How Hopin helps virtual event attendees “Feel Closer” with the Stream Chat API.
•Published: May 3, 2022
Challenge: Hopin, the leading shared experiences platform, was looking to enhance its Virtual Venue’s chat solution for reliable scalability — and fast.
Strategy: After evaluating several third-party chat providers, Hopin’s engineers chose Stream for the API’s reliable infrastructure and ability to support millions of concurrent connections without latency. Using a custom UI, Hopin integrated Stream’s React Chat SDK in six months.
Result: Hopin now has a higher-performing chat with markedly improved user engagement and satisfaction metrics. With Stream’s support, Hopin continues to innovate to achieve its goal of helping attendees “Feel Closer” during virtual and hybrid events.
Founded in 2019, Hopin’s mission is to make the world feel closer. As the leading shared experiences platform, Hopin enables brands and communities to create engaging, live experiences. Through its platform, attendees can learn, interact, and connect with people from anywhere in the world. With Hopin, anyone can create live virtual, hybrid, and in-person events that are made highly interactive and immersive.
During pandemic lockdowns, Hopin has been an essential solution for connection. In the long term, Hopin has helped to forever change how people communicate and connect with event organizers across marketing, sales, internal communications, and more as they plan to continue creating virtual and hybrid experiences as an integral part of their strategy.
To meet skyrocketing demand for larger events, Hopin’s engineering team decided that a third-party in-app chat solution was the best way to ensure their platform delivered a reliable and bug-free messaging to their attendees - fast. “It was pivotal we ensured optimal performance for our in-house chat as we grew tremendously,” explains Hopin’s Senior Product Manager Mel Mete. Here’s why Hopin chose to partner with Stream and a look at the company’s experience integrating the Stream Chat API, as well as how high-performing, feature-rich chat helps this exciting startup achieve its vision of reducing the geographic barriers to global connection.
Why Hopin Chose the Stream Chat API
When evaluating chat API/SDK solutions, Hopin prioritized onboarding with a true tech partner — not just a provider. The shared experiences platform was rapidly innovating to provide an exceptional online experience to the millions of attendees showing up to high-profile events on Hopin each month. They enlisted Stream’s expertise to help guide the integration process. “Partnership was one of the most important attributes we looked for in a chat provider. We needed the ability to improve our product and work together, and shape Stream Chat according to customer needs,” says Mete. “The partnership with Stream gives us comfort, and we feel that we have our go-to folks when support is needed.”
Image Source: Hopin
Hopin works closely with Stream to troubleshoot virtual event chat integration issues, add new functionality, and resolve problems immediately. Mete says even Stream’s co-founder and CTO, Tommaso Barbugli, took the time to be available for calls and support important elements of the partnership.
Also factoring into Hopin’s decision to choose Stream over other chat API/SDK providers was Stream’s industry-leading ability to reliably scale and robust messaging features that drive virtual event attendee engagement, such as emojis, likes, Giphys, and direct messages.
Hopin’s Experience Integrating Stream Chat
Mete says that integrating Stream Chat into Hopin’s platform took roughly six months. Overall, the process went smoothly, with Hopin’s engineering team working with Stream’s customer success teams to find smart solutions to complex challenges.
Increased User Engagement & Retention
For the private company, Mete could confirm that adding the Stream Chat API led to more user engagement and retention for Hopin. She specifically points to Stream’s non-text features such as emojis, reactions, at-mentions, and especially Giphys as tools to shore up engagement metrics in a virtual event environment. These added features are low-effort measures that don’t require an attendee to step out of their comfort zone to participate in a session or networking series.
“Chat is one of our most important engagement tools. We know if we have an engaged audience, we have a happy customer. We want to continue to invest in up-leveling the attendee experience.” – Mel Mete, Senior Product Manager, Hopin
The behind-the-scenes functionality of Stream Chat — such as speed and performance — also contributes to exceptional user experience, satisfaction, and retention. Stream allows attendees to focus on networking and event content — not worry about whether their messages are being received.
“Chat is one of our most important engagement tools. We know if we have an engaged audience, we have a happy customer,” says Mete. “We want to continue to invest in up-leveling the attendee experience.”
Primed for More Growth in a Hybrid Event Future
With the help of Stream Chat, Hopin stands firm as a leader in the intensely competitive virtual event platform market. And as in-person events revive, Hopin continues to innovate its technology to meet the demands of hybrid events, including in-person and online attendees.
The trick to succeeding, says Mete, will be to enable both attendee groups to feel like they have equal participation in an event regardless if they are in the room or tuning in from their home office.
As hybrid events become the norm, one thing is for certain: Hopin will prioritize attendee engagement through in-app chat. Already, Hopin is beginning to see more returning users, indicating that event organizers are repeatedly using Hopin to power their multiple events. “This retention metric means our customers are satisfied with our product,” says Mete. “They’re excited about the improvements we’re delivering, and they’ll continue to host more events on our platform.”
See how Stream’s APIs can take your virtual event to the next level. Activate your free 30-day Chat trial today!