Platform Rumble: Hopin

Conferences, conferences, conferences

Read on to see how Hopin holds up as a platform, its strengths, weaknesses, and ultimately its Alt Score.


Hopin is pretty blunt in its purpose as a platform – to push conferences through it. They officially use the term “events” on the homepage, but I’d wager no one is about to run a wine tasting event through it (shout at me if you’ve seen this very thing happen).

They’re making a push for it to be used for other purposes such as workshops, but using it for things like that would be a bit like going to an all you can eat buffet and just eating garlic bread. Sure, it’s tasty, but you’re foregoing 90% of the rest.

What’s good?

When it comes to conferences though, they have nailed it. +40 points here for really mastering that brief. Without going total bespoke and spending a fortune, there are few that compete with it for the conference/expo type of event.

Take its main stage. This is where you’d have your main “talks”, and a backstage function makes it easy to welcome your speakers first before going live at the flick of a button. A great way to warm your speakers up to the platform while hidden from gazing eyes. +20 points.

Or how about the “Sessions” section. This is the equivalent of all the smaller crowd talks going on away from the main stage. You can have multiple sessions running at once, each with several speakers at once, and a chat function for each. Have another +20 points.

The networking feature is where I really think they’ve done well though. A simple concept, where you indicate you’re “networking ready” and are matched to a complete stranger. You’ll have a fixed duration of time to speak, and at the click of a button you can “exchange details” if you want to. It saves the effort of going up to people and is a quick way to build connections, so +20 points again.

Finally, there is an Expo section, where people can quite literally expo and pre-upload promo videos, call to actions etc. A great feature for more of the expo leaning conference style. Let’s keep it consistent, +20 points.

What’s bad?

Alright, downside time. Hot off the heels of that networking feature, some elements don’t work so well without volume. Randomised networking is great… unless barely anyone else has clicked the “networking ready” button, in which case it’s a lot of twiddling thumbs. Sorry Hopin, -10 points there.

Likewise the platform can pack a lot of different slots, but it can start to feel thinly spread very quickly, a sense of guest sparseness as there is so much to go around. While that’s partly on organisers for packing the agenda without driving the numbers, there isn’t really a way to manage it once it occurs, so that’s another -10 points.

Finally, it can feel a bit clunky at times, with an interface that sometimes lacks intuition. A blur of joining links with the same interface can make it easy for speakers to get lost, and whilst being able to chat across different channels (event wide/room specific/direct message) is nifty, its often underutilised or just a downright source of confusion for guests. Another -10 points then.

Pricing wise, Hopin continues its clunky feel with a pricing plan that is unnecessarily convoluted – it throws in an extra cost per guest once you go past the maximum guest number included in your plan, a dangerous approach where if registrations go through the roof, great news for your event, but terrible news for your bottom line. -10 points, as it smells of “stealth pricing”, when they could just allow you to set up a cap on your registrations and agree a fixed fee for that. I should add though that you have the ability to monetise your event by charging for tickets through Hopin registration, so +10 points back.

Oh, and of course its another one of those “loves to get blocked by corporate VPNs” platforms. Not entirely their fault, but still problematic, so -10 points there too.

VERDICT – 80 Alt Points

Hopin is good. A little tinkering could make it great. For a very specific type of event, you should definitely take a look.

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