Online Event Tools
Tech Tools and Logistics
Moving to an online format will require you to be more comfortable with different video conference services, broadcasting tools, and ticketing platforms. Even virtual venues have capacity limits and restrictions.
You will need a team of volunteers to moderate conversations and help attendees or speakers find the right link to join an activity. We won’t ask you to use a specific platform to host your event. You will be able to choose any platform or tech tool that you consider the best to craft a great experience for your attendees, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers.
We can recommend some basic setups if you don’t want to begin from scratch.
The event platform is there to help set up and customize your event website, email your attendees, showcase your speakers, sponsors, and the organizing team, publish your schedule, and receive payment or donations from sponsors.
What to consider when selecting your other tech combo tools
Embedded or redirected: You can use a tool that integrates the event description, registration, and a customized agenda for the attendees, or use a website and embed the customized agenda tool.
Capacity: There are tools that can host hundreds of participants — some even thousands. Make sure that the tool you are going to use has the capacity to host the amount of people you are planning for.
Capacity per session: It is possible that according to the activity, your team or event speakers will want to limit the number of participants per session. Most of the tools have unlimited registrations, but sometimes you can have this feature attached to certain types of tickets.
Branding for sponsors: In order to give recognition and love to sponsors, make sure to have a dedicated, visible space for them in the platform or website where you are hosting your event. Strengthening the relationship with your sponsors will help to renew their commitment for the next edition.
In-house livestream studio: You can find some tools with an integrated broadcast studio that will allow you to have everything in one place. On the other hand, you can have an agenda builder that lets you use different broadcasting tools for the virtual sessions. This can provide some flexibility to the speakers as to what tool they feel more comfortable using.
Recording of sessions: An added value that you can give to your attendees is to use a tool that allows the session to be recorded. This can help you build a post-event site with featured highlight content.
Supports other livestream tools: The platform you use might have an in-house livestream studio or can synchronize with another video call or streaming platform. Make sure that those platforms work well together and can be integrated, so you reduce friction with the attendees.
Breakout rooms or small sessions: If you are planning activities for participants to have round tables or break-out sessions, ensure that the tool used allows all participants in the session to interact. Extra points if the tool has moderator features.
Help desk: Offline or online events need a help desk. Make sure that the tool you select has a chat, channel, or button where people can contact you or your team of volunteers to answer any question related to the event.
Basecamp: Similar to the previous point, your event can recreate a virtual basecamp. Some tools have a cool feature of a virtual booth! Or you can get creative and prepare in advance some links to sessions with curated attendees.
Q&A from the audience: After a talk or a panel, participants often crave to have interaction with the speakers. Identify if the tool you are using has a feature to have a moderated Q&A (a chat or raise your hand), or prepare another channel to pass the questions from the audience to the speakers.
Networking: One of the best parts of attending a Startup Week are the amazing human connections made. It is essential to provide spaces for participants, speakers, and everybody involved to have meaningful conversations. There are some tools that help you facilitate connections — from icebreakers to one-on-one speed sessions to reflection cards — to help spark conversations.
Your attendees database: To protect your attendees’ information, we strongly recommend that the tool you use is GDPR-compliant. On the other hand, most of the tools give you access to the database (contact info of the people registered). If the tool doesn’t give you that, it will be difficult to reach out to those persons with follow-up emails to thank them for their attendance.
Support: Evaluate the type of support the platform staff can give you as a host or to your participants. It can really help you reduce the friction with technology for people that use that specific tool for the first time.
Pricing: As mentioned before, the fees of the tech tools you use for the event will most likely be the biggest expense on your budget. Clarify all the features you will be able to use before selecting and purchasing your tools. Don’t hesitate to ask the support team from the services to answer any questions you may have.
You will have to choose a combination of tools that will allow your participants to do all the activities above.
The virtual session can be held with an all-in-one tool like Hopin, or you can use a streaming platform like Zoom to cover that part.
You can experiment with tools and share the results of your success using your tools with your Techstars community support contact.