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How to Build a Platform like Hopin

17 September 2021 • 14 min read
How to Build a Platform like Hopin
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Slava Ivanov
Slava Ivanov
Global IT partnerships and Strategic development
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Events10x — video conferencing solution for online events
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VidRTC
Slava Vaniukov
Written by Slava Vaniukov
Co-Founder and CEO at Softermii
Video conferencing features for any industry with VidRTC
Customizable solution with social network features
VidRTC

Covid-19 predominantly causes the rising popularity of virtual event platforms. Offline meetings disappeared from our lives. As an outcome, the demand for a new approach to hosting events skyrocketed. Hopin is one of the platforms that came with the solution to solving this issue.

The numbers prove the incredible demand. In summer 2020, Hopin raised $40 million in Series A funding. Round B was closed with $125 million. 2021 is also successful for the startup: it raised $400 million at a $5.65 billion valuation. Now Hopin has 100,000 customers and is the fastest-growing European-based startup. Impressively, the annual recurring revenue is about $100 million. For an 1800-employee company, these are surprisingly big numbers.

Hopin is a great solution for the pandemic world. However, many businesses are still not satisfied with third-party platforms and apps. They need something that perfectly suits their goals and business demands. Tailor-made app development is the solution that works for them.

We use Hopin as the best practice, adding our expertise and the clients' requirements to the development of online platforms. This article explains how to create Hopin-like platforms that will be perfect for your business.

Read also: How to build custom virtual event platform

How Do Virtual Event Softwares like Hopin Work?

The key idea of virtual event software is to allow users to create, host, and manage live events. Depending on the size of the company and business demands, the number of attendees may be different. Platforms like Hopin allow hosting events with up to 100,000 visitors.

As a rule, virtual conference software allows using video, chats, voice — all available tools for communication. Additional features such as Raise a Hand or Like a Message may be added depending on the platform. However, the feature list of Hopin is not limited to the basic interaction elements. The developers added polls, quizzes, and Q&As to keep attendees engaged.

Such platforms as Hopin also have different areas so that the users can switch between them. For example, Hopin has a reception, stage, sessions, networking, and event booths. The number of areas depends on the size of the event.

Hosting an online event with Virtual Event Software is even easier than organizing an offline event. You need to

  • create an event and become its host
  • promote the event and sell tickets
  • host the event using chat rooms, live discussions, and video calls

Everything happens in real-time: the speaker or host streams the event, the attendees get engaged in the discussion via the platform.

Types of Online Events

If you plan to develop an app like Hopin, you need to know the types of events you can host with them. Every kind of online event is interactive, supported by the list of features that a platform has.

  • Online courses
  • Webinars
  • Fairs & Trade shows
  • Networking events
  • Conferences
  • Broadcast to event
  • Summits/Forums
  • Trainings
  • Workshops
  • Panel discussions
  • Festivals
  • Expos
  • Fundraisers
  • Association meetings
  • Product launches
  • Contests
  • Q&A
  • Live streaming

Generally speaking, it is possible to host an event that has previously been held offline. Modern platforms have a great set of attendee management tools to keep all visitors engaged.

All types of online events help to build a strong community behind your business.

Key features of Hopin virtual event platform

Building a virtual event app requires an understanding of the basic features that such platforms have. Attendees have already got used to certain options when visiting online events and expect to get them at any platform.

For example, they pay attention to customizable branding whether your event has your company logos or the chat is colored with your brand colors.

These are the basic features that any virtual event platform should have.

Attendee Management

Attendee Management

It is one of the features you visitors won't notice. But in case the platform does not have it, sufficient management of attendees is impossible. For example, you won't be able to collect information about them or send notifications.

Attendee Management

Screen sharing

It gives a possibility to the speaker to share and demonstrate the screen in real-time.

Attendee Management

Online registration

Online registration is also important for all users. It must be easy for them to leave their contacts and buy the ticket. Also, it must be easy for them to get access to the conference they are planning to visit.

Attendee Management

Chat

Chats are vital for any virtual event: in this way, users can communicate with each other, ask questions and leave comments. It's important to add direct messaging to the list of the features as well. For any audience, it is essential to have the possibility to contact someone directly.

Attendee Management

Record meetings

Option to record a meeting is important both for hosts and the attendees. If someone cannot visit the event, they can use the record of it.

Attendee Management

Video Q&A

One of the most demanding features of virtual event platforms is video Q&A where multiple presenters and event attendees use the platform to communicate via videos simultaneously.

Attendee Management

Polls and surveys

Polls and surveys help to boost engagement significantly. It can be used for any meeting or forum. Besides, you can use this tool to collect data for your further campaigns.

Attendee Management

Reporting and analytics

No matter how successful your event was, you need to know everything possible about it. Analytics will help you collect data about your visitors, for example, the engagement rate. Later on, you can use this information to improve the quality of the events.

Want to build a platform like Hopin? Make sure that your app has at least these features. Of course, for some projects, these are not enough. Some require adding a calendar, while others need reminders.

We recommend deciding on what features to add to your app or platform at the stage of project discussion. In this way, it will be possible to estimate the time for development and predict such a project's costs.

Hopin like the app tech stack

The features of virtual events look amazing. But how much does it take to develop them? Let’s analyze the tech stack of Hopin-like app development to understand if it is possible to create such a platform on our own.

Crunchbase provides a basic overview of Hopin’s tech stack and technologies: HTML5, Google Fonts, jQuery, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET and PHP are some of the most popular tools. It gives us a certain level of understanding: developing a virtual event platform requires a profound knowledge of industry and technologies.

In our practice, we use our VidRTC Customizable Video Conferencing Engine. It allows us to create any platform for small and medium businesses, startups, and even enterprises.

Challenges of Hopin like platform development

Is it possible to build a virtual event platform like Hopin? Sure. But prepare for the challenges, especially if you decide to create such a platform on your own.

Research takes too much time

Despite the huge number of virtual event platforms, it still takes too much time to analyze all the competitors and define the vector for development. In this case, it is better to have someone in your team who has deep expertise in developing such platforms: it will help you save time and money.

It’s impossible to create such a platform without a team of senior developers

Your tech team must consist of talented senior engineers who already have experience working on such complicated projects. You can also consider hiring a team for this particular project: but remember, it won't be a cost-effective solution.

It requires a detailed management process

The process of creating such an app required different teams and specializations. It's obligatory to involve the project manager in developing such a project. Otherwise, it will be impossible for the team to work effectively and deliver the project on time.

So how to build a platform like Hopin? Work with a dedicated and talented team! However, it does not mean that you need to hire a team for the project. You can always develop a streaming service or a webinar-only platform by hiring an outsource company that already has experience creating such projects. It will help you save time, effort, and money.

Cost to develop a virtual event platform like Hopin

The cost of the development may vary greatly depending on the complexity of the project, number of features, team composition, techstack and deadlines. The technologies used may be different, but the basic tech stack is as follows:

Backend:

  • NodeJS
  • ExpressJS
  • Mongoose
  • MongoDB

Frontend:

  • ReactJS

Videoconferencing:

  • Mediasoup
  • GStreamer
  • FFmpeg
  • nginx

Infrastructure:

  • Docker
  • Hosted orchestrator
  • Load balancer
Project scope Role Timeline Projected cost
  • Platform Introduction web-site
  • Calendar with schedule
  • Event registration
  • Event management and customization
  • Personalised and branded booths
  • Auditorium
  • Event Hall
  • Broadcasting and streaming - WebRTC
    Audio&Video
  • Participants hall
  • Private and hall messaging
  • Email campaigns
  • Roles and Permissions

PM

BA

Designer

3хDev

2хQA

From 12 month

from 360 000$

Softermii Logo

For example, a chat or a stream are basic features for any virtual event platform. However, if you want something more specific to your market, you need to discuss the development price with the experienced team.

Project scope Role Timeline Projected cost

  • Badges to design, print and issue
  • Interpretation to different languages in realtime
    Audio
  • AI text translation
  • Business Card request&share
  • Personal online video-call schedule
  • Personal video-calls
  • AI matchmaking
  • White Label solutions

PM

BA

Designer

3хDev

2хQA

From 6 month

from 180 000$

Softermii Logo

Brief and project analysis

Every project starts with a briefing stage. At this point, we collect the requirements for the project: the basic set of features, additional features, deadlines, etc. We define the number of attendees who can use the platform at the same time.

For example, if the app should have only basic features, like screen sharing, chat, and video, the price will be about $90 000. However, if you plan to create an app with multiple extra features, the costs will increase. The average cost for developing a custom feature for an app varies depending on the needed additional features.

Estimation

After collecting all requirements for the project, the time for estimation comes. Depending on the complexity of the project, we can estimate the time needed for development and the resources.

The estimated budget for creating a virtual event platform starts from $90 000 and rises to $500 000.

Creating a team

The cost of development will also depend on the teams that will work on the project:

  • Product Design Team

As a rule, at least one product designer and a business developer are involved in creating an app.

  • Management team

To make all processes go smoothly, we work with the project manager. In this way, we are sure that all prints passed successfully and all milestones are achieved.

  • Development team

As a rule, development is the most expensive part of creating an app. Depending on the stack and types of developers you need for the project, the costs will vary.

  • Quality assurance team

To eliminate all the problems when developing the product, it's necessary to have highly experienced QA engineers in the team.

  • Support team

If the project is complex and has many features, it's always a good idea to have a support team at hand. You can address them with questions of any complexity and get an answer in a blink of an eye.

Development

The project development price will depend on the tech stack, team composition, features, and terms used for the project. High-load projects require a unique approach, as well as projects with different features.

For the least complicated projects, the price range for development starts from $90 000, while the development of complex projects can be as much as $500 000.

Testing

Quality assurance is an important part of any development process. We can find and fix any bugs at this stage and make sure that the released product works perfectly. Our QA engineers conduct multiple tests before the project is released.

The costs of testing depend on the number of engineers involved in the project. Additionally, they will depend on the type of QA you need: manual (prices start from $5000) or automate (prices start from $7000).

Release and maintenance

The last step of project development is release. However, in many cases, it is not the final one. Maintenance and regular updates are vital, as well as security and safety monitoring.

The prices for product maintenance and support vary depending on the needed updates, added features, duration of monitoring, etc. We believe that the costs must be flexible depending on various factors. Therefore, we always discuss them before we start the project.

Company experience: development of Events10x

In August 2020, Softermii started the development of Events10x, an online events service provider. By using this platform, it is possible to organize conferences and exhibitions. Both private and group networking is available. Communication is ensured by video calls, messaging, and broadcasting. The number of attendees is 15,000 people. The service has some features of the Hopin platform. But we've also created unique features, especially for this platform.

The list of features for this project is as following

  • Internal calls
  • Broadcasting
  • Messaging
  • Sending text messages to your peers
  • Calendar Planning
  • Multiple hubs option
  • AI-powered translation
  • Conference participants matchmaking
  • Private video chat rooms
  • White Label Solutions

Currently, a team of 11 highly skilled professionals is working on the project.

The main technology to be used is the VidRTC engine (based on WebRTC) combined with third-party technologies for enhanced user experience and broader streaming opportunities.

The tech stack of Events10x consists of:

  • Node.js
  • React
  • Saga
  • Redux
  • Azure
  • AWS
  • WebRTC
  • VidRTC

Currently, the platform has 7462 users. The Peak attendance is 6609.

The development of the Events10X project brought us an award from the AE Ministry of Economy.

Let’s develop your own online event platform like Hopin!

We believe that using third-party services for hosting online events is no longer the only option for businesses. Any company or organization can afford the development of a custom virtual event platform that will perfectly suit their needs.

We at Softermii will gladly help create video conferencing solutions for all purposes and any level of complexity. Everything you need for virtual conferences is here: live broadcasting, live video conferences, appointment systems, messaging, event management systems.

We use different technologies to develop online event platforms, including .NET, Node.js, JavaScript, React JS/Native, Typescript, AWS, Mediasoup, Kotlin, Swift, WebRTC, Kubernetes, Azure, and others.

Our team of managers and developers will help you create the solution that will work for you. We will discuss the development process, set the milestones and define the budget — give us a call to start working on your project!

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