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Conference Compass Virtual Event Platform [Review]

By Victoria Copans

Conference Compass is an all-in-one platform that includes mobile and web apps and offers features for virtual, hybrid, and live events. Here is our review.

 

 

Conference Compass Virtual Event Platform: What Is It?

Conference Compass' #OneCommunity virtual event platform is an add-on to its 365 Community Mobile Platform and CMS. The platform is available on native mobile, tablet, and web apps to allow attendees to join and engage in different ways. It can be used for fully virtual or hybrid events and includes features specifically designed to connect virtual and in-person audiences.

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The platform is fully customizable, from the branding to the homepage layout. It includes built-in streaming capabilities, meaning that planners do not have to rely on third-party tools like Zoom for video, although they have the option to use external streams if preferred.

The platform comes with a variety of engagement features, such as live polls, chat, and Q&A. Through the backend, planners also have access to event analytics, including event installations, app use, and page views.

 

Main Feature Categories

Branding and Customization. Conference Compass allows for full customization of its mobile and virtual event platforms, as well as email invitations and notifications that are sent out from the platform. Users can select their desired color scheme and add logos or images to be included on the home page and/or in emails. In addition, the content and order of the homepage tiles can be customized with a drag-and-drop interface based on the event needs.

Access, Functionality, and Integrations. Conference Compass is a secure platform that creates unique URLs for each user to avoid overlap for different customer databases and is fully GDPR compliant. The platform supports SSO, and it also integrates with other tools to enable planners to directly upload their attendee lists and other event data, which update on the platform in real-time.

Program. A major part of the platform is the program, which allows for multiple tracks and which attendees can customize based on the sessions they are interested in attending. They can filter the program by criteria such as session type, search for specific sessions, and bookmark sessions. The program also allows for company logos to be displayed for sponsored sessions and for resources such as posters and presentations to be added to sessions.

Visibility and Interaction. The platform's native video and engagement features allow attendees, speakers, and moderators to interact in a variety of ways. It supports several session formats, including speaker and slide presentations, panel discussions, and poster sessions/roundtable discussions. During slide presentations and panel discussions, attendees can participate in Q&A, chat, and live polls. They can also view who else is in the session and network with other attendees. In roundtable sessions, attendees participate with the platform's native video and audio streams, and they can also view other attendees' profiles in order to chat or schedule meetings with them.

 

Review

Conference Compass includes both a virtual event platform and a mobile app for attendees to engage with, as well as a full backend CMS for planners to build out their event, manage the experience, and view reports following the event. The platform uses native video and audio features and therefore does not require any external live-streaming tools.

Attendees receive personalized email invitations to download the app or access the website, where they are then prompted to create a profile or log in with an existing one. The virtual event platform includes a newly-built landing page with customizable tiles, such as Program, Upcoming Sessions, and Exhibitors. It also allows planners to embed videos — either a live stream or pre-recorded content — and add branded banners for sponsors.

Moderators and speakers receive their own invitations, through which they can access dedicated dashboards for the sessions they are participating in, whether speaker and slide presentations or panel discussions. Sessions are automatically recorded and can be uploaded as on-demand videos following each session. In addition, speakers have the option of pre-recording videos directly on the platform, which can then be played by the moderator during their session.

Moderators are in charge of opening rooms when a session is starting, where they can show a welcome slide as attendees enter. Moderators also control who is being broadcast at any given time and can enable or disable certain features during the session, including chat and the attendee list. They can also filter and edit questions before they are made visible to the attendees and speaker.

Assuming all of the features are made available, attendees can send messages to the session group chat, send questions to the moderator, upvote questions that have already been asked, and participate in live polls that are prompted by the speaker. They can also view other attendees in the session and network by clicking on each other's profiles to schedule a one-on-one meeting. They are then provided a link to a private video room through the platform.

For hybrid events, in-person attendees are able to access the same information as virtual participants through the mobile app, where they can participate in the same live polls, chats etc. They can also connect to video through the platform on their phone or laptop while at the physical event in order to network with virtual attendees.

The platform also allows speakers and sponsors to host roundtable discussions or poster sessions, which are capped at 15 attendees. The host can upload a poster, slides, or other materials that they would like to present. These sessions are not moderated and allow attendees to participate with their camera and microphone. Attendees can also select which screen (speaker or slides) they prefer to have as their main screen, and they can toggle between the two as desired throughout the session.

 

Who’s it for?

Conference Compass is geared towards conference organizers and corporate meeting planners who are looking for a virtual or hybrid solution for their events. It is particularly useful for events in medical or scientific fields thanks to the ability to include posters within the app and host dedicated poster sessions. It is also ideal for organizers who do not wish to use a third-party live-streaming tool, as Conference Compass includes native video capabilities.

 

Who’s it not for?

Event organizers who need to be able to manage session registration and attendance may find that the tool does not meet their needs as this particular feature is not available with Conference Compass. The platform may also not be ideal for planners who already have subscriptions to third-party streaming platforms that they are looking to use for their event since Conference Compass already includes built-in streaming capabilities, and foregoing them means missing out on some of the platform's most engaging features.

 

Features

Native video and audio: Conference Compass' virtual event platform includes built-in video and audio features that power live and pre-recorded sessions, roundtable discussions, and networking meetings, which contributes to a distinct look and feel as well as decreased latency.

Moderator and speaker dashboards: Moderators and speakers receive access to their own dashboards for their sessions, which is distinct from the attendee view. From their dashboard, moderators have a complete overview of their sessions and can control when the room opens, who is being broadcast, whether the session format involves a speaker and slides or a panel discussion, which questions are shown to attendees, etc. Speakers, on the other hand, have full control over their slides and can also share their screen when needed and start live polls.

 

Pre-recorded videos: Speakers have the option of pre-recording videos and presentations from within the speaker dashboard using the platform's native video capability. These recordings are then saved and can later be played back by the moderator during the relevant session.

Live polls and Q&A: During slide and speaker sessions as well as panel discussions, speakers can engage attendees through live polls and questions. Attendees can send questions through the platform at any time, which moderators then filter and approve for the speaker and the rest of the attendees to see. Speakers can also initiate a poll during their presentations by entering a question and displaying it to attendees. They can then enable the poll and set a timer so that attendees can submit their responses and view results in real-time.

Poster sessions: In addition to moderated sessions, Conference Compass supports roundtable/poster discussions. These virtual rooms are limited to 15 attendees plus the host and allow participants to engage in a more intimate discussion. Presenters can upload their poster and move it around or zoom in as they discuss it, and attendees can participate with video and audio.

Automatic session recording: The platform automatically records sessions when broadcasting begins. The recordings are then processed and saved within the platform, and can be added to sessions as on-demand videos once the session has ended.

Drag-and-drop interface: The mobile and web app homepages can be easily customized with the tool's drag-and-drop interface. Tiles can be added and moved when building the event depending on what the planner would like to highlight.

Groups: Organizers can place attendees into different groups and restrict certain sections of the app to certain groups. They can also use groups to easily designate which attendees should receive specific push notifications.

Newsfeed: The platform includes a newsfeed, where attendees and organizers can share information, updates, and insights and can include photo and video content.

Banners and logos: Some of the platform's sponsorship features are company logos and branded banners. Banners appear on the homepage of both the web and mobile apps and can rotate through various different sponsor messages. In addition, sponsor logos can be highlighted throughout the platform, such as on the event program.

Appointment scheduling: Attendees can network within the platform by clicking on either other's names or videos during sessions and can then schedule one-on-one meetings to connect further. The platform generates meeting invitations for participants as well as links to private virtual rooms. In-person attendees can also access these virtual rooms from a physical event through the app in order to connect with virtual attendees.

Analytics: The platform includes event analytics that planners can access from the backend, including event installations and use, page views, and popular items. These reports can also be exported from the platform.

 

Pricing and Plans

Conference Compass' integrated virtual event platform is an add-on to its Community Mobile Platform, which requires the purchase of an event plus a web app with its Premium or Premium+ service. These tiers start at €6,500 ($7,700).

The Virtual Event add-on requires an additional fee, which starts at €5 ($5.90) per user, per day and decreases for larger audiences.

 

Pros and Cons

PROS
  • Platform is fully customizable
  • Built-in live streaming capabilities and automatic session recording
  • Ability to pre-record sessions in advance and playback during live sessions
  • No attendee limit for sessions with speakers and moderators
  • GDPR compliance
  • Live training, email support and 24/7 phone support
    CONS
    • Session registration not available
    • Not possible to include overlays during live sessions

     

    In Conclusion

    As an extension of its CMS and mobile app platform, Conference Compass' virtual event platform aims to facilitate both virtual and hybrid events as these formats become integral to the events industry.

    The platform's ability to connect both live and virtual attendees makes it an ideal solution for hybrid events, while its native video and audio enable participants to join the event without the use of an external tool. Organizers of large conferences, particularly in scientific fields, will get the most out of the platform's robust feature suite.

    If you would like to contact Conference Compass or schedule a demo, click here.

    Disclaimer: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.

     

    about the author

    Victoria Copans
    Victoria Copans is a Vermont-based writer, editor, and translator who's been planning events since grade school. She worked at an events agency before transitioning to writing about the industry.
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