The coronavirus outbreak has hardly spared any industry, with events and conferences also being affected. Major event organisers have cancelled their 2020 editions that were supposed to be hosted in the first quarter of this year.
By mid-quarter, enterprises and event organisers were certain about the fact that physical events can’t be hosted. There was an option to switch official meetings to video calls and video conferencing, but the needs of live physical events and conferences could not be met.
“Clients called me up almost every day for about a week. They were asking if video conferencing can be used. It was tough to give any advice since we knew video conferencing cannot fully meet the requirements of events. So, we decided to change our priorities and came up with a Virtual Event Platform, says Vaibhav Jain, Founder and CEO, Hubilo.
Mayank Agarwal and Vaibhav Jain founded Hubilo, a cloud-based, end-to-end event management platform in 2014, which is now used by Niti Aayog, DSCI, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca- Cola, Mercedes, among others.
Hubilo had started off with a paycheque of Rs 16,000 and today, clocks a turnover of Rs 8 crore.
In view of the coronavirus outbreak, the team got together to brainstorm a solution by the first week of March. Within five days, the Hubilo team swiftly executed the Beta version and successfully launched the ‘Virtual Event Platform’.
Virtual Event Platform has two major objectives: First, to take the entire experience of an event online, and second, make it easy for event organisers to switch from physical to virtual.
Every event hosted on the platform gets a dedicated Speaker Lounge. This is where attendees can see a list of all event speakers and their sessions. They can register and add sessions to their event itinerary.
Attendees can join a live session by just one click and can interact with speakers using Q&A and virtually experience a live session. In fact, they can even access this on-demand, post the session, which is something even physical events do not provide.
In real-time networking, an attendee can grab a seat at the networking lounge to connect and video chat with people who have similar interests or queries. The platform also suggests top 10 people an attendee can connect with, at the event.
Virtual booths are another unique proposition of the product that provides sponsors and exhibitors with an online space to market their product or service by hosting videos, product collaterals, and other details. Premium sponsors can also avail associate login for a marketing executive that allows him to network with attendees virtually.
“Virtual events are proving to be an astute solution to ensure events can be executed and people can stay connected. Our platform, post-launch, has seen high demand. Currently, we are offering a special price relief to the events that got affected in these uncertain times,” says Vaibhav when asked about the product’s price.
The cloud-based event management platform so far functioned as a one-stop solution for every kind of event, by automating the entire process. From registrations and ticketing, to networking and promotions, Hubilo’’s online event management suite helps businesses create memorable events.
Hubilo says their technology can increase attendance, decrease booking costs, and lead to a rise in response time to requests for proposals (RFPs).
“This impact is quite significant when it comes to quantitative measures. Talking about event technology, currently, a range of event technology tools are being used to optimise the overall event planning and execution process. There are multiple companies offering a range of different tools. There is engagement technology such as AV and VR, or Goqii for wearable technology. With the COVID-19 crisis, going digital is the new normal,” Vaibhav says.