The world of online events is more complex than just deciding whether or not you should host a webinar.
Another big question to ask, especially when considering what webinar platform to go with is, how much control you want - or need - over the set up and management of your event.
Like with anything, you need to determine what works best for your business - how much time do you have to dedicate to online events, what level of support do you need, and - of course - what’s your budget. Fully managed events will cost more, but they may be the best option to help you achieve your business goals.
To help you decide what’s best for you, we’ve outlined the differences between self serviced, monitored, and managed events.
This is the most basic option. Essentially, this is when you have access to the webinar platform and create the entire webinar workflow - from invite to event experience to follow up - yourself.
Self service is definitely a flexible way to run your online events - webinars, webcasts and even virtual events can all be done via a self-service experience.
Depending on which platform you use, this can be a relatively easy if somewhat time consuming process. The key is the set-up of the webinar platform itself and the supporting infrastructure. Is the process straightforward? Do you get support from the webinar provider or are you left to your own devices (no pun intended)?
The on-boarding process can make a big difference with self service events, because this is where you learn the platform and get set up for success.
However, the biggest factor when deciding whether self service is right for you is time and budget. With most webinar providers, this will be the least expensive but most time consuming for the marketing team/content creator, but it also provides the greatest amount of control and flexibility, as the events are entirely in your hands. All that you have to do is click to create the planned event experience.
Monitored events are the next level up from the self service experience. With a monitored events service you are responsible for the event setup and delivery of the event within the platform.
However, depending on the platform there will be a support team that can help you through the process.
The key defining characteristic of monitored events is the support provided during your live event. A person or team at the provider will follow your live presentation and basically be on standby for any sort of technical issues and you can request help at any point during the event. However, you take overall ownership of the delivery and ensure your presenters know what to do and how to do it.
Monitored online events are a great tool for seasoned event managers who regularly run events and know their way around webinar platforms. The support offered is there to provide guidance and advice but, ultimately, you are in control of the event experience. This service is more expensive than the self service option, but offers the same flexibility with added security of knowing any issues that come up will be taken care of.
For some people the standard experience or even monitored bespoke support isn’t quite enough. Whether it’s due to lack of resource or wanting to take your online event to the next level, for some, fully managed online events are the best option.
Full disclosure, this option is the most expensive, but in our and our customers’ experience, it can definitely be worth it.
Think of managed events as the ‘white glove’ or ‘red carpet’ treatment. A team at your webinar provider set up the event, registration workflow, reminder emails, run rehearsals, help presenters and publish the event. Most will also provide a dedicated events manager during the live event, who is there to actually run the event with (or for) you. Basically, managed events take the technical set up and running of the event out of your hands, leaving you free to focus on the content and marketing.
While they tend to be a bit pricier than monitored support, if you want to scale up your webinar program or just want the peace of mind of knowing all of the technical specs are taken care of, then managed events are definitely for you.