How to select a virtual event platform for your conference, trade show or fundraising gala? This comprehensive guide lists top virtual event solutions, along with their key features and price points, to help you make an informed choice for your digital experience.
•Published: Jan 18, 2021
As the landscape of virtual events evolves, organizers of trade shows, conferences, expositions, summits, keynotes, fundraising events, and even wedding planners grapple with choosing the best virtual event platform for their specific use case. Also called online venues, virtual event platforms help recreate or replicate in-person events in a digital setting.
Arguably as (or more) important as selecting a venue for an in-person event, virtual event platforms contain varying interfaces, user experiences, communication features such as video and chat, breakout rooms, networking games, and much more. While some event organizers may be tempted to turn to the go-to popular communication platform, Zoom, it may not be optimal for larger events focused on building community. “Platforms such as Zoom don’t work well for events,” explains Ryan Costello, CEO of the virtual event platform, Event Farm. “Only two people on a [Zoom] call can talk at the same time, leaving the majority of attendees feeling disengaged.” While the video chat tool may work well for more passive events — think, webinars, lectures, or keynotes — interactive features are required to boost attendee engagement and exhibitor and sponsor satisfaction.
Luckily for event organizers, there is a growing selection of virtual event platforms that contain features ranging from necessary video chat interfaces to sophisticated 3D “virtual reality” layouts. Today, there are more virtual event platform choices than ever ranging from well-known players such as Hopin, RunTheWorld, AccelEvents, and Cvent to emerging solutions such as Welcome and Remo.
In this comprehensive resource, Stream outlines the best virtual event platforms on the market (organized alphabetically) and the specific features that enable attendees to be highly engaged in event content.
Best Virtual Event Platforms
A popular virtual event platform used by over 12,500+ companies, organizations and conferences, AccelEvents features customizable event pages, instant analytics, and event-specific functionality such as silent auctions.
- Integrated live streaming
- AI-enhanced networking
- Real-time chat
20% of the ticket price for paid tickets; $3 per participant per day of the event for free attendance
Airmeet is an all-in-one platform that translates in-person events into virtual events. Interactive sessions and AI-supported networking help create meaningful connections. The platform’s secure messaging capability supports emojis for a more dynamic communication experience.
- Q&As & hand raising
- In-platform chat
- Customizable breakout rooms
Free for up to 100 participants per event (only public events). Airmeet’s Business plan ranges from $99 per month for up to 100 event attendees to $599 per month for up to 1,000 registrants. Contact Airmeet for the Summit plan pricing details designed for larger conferences and fairs.
All in the Loop
All in the Loop focuses on building excellent mobile and desktop experiences that leave event registrants with new connections. The company achieves this by pairing event attendees with relevant sponsors and suggesting sessions aligned with their unique work and job title. Post-event communications ensure connections last.
- Live Q&A
- Intuitive networking
- White-label app design
Contact All in the Loop for pricing
Ideal for marketers seeking to build community with online or in-person events, Banzai’s rich toolset can help event organizers track leads and showcase ROI. After the event, Banzai users can syndicate content to ensure their event continues to make an impact.
- Email templates
- Sponsor portal
- Custom branding
Contact Banzai for pricing details
Bevy makes event software that prioritizes building community all year round. Event organizers can continue the connections made during a virtual event with a white-labeled community hub. Automated emails help keep attendees engaged in conference content.
- Chat & direct messages
- Breakout rooms
- White labeling
Three tiers (Build, Grow, Scale); contact Bevy for pricing details
Bizzabo’s platform helps event organizers plan and host in-person, hybrid and virtual events. Live streaming event content is a breeze with choice integrations such as Youtube, Vimeo, Microsoft Teams and more. Deep attendee analytics enables event hosts to develop a nuanced understanding of their audience.
- Push notifications
- White-label branding
- Live audience polling
Contact Bizzabo for pricing details
BlueJeans is a Verizon-owned video conferencing platform that enables remote work (think: meetings, town halls) and larger virtual events alike. The company’s virtual event solution stands out for its security features, including the option to lock sessions, expel participants, and create encrypted video calls.
- Scalable (supports up to 50,000 attendees)
- Enterprise-grade security
- Rich moderator controls
Webinars are $83 per month when billed annually (for up to 100 attendees); contact BlueJeans for larger-scale online events
Boomset is a virtual event platform founded by two frequent event registrants who sought a more streamlined way to experience events. A company that excels in both online and hybrid events, quick and easy registration is a top Boomset priority. Boomset integrates with software such as Eventbrite, Cvent, and more.
- Live chat & messaging
- Branded registration pages
Contact Boomset for pricing details
Brella enables event organizers to host beautiful digital events with intuitive functionality that drives engagement. Think: notifications and reminders, livestream links, local time zone support, and artificial intelligence-powered matchmaking to help attendees meet the right people, and achieve their goals.
- AI-supported networking
- Multi-live stream hosting
- Content performance analytics
Contact Brella for pricing details
Cadence powers engaging in-person and virtual events, and helps event organizers manage attendees, programming, speakers, and live stream sessions with ease. Essential features include a live feed to capture the registrant experience, group discussions and direct messages that support emojis, gifs, video, audio and location sharing.
- Live feed
- In-platform messaging
- Interactive schedules
$5k per event for Premium plan (up to 1,000 attendees); $15k per event for Premium Pro (up to 5,000 attendees). Contact Cadence for Enterprise pricing.
With enterprise-grade security, deep attendee data and analytics, and virtual exhibitor booths, Cvent helps translate trade shows and large conferences to an online platform. Lead generation tools help keep sponsors happy by proving ROI.
- Exhibitor lead capture & analytics
- White-labeled interface
- Live, moderated Q&A
Contact Cvent for pricing details
An integrated event platform, Evenium’s ConnexMe provides interactive sessions, networking, and live streaming to deliver a rich and memorable attendee experience. When the event concludes, attendees can search speaker transcripts to find exactly what they want to revisit.
- Live streaming video
- Live collaboration & screen share
- Direct messaging
$400 per month for Pro annual subscription; premium and one-time event options available
The popular ticketing website now supports virtual events via live stream integrations with Google Meet, Zoom, and Vimeo Live. Eventbrite leverages established engagement tactics (such as automated and customized reminder emails) to ensure all those who registered show up for your event. Event organizers can maximize their revenue by integrating “add-on” merchandising options.
- Zoom, Google Meet, and Vimeo Live integrations
- Gated content options
- Intuitive interface
Fee per paid ticket: 3.5% + $1.59 for the Professional plan; Essential and Premium plans are also available.
What started as a way to digitize unique tickets has morphed into a 3D interactive virtual event. Event Farm’s Echo technology allows attendees to create an avatar, and experience an online event much like an in-person event. Users can “walk” around the event venue, dance, talk to others, watch and participate in seminars, and much more.
- Multiple meeting environments
- Voice and text chat
- 3D avatars with “Echo” technology
Contact Event Farm for pricing details
EventMobi’s end-to-end event management platform helps event organizers launch and manage top-notch events. From appointment booking to polls, reminders, and surveys, attendee engagement is a chief priority for this virtual event software.
- White-label website builds
- Virtual exhibitor booths
Contact EventMobi for pricing details
A virtual event platform with advanced attendee engagement features, EventZilla enables seamless ticketing, live chat with moderation, custom branded meeting rooms, customized registration forms, and easy payment options.
- Multiple video conferencing integrations
- Secure registration & checkout
- Name badges & certificates
$1.50 per registration for the Basic plan; 1.9% + $1.50 per registration for the PRO plan (capped at $12.99); 2.9% + $1.50 for the Plus plan (capped at $19.99)
A popular virtual venue for trade shows, fairs, and expositions, Hopin’s highly interactive platform is optimized to foster connections. Attendees can visit virtual booths, chat with exhibiting companies, and have meaningful conversations. Also cool: Event hosts can customize Hopin’s interface to match their brand colors.
- Group & 1:1 video chats
- Customizable interfaces
- Virtual vendor booths
$99 for the Starter plan; contact Hopin for Business and Enterprise plans
From event logistics tools to lead retrieval for exhibitors, Pathable helps attendees, exhibitors and speakers have an improved virtual event experience. Pathable achieves this through immersive content (complete with live streams, chat, and intuitive speaker controls), direct meeting scheduling for networking, and exhibitor empowerment.
- Small-group video chats
- Automated session reminders
- White-label app options
From $15k for under 500 attendees; from $20k for 500-3,000 attendees; from $25k for over 3,000 attendees. Contact Pathable for pricing details.
Streaming, networking, posters, oh my! PheedLoop supports events beyond webinars by delivering incredible ROI to trade show exhibitors with lead retrieval, private video calls for networking, concurrent live streams, and more.
- Real-time presence tracking
- Concurrent live streams
- Session access restrictions
As low as $1 per module/user. Contact PheedLoop for pricing details.
Remo mimics the networking power of a happy hour or morning breakfast during a traditional in-person event by replicating the layout of a venue (complete with tables, chairs, and even decorative plants). A main live stream stage includes a “green room” for speakers.
- Strategic sponsor placement
- Virtual business cards
- Countdown timers for speed networking
Four plans ranging from $100 per month to $1,560 per month, depending on event attendees, event duration, and more. Contact Remo for pricing details.
A beautiful live stream interface with rich features such as live chat, RunTheWorld is emerging as one of the top virtual event platforms available. Notably, RunTheWorld’s “Magic Box” of networking games helps break the ice to form personable connections. For example, RunTheWorld’s “cocktail party” enables 1:1 speed networking.
- Event recording
- Poll & chat data to track engagement
- Innovative networking tools
Free for the basic plan (with 15% ticket sales revenue share). When billed annually, $79 per month for the Pro plan; $429 per month for the Sponsor plan. When billed monthly, $99 per month for the Pro plan; $499 per month for the Sponsor plan
Samaaro is a virtual event platform that can support both hybrid and completely digital events. The platform encourages networking, connection, and offers powerful analytics for event organizers.
- 3D user interface
- Customizeable booths
- Product galleries
- Contact Samaaro for pricing details
SociaLive enables marketers, influencers, entrepreneurs and other business creatives to make polished videos akin to T.V. through live streams, pre-recorded content, and overlays. Users can broadcast these videos using integrations from Facebook, LinkedIn, ON24, Cvent or Brightcove.
- Branded live streams
- Multi-channel distribution
- Live messaging
Contact Socialive for pricing details
From event registration to post-event follow-up, Socio is an all-in-one platform to help event organizers host dynamic conferences, summits, trade shows and more. Socio’s intuitive event portal keeps attendees engaged and interested with Q&As, polling, and push notifications. Customizable splash screens, logos, and colors keeps event brands front and center.
- Customizable streaming design
- Native chat
- Sponsorship gamification
Contact Socio for pricing details
SpatialChat recreates the experience of being in an event space by allowing users to move around virtual rooms. This allows attendees to transition seamlessly between groups to switch up the conversation. Event organizers use text messaging to send alerts and other updates.
- Attendee text messages
- Fluid chat system
- Screen sharing
$49.99 per month for the Standard plan, contact SpatialChat for Pro plan pricing.
A full-spectrum virtual event portal, SwapCard supports intuitive registration, live streaming, audience response tools, virtual booths, and even a product marketplace. With a suite of analytics reporting, event organizers can download leads, track attendee engagement, and prove ROI to paid sponsors and exhibitors.
- Content & chat moderation
- Live discussions
- Attendee matchmaking
Free for events with up to 50 participants, $7 or less per attendee for events with more than 50 participants and 3 exhibitors. Exhibitor services add-ons (such as lead capture) are available, too.
Billed as a platform that creates “jaw-dropping virtual events,” Welcome’s slick interface can host events ranging from panel discussions to award shows to wine tastings. Users can present a mix of pre-recorded and live stream content, and speakers can collect their thoughts in a virtual “green room” before going live on stage.
- Live chat
- Green room & stage
- White-labeling event interface
Contact Welcome for pricing details
Building a Custom Virtual Event Platform
Building a custom virtual event solution requires considerable engineering skills or investment in a development team — particularly if the platform aims to support thousands of concurrent users. However, given the complexity of scaling a virtual event platform, and the reliability attendees expect in digital experiences, it is a good idea to source must-have features such as chat, activity feeds, and video chat from third-party providers. Building such features from scratch will be more expensive, and substantially lengthen a platform’s time to market.
Increasingly more established virtual event platforms are sourcing hard-to-maintain and hard-to-scale chat, activity feeds and video chat by leveraging best-in-class virtual event APIs that prioritize performance, such as Stream’s Chat and Feeds APIs.