2021 Eventtech Landscape for Online Experiences
[Last Update: April 15th, 2021]
When the event industry was forced online in 2020, software developers got busy.
The pandemic created a new market of opportunity for event technology, spurring the creation of a dizzying array of software products for an industry that had to become increasingly digital.
In a short time, the eventtech landscape became fundamentally changed.
With more and more solutions on the market, it quickly became difficult for organizers to keep track of them all. We searched for an overview to guide us through this continually growing ecosystem of software products, services, and solutions. Nothing quite hit the mark.
So we decided to roll up our sleeves and bring them all together.
Today, we’re proud to share the result.
Overview of our Eventtech Landscape
This comprehensive eventtech landscape consists of 341 tools and solutions to help you bring your event online. Our team combed through hundreds of different resources showcasing the newest developments in event and experience software.
Here you’ll find technologies that will allow you to build and host a myriad of online and virtual events. These tools allow organizers to create any kind of digital event from the ground up, from design, to organization, to marketing, to streaming and broadcasting the event itself.
We’ve organized the many platforms into different categories to allow you to find the right software for your specific needs:
- All-in-one event solutions
- Video conferencing tools
- Event management platforms
- Collaboration tools
- Event marketing software
- Networking and Matchmaking Platforms
Let’s take a closer look at each of these categories.
The biggest category of our online event tech landscape includes all-in-one platforms. The solutions in this category are the most comprehensive event tools available, and the closest organizers can get to a full-service physical venue.
All-in-one platforms contain a variety of functionalities, allowing you to manage many aspects of your event from one place. The available functions that most all-in-one platforms include are Programming & Streaming, Engagement, Event Setup, Networking & Matchmaking, Branding & Sponsoring.
Included in All-in-One platforms are many of the biggest players in the eventtech world, such as Bizzabo, CVent, and Hubilo, but in our research, we found many other tools that may be less well known, but well worth trying. One might even be the next big thing!
3D Environment and Immersive Worlds
Under all-in-one event platforms, we have a subcategory of 3D Environments and Immersive Worlds. 3D Environments and Immersive Worlds transport your attendees inside a virtual, graphical world where participants appear as avatars.
These platforms may use VR or immersive reality to encourage exploration and allow attendees to engage and connect as they navigate and encounter these spaces together.
The nature of these environments can bring a bespoke look or feel to your event. For example, Virbela’s immersive open campus, meetyoo’s virtual event platform or even Allseated’s exVo platform, which can replicate any physical (or imagined) venue in minute detail.
Streaming platforms are those primarily designed to broadcast video content and natively host videos and livestreams. Streaming platforms usually include several interaction options, such as chat or q&a. These tools may be integrated alongside other types of event software to distribute content directly to your audience.
Streaming software includes tools used to produce livestream content. In contrast to streaming platforms, they are not ready-to-use websites or apps where content can be consumed by participants directly. The streaming software is only used for the production of live streams; in addition, a platform must be found via which the content is then distributed to the viewers. Streaming software can usually only be used in conjunction with a streaming platform or an all-in-one platform. A popular example is OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) a free and open-source tool for video recording and live streaming.
Engagement tools are those that encourage attendees to interact with the event and one another through chats, Q&A, polls, quizzes, games and more. Engagement tools are generally used alongside other event solutions (for example, an all-in-one platform). One engagement tool participants may be familiar with is Slido, but there are many other options. For example, Mentimeter creates live word clouds and translations, and Crowdpurr’s social media wall gets your attendees sharing.
Ticketing software includes all tools specializing in event ticket sales and distribution. These providers played a fundamental role before the pandemic, but many have partially or completely switched their business models to online events. TicketTailor’s widget lets organizers post their box office anywhere online, from a website or Facebook page.
Ticketing software providers are increasingly facing competition from all-in-one platforms, which often offer their own integrated ticketing solutions.
Matchmaking & Networking Tools
Matchmaking and networking tools bring your event participants together. Many utilize AI or smart solutions to connect attendees according to shared interests or activities. Others create digital venues for spontaneous connections (such as INTRO.chat), allowing participants to meet and get to know each other as they might in a physical event venue.
Conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Whereby were originally intended for online calls and meetings. However, these platforms have proved useful for implementing larger, digital events. Some conferencing tools include built-in communication and interaction features such as polls, Q&A, chats, and whiteboards. Others have integrations with other tools, maximizing opportunities for engagement and collaboration. One example is Zoom’s integration with Glue Up, which allows organizers to monetize Zoom webinars.
Many collaboration software was not originally designed for digital events. However, as more and more workshops and masterclasses are conducted online, collaboration platforms are increasingly used to visualize content in a creative way. Miro’s integration with the Hopin platform demonstrates this relevance. Mural is another collaborative tool that is increasingly used by online event organizers, to allow participants to collaborate, brainstorm and solve problems together.
Event Management Software
Event management software includes tools designed to simplify the planning and production of events, both for physical and digital events. They include functionalities such as attendee management, payment solutions, scheduling and planning software. Due to the shift to virtual, all-in-one platforms and event management software are increasingly merging and taking over each other’s functions.
Event Marketing Solutions
Your attendee’s time and attention are at a premium. Either by helping you grow your community, hone your message or improve the design of your event to keep it on brand, these tools help engineer and deploy a marketing campaign for maximum reach. Splash is one of the industry leaders in this category, and their recent collaboration with Zoom helps organizers turn straightforward video calls into a special event experience.
As online events become more and more sophisticated, the world of Eventtech continues to grow. This category groups lots of tools that represent new areas of the field and don’t really fit into the other categories. They include tools like Explori, which helps event organizers analyse data from their productions, and PlanA Earth, which measures the environmental impact of your online event. Each of these tools offers new ways for event organizers to augment and enhance the work that they do. Watch this space, as we expect this category to not only grow, but also products from this category to branch off into entirely new segments of Eventtech! HAMILTON inSIGHT is another player that offers lead capture solutions, especially for big events.
The Bottom Line
We hope you enjoy this comprehensive look into the 2021 eventtech landscape for online experiences. Feel free to share it, save it, send it to whoever might be interested! We would love to hear about what you think!
While we worked to make this landscape as comprehensive as possible, this is an industry that is changing rapidly. It’s possible we may have missed platforms, or misclassified something as tools update and evolve. Especially if you’re a platform provider, we would encourage any feedback on how we can improve and update this list. We will continue to keep this ecosystem map updated with the latest developments. Please reach out here if we forgot something!
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PIRATEx Managing Director