Top ten virtual event platforms for charities

From conferences to fundraising campaigning, the Covid-19 health crisis has radically altered how charities manage their events.

With social distancing restrictions in place face to face events have either been cancelled or postponed.

In their place charities have successfully turned to digital solutions by staging live streaming events. This has enabled staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, and stakeholders to still watch and take part during a difficult time for charities.

Many charities have found such virtual events simple and cost-effective alternatives to in-person events.

As lockdown eases virtual events are set to continue, mainly as part of hybrid event management plans that combine digital and face to face participation.

Ahead of this ‘new normal’ for charity events we look at some of the digital event platforms available to the sector.

Zoom

Whether staging a one to one meeting or a conference with a 1,000 strong audience, Zoom has been a staple for charity event managers in recent years.

Its range of paid for plans allow charities to organise events to suit different audience sizes.

For example, a £119.9 a year licence offers charities the chance to stage small meetings of up to 100 participations. Meanwhile, plans starting at £480 cover a 1,000 strong audience.

GiveStar

Previously called TapSimple, fundraising platform GiveStar offers a range of virtual event tools aimed at the charity sector.

This includes video conference, live stream and ticketing functions as well as built in fundraising features for attendees to donate during the virtual event.

Enthuse

Enthuse is another fundraising platform that offers virtual event options for charities, including virtual runs and quizzes.

This includes tools to stage virtual fitness challenges such as race day events. It allows those taking part to set targets as well as post automated milestones to online fundraising pages.

BigMarker

A range of tools to customise events is a key selling point of virtual event platforms such as BigMarker. It offers a range of features for a variety of events, from webinars, summits and virtual conferences.

Options cover elements of a virtual event such as welcome page, ticketing options as well as check-in, agenda and question and answer sessions.

Pricing ranges from £57 a month for a ‘starter plan’ for 100 attendees to options to host mass events costing up to 10,000 people. There is also a ‘premier option for up to 1,000 attenders, costing £215 a month

Hubb

As well as recorded or live streaming events online Hubb is among platforms highlighting ‘hybrid’ options for events management, which helps charities create a digital element to in-person events or stage separate face to face and virtual sessions within the same conference.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is widely used by a range of sectors and was involved in the running of 4.7m events in 2019. It offers a range of tools to run virtual events such as love video content integration using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Vimeo.

Other virtual event tools on offer through Eventbrite involve attendee emails and reminders as well as options to monitise events and link in online content.

It also offers a range of resources and guides on virtual events issues such as using online hosting platforms to pricing events.

Digital tools to enable virtual coffee mornings and live streaming quizzes are also available.

Tiltify

This platform is suited to charities looking to run gaming and other live streaming fundraising events.

Its range of tools include personal dashboards to manage fundraising, adding incentives into events to donate as well as scheduling an on-screen alert option.



Charities to use Tiltify for virtual event management include Comic Relief, which used it for a Dungeons and Dragons style fundraiser involving comedians including Nish Kumar and Sara Pascoe. This raised £25,000.

Ivent

Ivent has a range of charity specific virtual event tools including running volunteer conferences and seminars.

Webcasting, networking options such as web and video chat as well as social media integration are other tools available though its virtual event options. Pricing options are available on request.

Splash

This platform offers options for running virtual, hybrid as well as in-person events and is integrated with a raft of live streaming and video platforms, including Zoom, Vimeo and Twitch. Splash can also be linked in with online collaboration platforms including Slack.

Bizzabo

Another events organisation to offer a range of virtual options, such as live streaming and on-demand videos, includes Bizzabo. Functions include a networking and event app as well as measurement options to analyse the performance of events and how it they are driving return on investment.

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