Soon it will be a year since we are living a remote life. If someone had said to us in early 2020 what would come, we would probably have invested the money we saved for travel in setting up a proper home office. If we knew about the upcoming isolation, we would look for the best online platforms to organize business meetings, meetings with clients, webinars and other events that are integral to the company’s daily life.
One thing is clear – 2021 will not bring us the old normal so easily, therefore we will continue this year working remotely. How to better manage it?
We offer an insight into some online communication platforms that we have become acquainted with during the last year of work or study. You may see a new program that might be useful for your business.
Business-friendly online event platforms
Zoom Meetings is one of the discoveries of the COVID era, whose value and popularity flourished with #stayhome. One of the most important advantages of the platform is definitely its high-quality audio and video performance. Among the paid plans offered by Zoom, there is also a Zoom Video Webinar option.
Key differences between Zoom Video Webinar and Zoom meeting options:
- Participants are automatically added in listening mode with the microphones muted;
- The Host can turn off the participants microphones without informing the participant;
- The list of participants is only visible to host and managers;
- The contact information of registered members is automatically added to the CRM system.
While these are essential features to create a great online event experience, in reality, this option is relatively expensive in both financial and timewise terms. It is necessary to buy one of the webinar plans, the price range of which varies from 40 to 6,490 (!) USD per month (depending on the number of participants). The plan includes the mandatory webinar license and the provision of the service to at least 100 and more people.
Zoom Video Webinar will be useful for companies that often organize online events with a wide range of visitors. If you are a small or medium-sized company, whose activities are not associated with huge events that require high quality, you will definitely find in this list more suitable platforms for the company’s budget.
Google knows everything, especially the need for a cheap way to communicate for businesses and small events. And indeed, Google Meet is probably the cheapest online event platform, the free version of which provides almost all the basic video conferencing features (a meeting of 100 participants for 60 minutes, the ability to connect from a smartphone and computer, sharing a screen).
However, here the free opportunities also end, and it is necessary to purchase a paid plan for organizing longer events. With only $ 8 a month in Google Workspace’s base plan, you can host online events for up to 150 people, 24 hours a day, with event recording, 24-hour customer support, surveys, attendance reports, and more. opportunities.
While Google Meet is nowhere near as powerful as its competitors (such as Zoom and Livestorm) in hosting large online events, this may be the most appropriate tool for the day-to-day needs of small and medium-sized businesses, given the importance of value for money.
Livestorm, like Zoom, grew in popularity during the pandemic. Especially because the platform is specifically designed for the successful organization of mass events online. Livestorm’s arsenal includes customized modules and tools for organizing live webcasts, courses, product presentations, customer training, video presentations, corporate management meetings and other events. An intuitive, understandable, and easy-to-use design is tailored to each of these types of events.
A feature that sets Livestorm apart from its competitors is the automation capabilities it offers. Webinar organizers can customize event landing pages, forms, and email templates to company brand guidelines.
Like all online event platforms, Livestorm offers a free plan. Indeed, the free version provides the opportunity to get to know only a small part of the whole wide offer. To organize events longer than 20 minutes with more than ten participants, companies need to invest starting from 109 dollars a month.
Livestorm is definitely a powerful tool, and we like the customization it provides for every event and branding you need. However, if the price of the tool is decisive in the choice of the measure, but the design of the measure is secondary, a better price-value-added ratio may still have to be sought.
Crowdcast is a tool that focuses on individual entrepreneurs and online content creators. This platform attracts individual entrepreneurs, online performers and coaches who need to communicate easily with followers in an informal atmosphere. Perhaps precisely because of its targeting and informal interface, Crowdcast has not won a place in the portfolio of standard business tools.
Unlike other webinar tools, Crowdcast does not offer a free plan. However, there is a 14-day introductory period during which to understand how much and for what functions the company is willing to pay per month. For example, the “starter pack” includes basic webinar needs and 50 participants, but it has two major disadvantages:
- the total length of events will not exceed 5 hours per month;
- starting from 51 participants, you will have to pay 15 cents for each new member that comes in the meeting.
Crowdcast will be suitable for online businessmen, influencers, content creators who need a place to communicate with their follower base in real time. For events where there is one main speaker, other platforms may be more appropriate.
One of the most important questions for entrepreneurs – how to make money with the event – will be answered immediately. ClickMeeting is a webinar platform for online product demonstrations, lectures, seminars, business meetings, training and large conferences. It is the opportunity offered by ClickMeeting to monetize the content of an online event that has allowed it to grow in popularity among companies. Secure financial management is ensured by the PayPal system integrated in the platform.
ClickMeeting is easy to use and covers the entire webinar process: from pre-event to presentation, from discussion with participants to follow-up communication.
Another noteworthy aspect is the integration available with ClickMeeting, both with data analytics tools and with email marketing and CRM software. In addition, event landing pages are customizable to each brand’s guidelines.
The downside of ClickMeeting is its relatively high monthly cost. This platform can be used free of charge only for a month, after which you will have to decide whether it is worth paying at least 26 euros per month for 10 participants. The calculation of the monthly fee is not mainly tied to the available functions, but to the number of participants. If it is necessary to pay 39 euros for 50 webinar participants in the cheapest plan, then for 100 participants they will already be 70 euros per month. 😊
ClickMeeting is definitely a competitive tool for organizing online events, and it allows you to track the effectiveness of the event in terms of both financial and popularity. However, before investing in this platform, it would be necessary to understand whether the high cost of the tool will pay off in the long run. In any case, the number of services and features provided, as well as the published case studies, suggest that this is possible.
The list of friendly online event platforms certainly does not include many other programs, the efficiency of which has been verified by many companies. Maybe on the contrary – there is also a top list of unfriendly platforms, the existence of which everyone should know as soon as possible.
Don’t be shy – share your tools that help you stay connected with colleagues, clients, followers during a distant life.