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Virtual Event Platforms
vs. Webcasting and
Online Meetings

Who are the Real Players?

As virtual events have risen in popularity, so have virtual content platforms. However, there is often confusion between virtual event platforms, webcast platforms, and video chat companies. Here we outline the functional differences between these platforms and how you can choose what’s right for your event.
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Introduction

Virtual events are now a primary method to connect with individuals from all over the world while growing your brand. They provide a means to attend conferences, events, and workshops without the burden of incurring cumbersome travel costs, which results in a reduced carbon footprint for the environment. Despite virtual events existing for nearly two decades, they experienced recent widespread growth with the Covid-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic subsided, people were free again to attend conferences and events in-person, but with the rapid technological advancements of virtual events they continue to play an integral role in not only conferencing, but the global remote workforce.

As virtual events have risen in popularity, so has the use of virtual event platforms, which are designed as an avenue to build and design your own virtual event based on your
goals, and specifically the goals of your attendees. Virtual event platforms provide a faster and more efficient method in hosting a virtual event due to their simplicity and ability to upload specific software packages that you can use to customize your virtual event for your attendees’ needs. 

Additionally, virtual event platforms can support a myriad of mobile apps that provide enhanced engagement features for your attendees, including real-time interactivity, content curation, data analytics, and much more. However, there is often confusion between virtual event platforms, webcast platforms, and online meeting companies, as each provides their own specific services for online engagement that vary in scalability and reach.

Key Differences:

Virtual Event Platforms vs. Webcast Platforms vs. Online Meeting Platforms vs. Other Services

When organizing a virtual event, it’s vital to note the key differences between virtual event platforms and other services that offer event-adjacent services like webcast platforms and online meeting companies, among others. On the one hand, virtual event platforms offer end-to-end services ranging from personalized emails to ticketing & registration to gamification to reporting & analytics, along with having small learning curves regarding their operation.

On the other hand, webcast and online meeting platforms tend to have limitations regarding their features and overall size of the events while exhibiting steep learning curves for new users. For example, video chat features vary between webcast platforms while meeting platforms are designed to only host small audiences but neither really provide an immersive experience.

Let’s dive into some platforms and what they can offer users at different levels:

Virtual Event Platforms
Webcast Platforms
Online Meeting Platforms
Other Event Platforms
Virtual event platforms provide a comprehensive suite of tools, resources, and features designed to create virtual experiences that are engaging and interactive. These features are highly customizable, including live Q&A sessions, breakout rooms, gamification, live demos,  interactive workshops, polls, quizzes, and much more, all designed to create an immersive and engaging virtual environment.

Virtual event platform features include all the features of webcast and video chat platforms plus:
  • Virtual Spaces
  • Networking tools (chat, video chats, breakout rooms)
  • Exhibit booths
  • Gamification
  • Content management systems
  • Integrations with other tools
  • Advanced analytics and reporting
While virtual event platforms provide many tools to promote engagement, webcast platforms are often limited to their specified function. For example, some provide video chats while others don’t, and some require steep learning curves to understand how the platform works. Some provide excellent mobile support, but the prices are often expensive, and sometimes unknown.
Webcasting platform features include:
  • Live streaming
  • On-demand and pre-recorded content
  • Real-time interactions
  • Cloud-based infrastructure
  • Social media integration
  • Monetization options
Video chat, video conferencing, or online meeting companies enable hosts and attendees to save time and money from needing to attend in-person meetings. However, they are often limited to small-scale meetings and events catered to a specific audience or participants. While this has resulted in improved remote employee well-being, these platforms may struggle to connect larger groups, events, and global workspaces.

Online meeting platform features may include:

  • Privacy & security
  • Customized virtual backgrounds
  • Mobile support
  • Data encryption
  • Third-party app integration
Examples of other event platforms include those who specialize in single products, including ticketing, registration, or mobile apps. While this is helpful if you’re looking for a single product for your virtual or hybrid event, these companies don’t provide the same toolbox of resources required to create engaging and interactive virtual experiences for everyone.

Features:

  • Email integration
  • Ticketing & registration
  • Fundraising
  • Custom branding
  • Networking features
  • Budget-friendly pricing

Download Chati's
Platform Feature Comparison Matrix

A comprehensive, side-by-side checklist of platform features.
Download the Matrix

Use Cases

Virtual Event Platforms:

Ideal for networking events, career fairs, educational courses, product launches, fundraisers, conferences, and other engaging and interactive events.
Chati is a leading event software company that offers comprehensive solutions for creating and managing virtual events, hybrid events, and webinars.

Features: Custom 3D templates & spaces, webinars, ChatiConnect video chat/meetings, exhibit halls, sponsorship opportunities, marketing, networking & engagement, matchmaking, gamification, integrations, content management, registration/ticketing, and analytics & reporting
vFairs is an ‘all in one’ event management platform.

Features: Event registration & ticketing, mobile event app, event reporting, event analytics, exhibit booths and avatars, gamification, webinar integrations, email marketing, networking
6Connex is an event technology company that facilitates virtual, hybrid, or in-person events.

Features: Scalability, artificial intelligence-driven, fast delivery templates, customizable
virtual rooms and spaces, compatibility with hybrid events, monetization, exhibit halls and booths, webinar integrations, networking, gamification, and reporting & analytics

Webcast Platforms:

Ideal for webinars with no bells and whistles, lectures, presentations, and other one-way communication events. Below is a list of some of the top webcasting platforms and their features.
Bizzabo event management software.

Features: Q&A, polling, customizable chat rooms and spaces, AI-driven features, studio-quality video, virtual applause and reactions, breakout rooms, Ultimate Video Production Suite
ON24 webcasting and virtual event platform.

Features: Breakout rooms, sponsorship, exhibit halls, keynote speakers, performance tracking, scalability, customizable layouts, group chat
Webinar.net is the next generation webinar platform.

Features: Live video streaming, gamification, lead generation, pre-recorded and on-demand talks, one-on-one and group chats, e-learning, closed captioning, surveys, live polling and much more
Zoom is a video communication platform.

Features: Mobile app, production studio, Expo Floor, customizable rooms and spaces, sponsorships, on-demand videos, event branding
Webex Events (previously Socio) is an event management platform.

Features: Live-streaming, Webex Events Studio, gamification, sponsorship tools, on-demand content, ticketing, customizable outreach, Q&A, registration, mobile event app, live display
GlobalMeet is a premier webcasting platform.

Features: Financial resources, education & training, live-streaming, surveys & polls, media options, analytics & reporting, integration packages, customizable features, life sciences
Workcast focuses on webinar software, as well as virtual and hybrid events.

Features: Mini “bite-size” VE, open houses, live chat, Q&A, surveys, polls, career fairs, trade shows, benefits fairs
Livestorm is a webcasting and video engagement platform.

Features: Registration, analytics, customizable rooms and spaces, file sharing, breakout rooms, Q&A, analytics & reporting, conferences and summits, company communication
Hubilo is a webinar software and content management platform.

Features: AI-driven content, on-demand content, customizable features, branding options, email builder, optimized registration, 1-click login, personalized emails, multi-touch campaigns, seamless integration, analytics & reporting
Brandlive offers enhanced video experiences for webinars and events.

Features: Customizable templates, webinars and special events, training workshops, easy registration, multiple video languages, seamless integration
Goldcast is an AI-enhanced video platform geared toward B2B markets.

Features: Marketing-friendly registration, customizable designs, branded emails, multiple video options (live, pre-recorded, or both), photo booths, one-on-one networking, breakout rooms, sponsorships, customer relationship management (CRM) integrations
BigMarker is an online event and marketing platform.

Features: Networking features, customizable pages, monetization, registration & ticketing, 2D or 3D lobby, AI driven matchmaking, expo hall, gamification, analytics & reporting
Swoogo is event management and software for event professionals.

Features: Live or on-demand content, personalized content, security & privacy, mobile app, easy registration, badge printing, hotel management, on-site payment options, speaker resources
Notified is a professional communications platform for IR and PR.

Features: Press release distribution, social listening, media monitoring, studio features, customizable virtual lobbies, lead generation, town halls, internal communications
Zuddl is an event management platform with several engagement features.

Features: Ticketing & registration, surveys, customizable mobile apps, gamification, Q&A, polls, surveys, exhibit halls, personalized attendee schedule

Online Meeting/Video Chat Platforms:

Ideal for remote team meetings, client communications, job interviews, and real-time/direct communications.
Whova is an event app for comprehensive event management.

Features: Live-streaming, mobile app and devices features, attendee-controlled content, privacy & security, easy event moderation, interactive small-scale presentations
Social27 is a mobile app for event management.

Features: User-generate content, micro videos, chat messaging, AI-driven templates, sponsorships, Virtual Exhibitor Booth Microsites
BigMarker is an online event and marketing platform.

Features: Customizable features, interactive Q&A, AI-powered Speed Networking, breakout rooms, customizable 2D or 3D lobbies, AI-driven matchmaking,
Kaltura is a video-hosting platform with advanced chat capabilities.

Features: Gamification, live-streaming, on-demand content, multiple video languages and sign language, customizable event portfolios, Gen AI tools, polls, surveys
Zoom is a video communication platform stepping into the virtual event world.

Features: Mobile app, production studio, Expo Floor, customizable rooms and spaces, sponsorships, on-demand videos, event branding
Webex Events (previously Socio) is an event management platform.

Features: Live-streaming, Webex Events Studio, gamification, sponsorship tools, on-demand content, ticketing, customizable outreach, Q&A, registration, mobile event app, live display
Livestorm is a webcasting and video engagement platform.

Features: Registration, analytics, customizable rooms and spaces, file sharing, breakout rooms, Q&A, analytics & reporting, conferences and summits, company communication
Hubilo is a webinar software and content management platform.

Features: AI-driven content, on-demand content, customizable features, branding options, email builder, optimized registration, 1-click login, personalized emails, multi-touch campaigns, seamless integration, analytics & reporting
Airmeet is a virtual platform geared toward meetups and workshops.

Features: Personalized emails, interactive booths, branded mobile app experience, speed networking, breakout rooms and lounges, attendee tracker, AI-driven customization
RingCentral Events (formerly Hopin) is an event platform for planning, producing, and attending.

Features: AI-powered content (writer and Q&A management), customizable content, scalability for up to 100,000+ attendees, polls, quizzes, multi-session events, app integrations

Event Apps:

Mobile event apps have proven to be instrumental in providing virtual conferences with an extra level of capabilities aimed at meeting the virtual networking needs for everyone, including attendees, speakers, and event organizers. Additionally, they can be catered for a multitude of event types, including conferences, trade shows, product launches, and much more.
EventMobi: Conferences, trade shows, product launches, customizable content and agendas, video libraries, one-on-one video meetings, breakout rooms, sponsorships
Whova: Live-streaming, mobile app and devices features, attendee-controlled content, privacy & security, easy event moderation, interactive small-scale
presentations
Airmeet: Personalized emails, interactive booths, branded mobile app experience, speed networking, breakout rooms and lounges, attendee tracker, AI-driven customization

Event Registration:

Event registration platforms enable event organizers to manage all registration needs for their event, including email invites, ticketing, and pre-event surveys. Through this, event organizers and attendees are provided with seamless control regarding event updates and notes, so everyone is on the same page once the event starts.
Whova: Live-streaming, mobile app and devices features, attendee-controlled content, privacy & security, easy event moderation, interactive small-scale
presentations

Other Specialized Platforms:

There is a plethora of other platforms out there to assist with specific solutions like ticketing, networking, and more.
SpatialChat: Networking events, virtual fairs, social parties, virtual office, onboarding and strategic sessions, online classes, poster sessions, training workshops
Jugo: Virtual events, product launches, interviews and panels, 3D virtual rooms, next-gen AI green screens

Benefits of Using a Virtual Event Platform like Chati

Virtual event platforms provide a comprehensive assortment of end-to-end benefits and features, including exhibit halls, breakout rooms, and video chat, aimed to increase engagement and connectivity for both attendees and event organizers. Through this, virtual event platforms exceed expectations compared to webcast and video chat platforms, since they are often limited in their provided features.

Chati is proud to offer a comprehensive toolbox of resources with the singular goal of enhancing the virtual and hybrid event experience. The benefits of choosing a virtual event platform like Chati instead of piecing together elements from webcasting platforms, mobile apps, and online meeting/video chat platforms include:

Increased Engagement

Chati’s platform enhances engagement through interactive sessions, real-time feedback tools, and dynamic content delivery, ensuring participants are actively involved throughout the event.

Enriched Networking Capabilities

Chati provides extensive networking features, including ChatiConnect video chat, virtual lounges, and targeted matchmaking, enabling attendees to connect and interact with peers in their industry seamlessly.

Seamless Registration & Ticketing

Chati simplifies registration and ticketing for virtual and hybrid events. From sign-up to check-in, the process is efficient and user-friendly. Chati supports various payments, manages attendee data, customizes forms, and generates real-time reports, ensuring a seamless experience for organizers and participants.

Rich Event Experiences

Chati excels at creating rich, immersive event experiences with virtual reality options and 3D environments that mimic physical locations, offering attendees a visually engaging setting.

Customizable Spaces

Tailor your event space with Chati’s customizable virtual environments, allowing you to align the aesthetics and functionality with your brand identity and event objectives.

Enhanced Information Sharing

Chati enables enriched information sharing by allowing organizers to integrate downloadable assets within the virtual environment, which attendees can save directly to their digital briefcases.

Flexibility & Scalability

Chati’s platform is designed to flexibly scale, accommodating anything from small meetings to large-scale international conferences, adapting various interactive tools to suit each event’s specific needs.

Measurable Success

Chati’s robust analytics and reporting
tools provide detailed insights into attendee behavior, engagement levels, and overall event effectiveness, helping organizers measure success and ROI accurately

Integrations

Chati allows event organizers to incorporate interactive elements such as embedded videos, live streams, and clickable content within the virtual environment, making each session more engaging and informative.

Comprehensive Security

Chati ensures secure and regulated access to events with advanced permission settings and attendee verification processes, providing a safe and exclusive experience for all participants.

Real-Time Communication Tools

With features like instant messaging, voice chats, and dedicated discussion forums, Chati facilitates seamless communication among attendees, enhancing collaboration and networking opportunities.

Sustainable Event Practices

Chati supports eco-friendly event practices by minimizing the carbon footprint associated with travel and venue management, promoting a more sustainable approach to hosting events.

Conclusions

While virtual events existed for years before the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdowns and continued sheltering from the virus forced virtual events to take a front seat in connecting individuals from all over the world for their networking needs. This enabled the creation of countless online platforms aimed at providing event organizers and attendees the appropriate tools and resources for hosting and attending online events, including virtual event platforms, webcast platforms, and online meeting platforms.

However, it’s vital to conduct your research regarding which platform type is best for you. For example, while virtual event platforms provide end-to-end services for virtual events with small learning curves, webcast and meeting platforms tend to be limited in their features and scope, including only being able to host small groups and often have steep learning curves.
This is why Chati is proud to provide companies from all over the world with countless features and benefits designed to meet the need of both event organizers and attendees, including 3D virtual spaces, breakout rooms, and ChatiConnect Video Chat, just to name a few. Through this, Chati has become a leading platform for virtual events for your virtual networking needs by connecting people from all over the world.

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