Companies are hosting 2x webinars as they did in the previous two years, which is understandable given the significant cost savings and ease that virtual conference platforms provide.
According to research, more than 80% of online event participants claim they would have skipped attending the same convention if it had been held in person.
The ability to have online conferences allows businesses to reach new markets, get useful insight on the goods and services they sell from the participants of the webinars, and ultimately boost their sales.
As much as the material you deliver during a webinar is important, the success of the webinar will also be determined by the platform for virtual conference you use.
Consider the Event Types
Before you go out hunting for a virtual conference platform, it is very important to consider the type of virtual event that your company wants to hold. Here is a quick list of the type of virtual events that are usually held using virtual conference platforms:
Hybrid Events: Conventional and virtual events are combined to form hybrid events, which are often held at a corporate level or for a particular industry or sector. Panels and keynote speakers may be included, as well as Q&A sessions and breakout sessions may be included to promote networking and communication among participants.
Lead Generations and Sales: The aim of a sales webinar is to encourage participants to buy your goods or services. The webinar will feature exclusive in-event incentives, and registration is nearly always a consequence of email marketing or social media promotion efforts on the part of the company trying to sell goods and / or services.
Online Job and Internship Fairs: Job fairs, volunteer/internship fairs, and other similar events are also held online.
Online Training Sessions: Internal trainings related to business rules, software use, continuing education, external trainings for educating customers to educate them on products and services – all come under the scope of online training sessions.
Virtual Trade Shows: A virtual trade show is a trade fair or expo held online with numerous exhibitors and suppliers. These shows include virtual booths containing various interactive components, and other features.
Webinar as a Product: Online gatherings where your business charges a price to attend, whether you’re offering industrial or educational resources, providing breakout spaces, hosting panels, or any combination of these things.
Features to Look for In Virtual Conference Platforms
Irrespective of the type of event you want to hold through webinars, the choice of your conference platform is going to make a huge impact. It will decide whether you are going to enjoy high sales or not, and whether or not your future webinars will have a high attendance rate. So, here is a list of features that you should be looking for in any virtual conference platform:
- Ability to record video and audio.
- Ability to send automated event reminders.
- Ability to stream live and pre-recorded videos.
- Allows active speaker view.
- Allows creating a branded virtual background.
- Allows in-app conference registrations.
- Allows in-app offers.
- Allows integration with social media platforms allowing live streaming.
- Breakout rooms.
- Capability of sharing files.
- Feature for instant messaging.
- Has the ability to integrate with third-party tools.
- Mobile accessible platform – should be available on both Android and iOS platforms.
- Offers a virtual waiting room.
- Offers a virtual whiteboard facility.
- Offers gamification and AI features.
- Offers great analysis features for lead generation and attendance.
- Offers screen sharing capabilities.
- Offers various engagement features like virtual handouts, reaction emojis, Q&A tools, broadcast messages, virtual hand-raising, and polling tools.
- Tools for webinar registration with the ability of sending personalized invitations.
If your chosen virtual conference platform is not offering most of these features, you should steer clear. That platform is not worth investing in. If the platform of your choice is not offering audience engagement features or tools to enhance your lead generation and sales, or perhaps, the ability to understand basic statistics, there is no point sticking with it.
With that in mind, let us take a quick look at the finest or the best virtual conference platforms available today.
If you are strapped for time, here is a quick list of the options included in the detailed list:
- Cisco WebEx Events
- Zoom Video Webinars
Okay, now that you have the list, let us go through the details of each option that you will find on this list. Ready?
Best Virtual Conference Platforms of 2022
Cisco WebEx Events
Cisco WebEx Events is one of the most powerful virtual conference platforms available today. It is a browser-based program capable of hosting 3,000 viewers simultaneously. It also allows 200 video streams at once. Because it is browser-based, it can be easily accessed from Windows, Mac, and Linux.
A registration email is all that a guest needs to access any event. The guest can also use an iOS or an Android mobile device, or they can simply use the WebEx website. If they want audio only participation, there is a dial in option, too. Cisco WebEx Events supports all major browsers including Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. It also comes with the ability to stream live events on YouTube and Facebook.
Payments for registration fees may be made via credit cards or PayPal. It also connects with major customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Constant Contact, Salesforce, etc. It even integrates with team collaboration applications such as Jira, Slack, and Google Drive.
The one significant disadvantage of Events is that the program does not come with breakout rooms. In case your digital conference has up to 1,000 or less attendees, you may utilize WebEx Training or Teams, which both provide breakout sessions. WebEx is great for conferences with a large number of exhibitors, panelists, and sessions throughout the day.
- Polling tool
- Survey tool
- Screen sharing tool
- Event recording tool
- Q&A tool
- Allows sending invitations, follow-ups, and reminders
- Offers video and file sharing capabilities
- Allows event security and password protection
- Comes with pass presenter feature
- Allows both private and public chat features
- Supports Single Sign On
- Has a screen drawing tool
- Allows conducting post-event surveys
Direct pricing for Cisco WebEx Events is not available on the company website. If you want to use only Events, you need to contact them directly.
WorkCast is a leading cloud-based platform that does not require you to download and install anything. It can be accessed from both mobile and desktop devices alike.
It can accommodate up to 5,000 people and provides pre-recorded, on-demand, and live digital conferences. The maximum number of simultaneous video streams that the platform will allow is ‘three.’ WorkCast integrates with Marketo, Hubspot, PowerPoint, Salesforce, and a variety of other major customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
Additionally, WorkCast is the ideal platform for holding an online trade fair since it enables visitors to tour virtual exhibits and communicate with staff.
Online registration, email registration, reminders, live event assistance, are all included in the event management capabilities.
As of now, the platform does not support breakout rooms and online note-taking features. So, if a whiteboard is essential for your virtual conference, you will need a separate online whiteboard tool. It is best for virtual conferences that depend mostly on presentations and less of audience collaboration.
- Allows chat messaging – both private and public.
- Allows conference recording.
- Allows dial-in access.
- Allows sharing videos, presentations, and files.
- Allows unlimited panelists.
- Allows unlimited webinars per month.
- Attendance reporting available.
- Event locking feature is available.
- Live polling is available.
- Offers broadcast messaging.
- Registration reporting available.
- There are webinar templates available.
There are three paid plans available for WorkCast and they are:
- Presenter+: This plan allows up to 500 attendees and costs £1,995 per year.
- Producer+: This plan allows up to 5,000 attendees and costs £4,740 per year.
- Enterprise: This plan requires you to talk to them, and it comes with bespoke pricing.
WorkCast also has a free trial offer. You can avail that before making a purchase.
ClickMeeting is a web-based virtual conference platform that enables the hosting of both pre-recorded and live meetings.
It can accommodate up to 1,000 people and allows conducting an infinite number of virtual events per month. However, the number of panelists you can have is limited to six.
It integrates a plethora of collaboration and communication tools, including Slack, Moodle, Dropbox, Zapier, and YouTube & Facebook Live for webcasting. It even has support for PayPal.
ClickMeeting is an excellent choice for businesses who conduct a high volume of online conferences every year, since its webinar timeline feature gives schedules, recordings, statistics & analytics, and more for previous and upcoming online conferences.
- Allows access from both mobile and desktops.
- Allows dial-in access.
- Allows password protection for events.
- Allows remote screen control.
- It allows sending feedback surveys to attendees.
- It comes with SSL certification.
- It offers a tool for chat messaging.
- It offers sending automated reminders.
- Offers reporting and analytics for events. The reports can be exported in PDF format.
- Offers settings for auto-publishing and event recording.
- Onboarding and live training are available.
- Storage and file sharing options are also available.
- The program is GDPR compliant.
- There are tools available for surveys, Q&A, and polls.
- There is a virtual whiteboard tool.
- You will get individual account managers.
They have a free trial available for thirty days. After that, you must purchase a paid plan. There are three paid plans available that include:
- Live: USD 25 per month (annual billing) for 25 attendees.
- Automated: USD 40 per month (annual billing) for 25 attendees.
- Enterprise: You will get a bespoke pricing, and it can support up to 10,000 attendees.
Note that for both Live and Automated plans, you can increase the number of attendees to 1,000. The pricing for both keeps changing as you keep adding attendees. The maximum pricing will be $239 a month for the Live and $279 a month for the Automated plans – both billed annually.
GoToWebinar is the kind of webinar software to consider if you want to concentrate entirely on customer service and not on setting up and administering webinars.
All you need to do is choose a day and the rest will be taken care of. You may take advantage of flexible scheduling or even outsource event administration entirely to them. Additionally, they provide pre-built webinar templates for use in full corporate settings.
GoToWebinar’s customized webinar invites, automatic email reminders, and high-converting registration page are just a few of the features available. Additionally, features such as survey and poll integration, automated webinar recording, and more are available.
In case you did not know, LogMeIn is the parent company of GoToWebinar. This virtual conference platform boasts over 50,000 users, making it one of the most popular platforms in the world.
Even organizers can use their mobile apps for iPhone or Android, the desktop app, or a web browser for hosting up to 3,000 attendees. It easily integrates with various third-party tools like Slack, many Slack alternatives, Salesforce, HubSpot and many more.
GoToWebinar is not going to offer you breakout rooms, but if you need them, you can get the feature in GoToTraining – their training software.
- It allows co hosting virtual conferences.
- It comes with various webinar templates.
- It allows both pre-recorded events and live events.
- You can record the conferences if you want or need.
- You can create a custom registration page.
- The platform allows up to 6 simultaneous video feeds.
- It even supports on-demand or one-time conferences.
- It comes with a virtual whiteboard feature.
- There are several tools like handout tool, poll tool, Q&A tool, etc.
- It offers a feature of audience spotlight and view.
- You can use it for sending automated reminders and follow-ups.
- It allows both file and video sharing.
- Source tracking and event analytics are present.
- It supports virtual backgrounds and branded conference pages.
- It even supports annotated and shared screens.
There are three paid plans available to select from. They are:
- Starter: It costs $89 per organizer per month, and it is billed annually. It allows up to 100 participants.
- Pro: It costs $199 per organizer per month, and it is billed annually. It allows up to 500 participants.
- Plus: It costs $429 per organizer per month billed annually. It allows up to 1,000 attendees.
Zoom Video Webinars
As of today, Zoom needs no introduction. Zoom video webinars are capable of accommodate up to 50,000 attendees. It also supports 100 live video panelists at once. Zoom Events allows streaming online conferences through Facebook Live and YouTube Live. It also easily integrates seamlessly with Marketo, Salesforce, and other customer relationship management (CRM) technologies.
Zoom offers a password-protected platform, and it has virtual waiting rooms, and uses AES-256 encryption to assist against Zoombombing.
To join the event, panelists and attendees must download the PC, Android, or iPhone app. Those who have not yet downloaded the app are immediately routed to the download page when they click on a Zoom conference invitation link. Additionally, if someone wants, he or she can also get an audio-only dial-in access.
Zoom video webinars will allow you to divide participants into different breakout rooms. It enables brainstorming and audience engagement. It is a great tool for company-wide training, networking, and attendee collaboration.
- It offers a virtual whiteboard tool.
- It comes with the facilities of cloud recording and local recording.
- It supports active speaker view.
- Closed captioning feature is also available.
- It allows chat messaging.
- It comes with the capability of screen sharing.
- It allows muting and unmuting the conference.
- It offers analytics and reporting.
- It also allows analysis of engagement of attendees.
- It can display a list of participants.
- It allows co-hosting webinars.
- There are engagement tools like Q&A and Polls.
- Zoom video webinars also support virtual backgrounds.
- Video and file sharing features are also available.
- It also offers features for pass presenter.
Zoom has various products, and hence, different pricing. Zoom webinar starts with $79 per month per license and allows unlimited webinars each lasting 30 hours. However, it will accommodate only 500 attendees. For 10,000 attendees, the pricing stands at $6,490 per license per month. For more than 10,000 attendees, you need to contact sales to get bespoke pricing depending on your needs.
WebinarJam is very simple to use and does not need any technical expertise to put up a webinar.
It enables you to broadcast live webinars straight to your YouTube channel. Password-protected meetings may be used to guarantee full security.
WebinarJam enables you to display popups to your audience during the webinar, allowing them to buy your goods or services directly from the webinar.
Additionally, there is a sophisticated live chat that enables two-way conversation by capturing the participant’s video for one-on-one video communication.
Using what is known as Broadcast Distribution Technology, the program generates a universal signal. Additionally, it makes use of modern technologies such as HLS, Flash, RTMP, and WebRTC, guaranteeing that it is compatible with any device and browser.
Additionally, it has essential features like automated recording (for distribution to your audience), HD video, a user-friendly dashboard, and a customer-facing interface.
This platform is a cloud-based webinar solution that has grown to over 50,000 users worldwide.
It is capable of hosting up to 5,000 people and six presenters at once. It can be used for streaming pre-recorded events or live events. The two most distinctive aspects of WebinarJam are the “Active Offer” and “Panic Button” capabilities.
If hosts encounter a technical issue or the security of a virtual conference is breached, they may simply press the Panic Button to establish a new conference room, which will instantly move all files, hosts, and participants to the new room.
The Active Offer functionality not only shows a product or discount on all screens, but also adds a countdown timer and quantity remaining.
- It offers detailed performance analytics.
- It allows recording conferences automatically.
- There are several engagement tools like Q&A, survey, live polls, etc.
- It also allows chat messaging.
- It is compatible with Google docs, Excel, PDF, and PDG.
- It allows remote screen control.
- There is a whiteboard tool available.
- The screen sharing feature is also available.
- It also offers the handouts feature.
- You can share videos and files, too!
- It allows you to enable 1-click registration.
- It seamlessly integrates with Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and Zapier.
There are three pricing plans available for WebinarJam and they are:
- Basic: It costs $499 a year and allows for a maximum of 500 participants in a single webinar. Three presenters are allowed, and you will get 24/7 assistance.
- Professional: It costs $699 a year and accommodates up to 1,000 people and four speakers.
- Premium: It costs $999 per year for up to 5,000 participants and six presenters.
BigMarker is a cloud-based virtual event management platform that is utilized by leading businesses such as Panasonic, Hootsuite, and Google.
It can accommodate up to 1,000 attendees and nine concurrent live video feeds. Additionally, it integrates with platforms such as YouTube Live and Facebook Live and can broadcast live events directly from a business website.
It works with a variety of web browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, and the now defunct, Internet Explorer. Additionally, it is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, too!
BigMarker is a great choice if you are hosting your virtual events on your own website. Also, if you are one of those who hosts recurring paid webinars as your income source, BigMarker is a great choice.
- It offers a whiteboard tool.
- It allows streaming both pre-recorded events and live events.
- It is suitable for recurring webinars.
- It has a feature of screen sharing.
- It allows sending customizable email invitations.
- It supports automated call to actions and popup offers. Even a manual version is also supported.
- It allows integrating Google Forms surveys.
- It allows pre-loading live polls and gives results in real-time.
- The platform comes with a built-in translator.
- There are various templates available for webinar landing pages.
- It allows collecting payments through Stripe and PayPal.
- It allows embedding registration forms directly into websites.
- You can enable password protection if you want.
- It allows recording events.
- It easily integrates with Mailchimp, SalesForce, Dropbox, Analytics, and other third-party tools.
- It offers detailed analytics.
- File sharing and presentation sharing is allowed by the platform.
- It supports live chat messaging.
- It also supports dial-in access for audio-only participation.
For the webinar, BigMarker has four plans. They are:
- Starter: It costs $79 a month, allows 100 attendees, and 1 host.
- Elite: It costs $159 a month, allows 500 attendees, and 2 hosts.
- Premier: It costs $299 a month, allows 1000 attendees, and 3 hosts.
- White Label: You get a bespoke pricing, and it allows up to 10,000 attendees.
vFairs is a platform that supports virtual and hybrid events. It is capable of streaming both pre-recorded and live webinars, job fairs, trade exhibitions, etc.
It is particularly famous for in-event gamification, which is used to increase participation and engagement. The platform also offers an immersive 3D event environment.
It is particularly famous for in-event gamification, which is used to increase participation and engagement. The platform also offers an immersive 3D event environment. Virtual scavenger hunts, leaderboards, and trivia quizzes are some of the features that contribute to the memorable and enjoyable nature of events.
Prior to events, exhibitors and panelists are allowed to submit datasheets, handouts, and presentations, which are then assembled and made available to attendees when the event starts.
Features such as a virtual event space and virtual information desk that enable visitors to take a tour through the booths and event areas exactly as they would in person assist to make the events extremely realistic and personal.
- Allows custom event landing pages.
- Allows custom registration pages.
- Offers multilingual support.
- There are features for analytics and reporting.
- Offers group and even 1:1 video, audio, and chat communication.
- Offers virtual alumni events, opening day events, and graduation sessions.
- It comes with various participation features like Q&A.
- It allows downloading videos and presentations.
- It shows a complete list of attendee profiles.
- It allows sending email reminders and SMS reminders.
- It has support for keynote speakers.
The company doesn’t display pricing plans publicly. All prices are quotation-based and depend on the requirements of the companies approaching them. Of course, you must tell them the maximum number of hosts and attendees before they can give you a bespoke price.
That concludes the list of 8 best virtual conference platforms of 2022. However, many others that you can shuffle through if this list doesn’t cover your interest. Some of the other notable names include:
Now, before you leave this webpage, here are some general FAQs regarding webinars that might help you. So, consider reading them once.
Virtual Conference FAQ
There are various channels of advertisement, and they include:
If possible, get an industry influencer as a keynote speaker.
Create a unique panel and then ask the panelists to promote your event.
Release a video advertisement.
Consider using an online event planner.
You may consider getting an event sponsor.
You can use email marketing.
Use social media for promoting the event.
Advertise gift certificates, giveaways, free products, etc.
The ideal time frame is between 30 minutes and 1 hour. If you intend to make it longer, consider breaks in between, because without breaks, people are not going to retain their focus.
Early planning is important. Depending on how large your event is, you may need anywhere between 2 week and 10 weeks to prepare for it including event advertisement, content generation, preparing speakers and materials, advertising your event and so on. So, ensure that you have enough time.
Here are a few more things you should keep in mind:
Enable user engagement with things like gamification, polls, Q&A, trivia, breakout sessions, etc.
Don’t beat around the bush. Keep it hyper-focused.
Record your live events and make them available on-demand.
Ask for attendee feedback and review.
As per research, Thursday is the best. You can settle for Wednesday if Thursday is not possible. If Wednesday is also not possible, settle for Tuesday. Aim for 10:00 to 11:00 AM slot, or for 1:00 to 2:00 PM slot. They are the most effective times.
Webinar involves live or pre-recorded events with focus on two-way communication for attendee engagement. They almost always exclusively happen on virtual conference platforms. Webinars are mostly protected by passwords to prevent unauthorized access.
Webcasts are nothing but live streaming on a webinar on a social platform like Facebook Live and YouTube Live where two-way engagement is never a motto. It is used only for reaching out to a wider audience. Webcasts are not password protected.