Started in 2019, Hopin.to is a London-based online events platform founded by Johnny Boufarhat and Dave Schools. Hopin.to uses a single-app modular approach to create and manage online events like meetups, conferences, webinars, online courses and expos/expositions of up to 100,000 attendees.
Hopin top features
Hopin’s biggest feature, by far, is its app. Hosted on Amazon Web Services’ cloud, this scalable SaaS application is key in trying to host and provide an in-person event experience that is sustainable, accessible and safe.
The Hopin event app is an all-in-one platform that modularizes different types of services, including video streaming/conferencing, chat, event management, social networking, etc.) into a single bundled app. With the app, attendees can move around from one module to another during the event. For organizers, the app can have multiple team members access it to access, manage and run events.
The Hopin app provides a place where pre-registrants can learn about the event and its host, look at and create a schedule, and join the event. For event holders, Event Registration is a space where monetization can be seamlessly done through online ticket sales.
The introductory portion of an event, the reception includes general information about what the event is about, a schedule, and has an Event Live Chat feature that lets attendees network with one another.
Simulating a full conference experience, sessions are presented on the virtual Event Stage, either via webinar or with live-streamed presentations. Aside from listening to the speaker, participants can continue using the Event Live Chat feature without distracting one another. An Event Backstage feature is also available for presenters and organizers to meet before a stage event.
One-on-one video “chat roulette”-styled meetings are designed to promote a safe networking environment. For the Event Networking meetings, a timer can be set to indication how long a meeting can run, and if participants mutually agree and press the “Connect” button on the screen, they can exchange information after the event.
For Event Sessions, hosted video conference rountables are setup so that discussion amongst content/subject experts (or interested attendees) are broadcast to event attendees. During the presentation, online chat messages are presented alongside the presenter’s video discussion.
Virtual Event Booths give exhibiting vendors an opportunity to present their products via videoconference. Basic information about the vendor is presented and opportunities to meet or claim special offers are available by clicking on the “Register Interest” button.
Pros of Hopin for virtual events
By putting all of its modules into a single app, Hopin is able wrap a lot of different services into a single package. This cuts down on the complexity of having to work between multiple systems when managing an event.
Limitations of Hopin for virtual events
Lack of Support Contact
Except for various “Request a Demo” buttons on several of Hopin.to’s website, there isn’t any corporate contact information on the website, let alone a technical support number to reach out to in case there’s a problem with the app.
Lack of Professional Services
Event planning can be complex, and it appears that Hopin relies a lot on what its canned app can do. With a professional services group, Hopin could help its customers in some of the event logistic that its “one-size-fits-all” app may not be able to cover.
Lack of Diversified Systems
Hopin basically “puts all its eggs in one basket,” so if the app is down, so are all the event services. Hopin is heavily reliant on its application developers and Amazon Web Services’ uptime numbers.
This is the case for all other virtual event platforms.
Other notable features of Hopin
The virtual event platform can be used as an extension of a physical event, particularly for streamed presentations that may not be accessible by some attendees.
Since July of 2019, Hopin has had over 1000 events hosted on its platform. In the industry, this isn’t a large number and indicates the platform’s relative youth.