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10 Best Apps for Virtual Events and Trade Shows
Going Virtual with Madison Avenue, Inc.

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Many meeting and event planners and their teams have been forced to make huge decisions in a very short period of time on whether to cancel, postpone, or transform their normally in-person events into fully digital events. If you’re one of the many that are opting for the fully digital route, you’re probably in need of an online platform like yesterday. Not only do you need an online platform fast - you need one that is a good fit for your specific event. With an abundance of apps and platforms on the market, how do you choose which one is best for your event? We’re here to help; here are the top expert recommended free and paid apps for hosting virtual events.

1. 3D Virtual Experience
2. Interactive Webinar

3D Virtual Experience:

1. 6Connex
6Connex is a virtual events platform that gives users the ability to host entirely virtual trade shows, job fairs, summits, benefits fairs, and establish an e-learning program for your organization. The 3D virtual environment is cloud based, branded, and highly customizable. 6Connex is developed with HTML5 allowing attendees to access your virtual event from any device and browser. Since 6Connex is hosted in the cloud, its platform capacity is virtually unlimited, meaning you can host virtual events with anywhere from a few to a few thousand guests. Each license includes real-time analytics and reporting, which can be accessed at any time. Here is a brief overview of 6Connex’s virtual experience and platform:

Virtual Experience: (Custom pricing)

  • Microsite Landing Page - Promotion, attendee registration, and virtual lobby access
  • Virtual Lobby - Greet attendees with a virtual host or a drop down welcome video
  • Navigation Bar - Customizable hot buttons invite attendees to visit other rooms and locations within the virtual venue
  • Auditorium - Attendees can choose from either live or pre-recorded webcast sessions
  • Webcast Sessions - Slides, audio, video, webcam, and screen share presentations
  • Webcast Subtitles - 100+ Languages
  • Live Q&A Sessions - Both live and pre-recorded webcasts
  • Social Media Integrations
  • Exhibition Hall - Attendees can engage with organizer’s partners through booths and matchmaking rooms
  • Pre-designed Template or Custom Built Booths
  • Information Kiosk - Stores documents, images, videos, and links
  • Attendee Virtual Briefcases - Attendees can view and save event materials to virtual briefcases
  • Live Booth Representatives - Direct communication between attendees and booth reps via live text chat (includes real-time translation across 50+ languages)
  • Skype Integration - Allows direct voice and video chat between booth reps and attendees
  • Resource Center - Serves as a library for all information that attendees can view, access, and save to their virtual briefcases
  • Networking Lounge - Designed for open communication between attendees, speakers, and subject matter experts through live text chat
  • Networking Tool - Attendees can search for and engage with like-minded individuals at any time through one-on-one or group chat sessions as well as share virtual business cards and create or join networks based upon shared interests
  • Toolbar Quick Links - Invite attendees to share content to Twitter and Facebook complete with custom messages and hashtags configurable by the organizer

Administrative Tools

  • Organizer Console - Create, design, and manage your virtual environment
  • Set entitlements, access controls, create deploy promotional and follow-up emails, and more.
  • Browser Based Venue Builder - Create your virtual environment by choosing from a gallery of brandable templates or design fully customizable locations
  • No Freeze period - Make instant changes at any time
  • Integrated Content Management System - Create new environments

2. vFairs
vFairs is a virtual event platform that enables organizations to engage audiences online while reducing costs and maximizing reach. Through the vFairs platform, attendees can browse a virtual environment, visit virtual booths, view and download videos, images, and documents, interact with exhibitors through text and video chat, watch webinars, participate in Q&A sessions, and much more. A dedicated event manager is provided to help organizers with every detail. When the virtual event is over, you can access a detailed report to measure results. Learn more about the offered capabilities below:

The Virtual Experience (Custom pricing)

  • Custom Event Landing Page
  • Custom Registration Form
  • Virtual Lobby - Functions as a launchpad guiding attendees to various sections of the event
  • Information Desk - Go-to area for whenever attendees aren’t sure where to go
  • Interactive Exhibitor Booths - Attendees can interact with booths through features such as images, brochures, datasheets, and videos.
  • Virtual Briefcases - Attendees can store any event materials in their virtual briefcases as well as download the materials after the event
  • Interactivity Tools - Booth representatives can engage with attendees through text, audio, or video chat in real time in a group setting or one-on-one
  • Webinars - Attendees can attend speaker webinars and participate in Q&A sessions and polls
  • Post Event Reporting

3. Swapcard
Swapcard features an event app, matchmaking AI, and lead capture in one platform. The Swapcard platform uses Artificial Intelligence to help attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors connect with the right people, content, and sessions. With Swapcard, organizers can customize branding, create agendas, track interactions, moderate content and participant access, live stream, access audience response tools, synchronize with over 20 registration platforms (Cvent, Eventbrite, Salesforce, Aventri, to name a few), and much more. A dedicated project manager is also provided to guide organizers before, during, and after the event. Currently, Swapcard is running a special coronavirus discount, which includes 30% off all virtual events. Here is a brief overview of Swapcard’s free and paid features:

1. Free Networking App

  • Attendees Networking
  • Event Info
  • Onboarding Emails
  • Registration Integration
  • Email and Chat Support
  • Free API

2. Event App and Matchmaking Powered by AI (Between $0.2 - $1.90 per attendee)
All features included in Free app plus:

  • Attendee Meetings
  • Schedule and Widgets
  • Exhibitors and Sponsors List
  • Push Notifications
  • Dedicated Support
  • Analytics

3. Exhibitor Services

  • Matchmaking (Between $27 - 49 per exhibitor)
  • Lead Capture (Between $54 - 99 per exhibitor)
  • Exhibitor Center (Between $10 - 19 per exhibitor)

4. Simulocity SIM-EXPO
Simulocity’s SIM-EXPO is a virtual tradeshow and event platform that creates an interactive attendee experience with a ‘virtual-reality’ feel (minus the headsets). Through the SIM-EXPO platform, organizers have access to virtual exhibitor booths, live events, On-Demand recorded sessions, bookstore, media center, and more. The user interface is custom branded, fully accessible on multiple devices including PC, Mac, and mobile, and provides robust reporting and analytics. More capabilities include:

Virtual Experience (Custom pricing)

  • Interactive Virtual Booths
  • Multimedia and Content-Rich Zones
  • Live Webinars and Pre-recorded Sessions
  • Embeddable Event Apps or Links
  • API integration with your CRM
  • Reporting, Lead Generation, and Analytics
  • Archive Options Available

5. Whova
The highly interactive and engaging Whova app has been a leader in event software since 2014. Whova has received the Best Event App award four years in a row. This virtual conference app gives event organizers the ability to engage audiences before, after, and during the event through in-app gamification, discussion boards, session feedback, live polls, and more. Within the app, each attendee can create a professional profile and upload virtual business cards, which allows them to virtually socialize, connect, and network with other like-minded guests through in-app icebreaker and chat functions. Organizers can also showcase sponsors and exhibitors through mobile sponsor banners, virtual exhibitor halls, lead retrieving tools, company profiles, exhibitor coupons, and online raffles. Whova directly integrates with live streaming services, including Zoom, Google Hangout, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. More features include:

Whova Event App (Custom pricing)

  • Personal Agenda
  • Interactive Maps
  • Document Sharing
  • Note-Taking
  • Custom Branding
  • Push Notifications
  • Live Polling
  • Community Board
  • Gamification
  • Mobile Survey
  • Social Media Integration
  • Attendee SmartProfiles
  • Business Card Scanning and Exchanging
  • One-on-One and Group Chat
  • Attendee Matchmaking and Meeting Scheduler
  • Sponsor Banner Ads
  • Exhibitor Profiles
  • Giveaways and Coupons
  • Targeted Lead Generation

Interactive Webinar:

6. Workcast
Next on the list is Workcast. This cloud-based webinar software allows users to create unique experiences through webinars, webcasts, and virtual events. These virtual experiences offer video embedding, branding capabilities, audience engagement tools (polls, Q&A’s, surveys, and more), integrations with HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua and more, real-time analytics, and reporting. Workcast offers three packages as well as a 14-day free trial. These packages include:

1. Present+ ($145.00 per month)

  • Live and On-demand Webinars for up to 500 Attendees
  • Access to 3 Events Experiences per Month
  • Embed Events on Your Website
  • Webcam and Screen Share
  • Polls
  • Event Reporting
  • HubSpot Workflows
  • PowerPoint Embedded Video

2. Producer ($495.00 per month)
All features included in Present+ package plus:

  • Live and On-demand Webinars and Virtual Events for up to 5,000 Attendees
  • Upload Video Content
  • Simulive (Scheduled Replay)
  • On-Demand Recordings
  • Upload Video Content
  • Access to 5 Event Experiences and 1 Custom Experience

3. Enterprise (Custom pricing)
All features included in Present+ Producer package plus:

  • Virtual Events
  • Live Video Streaming
  • Fully Managed and Supported by Workcast Events and Customer Success Teams
  • Live and On-Demand Webinars, Virtual Events, Live Video Streams and Webcasts for up to 50,000 Attendees
  • Multiple Event Experiences and Custom Experiences
  • Advanced Reporting and Polling
  • Integrations

7. Inxpo
Inxpo is a comprehensive live streaming solution for internal and external broadcasts. With Inxpo, you can deliver high-quality live or on-demand video content to your audience in real-time. You can also syndicate your content with one stream to Facebook, YouTube, Roku, and Apple TV devices. A few big name Inxpo clients include Disney, AT&T, Cisco, IBM, and more. Learn more about Inxpo’s capabilities below:

Inxpo Live Streaming (Custom pricing)

  • Branding and Design Themes
  • Streaming to Any Device
  • Public or Secured Registration
  • Video Analytics
  • Bandwidth Optimization Options
  • Accessibility for Attendees with Disabilities (including vision, hearing, and motor impairment)
  • Enterprise Integrations
  • Audience Engagement Tools (group chats, live Q&A sessions, live Twitter feeds, polls, quizzes, surveys, and more)

8. Engagez
Engagez is a virtual conference software that enables companies to host webinars, live broadcasts, multi-day conferences, virtual events, and online sessions on an all-in-one platform. The platform provides organizers with engaging tools to interact with event attendees, a number of customizable event rooms and embeddable panels, detailed analytics, enterprise level security, and more. Through the Engagez user interface, attendees will experience an entirely virtual event in 2.5D imagery, allowing them to navigate to different on-site locations such as conference and resource centers, exhibit halls, networking lounges, private offices, collaboration rooms, and more just as they would during an in-person event. Unlike most virtual event platforms on the market, Engagez offers a free starter plan. However, this plan only allows for up to 20 attendees. If you are looking to host events with larger audiences, they offer two paid plans with up to 200 attendees. You can also work with the Engagez team to build a custom plan fit for your virtual conference needs. Their three packages include the following features:

1. Starter (Free)

  • Live, Simulive, On-Demand
  • Multiple Sessions and Tracks
  • Integrations
  • 20 Concurrent Attendees
  • 1 Concurrent Active Venue
  • Registration
  • Configurable Locations (entrance, lobby, resource center, conference center, exhibits, social lounge, and more)
  • Confirmation and Reminder Emails
  • Analytics
  • Unlimited Content Storage
  • Email and Chat Support

2. Pro ($399 per month)
All features included in Starter plan plus:

  • 200 Concurrent Attendees

3. Enterprise (Custom pricing)
All features included in Pro plan plus:

  • 200 Concurrent Attendees Included in Starting Price (with the option to upgrade to more attendees)
  • 6 Concurrent Active Venues
  • Unlimited eLearning Courses
  • Support Forum
  • Phone, Email and Chat Support
  • Training
  • Custom Sub-domains

9. RegFox
With RegFox, you can create and build an event page and register attendees for your livestream or pre-recorded content. The user-friendly registration page builder allows users to capture attendee data, set price points, and offer discounts. Your livestream or pre-recorded video can be custom linked, embedded, or uploaded directly to your custom built event page. You can also include PDFs and other assets for paid guests to securely download. RegFox comes with payment processing built in allowing you to set multiple price tiers and attendee workflows. RegFox is priced at .99 cents per attendee, giving you full control on the size of your attendance. A few of the many more features included with RegFox are:

RegFox Features (.99 cents per attendee)

  • Compatible with Popular Streaming Services (YouTube, Zoom, Vimeo, Wistia, and Facebook Live)
  • Instant Funding
  • RealView Event Page Builder (no programmers needed)
  • Embed Event Page to Your Website
  • Check-In App
  • Sell Merchandise
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Branding Control and Design Customization
  • Accept Donations
  • Mobile Responsive
  • Membership Manager
  • Accept Offline Payments
  • Export All Data
  • Conversion Tracking
  • Geo Maps
  • QR Code Assignment
  • Performance Dashboard
  • Mobile Scanning App
  • Event Analytics
  • Unlimited 3rd Party Integration
  • Set Dates for Content to Appear and Disappear
  • Ensure Only Paid Attendees Can Access Digital Content
  • Set Multiple Price Tiers
  • Charge for One Time Access or Lifetime Access
  • Accept Every Major Credit for 2.99% (no other fees)

10. ezTalks Webinar
Lastly, ezTalks Webinar is an all-in-one webinar solution for live, automated, on-demand, and paid webinar hosting. ezTalks Webinar allows hosts to deliver seamless interactive experiences with HD video/audio and collaborative tools such as polls, surveys, whiteboard drawing, and one-on-one or group chats. Webinars are highly reliable with no data loss and can be hosted or joined from anywhere through web, PC, and mobile. From the webinar waiting and live rooms to the registration and thank you pages, the entire webinar process can be custom branded. Other features include screen sharing, cloud recording and storage, webinar, register, and participant reports, scheduling, YouTube and Facebook live streaming, and much more. ezTalks offers a free starter plan which allows one presenter and up to 25 participants. For more presenters and larger audiences, there are three upgraded paid plans as well. Here is a brief overview of these four offered webinar packages:

1. Starter (Free)

  • Up to 25 Webinar Participants
  • 1 Presenter
  • Total 100-minute Duration for All Webinars
  • Live Webinars

2. Standard ($10 per month per host billed annually)
All features included in Starter plan plus:

  • Up to 50 Participants
  • Up to 4 Presenters
  • Unlimited Live Webinars Durations
  • 2GB Cloud Storage
  • 500/mo Recording Online Views

3. Pro ($32 per month per host billed annually)
All features included with Standard plus:

  • Starting at 100 Participants and 25 Presenters
  • Unlimited Webinars Durations
  • 4GB Cloud Storage
  • 2000/mo Recording Online Views
  • Automated Webinars
  • On-demand Webinar
  • Facebook and YouTube Live
  • Registrant Limit
  • Chat Options
  • Reminder Emails
  • Redirect Attendees
  • Custom Thank-You Page

4. Business ($300 per month per host billed annually)
All features included with Standard plus:

  • Starting at 100 Participants (option to add participants)
  • Up to 100 Presenters
  • 10GB Cloud Storage
  • 5000/mo Recording Online Views

For more information on these ten virtual event platforms, pricing, and their offered plans and features, you can visit their websites directly or contact their support teams:

1. 6Connex
2. vFairs
3. Swapcard
5. Whova
6. Workcast
7. Inxpo
8. Engagez
9. RegFox
10. ezTalks Webinar

As technology advances, virtual and hybrid events are becoming more normalized and accepted by meeting and event professionals around the world. Fortunately, the mentioned virtual event platforms have tools and capabilities that aim to help organizers engage with attendees and make digital events feel as close to in-person events as possible (check out our Tips for Keeping Remote Events Engaging). Whether you’re looking to give your attendees a 3D ‘virtual-reality’ experience or leaning more towards an interactive webinar, there are software solutions on the market for you and your event needs.

Like in-person events, a lot of work goes into planning virtual events. To make remote planning and collaborating easy and effective, check out our recent blog posts:

1. 10 Best Online Collaboration Tools of 2020
2. 10 Best Conference Call Services for 2020

Julie McDonald
Written by Julie McDonald

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