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The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked massive growth in the virtual events industry, with more platforms popping up to support the current level of demand. Platforms that existed prior to the pandemic, including Zoom, have also taken up the call, launching a variety of new security solutions and features to dominate the competition.
However, many new virtual event platforms have entered the market. Because of the urgency in going virtual during the beginning of the pandemic, many platforms use APIs to cut down on development time while improving productivity, ensuring data accuracy, and smooth coordination between applications and databases.
Communication between virtual event platforms and other features like event registration, chat rooms, etc. is what defines a reliable virtual event platform. API-based solutions enable you to create virtual events quickly and easily.
There are different categories of virtual events APIs. Some handle things like attendee registration and ticket management, while others increase interaction between the attendee and the virtual event. In this article, we’ll discuss the APIs that help ensure registration, attendance, and more importantly, engagement.
One of the most difficult parts of virtual events involves the registration process and ensuring that attendees actually show up. It’s not as simple as posting a link and waiting for people to join.
The reality is that registering attendees is more complex than the initial sign-up. You would also need to send multiple calendar invites and reminders. Luckily, there are several APIs that cover this, including the following:
Convier.me is a well-built service that uses the RESTful API to send calendar invites to virtual event attendees. It sends invitations for meetings and online events, reminds users of their to-do lists, and more. What makes it unique is that it sends invitations straight to the user’s email address without needing a third-party service.
Convier currently supports iCalendar specifications and provides SSL support where responses are returned in JSON.
Pricing for Convier is divided into Developer, Startup, and Enterprise categories. The developer’s package is free, with a few limitations, which can go up to $29 a month for the most expensive enterprise-level package.
The Eventbrite API, which powers the global ticketing platform, is a rich, REST-based API available to developers allowing them to deal with essential data like attendees, organizations, online platforms, orders, and other aspects of virtual events.
A unique feature of Eventbrite’s API is that developers can use it to customize ticket checkout to different websites or apps. Like Convier, responses are returned in JSON.
Using the Eventbrite API is free for developers, while Eventbrite transaction fees are included in the price of the ticket for the virtual event.
The social media giant has long been pushing into new sectors, including virtual events. The official event API from Facebook is integrated with the social platform, allowing organizers to publish events on multiple pages. This helps them reach as many people as possible when publicizing their events.
With the virtual events API from Facebook, organizers can also leverage the use of Facebook notifications to notify attendees of upcoming virtual events.
There is no cost associated with using Facebook’s virtual events API.
This API makes it easy to create, update, and list events online. This simple RESTful API is ideal for developers looking for a free way to build up interest.
With the Meetup virtual events API, developers can do more than just set up events. You can list attendees, show multiple events available within a single locality, and handle other event management tasks all within the same tool.
Setup is quick since Meetup has detailed documentation for implementing their API using python and more, and results are delivered in JSON.
The eZ-Event API by Ez-Xpo is another top event logistics option. This API allows developers to integrate attendees’ details into email campaigns, CRMs, webinars, and more.
This API incentivizes attendees to register by providing discounts if they share the event on their social media profiles.
This API is free, plus it has several sales reporting and integration capabilities.
For online events, the ability to create customized registration pages goes a long way towards drawing in attendees. The Webinato API is able to manage more than just registration though — it also helps organizers to accept payments, track registrants, and oversee other parts of the attendee process.
Hot tip: don’t miss out on their single-sign-on (SSO) API that allows attendees to register for multiple events without needing to remember their passwords.
Pricing for Webinato depends on the number of participants planned for an event. The smallest package starts at $119 a month, while the biggest goes for $699 a month.
The Explara Event API is worth mentioning because online event ticketing is a big challenge, and this API makes it easier to handle registrations, user logins, and other key parts of the attendee management process.
With the Explara Event API, organizers can manage ticketing for multiple events at the same time. This API also has the added benefit of being integrated with many common services and applications, making it easier for developers to set up events quickly.
This API is available in several programming languages, including jQuery, Go, and Ruby. Response formats include JSON and XML.
Next, there is the issue of drumming up engagement. The success of a virtual event is directly dependent on the organizer’s ability to interact with the audience, and vice versa.
Here are the top APIs for interacting with attendees and making sure they stay engaged:
Coda’s RESTful API makes it easy for attendees to collaborate on documents during online events. Those joining a virtual event powered by Coda can create documents or spreadsheets together, copy them, add or update new data and much more.
Pricing for Coda ranges from a free package available for limited-size teams to enterprise-level packages which are priced on a case-by-case basis.
Maybe a collaborative document isn’t really what you need. What if you prefer using polls, quizzes, or surveys? This is where Meeting Pulse’s virtual events API comes in.
Working via iFrame embeds and generation of access tokens, Meeting Pulse allows organizers to hold live crowdsourced Q&A’s while receiving feedback in real-time.
There are four different pricing packages for Meeting Pulse, ranging from free to $79 for the pro package. The premium package comes up to $192 a month, while enterprise users will need to request custom pricing.
Often one of the first things to jump to mind when you mention ”survey” is survey master Survey Monkey. The company has made its own RESTful API available to developers, allowing them to integrate survey data into different applications.
This virtual events API enables developers to add questions and responses, update them, and even translate them into different languages. Responses for this API are returned in JSON.
This virtual event API service specializes in education and creating meaningful one-on-one networking opportunities between attendees. Pathable goes one step further when creating interactions between attendees by building a social media suite that makes scheduling and management of year-round community hubs possible.
Pricing for Pathable depends on the size of the event. Smaller events start at $3,750 a year, while enterprise-level events will pay closer to $25,400 a year. The REST-based Pathable API returns responses in JSON or XML.
There’s been plenty of talk about features like polls and surveys during live online events, but what about measuring attendee satisfaction?
The Survey API from Cvent has multiple features that make it exciting to use. The API allows the developer or organizer to collect feedback during and after virtual events, and to gain more detailed insights into the data they receive from attendees, exhibitors, and other staff.
Pricing for the Survey API is available upon request.
Finally, it’s essential to talk about discourse. The best virtual events are the ones that allow attendees to talk to each other, share resources, and build new relationships. Introducing CometChat, the quickest way to connect event attendees to each other.
CometChat is able to handle chat during live events with thousands of users. Developers can fully customize the look and feel and enable real-time voice, video, and text chat, leading to better engagement and retention of event attendees.
CometChat’s APIs come free for events up to 25 users, but scales with the number of attendees. This API also works with most popular programming languages such as React, Swift, Kotlin, Java, React Native, and more.
Because so many of these APIs are REST-based, they’re typically agnostic to programming languages. The time needed to implement these will largely depend on the language and existing frameworks you decide to use, along with the integrations that you want to add.
What matters most when selecting an API is that it offers enough documentation to help developers empower virtual event organizers.
We understand that choosing the best API for your needs out of a few dozen options can be somewhat daunting, which is why we’ve kept our APIs free for up to 25 users. You can sign up on our app and use our APIs to build your app and pay us only when and if your business scales.
About the Author
Nabeel Keblawi, a deaf entrepreneur, runs a Content Marketing and SEO agency that helps B2B SaaS companies grow organically in their industries around the world. His previous work experience involved software development, renewable energy, and cloud computing. In his personal life, Nabeel loves to go hiking with his family, and dust off his skis to hit the slopes given the chance. He is also an avid reader of fictional history.