The virtual event software industry has undergone monumental evolution in the past few years. Before 2020, few people knew about virtual events because in-person meetings were the norm. However, things dramatically changed in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Virtual events became popular because organizations had to adapt to social distancing, travel restrictions and office closures imposed by governments to contain the spread of the virus.
According to Verified Market Research, the global virtual event platform market is worth more than 9 billion and it’s expected to hit $22.75 billion by 2028. However, with governments easing these restrictions and ramping up the distribution of vaccines, people are going to be comfortable with in-person events again. Does that mean that virtual events will disappear? No. Event planners will take advantage of both virtual and in-person to avoid excluding their audiences. This is why Hybrid events will become popular moving forward.
What Are the Best Event Software Platforms?
With the internet littered with virtual event software platforms, choosing the best for your next virtual event can be a daunting and challenging task. Luckily, this post gives you a roundup of the best virtual event platforms to choose from:
Best Overall Virtual Event Platform
EventZilla is a comprehensive software that allows you to host and manage a wide range of virtual, hybrid and in-person events, such as webinars, conferences, fundraisers, classes, trainings, and sports. With this software, you can manage event registrations, promotions, check-ins, and attendees in one place. You can also use it to create landing pages, sell tickets, promote events, and process payments in one place.
Eventzilla can integrate seamlessly with more than 500 apps to simplify workflows. For example, it integrates with Google Sheets, MailChimp, HubSpot, Active Campaign, and different social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
Some of the key features of Eventzilla include:
- Real-time report generation: Allows you to track attendance, booking, event traffic, cancellation, revenue, and statistical reports
- Ticketing and sales: Lets you easily sell virtual event tickets and receive payment conveniently
- Marketing tools: Built-in marketing tools allow you to promote your events online, email marketing templates, registration widgets, discount codes, and group discounts.
Eventzilla comes with 3 main pricing plans:
- Basic: $1.5 per registration
- Pro: 1.9% + $1.5 per registration (Capped at $12.99)
- Plus: 2.9% + $1.5 per registration (Capped at 19.99)
Best for Ease-of-Use
HeySummit is a platform that allows you to set up engaging, converting and revenue generating virtual events. It comes with a wide range of organization and marketing tolls to help save time and resources when planning your event. Also, the software helps you create online courses, organize talk series, conduct research, spread knowledge, and plan pre-recorded and live events.
The software integrates with almost every app, including Google Sheets, Zapier, HubSpot, Slack, Mail Chimp, and Active Campaign.
- Landing page builder: Alloys you to create a high-converting landing page in minutes
- Registration and ticketing: Allows you to easily, quickly and conveniently set up your custom registration and tickets
- Reporting and Analytics: Allows you to track engagement and know how attendees are maximizing and enjoying your content. You also know all your sign ups, and referrals in order to organize a more impactful virtual event.
- Marketing: It comes with powerful marketing features to promote and monetize your virtual events, such as Affiliate Program, Swipe Copy and Testimonials.
HeySummit pricing model suits anyone with a large audience or an individual starting to build one. It also comes with a 14-day free trial period.
HeySummit offers 3 pricing plans:
- Starter: $25 per month ($300 billed annually)
- Growth: $75 per month ($900 billed annually)
- Success: $195 per month (2,340 billed annually)
Best for Analytics
Livestorm is a virtual events software designed to help you manage webinars, meetings and virtual events. It’s an all-in-one tool, which means you’ll find every feature you’ll need to set up, market and launch your webinars and other live events in one place. The feature that makes this software stand out is Analytics. It allows you to view a breakdown of all the key metrics from your software dashboard. A more detailed breakdown of the key metrics of the event can be viewed by clicking on the Analytics tab and opening the ‘’People’’ tab.
Livestorm integrates with many third-party apps to boost the functionality of your account. Examples of apps you can integrate with Livestorm include Google Analytics, Zapier, Slack, Help Scout, Public API, Webhooks and Intercom.
- Event Room: Allows you to enable or disable some of the features available in the Webinar Room, such as questions, integrated chats and poll tabs. It also allows you to hide or show your attendees and hide their last names.
- Mail settings: It gives you the freedom to decide when to send emails to attendees. For example, you can send an hour before the event begins, a few minutes before the event or after registration.
- Analytics: Allows you to see a breakdown of how your virtual event performed, such as the number of attendees and the number of people that viewed the replay
- Automation capabilities: This allows you to hold a pre-recorded event. The automation feature also allows you to direct the attendees to your landing pages. This feature also allows you to set event rules, such as play a video, start and end event, and redirect to a page.
If you’re operating on a shoe string budget, this platform is suitable for you. It comes with a free plan intended to help you get the hang of the platform. All paid plans come with premium customer support, GDPR compliancy and the ability to access extensive resources.
Livestorm offers 3 pricing plans:
- Starter: It’s a free plan to allow users to get the hang of the software
- Premium: $76 per month ($912 billed annually)
- Enterprise: Billed according to usage
Best for Hybrid Events
BigMarker prides itself as the most customizable webinars, virtual and hybrid events software platform in the world. With an array of marketing and monetization features and the ability to integrate with many apps and operating systems, this software is best suited for virtual hybrid events.
It can integrate seamlessly with leading email, CRM, marketing, and course applications, including video, streaming and social applications.
- Marketing and monetization features: BigMarker comes with an array of built-in marketing and monetization features to promote your content and make money through your webinars. Essentially, you’re able to customize and send marketing emails, share your content on social media, import your contacts, sell tickets and much more.
- Landing page templates: The software features a scintillating array of landing pages to boost your conversions. And the good thing is that they’re mobile responsive to be viewed on mobile and desktop.
- Integration: You can integrate it seamlessly with CRMs, marketing automation tools, files, video content management and payment systems to ensure seamless workflow.
- Interactive features: Allow you to enhance the experience of your virtual event. Examples of exciting interactive features that come with this software include Q&A, Upvoting, Polls & Quizzes, Public & Private Chat, Handouts and more.
The pricing options offered by BigMarker favor both newbie and established virtual event planners. BigMarker comes with 4 pricing plans:
- Starter: $99 per month
- Elite: $199 per month
- Premier: $499 per month
- White Label: You’ll need to contact customer support to get the pricing for this plan
You can choose the annual billion option, which saves you a lot of money, or the monthly billion option.
- Provides custom live video experiences perfect for online events
- Support integrations with popular apps such as Hubspot, Zapier, and Salesforce
- Offers industry standard SSL and HTTPS encryption
- Webinar funnel pages feature various layouts
- Extensive audience interaction tools are available
- Robust webinar replay editing and customization options
- Trial period is too short and only allows for 10 attendees
- Mobile experience is clunky
- Online customer support is limited to chatbots
- Pricier than other alternatives
- Support only chatbot customer support feature
- Mobile experience is quite clunky
Best for Customization
InEvent is one of the most powerful software designed to host professional webinars, and virtual and hybrid events. The experiences offered by this virtual events platform can effortlessly turn attendees into leads and customers, thereby driving sales and profits for the event organizer.
The software seamless integrates with many applications, allowing you to automate tasks and focus on what matters most. Examples of applications it integrates with include HubSpot, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Pipedrive, Email by Zapier, Google Calender, Salesforce and more.
InEvents beats other virtual even software because of its high customization capabilities that allows it to support different events and concurring events.
- Analytics and reports: It comes with a superior analytics and reporting feature that allows you to see your leads journey. You also get to see the exact steps your attendees took using a table view format. The ‘’functions’’ tab allows you to see deeper into every attendee’s step by navigating through emails, feedbacks, expenses, polls, revenue, expenses and custom fields.
- Built-in registration system: This feature allows you to collect data, print badges and process payments
- 24/7 support: This vendor offers around the clock support in the form of email, tickets, and live support
- Easy to use interface: It comes with an intuitive design to enable you to navigate the platform quickly. It also comes with all the tools you would need for event engagement and management.
InEvent offers free trial before full software purchase. Their pricing is quite transparent: no hidden charges and no set up fees. The platform comes with 2 pricing plans:
- V&H Advanced: $9990 per year
- V&H Full: You also need to contact support for more information on its price
There’s also ‘Webinars’ plan that starts at $600/month for 500 attendees. Webinar plans allow to choose either monthly or annual billing.
- Fully customizable sections and buttons
- Customer service is available and ready to help
- Easy to use admin interface
- Difficult to navigate for less technically inclined
Best for Networking
Hopin is a virtual event platform that connects individuals or communities globally through virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. With this platform, people can connect, learn and interact with global audiences. It’s famous for its powerful networking capabilities, which is why it hosts large virtual events, such as weddings, major international conferences, and large-scale tech events.
It integrates with any software you would want to use in a virtual or hybrid event, such as Hubspot, Zapier, Eventsbrite, Pardot, MailChimp, Adobe Marketo Engage, and Slido.
- Event Builder: The builder comes with a customizable interface that lets you create an event in minutes and simplify your event management.
- Security and privacy: The platform has in-house and third-party security teams to ensure your network security, data security and data privacy.
- Advanced tools: Hopin comes with powerful tools to enable you to host a memorable event. For example:
- Analytics tools that lets you get insights into attendees’ behavior and track leads
- Dedicated product support that allows 24/7 email and chat support
- Advanced branding options that let you customize emails and event text
Hopin pricing model suits many event types. The Hopin pricing plans look like this:
- Free: Applicable if you have up to 100 attendees.
- Starter: Costs $99 per month and you get access to all the platforms core features
- Growth: Costs $99 per month for 5 admins. You gain access to more advanced tools to host your virtual event.
- Business: You gain access to more features than the growth plan. You’ll need to contact support to get details of the pricing.
- Enterprise: You gain access to Hopin bells, whistles and more features. You’ll need to contact support to get pricing details.
Best for Small Virtual Events
Zoom is one of the most popular virtual events platforms. When in-person meetings can’t take place, most people take advantage of this platform to virtually connect with co-workers. While it’s a favorite with individuals, it’s best suited for small virtual events focused on video conferencing. However, large organizations can use the Zoom Room, at an additional cost, to hold virtual meetings.
It’s integrates with over 1500 apps in the Zoom app marketplace to boost your workflow and collaboration. Other apps that integrate seamlessly with Zoom include Google Workspace, Mentimeter, AskAway, DocuSign eSignature, and AI Business Cards by Warmly.
- Virtual Background: It’s one of the standout features of Zoom. The Virtual Back Ground feature allows you to hide your room, especially if it’s messy and you do not want other participants to see it.
- Audio Transcript: This feature allows you to have a record of what’s being discussed in a meeting. The feature can transcribe any Zoom meeting’s audio and store it in a VVT file.
- Disable audio/video: This feature allows you to disable audio or video when you join a Zoom meeting to avoid disruptions.
Zoom comes with 4 pricing plans:
- Ideal for personal meetings
- It’s free
- Accommodates up to 100 participants
- You host unlimited group meetings for a maximum of 40 minutes
- You can access private and group chat
Pro: $149.90 per year
- Ideal for small teams. It includes all the benefits of the basic plan plus:
- Accommodates a maximum of 100 participants
- Allows you to host large meetings of up to 1000 people
- Allows you to hold up to 30 hours of group meetings.
- 1GB cloud recording
- Social media streaming
Business: $199.90 per year
- Ideal for small businesses
- It includes all the benefits of Pro plus:
- 300 participants max
- Large Meeting adds-on allows you to host up to 1000 participants
- Ability to record transcripts
- Single sign-on
- Company branding
- Managed domains
Enterprise: $240 per year
- Ideal for enterprises
- Include all benefits of Business plan plus:
- Meetings of up to 500 people
- Recording transcripts
- Unlimited crowd storage
- Access video meetings on mobile devices
- Remote keyboard and mouse control
- Live streams to your social media channels
- Supports large participant groups (up to 1000)
- Poor customer support
- No cloud storage on the freemium plan
Best Free Virtual Event Software Platforms
Some of the virtual event software platforms discussed above offer free versions. But they come with limited functionalities. For example, some free plans don’t provide customer support. If they do, they only provide online support. Also, the free versions limit the number of people you can host in your virtual event. For instance, the free version of Zoom allows you to host a maximum of 100 participants. The paid versions on the other hand allow you to host up to 1000 people.
The free versions also come with time limitations. For example, the free version of Zoom allows you to host your virtual event for a maximum of 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, everyone is disconnected from the meeting.
Also, some free versions don’t allow you to you monetize your webinars and virtual events. That’s because they don’t have promotion and monetization tools like landing pages, premium tickets, and affiliate commissions. There are many free virtual event software platforms out there, such as AirMeet, FLOOR and RegFox. However, you can get free versions from the best virtual events platforms discussed above, such as Zoom, Livestorm and Hopin.
Virtual Events Software Platforms Buyers Guide
What Are Virtual Events Software Platforms?
They are online tools that help individuals and organizations host and manage online events, such as webinars, conferences, seminars, and trade shows and exhibitions. They also help connect, engage with, collaborate with and share information with attendees.
What Are the Benefits of Virtual Events Software Platforms?
While the benefits of virtual events software platforms can be seen from the tools discussed above, the most important ones are highlighted below:
Reach global audiences
In today’s digital world, businesses are sourcing customers beyond borders. Virtual events platforms enable you to connect with customers across the world.
In-person events come with huge costs. For example, equipment (microphone, LED screens and more), venue, travel, accommodation and food and drinks. Virtual events help to get rid of these costs.
Some virtual event platforms like Hopin can hold more than 100, 000 people. It’s rare to see in-person meetings accommodating that number. That means you can scale your business quickly with virtual events platforms.
What to Look for in Best Virtual Events Platforms?
The type of virtual event software you choose will determine whether your virtual event is a success or not. Therefore, choose a platform that has all the essential features to hold a successful virtual event. Here is an outline of key features to consider:
Security and support
To have a successful virtual event, you need a solid support team to make your work and that of the attendees easier. So, ensure the platform you choose has support features like email and chat support, event monitoring, a dedicated account manager, event-day services, and speaker dry runs.
Security of the platform is also important. You don’t want your data and that of the attendees to be compromised. So, ensure the platform you choose is CCPA, GDPR and PCI compliant. Also, ensure the platform can encrypt data, visual and audio signals.
Regardless of the type of event you want to host, you’ll want to monetize it. So, choose a platform that has built-in monetization capabilities, such as ticketing, advertising space for sponsorships, payment options, landing pages, and more.
Automation saves a lot of time that you can direct to other useful aspects of your events. So, ensure the platform you choose has the ability to automate tasks like ticketing, event registration, payment processing, and email marketing.
The goal of organizing a virtual event is to achieve a high level of attendee engagement. Unlike in-person events where people meet face-to-face, it can be a challenge to achieve the level of engagement you want with a virtual event. Therefore, you need tools to boost your virtual event engagement. So, ensure the platform you choose comes with engagement features like gamification, live polls, and multi-tiered chat.
Choosing The Best Virtual Events Platform
From the best virtual events software guide, interactions are a critical point in a successful virtual event whether it’s host to attendee or attendee to attendee. That’s why the developers of these platforms include engaging interaction features in the software like polling, gamification, live streaming, Q&A sessions, and virtual booths. Integration is also a key component of virtual events software. Event organizers want to share their live streams on different social media platforms to get traffic, leads and sales. That’s why the best virtual event platforms enable multiple app integration, such as social media integration to facilitate that. Reporting and analysis is another common feature on most virtual event software discussed above. Any virtual event organizer would want to get their virtual event feedback to improve certain aspects of their virtual event. The best virtual event software should enable event organizers to access engagement statistics, such as registration, attendance, and polls. Below is an outline of the 5 best virtual events software events platforms based on use-cases:
- Eventzilla: Suitable for all kinds of events, such as classes, conferences, fundraisers, sports events, trainings, webinars, virtual events and hybrid events. It has all features you need in any type of online vent, such as mobile app integration, reporting and analytics, breakout rooms, conference recording and ticketing, screen sharing, polling and much more.
- HeySummit: HeySummit Excels when it comes to ease of use. It has a friendly user dashboard that even a newbie virtual event planner can navigate. Setting up and event on the platform is easier because the settings tab is displayed on the dashboard. Other functions like setting up a promo banner, changing your domain, and setting up your custom emails are clearly displayed on the dashboard.
- Livestorm: It excels in Analytics. It has a powerful analytics tool that lets you get feedback on registration, attendance, poll answers, and conversions.
This is a roundup of our best virtual events software platforms. Almost all of these platforms come with the key features you would want in a virtual events software like customization, promotion and monetization, engagement, event recording, their party integration, polling, survey, screen sharing and more. However, the software you choose should hinge on the requirements of your virtual event. For instance, if you’re searching for a virtual events software for networking, Hopin is the best. If you want to hold large hybrid events, BigMarker is the go to software. If you’re looking to host a small event of between 3 to 100 people, it’s a good idea to go for Zoom.