Our Top 5 Tools for all your Customer Events in 2021
FEBRUARY, 16 / 2021
From invitation management and video platforms, to audience engagement and event analytics, you need to try these best of breed tools - and their killer features - in your next customer event.
When it comes to physical, hybrid and virtual events, you need more than just a knowledgeable, engaging presenter to get your target audience in attendance and keep them engaged throughout the agenda. With the majority of customer events taking place virtually for the foreseeable future, investing in the right platforms is key.

Using the right tools means your event will stand out to your customers. You'll have the best chance of capturing your audience's attention from beginning to end, and opening up the next interaction to move them closer to acquisition, activation, or retention, as the case my be. It's win-win.

While there are literally hundreds of options when it comes to customer event tools, and new platforms emerging every month, we've used our tech know-how, and years of experience to decipher the best of the best.

Here are our top 5 tools for customer events across all aspects of event management including before, during and after your event.
1. Invitation Management
No event is immune from the need to get the right people in attendance. Invitation management is therefore a crucial area to get right. Ensuring an on-brand experience for your event participants from the very first interaction is key. From invite distribution and RSVP management, to payment collections and pre-event participant correspondence, there is a swathe of crucial aspects to get right.
Our pick for Invitation Management: Luma
Although relative new having launched in April 2020, Luma is already a hit in the invite management space. Luma was featured in TechCrunch just a week after launch, being hailed as a total game-changer when it comes to hosting online events. And that's where it sits apart from other, more long-standing, invite management options. It was specifically designed for online events and it has evolved and been updated to keep up with the crazy explosion in variety of online events.

Their free version enables you to produce a customisable events page with everything you need for guests to sign up, make a payment, or give donations. Their paid version gives you more options when it comes to repeat activities, to make it easier for remote communities — like tutors and their students, or fitness instructors and their dedicated followers — to stay connected.

Luma's Killer Feature - Attendance Tracking

Attendees are sent a unique join link via email (although they don't need to register or sign in to a Luma account themselves) which means event hosts can see exactly who joins the event, how long for, and from where in the world. Unique joining links also mean hosts can see if guests share their link, and with whom, helping you amplify your event reach as well as protect your event from unwanted visitors.
2. Video Conferencing
We all know video conferencing is so hot right now, so it's no surprise that trying to pin down the very best video conferencing platform is a hard task. We've whittled it down to these top two, which both have their pros and cons, but ultimately will do a top job for virtual events depending on your specific needs.

Top Contender: Microsoft Teams

For large corporations or just regular size businesses who would like a raft of support and security features behind them, Microsoft Teams is a step up from Microsoft's first video conferencing baby, Skype. With better audio and video than Skype ever had, Teams allows for complete integration with the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite. Not a problem if you're one of the vast majority of organisations already utilising 365, but it doesn't come cheap.

Teams works natively on laptops and hubs, and allows good screen-share capability, especially when paired with collaboration tools, like Mural, or Microsoft Whiteboard. Teams makes it easy to create breakout groups and different channels, and saves conversation for up to 15 days. Recordings will be automatically uploaded to teams and translated to text, with the ability to store all assets in one place — SharePoint; Microsoft's "intelligent intranet".

Microsoft Teams' Killer Feature - Auditorium Mode

Microsoft Teams Rooms provides a gateway to hybrid events for local and remote working teams — a key feature in today's working world as we flex and evolve with the changing times.
Our Pick: Zoom
Whilst Zoom has been quietly going about its business, providing quality video conferencing since 2013, it's come to the forefront of everyone's consciousness since 2020. The sudden and unexpected impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on remote working practises skyrocketed Zoom into the spotlight. Like Skype before it, Zoom has become an everyday part of our language, but is it better? Well, probably, yes.

A major hiccup in Zoom's recent history, the prevalence of Zoombombing and other security concerns, were a temporary turn-off for many in early 2020. However, they regrouped and came back with bigger and better security measures and a newly released Trust Centre for all things compliance, security, safety, and privacy.

Zoom keeps topping the charts of video conferencing rankings and it's mostly down to their inclusion of features and app integration. If you can think of a feature you'd like from your video conferencing platform, Zoom's probably got it. They're not resting on their laurels either, consistently evolving and improving as uptake requires. Zoom's free platform includes enough tech options that mean it's suitable even for most business use, but their paid plans cater to more complex use for larger corporations too.

Zoom's Killer Feature - Breakout Rooms

Zoom's breakout rooms feature are far more user friendly than that of Teams. Depending on your Zoom account, you can have up to 100 breakout rooms, catering to 1000 participants, to allow for really in-depth, focussed working for even the largest gatherings. Participants can ask for your help from within a breakout and you can send messages, and set a timer, to let your audience know when it's time to return to the main session. Participants can now choose their own breakout room, and move between them, for total submersion, although of course, the host (and co-hosts) will retain privileges to keep the agenda on track. It's about as real-life as a virtual conference gets.
3. Audience Polling
Turning your one way presentation into a vibrant conversation is not easy task but with a multitude of platforms on the markets, the objective is closer in sight than ever before. A strong polling system can take your attempts at Q&A and other live audience engagement to the next level.
Our Pick: Slido
While there are various options when it comes to audience engagement — Mentimeter, Mural, Glisser, Poll Everywhere, and Pigeonhole to name a few well-regarded options — Slido keeps coming out on top in polls across the world. Mentimeter is arguably Slido's closest competitor (there are just a few differences between the two) and both are highly regarded as impressive ways to harness and, most importantly, keep your audience's attention throughout your event.

Slido fans the flames of competition with interactive quizzes and makes Q&A sessions come to life with live results tracking. Anonymous question submitting means even those trickiest of subjects can be broached without embarrassment or awkwardness. Slido can already be integrated into Microsoft Teams, will become Zoom-friendly this year, and there's behind the scenes support available 24/7. So far so good.

Slido's Killer Feature - Interactive Q&A and polling

But what do we think makes Slido best? There are two main features that Slido facilitates that Mentimeter doesn't; the ability to upvote questions, to show in realtime what the audience thinks are the most pressing topics, and the ability to share with social media. Because let's face it, we all know social media is where it's at. Brand new to Slido's poll feature, is the Ranking Poll option, meaning you can ask questions, and get answers, in the most democratic of ways.
4. Presentation Analytics
Arguably the most powerful insights you can obtain from any event is the performance of your presentation content and granular audience member engagement analysis to drive timely follow up actions. The search if over; Look no further.
Meet Superslide
Upgrade your customer events analytics from analogue to digital, with Superslide. Superslide is a lightweight, easy-to-use tool that allows you to engage your audience and capture actionable insights, based on what your audience actually does — not what they say they do. Applicable right across the customer lifecycle, from marketing and events, to sales and success, Superslide gives you the data you need at every step of the way.

Superslide offers three levels of package to suit all businesses; Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. Even the basic Starter package allows unlimited presentations to be uploaded and edited, equipped with specific tracking QR codes to quantify engagement, and a customised report to review your event stats. Our analysis can gauge the depth of engagement; from views and likes, to requesting copies, and sharing links, helping tailor your next best actions to convert every maybe, into a definitely.

Superslide's Killer Feature - Personalised Performance Reports

The Superslide Performance Report gives users both a snapshot of headline stats, as well as more in-depth content and audience observations. The report can be quickly and easily shared with the wider team to ensure swift follow-up and conversion on the right topics of interest, by the right person. And the underlying data can be exported and added to your preferred Sales or Marketing Automation tool. Game changing.
5. Post Event Follow up
The job is far from over once your presenters are off stage and, the attendees have filed out or logged off. Rather, the task to measure your event performance and its ROI to your business stakeholders is just beginning. A best in class feedback platform will make your life a whole lot simpler and arm you with the data you have been craving.
Our pick: Qualtrics
Qualtrics is an award-winning tool divides into four levels; Qualtrics Survey, a limited but workable free plan, and Qualtrics CoreXM Standard, Advanced, and Professional. While there's no doubt Qualtrics can sit towards the higher end in terms of pricing, depending on the version you opt for, it's the go-to for professional online surveys with customisation and intuitive analysis that's second to none.

Qualtrics CoreXM users can have an unlimited number of surveys open, with unlimited numbers of questions in each, each with over 1000 respondents (whilst free plan users are capped at 1 active survey, with 15 questions, and 100 respondents). Although some may report the UI is overly fussy, after a steep learning curve, the numerous options are worth it, allowing for flexible design and editing, and flawless fielding, reporting, and analysis.

Qualtrics' Killer Feature - AI Logic

We love the Survey Logic features, such as Skip Logic, where depending on your respondent's answers, they will be automatically advanced onto the next relevant question. Not only pinpointing the useful data for you, skipping irrelevant content shows your audience that you value their time.
So, what's your super slide?
Today, Superslide users span companies from all major sectors, from Technology startups and Financial Services, to Professional Services and more. They see lead volumes and quality rising, more deals closing and, customers activating faster and being retained for longer.

They've found their Superslide, have you? Get started with Superslide today. And start getting analytics on all your presentations with Google Slides.

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