We’ve tested more than a dozen new Virtual Convening Tools. Here are our Favorites.
In the age of COVID-19, it seems there is a new virtual convening platform on the market every day. It can feel impossible to keep up, and we’ve heard from dozens of conveners who feel paralyzed by the choice of what technology solution to use as they make this massive pivot to virtual convening. Have no fear! We’ve been testing all these tools; the old standbys and the flashy new kids on the block, and we’re here to help our convening community find the perfect tool(s) to support the impact they’re working to create with their communities.
Hopin is an all-in-one live online events platform where attendees can learn, interact, and connect with people from anywhere in the world. It probably does the best job of any out there in terms of providing a true “conference-like” experience; with participants able to move at-will from session to session (and even create sessions of their own for 1:1 or small group conversations). There’s even a built-in networking feature.
- Create an online event in minutes and increase engagement in your cyber-community;
- You can have participants register and sell tickets right on the platform
- Integrated roles for sponsors
- Most closely replicates a customizable event feeling with segments like Main Stage, Sessions, Networking and Expos.
- Initial onboarding learning curve
- Quite pricey for large events (manageable if you’re under about 500)
- 7% fee if you sell tickets through the platform
- Currently in demo mode, not widely available to the public.
AirMeet is an all in one, scalable event platform that provides users with spontaneous in-person interactions between attendees.
With AirMeet you can publish your event details online, manage registrations and go live with your event from a single interface. They are an all-in-one platform for hosting an event online. No need for additional subscriptions.
- Scalable, create events and facilitate Q&A sessions, social networking, and workshops
- Host up to 1M attendees
- No downloads or other unnecessary software required.
- Functionality for events, but less used for ticketing and marketing
- Extra features may be confusing, and unnecessary (Backstage).
IceBreaker is an app that provides facilitators with curated question cards and prompts to create authentic dialogue in their events. Using the IceBreaker cards, conveners are guided through designing a structured networking experience to support authentic and friendly dialogue between their attendees.
- Removes the administrative side of creating and implementing icebreakers for events
- Well thought out cards make for more actionable and memorable conversations
- In-app messaging allows users to continue the conversation;
- Limited support; App is in private beta, and currently not widely available.
Mozillahub is a VR-friendly platform that was created by the Mozilla Mixed Reality team. Hubs is a tool for communicating and collaborating that allows you to connect with people and bring in resources from around the internet for your meetings and virtual events. With Mozillahub you can watch videos, play with 3D objects and interact in real-time via a virtual room.
- Mozillahub has security features that are automatically embedded into it and skilled users can create an experience that feels virtually the same as interacting in real life.
- Firefox also offers a number of very helpful extensions.
- The interface is relatively intuitive for first-time users as well.
- In addition to consuming a lot of CPU (computer memory), Mozillahub is still not wildly compatible with other systems, nor does it automatically resume downloads, forcing users to start from scratch if they leave a session
- The environment itself may also be a bit of a stretch for certain audiences and could end up detracting from your objectives rather than adding to them