What’s the best events platform for your campus events?
Virtual events and hybrid events are here to stay. Most universities and colleges started offering virtual events to connect with their students and community during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the rise of virtual events started well before that. The last couple of years have not created the need to provide a virtual event experience, they simply accelerated the rising trend.
Why is that? One of the most exciting things about virtual events is that they can be more inclusive than their in-person counterparts. Regarding accessibility, virtual events can provide real time captioning, sign language feeds, navigable site interfaces using digital mobility assistance technology, and more. Beyond that though, they also provide the ability for folks that don’t have the means – time or financial – to join in person and participate fully. Simply put, virtual events extend the reach of traditional, in-person events providing greater inclusivity for any event from recruiting prospective students to commencement ceremonies and alumni get togethers.
With the increased demand for virtual and hybrid events, schools and universities are searching for solutions to simplify and improve their events. After all, any event – virtual, in-person, or hybrid – must exemplify the brand and quality of the school it is representing. Easier said than done. What criteria is important? How do we evaluate solutions? Companies and schools alike are asking these questions. To help, we created a template request for proposal (RFP) for events platforms for EDU.
The template is a great resource for your school to build off and covers key criteria that schools, colleges, and companies request repeatedly in their search for the perfect events platform. At the highest level we consistently hear these key objectives from all virtual events platform inquiries:
- Must provide the ability to create, host, and support high quality events (our brands are at stake) at scale.
- Must serve all event types from intimate one-off webinars to flagship multi-day events and everything in between.
- Must centralize all events data from registration to engagement before, during, and after the event and be available through dashboards, downloadable reports, and API.
- Must be brand-able and customizable so that our organization can deliver events consistent with our brand.
- Must provide opportunities to engage attendees before, during, and after the live event. Our event space is an evergreen space.
There is a lot to consider when evaluating events platforms and the template we created will help you make sense of them. Within the events platform for EDU template, we bundle key criteria into the following categories:
- General – The basic requirements such as devices and platform capacity.
- Attendee Experience: Before the Event – Covering registration requirements and early access so that your attendees get value from your event before it even starts.
- Attendee Experience: During the Event – Everything from networking with in-person and virtual attendees to engaging activities like breakout, polls, and quizzes.
- Attendee Experience: After the Event – Follow-up to any event is key and access to session recordings makes it easy to keep the engagement going.
- Event Management – Easily create events using preset templates and customize the look and feel of each event to be as unique as desired.
- Host Live Events – Moderate your sessions to interact with attendees and keep them happy and attentive.
- Accessibility – Ensure all attendees of all abilities can participate fully. Full stop!
- Analytics – Without event data was there even an event?
- Events Administration – Add team members to manage or co-manage any event your organization is hosting – past, present and future.
- Support and Services – Sometimes we need a little more help and customization.
The goal of an events platform is to help you provide an amazing experience for your attendees easily and consistently and that’s what we focus on in the template RFP. Every school has their own needs so feel free to add what’s missing and make sure to let us know 😊