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 know your way around Hopin and see things from your guests’ perspective so that you know how to direct them.

Your first Hopin event

Every Hopin event begins in the Reception area. This is where you’ll see the organiser’s welcome message, the schedule for the event, the speakers, and the sponsors. You can think of the Reception area as a venue’s lobby, it’s the information hub. The other rooms in the venue are below on the left hand menu.

The left hand menu lists the areas (also called “segments”) of the event that the organiser has set up. These can include Stage, Networking, Sessions, and Expo. A Hopin event can have just one segment or all four (in addition to the Reception page).

The five areas of Hopin

There are five areas in a Hopin event. 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. 

1. Reception

The Reception area is the welcome page or “lobby” of your revent. Here you can quickly find out what’s happening at the event currently, the organiser’s welcome message, sponsors, the schedule, and speakers. The Reception area is often used for announcements, important links, sponsor messages, and event updates.

2. Stage

There is one main stage at each Hopin event and it supports up to 100,000 concurrent viewers. The Stage is great for your keynotes, presentations, panels, performances, and fireside chats. You can broadcast live video or display pre-recorded content from YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia on the Stage. You can also use the Stage with a third-party RTMP live-streaming software such as OBS, WireCast, ManyCam, Ecamm, Switcher Studio, and so on. These programs are 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.

For online events, most organisers use Hopin’s own built-in live streaming studio called the backstage to broadcast to the main stage. See the backstage tutorial for more information on how the Hopin backstage works.

Note: Up to five people can share video on stage at the same time. 

3. Sessions

 The Sessions area of Hopin is for breaking into groups and rooms. In Sessions, you can provide virtual roundtables or “mini stages” for speakers and attendees to interact. Ten people can participate in a session on live camera, while 500 people can join the session but just watch off-camera. Everyone in a session can interact in the session chat. This is often where attendees ask questions to the speakers on camera. 

Note: There is no limit to the number of concurrent sessions you can have in the Sessions area. 

Sessions are great for multi-track conferences, training workshops, hackathons, breakout rooms, webinars, and teams. Optionally, you can also let your attendees create their own sessions during the live event.

4. Networking

The Networking area in Hopin is the place where people meet one-on-one at your online event. This feature 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 another attendee and meet for a set time preset by the organiser.

These one-on-one meetings are similar to a FaceTime call. Attendees can leave at any time and have the option to click the Connect button during a call to exchange contact information.

Networking is often used for any sort of matchmaking experience, 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. It’s up to you!

5. Expo

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, or a live video session with a vendor rep “manning” the booth. Every booth also has a customizable CTA button that can be linked to any hyperlink with custom text.

How do people get around at a Hopin event?

Similar to a physical event, the Hopin 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, — as by default all Hopin events are “open” — but you do have some signposting options to help direct the flow.

  • Add a Schedule to your event. A Schedule shows your attendees what’s happening, where they should be, when, and who’s speaking. To add a Schedule, go to the Schedule tab in your event dashboard. You can add as many segments to your Schedule as needed.
  • The Live tag. When an area (e.g., Stage) is “live” according to the Schedule of your event, the red “LIVE” tag shows on it, indicating to attendees where the action is at that time.
  • The “What’s happening now” button on the Reception. When attendees first land in the Reception area of your event, there’s a large clickable button that shows up with the words “What’s happening now” for your attendees to one-click navigate to where the action is, according to your schedule.
  • Highlighted organizer messages in the chat. As the organiser, your chat messages are always highlighted in color so they are easily noticed. Use your messages to remind and direct people where they should go.
  • Shortened URLs. 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 abbreviates the URL to a clickable hashtag — this is a powerful tool for giving attendees one-click entrance into any part of your Hopin event.

Which browsers are best?

For the best Hopin experience, we recommend Chrome or Firefox. Please avoid Brave, Safari, and Microsoft IE or Edge for now. 

Chats for everyone

There are multiple chat channels in a Hopin event. Each one serves a different purpose.

  • Event chat — this tab shows the global event chat where all participants can post messages. 
  • Session chat — each session in Sessions has its own chat room. Attendees who are off-camera can chat in the session 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 a Hopin event 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.

Managing your event

To help orient newcomers at your event, here are five key pointers.

  • Prepare your attendees before the event. Send over a personalized demo, or use one of ours to acquaint them with the Hopin platform before your 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 your 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 your 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.
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