Dominick Sorrentino

If there are two things most businesses need right now, it’s new leads and an affordable way to get them.

Enter the virtual conference.

It may lack the pomp and circumstance of a global event at the Jacob Javits Center, but it’s the best businesses can do right now.

And thanks in no small part to the following companies, it’s never been easier or more affordable to launch your own virtual events:

Brightcove is offering 50 free hours of HD Live for 90 days

You can now host your virtual event using the same live-streaming platform that Foxtel used to stream the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. For those unfamiliar with the showdown, it was widely considered the biggest boxing event in history.

Brightcove’s decision to offer 50 free hours of its HD live service for up to 90 days is a class act and a demonstration of goodwill, particularly toward businesses that gain a lot of their leads through trade shows and other events.

Most in-person conferences are canceled for Q3, and Q4 is looking dubious at best. But with this truly useful contribution from Brightcove, businesses may have a chance to get back on the conference circuit (at least digitally, that is).

You can request your free live-streaming hours here.

8×8 video has greatly expanded the capabilities of its free version

Rather than take advantage of its skyrocketing demand, video-collaboration software provider 8×8 made the altruistic decision to significantly extend the capabilities of its free version.

And it packs quite a punch. Users of the free version now get, among other features:

  • Unlimited meetings and no time restrictions.
  • Up to 50 active participants.
  • The ability to live stream 8×8 conferences directly to YouTube live (which allows for an unlimited number of view-only participants).

We admittedly had never heard of 8×8 until a commenter on our recent blog post about creating virtual conferences on a shoe-string budget pointed it out. We’re glad he did. Because while 8×8 may not have the name recognition of Google Meet or Zoom, it has all the same bells and whistles – and then some.

And by the way, if you’re interested in the enterprise version (which runs a mere $10 a month and includes real-time audio transcriptions), you can sign up for a 30-day free trial here.

DealSignal is ‘helping the helpers’ by making its services free for some users

One of the main goals of any event – virtual or in-person – is to generate leads for your business. And for those leads to be viable, they’ll ideally be companies in solid financial standing despite everything that’s going on right now. More simply, they actually might spend money with you.

This level of highly targeted account-based marketing is exactly what DealSignal’s services deliver, namely in the form of data about financially healthy companies in your target market.

Normally they charge for this service, but are making exceptions for, “1) companies working towards solving the COVID-19 crisis directly and 2) companies who serve healthcare organizations or other essential service providers related to health, food, safety and reopening the economy.”

If your business falls into either of those categories, you can get in touch with DealSignal here. For a limited time, the company is also offering flexible business terms. So even if you don’t qualify for free services, you may want to reach out anyway.

Every little bit helps

These companies may not be donating masks or supporting charities (that we know of, at least), but there are a lot of other ways to help out in this tough time, and it’s encouraging to see all the different avenues companies are taking to contribute where they can.

Because whether you’re saving lives on the frontline, or using your stability to help aid less fortunate companies, every little bit helps.