At first glance, Hopin’s dashboard can be a little intimidating, but it’s actually not that hard to set up an event on Hopin once you have done it a couple of times. It just takes practice.
Below is a step-by-step tutorial with everything you need to know about launching your first online event from start to finish.
For this training exercise, you’ll learn how to set up a simple event, something similar to a virtual venue for your attendees to explore. We won’t be giving this event a schedule.
Step #1: Create your event
After logging into your account, click the Create event button.
This will bring up the New Event screen with the following quick menu
Name: The name of your event can be changed at any time from the Event Dashboard.
Start/End date & time: The duration of your event (2 hours on the Free plan, 72 hours maximum on the Starter, and Growth plans. Can be extended up to 240 hours on the advanced plan).
- Public events are indexed by search engines.
- Hidden events are joinable only via a link or invite-only.
- Private events are password protected. A great choice for test events and events with limited access for privacy reasons.
Proceed by clicking Create event button.
Update your settings
Once created navigate to Setup > Basics within your Event Dashboard to configure further settings.
Existing settings such as the name of the event or the start and end times, etc., can also be changed here. The other settings to keep in mind are:
Time zones are automatically localized to your attendee’s region. Selecting a timezone here makes it easier for you to build a Schedule later (not covered in this lesson).
Here you can upload your event banner which is shown on the registration and reception pages, as well as a background on the main stage.
We recommend uploading an image without text because this image will be in the background with the title text of your event overlayed on top of it. If you don’t upload an image, a default photo will be used.
For best results, the event banner should be 1500x600 pixels.
Select the areas you’d like your event to have:
- Stage segment is for live speakers, presentations, talks, interviews, live-streaming, and webinars. Up to five people can be on Stage at a time and 100,000 attendees can watch the stage at your event.
- Sessions is the area for live video group discussions and roundtables. You (and your attendees) can set up virtual roundtables in Sessions based on a topic. Up to 20 attendees can “sit down” and join a session on live camera. Up to 500 people can watch a session (without participating on camera).
- Networking is where one-on-one conversations take place. Attendees are matched randomly and can connect (Hopin’s way of exchanging contact info for easy follow up). You set the amount of time they meet. Attendees do not meet the same person twice at an event.
- Expo is for your virtual vendor booths, whether you have two or two hundred of them.
- Replay (available on paid plans only) allows you to show event recording to attendees.
Depending on the goals and nature of your event, you can choose any combination of these areas or all of them.
Turning on Early Access will allow your attendees to have access to the Reception area of your event for up to two weeks before the start date.
For more info, check out our guide.
Expand this by clicking on the text to display further settings.
You can change the event type chosen previously if you wish so.
If you’re concerned about attendees sharing login details to attend the event, you can limit them to one device or browser tab at a time. Users will be notified and given the option to switch if they join more than once. Simply check the box to activate Limit attendee open devices and tabs.
When finished click Save at the bottom of the page to continue.
By default, if a Session is attached to a Schedule segment then they will only display for 5 minutes before and after the set time. However, here you can adjust this so that your Session can be viewed for longer outside of its scheduled segment time!
Step #2: Update your event registration page
The Registration page is where your attendees register for your event via tickets. The Registration page also displays the various components of your event if you have them, including sponsors, schedule, speakers, and booths. For background: At Hopin, we’ve built our own registration systems so you don’t have to worry about using another platform to collect, track, manage, and accept payments for your attendee list. However, it’s totally possible to use a separate registration system for your online event on Hopin using our “Magic Link” one-click event entrance solution on our Advanced plans. The registration tools allow you to set up tickets for your event, promo codes, waitlists, registration forms, etc.
You have two options to set up your registration page:
- Use the default Registration Suite. This can be accessed on the Event Dashboard > Registrations > Registration page
- Use the Hopin Canvas tool to set up a custom registration page (paid plans only). This can be accessed on the Event Dashboard > Registration > Registration page.
Follow this guide to set up your registration page using the default registration system and follow this guide to set up your custom registration page using the Canvas tool.
Almost done! One more step.
Step #3: Create your Reception page
Head to the Venue tab to find the Reception tab in your event dashboard.
Here is where you can write your welcome message for your event. This is the first thing your attendees will see when they enter your event, so it’s important to inform them of what’s going on.
If you’re hosting an event with no schedule, feel free to put a game plan here. For example, when an attendee first joins the event, where do you want them to go? Add that here. It’s also a good idea to add something such as, “How to get the most out of this event.”
The Reception page is also where you can add any links to resources that your attendees should know about.
If you have sponsors for your event and you’d like to display them on your reception page, you’ll need to first add them from the Venue tab. Once added, go back to the Reception tab and add your sponsors.
Sponsor logos can be tiered into three levels of sponsorships: gold, silver and bronze. Learn more about how to add sponsors to your event here.
Recommended: Add a Schedule and Speakers
You can also add a Schedule to your event. Schedules provide a clean structure and source of information for your attendees to know what’s happening during the event and where they should be.
When you create a Schedule, it automatically appears on your event’s Registration page and Reception page.
To create a Schedule, select the Schedule tab on the left menu of your event dashboard and then select Add to Schedule.
A Segment is an item on your Schedule that shows the following information:
- Name of Segment (Example: “Welcome Message and Introduction”)
- Segment type ("Stage")
- Start Time ("10:00 am EST")
- Speaker(s) ("Bobby Janson")
You can also upload a CSV file to create your schedule. For more information on how to create a schedule, check out this guide.
With a Schedule, Hopin will automatically add a wayfinding indicator to the Area icons on the left of your event (i.e., Stage, Sessions, Networking…) to let your attendees know what’s going on and when. Hopin reads your Schedule and attaches the red LIVE tag to the currently scheduled areas of your event.
What if I need to change my Schedule?
If you need to make edits to your Schedule during your event (e.g., maybe a speaker doesn’t show up), you can go to your event dashboard, select the Schedule tab, and edit any Segment of your event. Click Save when finished and your event will update when your attendees click refresh or move to another area of the event.
For more info on making edits to your schedule, check out this article.
There are several ways you can choose to add speakers to your event.
One way to add Speakers is by navigating to your Event Dashboard > People > Speakers page. Here, you can add, remove, and edit all of your speakers.
Check out our guide for more info on how to add a speaker to your event.
Once you’ve added Speakers you can go back to your Schedule area and select the segment they are participating in. There is a dropdown box under the heading "Speakers" where you can select your existing speaker profiles. Alternatively, you can create a new profile directly from your Schedule.
When you’re finished adding segments and speakers, click Save. You can always come back and change your Schedule, Reception Page, and Registration (and any) page before or during your event.
At this point, you have everything you need to launch your event. There’s a lot more you can do, such as adding sponsors and vendors, but you can work on those things later. For now, you’re ready to go live!
Go to the event dashboard.
Click Publish on the left to publish your event.
Once your event is published, you can copy the link of your Registration page (from the Overview page of the event dashboard) and start promoting! Make sure you publish your event before sharing the Registration page link — otherwise, the link will not work and will direct people to Hopin’s homepage.
All details of your event are editable at any time if you need to make a change, so there’s no pressure to make everything perfect before going live. You’re now able to keep track of visitors, registrations, and revenue on your Overview page.
Congrats, your first online event is live on Hopin!
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in case you have questions or need assistance.