Conference software

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This page is about various software platforms for conferences including:


Zoom[edit]

Zoom was used by Cindy for EMWCon 2020.


Hopin[edit]

Hopin was used by Bernhard for SMWCon 2020.

Thoughts from Bernhard[edit]

  • We used a starter account. It includes 100 registrations, additionals will be charged (50c each). If you don't use your 100/month, they will be transferred to the next month. I guess it can be cancelled after 1 month but I don't know since we still have ours.
  • Another person can login with the same credentials of the account at the same time (in order to have a backup, when something goes wrong and has to be configured). it is just strange, because, then 2 persons with the same name will be visible at the conference

What went well[edit]

  • In general, Hopin was very well suited for substituting for a real conference.
  • The ability to have recorded official sessions and un-recorded sessions for people to meet was very nice
  • Links to sessions can be copy/pasted to the chat so let people know what is up next where
  • Chat and small user survey are nice and were used a lot. general chat/session chat
  • Ability to let sponsors and organizers have "booths" is very nice. They need to have a video or Google presentation, though

What needs to be considered/can be recommended[edit]

  • I did not try out the main stage feature, we had it completely disabled. There you have a "backstage" area for speakers. Only the main stage can be streamed to YouTube, but no screen sharing can be done then (this was the way I read about it at the time we tried that and was the main reason why we did not use it).
  • It was a good idea to have a "speaker's corner" session, where speakers in sessions could try to share their screen, try their mic, etc.
  • People cannot change the way the screen looks. So you cannot enlarge the slides. There is a lot of other things visible in the sessions. So advise your speakers to make BIG slides
  • People are tired after being online, so don't expect too much interaction in breakout sessions
  • The speaker and all others who share their video are visible in the recordings next to the slides. So moderators should disable their video when the presentation starts, because otherwise the slides will be too small on the recording
  • Sharing of pre-recorded YouTube-Videos went ok, but has to be practiced (it has some flaws, I had to restart it twice)
  • We did not use the networking feature: it is a nice feature though: you can set which ticket types can network with which other types. Disadvantage: you cannot control/select whom to meet, it is really a random speed dating.
  • Users need to register at hopin, but can then participate only with their browser
  • 2 of the presenters dropped out from the sessions, which is ok, since it worked very well for all others
  • People seem to get used to the fact that they are not visible fast. I planned to let people ask their questions by "handing them the mic" = let them share audio and video, but usually, they did not, but posted their questions in the chat
  • You really need a moderator in each session
  • We did not try out parallel sessions. It is a good idea to have a main session for each day and activate only the one session for the day and de-activate the others. Some users were lost on the first day when we had all three sessions visible
  • Let the event start earlier than the program (and finish later), because only at a live attend can people come in, look at booths, test in the speakers corner, do networking etc.

What did not go so well[edit]

  • Hopin has a large burden on the computer as soon as you start sharing your video (as a presenter). So it is recommended to cancel pretty much all other programs.
  • Attendees that are speakers have to be added manually, the whole program management in Hopin is very manual. You can import data, but you cannot assign a speaker to a session if he/she is not registered yet
  • Order of visible speakers cannot be changed. It is in the order they register
  • Recording cannot be managed. It can only be set on/off in session settings. advantage is: you cannot forget to record, disadvantage: you cannot stop the recording.

Alternatives to consider[edit]

  • Hopin-Alternative from Switzerland: https://www.veertly.com/pricing
  • Zoom is really something completely different (see EMWCon 2020)
  • BigBlueButton is Open-Source, but more a replacement for Zoom than for Hopin
  • I once participated here: https://remo.co/remo-101/ it is a kind of round-table-setting where you can join different tables. interesting, but not main session were again done with a different tool
  • This I don't know at all: https://www.airmeet.com/


Wonder[edit]

Wonder is proposed by Lex and will be tested out early in 2021.