Meet Hopin, the virtual conference platform
Major tech conferences have been canceled or postponed due to concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus.
Mobile World Congress. F8. Google I / O.
And in turn, businesses that support remote meetings are flourishing. Virtual conference platform Get in is the latest to join the list of companies benefiting from increased demand for services that facilitate remote working and networking.
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Three weeks ago, Hopin had 10,000 organizers on its waiting list, Hopin CEO Johnny Boufarhat said in an interview with Crunchbase News. Now that number stands at 18,000 organizers.
“People heard about Hopin, saw our tweets, thought ‘oh that’s a good idea for our events’… and as soon as that happened I think they kinda jumped through. “said Boufarhat.
Hopin aims to replicate the experience and benefits of attending a conference without the expense and other hurdles such as travel, logistics and environmental impact. People want to go to conferences to meet other people, not just to watch presentations, Boufarhat said.
“That’s why people go to events, it’s not for live streaming,” he said. “You go physically to network with people, to interact with people. And that’s what we solve.
How it works
Boufarhat presented me with a demonstration of the platform on Wednesday. Users can watch what is presented on the “stage”, join sessions or network with other participants.
About 100,000 people can listen to the presentations taking place on the stage – a figure the company hopes to reach soon to reach 1 million. The “sessions” feature allows users to join meetings with other people, raise their hands and ask questions. And “networking” works something like chat roulette for events – organizers can form groups or split them up if, for example, they don’t think journalists want to network with vendors.
Hopin is still in early access mode and has hosted around 1,100 events so far, including 800 in the past six weeks, Boufarhat said. The number of participants in the events from January to February has increased ninefold.
The company has 20 employees and plans to double its team to keep up with product and demand.
Mr Boufarhat said: “We are always product-oriented, we are always going to be product-oriented… but at the same time, we have to be able to help people who want to organize these events.”
Drawing: Dom guzman