Virtual Conference Platform Selection Tips
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Tips To Gather All Relevant Info Before Choosing Your New Virtual Meeting Software

Many organizations skip right to virtual meeting software RFPs and vendor calls. In reality, there’s a lot of prep work you need to do before reaching out to service providers. I know, it takes more time to compile all the data and evaluate your objectives. However, a little work now can save you a lot of money—and vendor vetting headaches—in the long run. You can rest assured that your new virtual meeting tool is up to the task and delivers top value for money since it aligns with your business objectives and L&D requirements. Here’s how to gather all the essential info before choosing your next virtual conference software.

eBook Release:  Virtual Meeting Software: Good For The Present, Great For The Future
eBook Release
Virtual Meeting Software: Good For The Present, Great For The Future
Find the best virtual meeting software for your business.

1. Identify Hidden L&D Gaps

Underneath all the goals, objectives, and outcomes are gaps. In fact, they’re probably the main reason why you’re investing in virtual meeting software. As such, you need to identify hidden areas for improvement. Then determine how virtual conferencing will help you address them. Bear in mind that it’s not a magic cure for all your L&D problems. Every software has its limits, and virtual meeting tools are no exception. On the other hand, its versatility makes it a formidable ally against employee boredom and communication barriers.

2. Create Virtual Meeting Software Evaluation Criteria

Not all virtual meeting software is created equal. Thus, you need to know how to separate the top-notch tools from the rest. How will you weigh all the options? Which features do you need to warrant the investment? Are there any support services you can’t live without? Evaluation criteria help you assess every virtual conference platform based on your online training objectives and needs. This saves time and resources because you know what to look for. For example, tools that don’t have screen sharing or customer training resources are automatically off the list.

3. Evaluate Pricing Options In A Niche-Specific Directory

A system may have all the essential features, but it won’t make the cut if it’s out of your price range. For this reason, you must evaluate all the pricing options beforehand, including the plans, licensing type, and pricing model. While some vendors charge a one-time licensing fee, others offer monthly subscriptions. There are also free options, but these usually have limited features and you must pay to unlock advanced functions. A virtual conference platform directory lets you evaluate pricing options at a glance. You can even filter results by license, model, and deployment type to simplify your search.

4. Establish Social Proof

The right virtual meeting software has social proof, whether it’s positive ratings or client success stories. They should also have an active online presence. For example, the vendor has a social media page where they frequently answer questions and interact with members. Some virtual meeting software providers also have a YouTube channel and user forum for customer outreach. Just make sure that the ratings and reviews are verified. Ideally, the user should have to log in to leave their comments or satisfaction scores or to provide some project details, like their industry and years of experience.

5. Develop A Comparison Checklist

A comparison checklist goes hand-in-hand with your evaluation criteria. Instead of just focusing on how the virtual conference platform must address your needs, it deals with tie-breakers. For instance, which virtual meeting software vendor offers the best support options at the best price? Is there one platform that has customization features the others don’t provide? In short, comparison checklists help you make the tough decisions. Your number one choice might be the most affordable. However, is the second option a better investment based on your use case and online training objectives?

6. Check Out Their Online Knowledge Base

Most software providers have customer training resources to help you troubleshoot and improve ROI. So, check out their online knowledge base to see if it lives up to your expectations. Are there plenty of demo videos and online training tutorials you can share with users who aren’t tech-savvy? Do they have guides or tip sheets that cover some of the functions, like how to record events? Some vendors also have a help desk where you can reach out for individualized support. For example, you submit a trouble ticket and their IT experts respond within X hours. Certain sections of the resource library may be off-limits until you sign up. But you can still peruse the tutorials and product demos that are available to the public.

7. Take A Virtual Meeting Software Test Drive

You can read user reviews and evaluate ratings, but nothing comes close to a free trial or demo. This is due to the fact that you can assess the platform within context. You can see if it suits your team’s skillsets and experience level or if you need to look for another system that’s more intuitive or robust. Some vendors offer limited-time trials while others host live demo events. This gives you the opportunity to see the UI, personalization options, and other key selling points up close. Plus, you can ask questions and explore some of the unconventional uses.

Conclusion

After you do your homework and analyze your buying needs, what’s the next step? It’s time to draft a virtual conference platform RFP with all that relevant info. You can also contact vendors for preliminary quotes to see if they’re even in your price range. For example, they might charge a one-time-licensing fee and you prefer monthly subscriptions. Keep in mind that, in most cases, there’s room for negotiation. Maybe the vendor is willing to adjust the price if you sign a long-term contract, for instance. Or they can expand the support services for an additional fee to improve functionality. It never hurts to ask.

What benefits can virtual meeting tools bring to your SMB? Our eBook shows you how to leverage virtual conferencing for your L&D priorities. Virtual Meeting Software: Good For The Present, Great For The Future is now available for download!

eBook Release: Thinkific
Thinkific
Thinkific’s powerful platform makes it easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale the business you already love. Whether you’re educating 10 students or 10 million, you’ve got the easiest technology and best support in the business.
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