With the restrictions on people gathering around the world, event planners have made efforts to move their meetings, social gatherings, and activities online. The major online meeting platforms from Google, Microsoft and Zoom have responded with a wave of new features and price cuts to attract new customers, although each has a different purpose.
Google Meet uses Google’s Gmail, Microsoft Teams has become a business option while Zoom has been adopted by virtually everyone. But you don’t just need to use a third-party service – you also have the option of using your own website.
WordPress event calendar plugins have begun to respond to this new niche. We first characterize some of the unique challenges of moving events online, then dive into four good options that you can use to host your events online.
But before that, if you’ve never installed WordPress, discover How to install a WordPress blog in steps 7 et How to find, install and activate WordPress on your blog.
Let’s go back to why we’re here.
Challenges of Internet Events
Events present a set of challenges. But when planning and managing an online event, there are a few to keep in mind.
When scheduling an event at a physical location, time is always local. The concert starts at 8 p.m. in Seattle, wherever you are in the world.
On the Internet, things get more complicated. A Zoom meeting may be held in New York, but attendees in London and Hong Kong need to know when to join. Worse yet, your event organizer may be located in New Zealand and plan events in Buenos Aires for attendees in Cape Town. Any online event calendar should include a time zone.
Where is the link?
All online meeting platforms work by generating a link to send to meeting participants. They click the link to join it. Invariably, not everyone understands this, the link may have been changed at the last minute or the invitation may have been buried in the spam folder.
Zoom’s concerns about safety taught the organizers to be careful with ties. They must be delivered safely and reliably to confirmed participants only.
Mix and match
Some events are online only. Some people meet face to face. Some are hybrid events where people can participate in face-to-face activities or connect online. Still other events can be face to face but live streamed online.
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The event calendar should seamlessly connect these scenarios so that your registration flows fit your use case. For example, direct participants should not receive the invite link, and online participants should not receive scannable tickets.
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Here are four event calendars designed to include these points. We tried all the functions and checked if they were ready for use in your application.
Newly released and fully native EventAgent.ai offers the best overall experience of these calendars. While its standout feature is data-driven AI marketing for automatic event promotion, it also offers some advanced and hybrid features for online events.
The EventAgent.ai calendar detects the visitor’s time zone and brings online events to the local time. These events are clearly marked from all points of view. Events requiring physical presence are displayed in the location’s time zone.
This minimizes planning errors. A New Yorker visiting Seattle will know how to arrive at the yoga club at 7am. If she stays home, at 11:40 p.m.
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The recommended Zoom security protocol is the implementation of the Zoom lounge. It’s a virtual lobby where the Zoom host personally checks the participants upon arrival. This is very cumbersome for hosts or service providers who need an extra receptionist in the lobby to check that participants are entering the lobby.
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EventAgent.ai provides rigorous controls at the time of registration so that it does not become a bottleneck. The event can be set as moderate which will delay confirmation until the attendee has been approved by the organizer.
EventAgent.ai provides a full suite of moderation tools, including personalized responses to the registration form, notes about the participant and previous attendance, which is also useful for checking class prerequisites.
EventAgent.ai handles arrival instructions differently for direct and online events. Participants receive face-to-face email with driving and arrival instructions 24 hours prior to departure. On the Internet, hosts frequently change the invitation URL hours before the event, and attendees arrive at their computers 5 minutes early.
Online participants do not receive a ride reminder, but the link will appear in their inbox 30 minutes before departure. This makes attendance much easier.
EventAgent.ai adapts the registration process to the type of event. Attendees of direct events have digital tickets scanning on phones that present at the door while online attendees are automatically signed in when they join a Zoom meeting.
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Finally, EventAgent.ai provides true two-way sync with Zoom. Change the time of the event and related updates for the Zoom meeting will be updated automatically. If the invitation link changes, a new link will be automatically sent to participants. If an appointment is accidentally deleted in Zoom, EventAgent.ai will retrieve it if the event goes as planned.
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Calendar of events
The Event Calendar is the most installed WordPress event plugin and is perennial in the top 10 lists. It is backed up by an impressive catalog of add-ons, making it very flexible.
Events Calendar: Virtual Events is a recently released module for organizing online events. Once installed, it adds the following section to the event editor.
Virtual events can link to a Zoom account which allows them to create Zoom links from the event editor. When you save this event, it will create the appropriate meeting in your Zoom account. Most of the other options relate to where to display the Zoom link. Adding a link in RSVP emails ensures that only registered people receive the link.
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However, this is not true two-way sync. Changing the event time is not reflected in a Zoom meeting, such as leaving the new time without a Zoom link. Deleting a Zoom meeting doesn’t remove the Zoom link from the event, so people will get an outdated link. It is little more than a convenient link copying and pasting.
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The event calendar handles time zones well. You can set time zones for each event and display the time zone to attendees. However, they still need to manually calculate event times based on their local time zone.
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Modern calendar of events
Modern Event Calendar is another best freemium plugin. It focuses on booking online events that can be easily found on search engines.
Google released the file new pattern of online and transferred online events which will redirect visitors to the link. If you rely heavily on SEO to find attendees for your events, this is a valuable update.
It also allows site visitors to display events in local time. This is exactly what online participants should see. However, this is not the correct approach to face-to-face meetings. A New Yorker visiting Seattle will be arriving at our concert from 8:23 PM to XNUMX PM as it’s the time on their calendar.
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Bookly is another WordPress event management plugin suitable for the specific case of people booking appointments with service providers. This type of workflow doesn’t match the standard calendar plugin, so it’s nice and fun to see this template grab your attention as well.
All plugins that offer integration with Zoom require connection to the Zoom application developed with Zoom Marketplace. Depending on the type of integration required by the plugin, creating an application will provide one or two keys that need to be copied to the Bookly plugin settings.
Afterward Bookly provides a token to insert a Zoom link in any view custom Created. This provides the greatest flexibility in terms of privacy. The link may be displayed after the visitor has sent the appointment or sent a confirmation e-mail.
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When the service provider is viewing meetings, they have a button to start a Zoom session on their dashboard for a smooth workflow.
Unfortunately, so is The Event Calendar WordPress plugin, Bookly’s Zoom integration is not a two way street. Changes made to Zoom or Bookly may terminate meetings.
Bookly does not support time zones. It also does not alert visitors when viewing a schedule from a different time zone than the provider. This can easily lead to missed appointments due to scheduling errors.
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Which plug is right for me?
If you have already invested in the ecosystem plug Calendar of eventsvirtual event management is a worthy upgrade. Zoom integration automates the creation of meeting URLs, and flexible time zones make it easy for remote attendees.
If you mainly rely on search engines to detect events, the modern event calendar has the best SEO integration to notify attendees when events move.
Among the plugins that target appointments within the booking service, Bookly is ahead of the pack with a seamless, end-to-end workflow for online events in your local time zone.
If you want the best experience for online and hybrid event attendees, hosts and organizers, EventAgent.ai is the way to go. Built-in automatic promotional tools are an added bonus.
As the world slowly opens up to face-to-face meetings, we may find ourselves in an extended period of online and hybrid events. Many organizations gained new customers by extending their reach beyond local communities.
Losing these new customers when they return to personal services is an option many want to avoid that requires a long-term strategy. The plugins in this article are an essential part of this strategy.
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Here! That’s it for this article to understand why and how to host virtual events on WordPress. if you have commentaires or suggestions, don’t hesitate to offer them.
However, you can also consult our resourcesif you need more items to complete your web development projects check out our guide on Create a WordPress blog or the one on Divi: The best WordPress theme of all time.
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