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Live Event Platforms 101: Finding the right fit for your business

alt="live event platforms - generic image of a live video event"

Before the fax machine, we had carrier pigeons. Before telephones, we had the morse code. Then came the internet, and the rest is history. We find ourselves at a critical juncture in the history of communication. The Covid 19 pandemic amplified our reliance on new technology to communicate with others, at home and at work. With businesses carrying out more and more of their activities remotely, it’s now more important than ever to invest in software that brings people together — across offices, borders, and time zones.

Indeed, this topic is all the more relevant when it comes to hosting events. Whether for internal comms, corporate meetings, product launches, or anything else, delivering enterprise-grade event experiences is crucial to a successful communications and sales strategy. Thus, the demand for smart, effective Live Event Platforms has reached its crescendo. But with a multitude of tools on the market, knowing which solution to choose has proved a stumbling block to adoption.

In this article, our team takes a look at the best platforms for live video events, what criteria to follow when deciding, and how to cut costs. So if you find yourself at a crossroads, unsure of which platform is the best fit, you’re in the right place.

An introduction to Live Event Platforms

What are Live Event Platforms?

Live Event Platforms — also known as video event platforms or virtual event platforms — are tools that help businesses host events virtually, in the cloud. Naturally, not all platforms are the same, and can be used for different types of events and audiences. Nor are Live Event Platforms the same as say, Zoom or Google Meet, which are chiefly designed for smaller meetings, interviews, and the like. Event platforms provide businesses with rich features, including advanced speaker permissions, breakout spaces, gamification, Q&A panels, and much more.

How should you decide which is best for your business?

Knowing which event platform is best for your business depends on a number of factors — for those looking to plan video events, it’s not a case of one size fits all. Take a look at the list below, and use this criteria when exploring different platforms.
  • Establish your audience size
  • Determine what types of events you’ll host, whether internal or external
  • Understand what your budget is
  • Think about which analytics you want to measure to understand ROI (such as attendance, engagement, and interactions)
  • Decide how much customization and flexibility you want
  • Gauge which features you want to prioritize, in terms of speaker functionality, attendee engagement, and accessibility
  • Check if the platform integrates with your existing tech stack

The perks of having a Hive integration

You might be reading this and thinking: where does Hive Streaming fit in? It’s a good question. The five platforms we’ll be looking at in this article are all integrated with our products. In other words, each of these platforms already has an easy, plug-and-play Enterprise Content Delivery Network (eCDN) — courtesy of Hive.

Therefore, whichever platform you were to choose, you would have access to Hive’s advanced video performance and user engagement analytics — adding a vital layer on top of the built-in analytics these platforms offer.

How to cut costs on your video platforms

Purchasing a Live Event Platform is a big investment for your business — we get that. Once you’ve worked out which platform is best and started hosting events, you’ll want to understand if it’s actually generating ROI and being put to good use. While the above-mentioned built-in analytics will give you some surface-level insights, Hive’s performance analytics will empower you to truly understand impact and see the bigger picture. The result? Better events, better business.


Some of Hive’s analytics include:

  • Average user engagement score
  • Points of most and least amount of engagement
  • Active users vs. engaged users
  • Engagement score per country
  • Network performance 
  • Bandwidth savings
  • Viewership by geographical location
  • Viewers over time
  • Quality of experience

Comparing the best video event platforms

We’ve handpicked some of the best Live Event Platforms available, breaking down each one by features, use cases, pricing, and built-in analytics. This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but we think a good starting point for those looking to host events virtually.

Microsoft Teams Live Events

For those with a Teams investment, Microsoft offers its users a live events extension, helping businesses like yours schedule and produce events at scale.


Live events are free for businesses with an Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, or E5 license or an Office 365 A3 or A5 license.

Key features:

  • Teams meeting extension
  • Public links (no need to log in) 
  • External app/device integration for custom setups
  • Attendee permissions
  • Moderated Q&A
  • Captions in 27 languages
  • Watch live or recorded
  • Event group roles
  • 20,000 attendees
  • 16 hours per broadcast
Best for:

  •  One-to-many communications
  • Conferences
  • Product launches
  • Auditorium events
  • Town Halls
Built-in analytics:

  • Real-time usage analytics
  • Event status, start time, views, and production type


If your business has a Microsoft 365 investment and needs a lightweight, plug-and-play solution, Teams Live Events might be the solution for you.

Kaltura Virtual Events

Kaltura’s Virtual Events platform lets customers create, manage, and measure virtual events with customizable templates.


Kaltura’s Virtual Events platform can be purchased as a standalone product or alongside another of its cloud solutions. You can get a quote here.

Key features:
  •  x5 fully customizable, pre-set templates
  • High-quality 4k broadcast
  • Live, pre-recorded, or on-demand
  • Leaderboards, live audience reactions, polls, and interactive video paths
  • Roles, permissions, and robust content management
  • Integrations with marketing automation, site analytics, SSO, and BI tools
  • 100s of thousands of attendees

Best for:

  • Webinars
  • Town Halls/large-scale broadcasts
  • Single-day events
  • Multi-track events
Built-in analytics:
  • Real-time data and analytics during an event
  • Post-event analytics on streaming quality and attendee participation


If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box solution with customizable, pre-set event templates, Kaltura is the platform for you.


Vimeo Enterprise 

Vimeo Enterprise offers a powerful and scalable solution to schedule and produce events with ease.


Custom pricing tailored to your business needs.

Key features:
  • Virtual events & webinars: Unlimited (With Events feature added)
  • Live Q&A, polls, chats (With Events feature added)
  • Chat support during live events: (With Events feature added)
  • Custom permissions
  • Backup streams (With Events feature added)

Best for:
  • One-to-many communications
  • Conferences
  • Product launches
  • Auditorium events
  • Town Halls

Built-in analytics:

  • Real-time usage analytics
  • Event status, start time, views, and production type
  • Engagement & social analytics
  • Real-time stream health: (With Events feature added)


Whether you are planning one-to-many communications, conferences, product launches, auditorium events, or town halls, Vimeo Enterprise has you covered with its wide array of features and built-in analytics.

Notified Event Cloud

Notified’s Event Cloud empowers businesses to create event experiences without the limitations of size, type, or venue.


Notified offers two different plans: Expand and Evolve, with prices starting at $2,000. You can also get a free trial.

Key features:

  • Email communications for registration, reminders, and post-event
  • On-demand, simulive, or live streaming sessions
  • 2D & 3D design themes
  • Gamification: trivias, badges, leaderboards, and prize centers
  • 1:1 chat, studio group chat, polling, and Q&A
  • Help desk (live day attendee support)
  • Advanced access controls
  • Standard and custom integrations
  • Scalable from 500 to 200,000+ attendees
Best for:

  • Hybrid events (in-person/digital)
  • Sales kickoffs and internal events
  • Industry events and forums
  • User conferences
  • Demand generation
Built-in analytics:

  • Feedback surveys
  • Standard or custom reports
  • Session evaluations


If you’re looking to combine in-person, hybrid, and virtual events in one platform, Notified ticks every box.


GlobalMeet Webcast offers a powerful suite of virtual events software — helping businesses design virtual/hybrid events and reach participants all over the world.


Customers have a choice between three pricing plans: Audio Only, Video, and Conference.

Key features:

  • HD video and audio
  • Live and on-demand streaming
  • Interactive polling, Q&A, audience chat, and social media feeds
  • Dynamic layout capabilities
  • Easy-to-use control panel and advanced administrator controls
  • Searchable text transcriptions of audio and video recordings
  • Integrations with analytics, event mgmt, marketing automation, and CRM tools
  • Enterprise-grade login authentication and network security
  • Any audience size
Best for:

  • Town Halls
  • Product launches
  • Internal training
  • Sales kick-offs

Built-in analytics:

  • Key event metrics
  • Robust reporting and analytics


If you’re looking for a secure, enterprise-grade live events platform that has global reach, GlobalMeet is a great option for your business.


Workplace from Meta

Workplace lets companies set up and run organization-wide gatherings, in-person or virtually.


Pricing starts at $4 per employee, per month. There’s also a 30-day free trial, and optional add-ons for advanced enterprise features.

Key features:

  • Q&A, polls, comments, and reactions
  • Auto-generated captions
  • Auto-translate
  • Live and on-demand recordings
  • Up to 50 hosts
  • Up to 100k invites
  • Any audience size
Best for:

  • Company-wide events (in-person/virtually)
  • Business communications
  • Employee engagement
  • Town Halls

  • Real-time engagement metrics such as views, comments, reactions, and shares
  • Drop-off graphs showing how many times a video was watched
  • Automated post-event surveys


If you use Workplace as your core business communication platform, and want to host events without purchasing a separate tool, it represents a cost-effective solution — particularly for internal comms.


Which virtual platform should you choose?


Think about priorities and objectives

As mentioned earlier in this article, investing in a Live Event Platform is a big commitment for your business, and not a choice you should make lightly. We didn’t write this article to tell you which video event platform you should choose — ultimately, that choice comes down to your unique requirements. But what we did want to do was to help you figure out which things you might want to prioritize. Whether that’s cost, implementation, functionality, or anything else — our hope is that this article has gone some way to helping you narrow down your search.

Make smart (and long-term) investments

If you already have a Microsoft Teams or Workplace investment, it may well be both cost and time effective to host events without looking elsewhere. Granted, these platforms might only provide some of the features you require, but leveraging your existing technology investments is a great way to get up and running fast.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a standalone virtual video event platform, Kaltura, Notified, and GlobalMeet all represent excellent options. Each platform has its own strengths and which one you go with will depend on priorities and objectives. Kaltura, for example, is the perfect choice if you want to use pre-set event templates (rather than building and designing event environments yourself). On the other hand, Notified might be the best option if you’re looking to combine in-person, hybrid, and virtual events in one platform. Or if enterprise-grade security and global reach are top priorities, GlobalMeet would perhaps be your best bet.

Whichever Live Event Platform you decide to go with, look to the future and consider which tool has the potential to drive the most impact. Virtual events have the capacity to transform internal and external communications and take your business to a whole new level. Hive and its integration partners are here to help you on that journey.


Curious to know more?

Speak to a Hive product expert to learn more about Live Event Platforms and the future of virtual communications.