Selecting Webinar Platforms for a Virtual Event If you are weighing holding a virtual event via a Webinar you have four primary platforms to review for holding virtual events. Here is our review of the primary platforms below. Be forewarned each of these platforms has an associated learning curve – expect to spend some time (3-5 hours) just learning how to use the tools for each platform, understanding the user interface and working with “virtual attendees.” WebEx Platform WebEx has great collaboration tools that enable you to easily interact with your audience. The mobile event app can leverage the platform for meetings, online events, webinars, virtual meetings and it can also be used for online training. It can definitely be leveraged to help you improve your productivity and can also be used to via any Smartphone; they have a highly rated mobile app for: iPhone, Android, iPad and Blackberry. ReadyTalk ReadyTalk is a direct competitor to WebEx. They have a self-hosted (minimal support) version and price plans and features that let you select a full-service package or one with a dedicated operator to help you manage your virtual events or meetings. They also have an unlimited conferencing audio broadcast capability. We like their interface and service – they are clearly focused on providing a service with a minimal learning curve and that is easy to use. The event apps can integrate this app and similar features to enhance the user experience. Adobe Connect Adobe Connect has an integrated all in one platform that lends itself well to web conferencing and virtual events, with the ability to host very large events, with up to 1,500 participants in a virtual event. Their platform is geared for front end market analysis – you have the ability to collect registration information and then overlay this with behavior during an event. Giving you a good snapshot of the attendees that are participating in your online event. You can share the event link with you conference app before the event and keep the attendess posted with notifications. Citrix Citrix provides Go To Meeting and virtual webinar services. Their service can be used for small events, with just ten attendees or with groups up to 1,000 attendees. This is a pure web-based platform and it can also be used for training events. We like their unlimited usage fees with a flat monthly fee that make this service very cost effective. Their GoToMeeting conferencing software is integrated with the internet, audio and even HighDeffinition Video, with collaboration with up to twenty-five people. Again, each of these virtual conference app platforms has an associated learning curve. Create an account and test it with a virtual meeting or event with your staff to make sure you are comfortable using the platform.