sustainable growth in industries, workplaces, and educational institutions.
Make no mistake about it — hybrid and virtual events are here to stay.
However, choosing the right virtual conference platform is important.
The quality of the virtual events is an important factor to enhance engagement and pull off a successful meeting or event.
Choose the wrong virtual conference software, and your meeting could turn into a disaster.
We’ve reviewed and ranked the best virtual conference platforms available in 2021, comparing their features, performance, cost, and other factors.
By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to choose the right virtual meeting platform for your needs.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.
What is the Best Virtual Conference Platform?
Here are our picks for the best virtual conference software worth checking out:
Looking for a virtual conference platform to amplify attendee engagement?
WebinarJam brings you the opportunity to host 4-hour webinars, meetings, and live streaming with a group of up to 5,000 participants and 6 presenters!
It is a cloud-based virtual event platform providing high accessibility and compatibility with smartphones, laptops, or tablets. Just get a fast broadband internet connection and you’re good to go!
Dynamic business environments call for regular reports on sales, marketing, and demand conditions. You can capture analytics and translate them into actionable business strategies.
Simply put, this is the all-in-one software for virtual conferences.
WebinarJam comes in pretty handy here as it enables subordinates to participate as presenters by sharing their screens and broadcasting directly.
Top Features & Benefits
- Up to 5,000 attendees for your virtual events
- Up to 6 presenters
- Provides pre-designed templates to create registration pages
- Unlimited free hosting and split testing
- High-quality audio and video streaming in 30 FPS.
- Use the ‘Replica ‘Replay’ button to playback all live sessions with minute details
- Click on the ’Panic Button’ in case an incident occurs during live meeting
- Real-time polls and surveys allow for interaction with participants
- Give presentations by just importing the file and sharing it on your screen
- Annotation, drawings, and notes can be used to convey the message in detail
WebinarJam offers 3 payments plans:
- Basic: $499
- Professional: $699
- Enterprise: $999
There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, and they sometimes offer a 14-day trial for just $1.
GoToWebinar is another well-integrated virtual event software used by renowned corporations with a maximum of 2,000 attendees at once. It’s a super easy to use, unified communication platform to operate your business from anywhere in the world!
With extensive features and a myriad of engagement tools, this is one of the best virtual event platforms is for medium and large organizations. You can integrate it with MS Office, Slack, etc.
As a cherry on top, GoToWebinar allows you to amp up your virtual event promotion through GoToStage.
If your virtual event makes it to the top, you can generate better leads and drive massive traffic.
Top Features & Benefits
- Flexible webinar modes
- Fast, automated communication is possible through timely reminders, emails, and follow-ups
- Easy payments processing through Stripe
- Powerful data encryption and privacy features
- Record webinars with ‘GoToStage’ and allow users to watch at a later date
- Create customized dashboards and registration pages depicting the brand’s logo.
- Enhance your marketing strategy by tracking engagement through an analytics dashboard.
GoToWebinar offers 3 payment plans:
- Starter: $89 (100 participants)
- Pro: $199 (500 participants)
- Plus: $429 (1000 participants)
You can try GoToWebinar free for 7 days — no credit card required.
Livestorm is a super versatile online video communication platform enabling organizations to host virtual events on a large scale with smooth workflows. It is a browser-based software with the main focus on growth acceleration.
It is ideal for high-pressure working environments where detailed analysis plays an important role in achieving performance objectives.
Whether you prefer simple online meetings or a full-fledged automated webinar, Livestorm has got you covered!
With a streamlined video communication platform and options for customization, you can produce engaging webinars to collaborate internally and leverage your brand.
With Livestorm, you benefit from a multi-language support team and GDPR compliance.
Top Features & Benefits
- Enables end to end engagement
- Provides on-demand, live, and pre-recorded online events
- Requires minimal setup and fewer technical tools
- Allows you to integrate the software with Slack and Zapier
- Supports dashboard analytics
- Schedule on-demand and automated webinars to expand reach
- Evaluate meeting report with intricate details about participants, attendance, deadlines
- Create registration pages, send emails, and chat in real-time with team members
Livestorm offers three payment plans:
- Basic: free of cost
- Premium: $99 per month
- Enterprise: custom package
You can try Livestorm free to see if this is the right conference software for your needs.
Eventzilla is an all-in-one registration platform aiming to improvise the way in which virtual and in-person events are marketed. It provides a solution-oriented approach to simplify registration, attendees, payments, and check-ins.
Simply put, event marketing has become a lot easier with Eventzilla.
You can create a mobile-friendly virtual event website in no time. The best part is Eventzilla does not require any coding, so the whole registration process becomes quicker.
From conferences, virtual events to educational training, Eventzilla provides a one-stop solution to organize any event in a systematic manner.
With a targeted marketing campaign, it becomes possible to convert potential visitors into attendees, increasing your ROI!
Top Features & Benefits
- No coding required for designing registration workflows
- Use event agenda builder to publish agendas in a short span of time
- Schedule multiple guest speaker sessions
- Use discount codes to boost event attendance
- Get real-time feedback through polls and surveys
- Seamless check-ins by scanning barcode or entering attendee’s name
Eventzilla offers 3 payment plans:
- Basic: $1.50 per registration
- Pro: $1.50+1.9% per registration
- Plus: $1.50+2.9% per registration
Demio is all about hosting a distraction-free, smooth webinar and virtual event.
This platform is all about creating ‘effective webinars’ with less work.
By following a solid structure of registration, promotion, and marketing, you don’t have to worry about technical glitches on the event day.
Demio offers separate campaigns for each event type: live streaming, live scheduled sessions, or even automated webinars.
Automated webinars are on autopilot which means there is less human intervention required, hence saving time and allowing you to focus on other significant matters.
Attendance management has also become easier with maintaining databases of members, checking their registration status, etc., and exporting them into a CSV file.
Another advantage of Demio is the fact that it supports all web browsers ( Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari) which isn’t always the case with other virtual event platforms.
Top Features & Benefits
- Opportunity to network and build long-term relationships with customers and leads.
- Customize your domain with logo and other branding elements
- Vibrant, event platform appeals to the attendees and boosts interaction
- No need to download heavy application software
- Upload presentations and videos directly from Demio
Demio offers 3 payment plans:
- Starter: $34 per month
- Growth:$69 per month
- Business: $163 per month
You can try Demio free for 14 days.
Airmeet is a platform that supports extensive sponsorships and aims to build sustainable social interactions.
This software enables you to maintain the profile of keynote speakers so attendees can identify those they would like to engage with.
This is called one-to-one networking.
With just one click, you can join networking booths and connect with people of similar interests.
If you’re a virtual event organizer on the lookout for good sponsorships, Airmeet is definitely your go-to option. Additionally, sponsors have the option to sell the tickets directly from Airmeet and gather feedback.
The software also consists of a private virtual backstage so members may rehearse or have discussions right before appearing in front of the audience.
Top Features & Benefits
- User-friendly platform
- Fast, one-to-one networking
- Easily integrates with every MarTech tool
- Stream your events to various platforms ( Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube)
- Use interactive emojis- ‘raise hand’ button to ask questions
- Use real-time analytics and record sessions
- Connects with Stripe for processing payments for event tickets
- Private virtual backstage
Airmeet offers 2 types of plans:
- Free for up to 100 participants
- Standard: $99 per month
Events like trade shows and career fairs are often massive, and accommodating a huge audience becomes a daunting task. It requires strategic planning relating to networking features, booths, marketing, registration, etc.
All of these issues are resolved with the outstanding Click Meeting software.
Its ‘Huge Virtual Events’ feature allows you to incorporate 10,000 participants and also include a multi-user account to interact with peers.
On top of that, heavy workflows will run smoothly without having to worry about small technical glitches.
Click Meeting also gives the option to create webinar rooms when you host virtual events for product demos, recruitment drives, training, etc.
There’s even a waiting room where the host can present the agenda of the virtual event before starting off.
Top Features & Benefits
- Customizable email templates
- Simultaneously live stream on Facebook and YouTube
- Use an address book to record contact details
- Use report analytics for attendance statistics.
- Real-time translation into 52 different languages
- Private chats and Q&A sessions are moderated
Click Meeting offers 3 payment plans
- Live: $25 per month
- Automated: $40 per month
- Enterprise: based on customization
You can try Click Meeting free for 30 days.
Want a cost-effective yet interactive platform? Accelevents is your way to go!
Specially designed for small and medium-sized enterprises, Accelevents is a user-friendly software enabling you to create host virtual events and hybrid events.
It is robust and consists of all interactive features necessary to keep your business thriving.
The best part is Accelevents is not just limited to corporations, but can also be used for educational purposes, product launches, trade shows, career fairs, or even fundraisers.
It is an all-in-one effective communication tool to fulfill everyone’s diverse needs.
Top Features & Benefits
- Create customized events
- Integrate with Salesforce and HubSpot
- Segment audience according to demographics
- Active your event hub and monitor regularly
- Create multiple ticket-tiers (paid, free, donation-based)
- Interact with people from different exhibitor booths
- Live sessions can be moderated
- Evaluate the success of the event through exhibitor lead reports
Accelevents offers 2 payment plans:
- Starter: $500
- Professional: $5000
Zoom is one of the most versatile virtual conference software, and it has a huge user base.
It’s super robust, easy to use, and offers all features necessary to conduct meetups, classes, summits, training, etc.
When COVID-19 struck the world, Zoom was one of the most widely used virtual event platforms worldwide.
Now that many advanced software platforms have flooded the market, its customer base has reduced a bit, but it’s still a great option for many.
It may not be the best option for large-scale high-performing virtual events (there are other Zoom alternatives better for this), but it still works well if you prefer something basic yet effective in conveying the message.
Zoom Rooms for Touch is a prominent feature that helps attendees share their desktop or mobile screen.
Whiteboards and annotations are also pretty useful during calculation-based discussions. Other participants can pitch in their ideas with the co-annotate option.
Plus, you can open up to 12 whiteboards at a time and their content would also be saved automatically.
Make sure to check out our guide to the best Zoom microphones for presenting your online event.
Top Features & Benefits
- Multiple breakout rooms for your virtual event
- Detailed report on participants’ entering and leaving time
- Use ‘raise hand’ button to ask questions
- Multi-desktop, wireless sharing
- Ability to record sessions and conduct polls
- Mute/unmute participants to keep virtual events orderly
- Integrates smoothly with Pardot, Salesforce, and Kaltura
- Uses adequate data protection and encryption techniques
Zoom’s pricing plans start from $40 per month.
WebEx is all about productivity! Take advantage of this cloud-based suite of productivity and attain your corporate goals with a diversified and well-connected team.
An interactive virtual conference with a collaborative environment and the right communication forms are the basis of conducting a successful webinar.
With WebEx, you can host webinars and virtual events with up to 3,000 participants and get access to many innovative features.
To facilitate users, WebEx offers remote support in case of any technical difficulties pertaining to audio or video quality.
WebEx Training is another brainchild of Cisco. It is specially curated to accommodate training for new and existing employees around the globe.
WebEx mobile app is another convenient solution to eliminate the problem of mobility. Now, you can stay connected whether you are offshore or on a bus.
Top Features & Benefits
- Get access to live and pre-recorded session
- Post-event survey through Q&A, polls and forms
- Visual enhancement tools such as white digital boards
- Smooth broadcasting and screen sharing
- Use Webex Cloud Calling
- Firewall protection to prevent breach of privacy
- Supports Android and iOS
- Crisp, uninterrupted audio system
WebEx offers 4 payment plans:
- Basic: free (50 participants)
- Starter: $15/month
- Plus: $20/month
- Business: $30/month
Did you know that vFairs is one of the most highly rated virtual conference platforms on G2?
It’s not your average video conference tool.
VFairs offers state-of-the-art features and fast-paced technology to take your event to the next level.
We’re talking about 3D virtual events. vFairs is a rare platform allowing us to create 3D immersive environments which make us feel like we’re actually standing inside the event venue.
Intuitive 3D visuals not only allow for easy navigation, but also make the event a whole lot enjoyable. Virtual lobbies give rise to high-impact visibility and better audience engagement.
Moreover, exhibit booths are also designed to enable sponsors and recruiters to design their space with customized branding tools.
Top Features & Benefits
- Immersive 3D event environment
- Access to downloadable presentations, datasheet before or during the event
- Ability to integrate CRM tools
- Customize registration and landing pages
- Use multi-lingual support to facilitate a diverse, ethnic audience
- In-event gamification
- Conduct breakout sessions
- Organize virtual graduation ceremonies, alumni meetups, orientation days
- Conduct recruitment drives to speed up hiring and attract talent from around the globe
For pricing, you will have to get a personalized quote.
What’s better than getting the opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals during a virtual event?
While this idea may seem vague at first, Hopin has actually made wireless interaction a possibility.
Its high-speed network algorithm drives the software and matches people according to pre-set criteria. Pretty cool, right?
In addition, Hopin accommodates up to 2,000 attendees which is a substantial advantage for large-scale events. A big audience with better engagement ultimately results in yielding higher ROIs.
Top Features & Benefits
- Provides virtual stage and backstage or pre-event preparation
- Sponsor exhibition hall
- Use multiple breakout sessions
- Use flexible branding elements
- Ability to conduct hybrid events to nurture company culture
- Create captivating landing pages
- Consists of powerful data encryption standards.
Hopin offers 2 paid plans
- Starter: $83.25 per month
- Growth: $667 per month
Business and enterprise plans require quotations.
Don’t we all despise downloading heavy software only to find our laptops and smartphones hanging afterward? Big Marker solves this problem!
Now, you can conduct value-driven events with this no-download video conference platform compatible with all web browsers.
With this streamlined AI-driven virtual events platform, you can conduct video-based series, summits, expand your customer base and sell products through automated funnels. Overall, it’s a win-win situation!
Big Marker has got its own embeddable video player that can be customized to portray your brand. Whatever content you display will help in generating leads. Besides, other interactive features such as Q&A, polls, and offers provide an unforgettable webinar experience.
Top Features & Benefits
- Automatic and manual pop-ups displays
- Create landing page templates
- Built-in marketing and growth tools
- Automated video marketing and training
- Embedded registration forms on the website
- Gather feedback through Google Forms
- Host multi-media events by connecting to Facebook and YouTube
- No need of special equipment
Big Markers offers 3 payment plans
- Starter: $79 per month
- Elite: $159 per month
- Premier: $299 per month
What is Virtual Conference Software?
Virtual conference software is a communication tool that allows two or more parties to conduct real-time face-to-face virtual events and interact through audio and video transmission. It resolves the problem of mobility and enables people around the globe to work and study from anywhere in the world.
With inclusive virtual lobbies, report analytics, and other interactive features, you can easily gauge the feedback on virtual events. All you need is a laptop or smartphone and a fast internet connection to reconnect with the world!
The Pros and Cons of Using Virtual Conference Platforms
If you’re thinking of hosting a virtual conference or meeting, it’s important to understand some of the benefits and drawbacks the various virtual event platforms provide:
- Inclusive approach to business communication
- Saves time involved in commuting from one place to another
- Saves costs relating to logistics, rent, food, etc
- Facilitates people with disabilities
- Analyze attendance and devise marketing plans accordingly
- Possibility of the audience getting bored without in-person interactions
- Time zones may lead to ineffective, one-way communication
What Types of Virtual Events Can You Host?
With the right virtual event software, you can host all types of functions online, including:
- Communicate ideas, goals, and proposals with an external audience
- Entails registration process
- Broad marketing goals
- Completely remote
- Internal virtual events with no marketing functions
- Multiple break-out sessions
- Most sustainable option
- Combination of in-person and online event
- Convenient for stay-at-home mothers
- School functions
- Business trainings
How Much Does a Virtual Conference Platform Cost?
Virtual event platforms come in a wide range of prices. The exact cost of putting on a virtual conference depends on a number of factors, including how many attendees you’ll be hosting, how many presenters there will be, what additional features you might need (e.g. interactive elements like quizzes, live captioning, etc.).
Most virtual events platforms charge by the month and have different packages based on the features you choose.
What To Look For When Choosing The Best Virtual Conference Platform
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for choosing the right virtual event software.
While all of the options above are great, the right choice for your organization will depend on a number of factors, such as:
What Features Do You Need?
Some common features you may want your virtual event platform to include are:
These rooms enable to divide a large meeting into smaller subgroups so that teamwork and brainstorming are made possible with breakout sessions. The whole team can work on their projects separately with any overlapping or distortion of messages.
An engaged audience is a vital part of a successful virtual event.
Although the traditional purpose of a virtual event is to communicate and present information to the attendees, nowadays participants also look for networking opportunities with fellow attendees.
This keeps them engaged, provides variety, and enables them to build valuable connections which continue even after your online events have completed.
Networking sessions help participants regain focus after long presentations and workshops.
Live tech support for the organizer and the attendee
We all may know how to browse the web but not all of us are capable enough to seamlessly host virtual events.
When deciding on a virtual event platform, don’t underestimate the importance of having on-demand tech support available to the organizer which can assist in setting up your online events in real-time.
Similarly, the presence of live chat support to the attendee can make the experience more eventful as now they would have to spend less time figuring out the tech. Engagement levels can be negatively impacted if attendees feel agitated while trying to explore the platform.
Regardless of whether your virtual event has simple webinar sessions or full-fledged multi-stream seminars, you will need to make use of some integration systems.
It’s a good idea to create a list of all the other systems you would use alongside the event management platform to keep an eye out when comparing their integration capabilities.
For instance, if you are using an app simultaneously with your virtual event, you would want to know if the data is automatically updated across both systems.
Choosing a virtual event platform that caters to most of your integration needs will make the data transfer processes seamless and also provide an overall pleasant experience.
Event insights and analytics
With all the other benefits that an online events management system provides, access to insights about attendees’ experience is a great tool to plan future virtual events to be more successful and effective.
Data and analytics from online events help organizers to find improvements to current practices to make future events even more engaging and eventful.
Meaningful data is also the main incentive for sponsors to continue funding your event as they gain highly valuable insights which help them make informed decisions about their products and services. Some conference platforms allow you to view attendee activity such as the documents they download, the different booths they visited and the time spent at each of them, and so on.
Depending on the type of data and reports that you need, you can compare different event platforms. Data protection and privacy should be kept as the topmost priority.
The most significant customizable feature to consider would be “Branding”. Making the attendees feel like they are in a specific environment will distinguish your brand from others and will also create a sense of belonging.
Branding features should preferably include the ability to integrate your organization’s messaging and infographics to be consistent across all channels of communication (websites, registration forms, and emails).
Concurrently, customization should also be available to the attendee to make the virtual event as accessible as possible.
For example, attendees can be given the option to adjust font size, sound mode depending on room environment, etc.
You could set up an option to make certain sessions visible to specific people, for instance, making breakout sessions within a virtual event exclusive to only those who used a certain voucher code.
Conference ticketing is another handy feature especially when you’re marketing your virtual event on a large scale. Software integrated with end-to-end ticketing services makes registration a lot easier.
How easy is it to use?
The easier your virtual conference platform is to use, the greater the participation will be and the better your results will be.
Making your virtual events easy to attend will increase the number of participants hence enabling a great potential for conversion.
One common problem is that people who register for an online event are unable to locate the registration link or joining details. This eventually leads to either losing the attendee completely or missing out on information due to delays both of which promote loss and inefficiency to the event organizer and the attendee.
A virtual events platform that has built-in ticketing and registration features can make it much easier for your audience to attend your event.
The platform should also have a simple, easy-to-understand interface for both the presenters and the attendees.
How many attendees will you have?
Different platforms and plans allow for different numbers of maximum participants. If you’re hosting a large virtual event with thousands of attendees, make sure you choose a platform and plan that will allow this.
What’s your budget?
Virtual event platforms are available in a wide range of prices, from free plans with limited to robust packages that cost hundreds per month but boast a bevy of features. Know your budget and match that with your needs.
How Do You Host a Virtual Conference?
Hosting a successful virtual event isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
There are several things you need to do to make sure your virtual event is a success, including:
- Choose the right virtual conference platform. Without the right virtual events platform, your event will be doomed to fail before it even begins. Make sure you understand what features you need from your software so you’re not trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
- Make sure your content is well prepared and top quality. It goes without saying that if the quality of content being presented at your online event isn’t excellent, your audience won’t return for future conferences. Careful curation is absolutely essential.
- Market your online events properly. Hosting a successful virtual conference requires weeks of promotion. You should be promoting your event across multiple mediums, including social media, email, on your website, and more. You should also encourage any presenters to promote the event within their network.
- Incorporate live elements. While you can certainly present pre-recorded video presentations for your conferences, it’s always a good idea to include some live elements as well to keep your audience engaged. Ask your audience questions and open the floor to discussion so keep things active and interesting.
- Be ready to offer live customer support. When hosting online events, things don’t always go perfectly. Attendees might have a hard time accessing your event or have various technical issues. Make sure you plan on providing customer support during your event.
- Follow up with your audience after the event is over. It’s always a good idea to communicate with your attendees after your online events to get their feedback about what they liked and didn’t like.
- Host a wrap-up meeting with your team. After you’ve hosted your online event and gotten feedback from your attendees, it’s time to interface with your team to reflect on the things that worked and the areas where there’s room for improvement. This will help you better prepare for future online events.
Guidelines & Tips for Using a Virtual Conference Platform
1. Host a meeting
First off, you’ll have to log in through your laptop or smartphone and schedule a meeting with a date and time. You can choose the meeting protocols based on the nature of your event.
Some hosts restrict video conferencing or screen sharing, etc. Pro tip: a great wireless microphone can also go a long way to making your presentation easier to understand and follow.
Once you’ve scheduled the meeting, a meeting link would be generated with an ID and password. You must share this with the prospective participants.
2. Join a meeting
Check if the software is compatible with smartphones. If not, log in with your laptop and make sure to sit in a corner where network signals are strong. Additionally, it is advised to have a white or plain background as part of good corporate ethics.
3. Invite participants
Just share the meeting link, ID, and password (if required) with the participants. When they start joining you can verify and admit them in the main conference room.
4. Record a meeting
Usually, it is the host who has the authority to record the meetings. However, the host can also permit any of the participants to record.
Make Your Next Virtual Event a Success!
Here you go! That’s everything you need to know about the best virtual conference platforms.
To recap, our top 3 picks for virtual event platforms:
Let’s not wait for the perfect time when on-ground, physical events are back. Now is the time to scale up your business or improve your teaching capabilities using the best virtual conference software platforms available today!
Have any questions about choosing the right virtual events platform? Leave a comment below and we’ll help you out.