ON24 Review: 2020 Virtual Event Tech Guide

June 9, 2020

This ON24 review is the result of our own primary and secondary research. We reviewed ON24 features (e.g. ON24 polling), ON24 app, online reviews of ON24, and ON24 competitors. With so many virtual event options, our reviews aim to make your decision process easier. 

The ON24 review verdict: ON24 is the best choice for webinars. The fact that live content can easily be turned into on-demand content, that they offer deep audience analytics and insights, and provide automated closed captioning make ON24 a no-brainer webinar solution.

ON24 review: Which events is ON24 suited to?

ON24 grew up as a webinar solution — and this is where it is strongest. Where ON24 excels is in providing both live webinar and then on-demand content hosting that is truly optimal for businesses.

If you have virtual event needs that go beyond the webinar, you will need to look elsewhere. The lack of agenda and session support, as well as limited networking, community building, interaction tools, and no ON24 app or branded app offering, make this unsuitable for any virtual event other than a webinar.

ON24 review: ON24 features

Event management 

It became clear early on in our review of ON24, that the solution is limited when it comes to event management. It ticks the basic registration and emailing feature boxes. However, it does not have the agenda or session management features found in a full-blown virtual event platform.

This basic event management feature set is why the ON24 solution is best suited to webinars. If you have other virtual event needs you need to look elsewhere.

If you need agenda and session features, then ON24 is not the right solution

Activation & engagement

For a webinar tool, ON24 actually has a good set of tools to help your audience interact with your content. From live ON24 polls to moderated Q&A, and even gamification. ON24 certainly has better tools than most webinar solutions.

Like other webinar solutions, ON24 lacks a place where your audience can post videos and text, like, and comment. This will limit your ability to turn the audience into a community. 

Networking & communities

As you would expect from a webinar solution when it comes to networking and building communities ON24 is basic. Our review did identify they have group chat functionality available during the webinar.

However, If audience networking and community building are important to your plans, you will need to consider other virtual event platform options. 

Live content

Like most webinar solutions, ON24 has basic requirements. What this means is that you will have the ability to:

  • Broadcast live to your audience, 
  • Share presentations, 
  • Host breakout groups, 
  • Use third party video players, and 
  • Have group chats during the webinar.

 

ON24 webinar solution

However, ON24 lacks features like whiteboarding, 2-way group discussion, and the ability for your audience to see profiles for other attendees.

On-demand

This is one area that ON24 excels in. The main reason is the ease of turning live recordings into on-demand content. This feature not only makes on-demand easier but also helps you generate additional content views quicker. The other great thing with ON24 on-demand is that you can make use of all the interactive tools like ON24 polling and gamification.

However, the on-demand audience experience is limited. If you want agenda features, places to host sponsor content or virtual concierges then you will need a virtual event platform.

Optimization

One area that our ON24 review shows they perform well in, is webinar and audience analytics. This ranges from analytics on audience behavior to engagement scores for each audience member. 

Environment

ON24 is primarily a web-based experience, with branding options for both live and on-demand. Further, they support a broad range of languages, and automated delivery of closed captioning for live events.

The real missing piece in our review of ON24 is the lack of an ON24 or branded container app option. This means that your audience is restricted to viewing your content via a web browser. 

Solution & Support

As you would expect from a company the size of ON24, they have an excellent support network across the globe. They also offer a broad range of integration capabilities to CRM and marketing automation systems.

The drawback is the lack of support services for the event day itself. So if you need any assistance with an event, from help behind-the-scenes to training your speakers, you will need to find help from elsewhere.

ON24 review: What do online reviews tell us?

Overall, ON24 scores a 4.3 out of 5 (572 reviews) from G2 for ON24 reviews in the webinar software category.

Here is where ON24 reviews say features are ahead of the category average: 

  • Attendee reports
  • Event analytics
  • Registration

Here is where ON24 reviews say features are most behind the category average:

  • Software integrations
  • Social media integrations
  • Role-based access

ON24 review: Top competitors

According to G2, here are the main ON24 competitors (all scores from G2):

  • GoToWebinar (4.2 out of 5)
  • Adobe Connect (4.1 out of 5)
  • Zoom (4.5 out of 5)
  • Cisco Webex (4.3 out of 5)
  • Zoom Video Webinar (4.6 out of 5)

ON24 review: Conclusion

Based on our ON24 review, if you need a webinar solution ON24 is the perfect fit. As far as ON24 competitors go, for webinars, we think ON24 has an edge given the:

  • blend of live and on-demand content,
  • ease with which live recording can be turned into on-demand content,
  • interactivity tools, like ON24 polling and gamification, and
  • deep audience analytics.

If you need a virtual event solution that stretches beyond the webinar, then ON24 would not be the best fit. Here are the main limitations with the ON24 solution for virtual events other than a webinar:

  • No agenda or sessions,
  • No networking or community building features, and
  • No ON24 app or branded app offering.

 

Wondering what other virtual event solutions might be like? Check out our 2020 comparison guide.

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