Bizzabo, Cvent and Hubb lead an inaugural B2B marketing event management solutions benchmark report released this month by Forrester Research. The research company examined 14 vendors based on 28 criteria, these three being the “leaders” in the industry. Kaltura and RainFocus came next as “strong performances”. The other categories included “competitors” and “challengers”.
As several other space providers compete for clients, Forrester has set inclusion criteria for businesses to be considered for the assessment. Among them, B2B had to be a certain part of their business, with clients hosting both physical and virtual events on their platform, and they had to have reached a revenue threshold in 2019.
“We looked at the 2019 numbers because that was the last time things were normal, and we wanted to get an apples-to-apples comparison,” Forrester vice president and senior analyst and co- report author Laura Ramos. “That’s why Hopin didn’t make the cut,” she added, referring to a new vendor that recently received $ 400 million in funding.
The three solutions that make up the leaders category “have all demonstrated their ability to handle both physical and digital to varying degrees, and they have all performed well in all functionality with truly innovative capabilities in some ways”, Ramos said. “We were also impressed not only with the way they were developing as businesses, but also with [also with] their vision for the future and their ecosystem of partners and their marketing differentiation. “
Top three reviews
The report includes the pros and cons of each of the 14 solutions examined. For the top three, Forrester gave Bizzabo high marks for its modern architecture and clean user interface, and noted that after receiving $ 138 million in a funding round in 2020, it is “well placed to blend physical and virtual interactions into hybrid events that work reliably. ”However, the report notes that Bizzabo needs to“ fill in the gaps in the requirements for physical events, such as site finding; travel and accommodation; budget management; and the transparent management of ad hoc, business or interpersonal meetings, instead of relying on partners to achieve it today. . “
Cvent received accolades for being “laser-focused” on attendee management and logistics, and for making its registration processes, event production, training and customer service “stand out. “. It also accelerated integrations with video content management and online meeting partners to help customers turn 70,000 physical events into virtual events during the pandemic. To keep pace with other competitors, “Cvent will need to address the relative weaknesses of remote participant engagement features, such as gamification and social media interaction, networking and user experiences of the platform. shape, “according to Forrester.
Hubb got its first funding round in 2016 and has grown rapidly “by delivering immersive 3D digital experiences that set its virtual events apart from webinars or online meeting platforms,” according to Forrester. The report noted that Hubb “shines” in all areas of participant engagement, including audience engagement features, networking recommendations, and facilitated brainstorming. Hubb, however, must “build a vast ecosystem of creative marketing and design partners to continue to thrill marketing teams whose expectations will shift from delivering differentiated virtual events to creating experiences that foster person-to-person engagement.” “.
Forrester in the report predicted that hybrid experiences will continue to dominate marketing events through 2021 and beyond, and recommended that customers of these solutions look for vendors who perfectly handle hybrid events, help event teams manage speakers. and content in an intuitive interface, and address remote and in-person participants equally across the world.
Before selecting a supplier, buyers should approach the market with clarity, Ramos said, starting with the purpose of the event. “Why are you doing the corporate meeting? And has that changed since the pandemic and things can only be remote at this point,” she said. Additionally, she added, planners should know their audience, the value the audience would receive from events, and whether there is another way to deliver that value other than a meeting. Planners then need to decide how they will define event success, specify the business results they expect to achieve, and assess how to design the event experience based on the answers to those questions. It is only at this point, she said, that planners should attempt to identify a solution partner.
An evolving market
The market continues to grow, but several players entering the space are not offering enough experience, Ramos said. “If you want to create an online experience that achieves a certain level of parity with in-person presence, there needs to be a lot more emphasis on how we engage and engage these participants remotely, so that they feel like they are part of an event and not only [having] a bunch of featured content, and [they] having the ability to do some of the networking and matching and the fortuitous things that happen when you’re there in person, ”she said.“ This market has to evolve, and the areas it needs to evolve in are l ‘interactivity, one – one-to-one and one-to-many interactions and engagement, and the quality level of the output. “
In addition to the inclusion criteria, Forrester gathered additional product and strategy information through a detailed questionnaire, demos and briefings, as well as benchmark surveys and customer interviews. Documents reviewed by research analysts were provided as of December 1, 2020.