Virtual Event Platform Competitive Landscape

Goals

To identify a list of virtual event platform vendors and develop a competitive matrix of these technology vendors, regarding their pricing structure, features, functionality, and target markets or categories of events. This assists in assessing further investment in a virtual event platform.

Early Findings

  • Virtual event platforms have many features in common with event management platforms, which creates a digital experience for event attendees. The key technologies underlying virtual event platforms are webcasting, webinar and interactive content. Some platforms also provide a mobile app that enhances the user experience.
  • According to software review portal, G2, leading virtual event platforms should allow event organizers to build customized registration forms and landing pages, host live or pre-corded video content, support interactive features (e.g. networking, live chats), manage the ancillary activities of events ranging from registration through to post-event analysis, and scale. These features are expected to support access to events and content and associated ticketing.
  • According to the latest market research on virtual event platforms, the main types of events are "job fairs, trade shows, company conferences, sales-meetings, and summits." Virtual event platforms facilitate the provision of communication, sales&marketing, training, and recruitment services. The communication segment led the market, representing a 35% market share in 2019, while sales&marketing and training services are expected to see noticeable growth between 2020 and 2027.
  • Regarding industry verticals, users in healthcare, education, hospitality, banking&finance, and marketing businesses continue to demonstrate the strong demand for virtual event platforms.
  • While external events dominating the market with more than 40% market share, internal events that facilitate team communications across locations are expected to see significant growth between 2020 and 2017. The trend is spurred by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
  • The North American region is the largest market (over 40% share) of virtual event platforms, in which the US accounted for a significant share in 2019. The Asia Pacific region is expected to experience the fastest growth rate between 2020 and 2027.
  • There is a large number of technology vendors offering software and services associated with virtual events, the major technology vendors are Microsoft Corporation, Cisco Systems, Zoom Video Communications, Cvent, Evenium, SpotMe, Cadence, Cvent Inc., 6Connex Inc., Hubb LLC, vFairs, Eventxtra, George P. Johnson, ALIVE Events, and ALE International.
  • In terms of pricing, annual subscription, monthly subscription, and a charge per event attendee are the common practice. The annual subscription allows the unlimited hosting of events, which likely costs between $2,000 and $8,000 ranging from basic to enterprise plans. Accelevents charges "$3 per attendee for free events or 20% of the ticket price for paid events." Hopin charges customers a monthly fee of $99 for using its basic features.
  • Both Microsoft 365 and Cisco Webex offer users several plans for the subscription. The former charges $10-$57 per user per month, billed annually, while the latter costs approximately $14-$28 per host per month, billed annually ($15 - $31 per host per month if billed annually). Cisco offers a free starter plan as well.

Summary of Early Findings

  • The initial hour of research has identified a list of major technology vendors, standard platform features, and their target markets or types of events. However, there appears to be limited market information on whether the standard features of virtual event platforms should cover such functions as a donation, live-streaming encoders, and the support for hybrid events. Pricing information is also expected to be unavailable for some vendors.
  • However, the detailed information on pricing and functions/sub-features could only be uncovered through case-by-case analysis of each technology vendor. Further research will focus on developing a competitive matrix of these vendors and assessing their pricing structure, features and functions, please see the example in the attached spreadsheet.

Research proposal:

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