The Creative Toolkit for Marketers

Top 5 Virtual Event and Webinar Streaming Services

Apr 27, 2020 10:19:03 AM / by Chelsea Sassara

Woman sitting at desk attending a live virtual webinar on her computer

 

Virtual events, live-streaming, and webinars are on the rise thanks to impressive technology and online, global access. This type of deliverable content is also seeing a spike in popularity due to a shifting work-from-home culture amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

There are many benefits to hosting virtual events, including the ability for people around the world to attend and the interactive features that allow attendees to participate and collaborate with one another and with the presented content.

 

Deciding to host a virtual event – whether it’s a conference, product launch, training course, or TED Talk-type lecture – may be an easy one but figuring out how to do so probably isn’t as simple.

 

A big part of the success of a virtual event is where it’s hosted. The streaming service or platform. And there are dozens to choose from.

 

As a creative marketing agency that specializes in video, animation, and dynamic presentations, we are learning the ins and outs of virtual event production alongside many of you and have conducted research to better understand this event strategy. 

 

This article will lay out the top 5 virtual event streaming services, in no particular order, based on customer reviews, services offered, features, and pricing.

 

1. BigMarker 

BigMarker is a video platform for webinars, summits, and virtual conferences. On its website, BigMarker boasts its technology which “helps people turn dull monologues into engaging conversations that activate audiences and build stronger relationships.”

 

  • Services
    • Live webinars
    • Web summits and series
    • Live streams and webcasts
    • Automated webinars
    • On-demand video
    • Webinar marketing

 

One of the main selling points for BigMarker is its webinars run in the cloud through a web browser meaning no download is necessary – something your attendees will likely appreciate.

 

  • Features
    • Embeddable video player which is ideal for pre-recorded content.
    • Lead forms
    • Polls
    • Q&A
    • Stream to Facebook and YouTube

 

Some of BigMarker’s clients, according to their website, include Google, Samsung, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Wells Fargo, and Waze.

 

  • Pricing
    • Starter
      • $79/mo
      • Up to 100 attendees
    • Elite
      • $159/mo
      • Up to 500 attendees
    • Summit
      • $299/mo
      • Up to 1,000 attendees
    • White label
      • Needs to contact BigMarker for pricing options
      • Up to 10,000 attendees

 

BigMarker is transparent about their pricing options and the features that come with each tier on their website. They also offer a free 7-day trial.

 

2. vFairs

vFairs highlights its ability to give you “all the ingredients to host a successful virtual event.” vFairs supports virtual events with audiences of scale and reporting capabilities. Its services are broken down into 3 main categories: organizations, corporations, and universities.

 

  • Services
    • Virtual conferences
    • Job and career fairs
    • Trade shows
    • Onboarding fairs
    • Alumni networking events

 

vFairs offers 24/7 global customer support, multi-lingual support, and its products are mobile compliant and accessible.

 

  • Features
    • Custom registration forms
    • Virtual lobby for attendees
    • Information desk
    • Interactivity tools
    • Q&A
    • Polls

 

Clients include, but aren’t limited to, Nestle, American Airlines, Six Flags, T-Mobile, and Ford.

 

  • Pricing

vFairs does not explicitly list pricing options on its website, but according to one of its educational guides, the cost of a virtual event starts around $8,000.

 

vFairs has an extensive learning hub of educational content on their website to learn more about virtual events.

 

3. Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect supports businesses including enterprise-level corporations, government organizations, and schools with web conferencing capabilities. Its website highlights its multilayered security approach – a big selling point for some of their clients including the U.S. Department of Defense.

 

  • Services
    • Webinars
    • Meeting rooms
    • Live virtual classrooms

 

Adobe Connect offers webinars, daily demos, and on-demand recordings on how to use their services.

 

  • Features
    • Screen/document sharing
    • Polls
    • Q&A
    • Chat
    • Rich media sharing
    • Customizable layouts

 

Other clients of Adobe Connect, besides the U.S. Department of Defense, include SAP, Toshiba, and Johns Hopkins University.

 

  • Pricing
    • Webinars
      • $130/mo for up to 100 participants
      • $470/mo for up to 500 participants
      • $580/mo for up to 1,000 participants
      • Must contact the sales department for requests of more than 1,000 participants
    • Meetings
      • $50/mo
      • Meeting with up to 25 participants
    • Learning
      • $370/mo
      • Virtual classroom with up to 200 participants

 

If you’d like to get a sneak peek at Adobe Connect, it does offer a free 90-day trial period for meetings which can host up for 25 participants.

 

4. Livestream (from Vimeo)

Vimeo is a popular video platform so it’s no surprise that it offers end-to-end streaming solutions. Livestream boasts unlimited viewership for most users, as well as options for brand control including adding your logo or sponsors to your stream.

 

  • Services
    • Virtual events
    • Conferences
    • Meetings
    • Trainings

 

Livestream utilizes Vimeo’s internal video gallery which is a centralized portal where you can publish, manage, control access, and archive all your corporate videos in one place.

  • Features
    • Live polls
    • Q&A
    • Audience chat
    • Analytics
    • Video management
    • Live production

 

Livestream has a long list of clients including LinkedIn, lululemon, Toyota, Sony, and Spotify.

 

  • Pricing
    • Premium
      • $75/mo
      • Ideal for small organizations
    • Enterprise
      • Must contact sales for pricing options
      • Ideal for larger organizations

 

Users can also stream their content to Facebook Live, YouTube, Periscope, and Twitch with Livestream’s Simulcast dashboard.

 

5. WebinarJam

WebinarJam sells itself as the online live virtual events streaming platform for anyone: anyone who is looking to connect with an audience, sell a product, coach a program, etc. It offers hybrid webinars, meaning you could play pre-recorded content during a live webinar.

 

  • Services
    • Live webinars
    • Pre-recorded webinars
    • Recurring webinar series
    • Event page builders

 

WebinarJam uses cloud-based broadcasting technology and allows up to 5,000 participants in a single presentation.

 

  • Features
    • Live chat
    • Polls and surveys
    • Video injections
    • Automated recordings
    • Mobile friendly

 

WebinarJam anticipates the fear of failing technology with a “panic button” feature. If you’re detecting technical issues, you can click the panic button and the system will immediately boot up a new live room while automatically transferring all the presenters and attendees into it.

 

  • Pricing
    • Basic
      • $499/year
      • Unlimited webinars
      • Up to 500 attendees
      • 2 hours max duration
    • Professional
      • $699/year
      • Unlimited webinars
      • Up to 2,000 attendees
      • 3 hours max duration
      • Panic button
    • Enterprise
      • $999/year
      • Unlimited webinars
      • Up to 5,000 attendees
      • 4 hours max duration
      • Panic button

 

WebinarJam also hosts a library of on-demand webinars from more than 3,000 creators spanning an array of topics such as fitness, finance, parenting, cooking, gaming, beauty, home and gardening, and much more.

 

Finding the right streaming platform 

If you’re new to holding virtual events and live webinars, finding the right streaming platform can be overwhelming due in part to the long list of options. However, finding the right fit doesn’t necessarily need to be the first decision you make when planning a virtual event. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be the first decision.

 

Start organizing your event by identifying your budget, the number of attendees you expect, whether you want to sprinkle in pre-recorded content, and how you want to interact with the audience, and you will be able to whittle down the list of options. 

 

If you need help outlining the elements of your event, download our free virtual event creative brief to start planning today.

 

VIRTUAL EVENT CREATIVE BRIEF

Tags: Live-streaming virtual event, Virtual events, webinars, live-streaming, remote events, live conferences, remote conferences

Chelsea Sassara

Written by Chelsea Sassara

Chelsea Sassara is a Content Manager at VMG Studios. Chelsea is an Emmy award winning journalist with a background in local TV news. She loves to write, her dog & cat, the Pacific Northwest, and the Oregon Ducks.

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