Bright Vision’s Ben Hull reveals the virtual event platform red flags

Warwickshire-based Bright Vision Events recently made the decision to restructure its board to strengthen the company’s future and announced Ben Hull as managing director. 

Hull spoke to M&IT about the red flags of virtual event platforms and how to enhance the virtual experience for delegates.

Ben Hull

“People have had enough of collaborative tools such as Zoom and Teams and want a dedicated live event platform that can be customised and personalised to their specific event,” Hull told M&IT.

“By using a professional streaming platform, you can massively improve production values, with HD streams and professional vision mixing, bringing in presenters, slides and videos in a dynamic way.”

Hull explained that a suggestion of hosting a corporate event on a platform such as Zoom or Teams should be an instant red flag.

“Even posting a stream direct to video platforms such as YouTube is a concern as it’s in the public domain with little security and no privacy,” he added.

According to Hull, “off-the-shelf” platforms don’t offer any technical support from the presenter or the audience, which jeopardises the virtual experience.

“Suppliers should have their own dedicated solution that provides secure access for the audience. This should be backed up with complete live technical support not only for presenters but the audience too.”

But, Hull explained, when it comes to pricing, more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better product.

“It’s a bit of a myth. With all quality solutions there is an associated cost to deliver a high-end solution but being the most expensive certainly does not guarantee a good supplier.

“Our platform has a minimum cost because we have specialist technicians operating your show and providing the live production support. You simply can’t provide that level of service under a certain price point. However, on the flip side, I have heard of other platforms charging extortionate prices to host what is fundamentally a straightforward stream and that’s frustrating.

“A lot of this is new to many people so seek functionality and service over price.”

No matter how many years of event planning and technical experience you’ve got under your belt, ensuring delegates get an experience as good as, if not better than what they would at a face-to-face event, remains the big challenge.

“Having audience interaction is key, it really allows the audience to feel part of the event,” Hull said.

“Combine this with breakout rooms for face-to-face chats and sponsor zones and guests feel like they are a part of the event.

“Pre and post-event there are many things organisers can do to excite the audience. Conference packs with merchandise and giveaways are popular pre-event and on-demand videos of the show post-event always goes down very well too.”

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