The best way to become a Hopin expert is to deeply understand the attendee experience. In order for you to be a great host, you yourself need to master your way around Hopin and see things from your guests’ perspective knowing how to direct them.
Your first event on Hopin
Once the attendees register for the event, they will see the Reception area. This is a customizable page that includes:
- Organizer’s welcome message (event description, useful links to bring even more value to the Attendees)
- Sponsor logos (clickable logos that bring to Sponsors website)
- Event Schedule (what’s happening, when, and which segment to follow)
- Speakers list (who is speaking at the event)
- Booths (expo exhibitors)
You can think of the Reception area as the information hub and a venue’s lobby. Keep in mind that all the information above is only available when the event has started.
If the event has not started yet the reception area will only display limited info such the countdown to the start time, the event name and banner, the Hosted By section with the organizer details, and the ability to type in the Event chat as well as seeing any existing polls, registered people, and Q&As in the right hand side panel. See below for a preview of what it looks like.
The other areas (segments) in the venue are on the left sidebar. These can include Stage, Networking, Sessions, and Expo.
Note: an online event on Hopin should have at least one segment to go live or you can go with all four and recreate the closest to physical event experience.
Which browsers work best?
The latest versions of Chrome or Firefox guarantee the best experience. Please avoid Brave, Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge since these browsers lack the modern web technologies support necessary for online events to run in a web browser.
Mobile browsers: Safari on iOS/iPadOS and Google Chrome on Android.
Note: Sometimes, third-party extensions can affect the experience blocking some of the Hopin interface elements. That’s why we also recommend opening the event in Incognito mode (command+Shift+N on macOS or Ctrl+Shift+N on Windows) on Chrome or Private tab (command+Shift+P for macOS or Ctrl+Shift+P for Windows) on Firefox.
The five areas of Hopin
There are five areas at the event hosted on Hopin. You can have all of them or one of them or two of them in your event — it’s completely up to you and the experience you want to create for your attendees. Each area is flexible and provides live interaction for your attendees in different ways.
The Reception area is the welcome page or “lobby” of your event. Here you can quickly find out what’s happening at the event currently: the organizer's welcome message, sponsors, the schedule, and speakers. The Reception area is best used for announcements, important links, sponsor messages, and event updates.
It’s a one-to-many interaction area that supports up to 100,000 concurrent viewers. The Stage is great for your keynotes, presentations, panels, performances, and fireside chats.
The video content types supported on the Stage:
- Built-in live video on Hopin Backstage. The most versatile interaction on the Stage that fits right in and requires the least of preparation. Most organizers use Hopin’s own built-in live streaming studio called the Backstage to broadcast to the main stage.
Note: Up to five people can share video on stage and/or backstage at the same time.
Check our Backstage tutorial for an in-depth walkthrough.
- Pre-recorded content from YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia. The good old webinar-style pre-recordings that are great for promo or intro videos widely used by hundreds of Organizers every day.
- Live-streaming via YouTube. The easy-to-start YouTube live stream will get you covered with basic live video options in case you are tied to YouTube.
- Live-streaming via RTMP. The most customizable experience that requires preparation, practice and knowledge of streaming capabilities. An awesome option for live concerts, live videos from multiple locations and any video layout you can imagine. OBS, WireCast, ManyCam, Ecamm, Switcher Studio, and more can be used with Hopin to “hybridize” a physical event — you can pipe in live video from your in-person event onto the Hopin Stage for your virtual attendees to view.
Check our Stage tutorial for more details on the Stage segment of the event.
The Sessions segment of Hopin delivers the best experience for group discussions, multi-track conferences, training workshops, hackathons, breakout rooms, webinars, and teams. In Sessions, you will see virtual roundtables for speakers and attendees to interact. This is often where attendees ask questions to the speakers on camera.
Imagine you have tens of Sessions during your multi-day event. Hopin made sure to declutter the Sessions segment and in case the Sessions are tied to the Schedule, they will automatically appear five minutes before the time on Schedule and automatically hide once their time is up. Attendees can view the list of previous sessions by clicking Show past segments at the Reception area of the event.
Note: There is no limit to the number of concurrent sessions you can have during your event. Optionally, attendees can create any number of their own sessions during the live event.
Check our Sessions tutorial for more details on the Sessions segment of the event.
The Networking segment on Hopin is pure engagement and is similar to one-on-one meetings on a FaceTime call. This segment is designed to recreate the “coffee-in-the-lobby” conversations or watercooler chats that are important at an in-person event. The Networking area automates the discovery of new connections. When an attendee participates in the Networking, they are matched with a random attendee and meet for a set time preset by the organizer.
Attendees can click the Connect button during a call to exchange contact information and after the event the newly made contacts will appear at the Connections page of their individual Profile.
Networking stays random, but can be set to a specific ticket type to segment the matchmaking between groups of ticket holders: whether it’s everyone meets everyone in a general networking experience, or targeted, such as at recruiting and job fairs, interviews, teachers and students, coaching, dating, pitching, and so on.
Check our Networking tutorial for more details on the Networking segment of the event.
The Expo area is the virtual exhibitor hall with vendor booths in your event. It’s great for featuring a wide array of brands, products or services, just like a trade fair, job fair, or sponsor showcase.
Every booth can have either a pre-recorded video in it such as a YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia clip, live stream via YouTube or a live video session with a vendor rep “manning” and moderating the booth. All embedded videos added to the Expo are played on demand, i.e. the attendee accessing the booth will have the ability to play/pause/skip the video.
Plus, every booth also has a customizable CTA button that can collect emails when set to Register interest or be a custom text linked to any valid external hyperlink.
Hopin allows there to be unlimited booths that can be created in the Expo area.
Note: There is no limit to the number of concurrent booths you can have during your event.
Check our Expo tutorial for more details on the Expo segment of the event.
How do people get around at the event that is hosted on Hopin?
Similar to a physical event, the online event experience is self-directed but with wayfinding tools and signs to help people easily get around. Attendees ultimately choose where they want to go.
By default, all event segments on Hopin are open during the entire event. However, Organizers can direct Attendees to the most relevant segment via signposting options:
- Event Schedule. A Schedule shows the attendees what’s happening, where they should be, when, and who’s speaking.
- Live and Now tags. When the Stage is live or Sessions, Networking and Expo happen now according to the Schedule, the red LIVE and NOW tags will appear on the left side panel, conquering the attention span of the event attendees.
- What’s happening now banners. When attendees first land in the Reception area, there’s a large clickable button that hints at What’s happening now for all attendees and will get to the specific event segment in one click.
- Highlighted chat messages sent by Organizers. Chat messages sent by the Organizer are always highlighted to get easily identified by the Attendees.
- Pinned chat messages. Any extra information or useful links to related content can be pinned by Organizers to always be visible to Attendees on top of any Stage, Session or Expo chat.
- Shortened URLs. This is a powerful tool for giving attendees one-click entrance into any part of an event on Hopin. If you copy the URL of any area in Hopin (i.e., a particular Session, a vendor Booth, the Stage, etc.) and paste it in any chat, Hopin automatically shortens the URL to a clickable hashtag.
Chats for everyone
There are multiple chat channels in online event on the Hopin platform. Each one serves a different purpose.
- Event chat — global event chat where all participants can post messages.
- Stage chat — chat with a Stage-related discussion all attendees have access to.
- Session chat — each session in Sessions has dedicated chat rooms. Attendees who are off-camera can chat to interact with people on camera and vice-versa.
- Booth chat — like Sessions, each booth has its own chat for group discussions and interaction.
- Meeting chat — in Networking, a private 1:1 chat channel is available to the participants.
- Backstage chat — the Backstage has its own chat for speakers and staff to communicate privately. It is only accessible through the Backstage link.
- Direct messages — anyone can send messages to an individual at an event on Hopin via DMs in the People tab. To send a DM, find the person you wish to chat with in the People tab, click their profile photo, and send a direct message to them.
Note: People tab can be disabled by the event Organizers in the Advanced Settings of the event. Then, direct messages will be disabled.
To help orient newcomers at your event, here are five key pointers:
- Prepare the attendees before the event. Send over a personalized demo, or use one of ours to cut the learning curve before the event. This is especially important for your speakers. It’s generally a good idea to do a rehearsal before your event starts.
- Offer verbal instruction on Stage. In your welcome message, offer advice to the attendees on how to use Hopin and get the most out of the event.
- Write an informative Reception page. This can be helpful to folks upon first entering the event.
- Direct the flow of your event in the Event chat. Use the Organizer messages to draw attention to what’s happening around the event.
- Work with a team. The more Organizers on your team, the more you can moderate and help attendees in different areas of the event.
Great job! Now, you are the master of Attendee experience and can apply your knowledge to your events.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in case you have questions or need assistance.