How to find your digital event venue

For the past year, events have shifted from physical to digital. As a result of this shift, digital platforms are popping up everywhere you go. But how do you know what to look for in a digital venue? Jaimy van der Meer, project manager at Obsession, specializes in digital events. In just 5 steps he will tell us what to look for when your event location goes digital.


1. Objectives

First of all, you need to make sure the objectives for your event are clear. Either physical or digital, that always remains leading for your event. You need to know what your cliënt wants to achieve and how you can make the platform suitable for that goal. Is your cliënts main focus on engagement? Or are you looking for a high capacity to reach a lot of people? Once you know the objectives, you will compare the different platforms with each other.


2. Programma invulling

“Bij het kiezen van je digitale locatie is je programma-opzet van groot belang. Dat is denk ik wel een van de grote verschillen bij het kiezen van een fysieke of digitale locatie. Bij een fysiek event kijk je eerder naar capaciteit of bereikbaarheid, omdat je dat achteraf vaak niet meer kunt aanpassen. Maar er zijn in specifieke programma-elementen nog wel keuzes te maken. Bij de keuze van een digitale locatie is het essentieel dat je deze details wel al van tevoren weet.’’

''If you want to interact with your audience, and during the event, you find out that isn't possible? Then you know you made a mistake.''

‘’Door de invulling van je event al zo concreet mogelijk te hebben, weet je direct waar je naar op zoek bent in een platform. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan een Q&A functie of de ‘ruimte’ voor meerdere subsessies waartussen deelnemers kunnen schakelen. Ook bedenk je in deze fase al of je bijvoorbeeld gamification gaat inzetten om je kijkers te activeren. Laat mensen met elkaar netwerken voor punten of creëer bijvoorbeeld een spelruimte waar mensen in teamverband een prijs kunnen winnen. Al die ideeën moeten wel mogelijk zijn in een platform. Ga dus zo snel mogelijk na of dat ook kan, want als het niet mogelijk is dan kan je beter verder zoeken.”

Mock up Coffee Corner

3. Functionality

''Once you found different platforms that may work for your event, compare them with each other. Also, have a look at how easy it is to adjust certain functionalities. When you expect a lot of participants, make sure you can increase the capacity for your event. In this step, you also check whether you can personalize the platform with the corporate identity of your cliënt. It could be a crucial element for your cliënt because it gives them the feeling of ownership over the platform.''

''In some platforms, it is possible to integrate so-called third-party tools. It could be a photo booth, a Pacman game, or a marketing tool. Does your cliënt want to be able to reach the participants afterward? Then see if it is possible to embed such a marketing tool into the platform. It allows your cliënt to include the participants in a new marketing campaign after the event.''


4. User-friendly

''As soon as you know what a platform can do, it is essential to check how easy it is to use. Pay particular attention to the target group for which you are hosting the event. Is the platform also user-friendly for people who are not dealing with this type of technology every day? There is a risk that someone will leave the event if the platform is not easy to use. It could cause irritations with your target group. And that is something you always want to avoid. You could ask your contact about previous events with a similar audience and their experience with the platform.''


5. Safety

''Another essential element is safety. At a physical location, we take emergency exits, crowd management, and first-aid posts into consideration. During a digital event, we focus on other elements of safety. Especially the protection of privacy is crucial. Protecting personal data is regulated through the General Data Protection Regulation. If you fail to follow these rules, you could get high fines. Therefore, it is a critical element in your event platform choice.''

''Not all new platforms will have the correct certification on this subject yet because most of them are start-ups. A prominent one is the ISO certification; this sets requirements for the quality management system. The SOC certification is also important. It logs how a company handles personal data and how they process it. To avoid fines or unclear agreements, always record your cooperation in a processing agreement. It takes some extra time, but it confirms who is responsible for the data.''

Are you organizing a digital event soon and would you like to receive professional support? Then give us a call! As partners for live, we make every event challenge a success.

Photo credits: Platform designed by Squares. Event platform for digital and hybrid events.