Hio Debuts New Virtual Networking Features, Offers 3 Free Months of Premium Access
Networking and events platform Hio (which stands for “hit it off”) has launched two new offerings to facilitate virtual networking and socialization — and is offering free Hio Premium access from April 1 – June 30.
Event planners can create, host and manage virtual events free of charge on the Hio platform. The Host-Moderated Virtual Event option works for webinars, speakers and individual networking sessions during an event, while the new Virtual Lounge format provides a formal opportunity for attendees to engage in one-on-one networking sessions. Network Now, a new Hio Premium feature, allows individuals to conduct seven-minute, one-on-one video chats on demand, mimicking live networking.
“With Virtual Lounge and Network Now, Hio hopes to allow event organizers to ... help users form meaningful relationships and grow their network in tough times,” says Jason Craparo, CEO and founder of Hio.
He adds, “Hio Premium allows event organizers to seamlessly take their events digital in the event of a cancellation. This reduces massive losses that can come with unplanned cancellations and also ensures that attendees benefit from planned events, giving them access to connect with other attendees from their mobile phones.”
Hio’s Host-Moderated Virtual Event offering uses Zoom as its broadcast platform. Content can be pre-recorded or recorded live for later use. While the event host and speakers need to install Zoom, attendees only need the Hio app if they want to join the event from their smartphones. The host can start the meeting from either Zoom or Hio.
“Once the host goes live, we overlay the Zoom experience onto the attendee’s screen right from Hio,” Craparo explains. “After the event, the guest list stays live so attendees can then access Hio’s follow-up features, such as sending a pre-written follow-up email or setting a reminder to reach out.”
Premium users also have the ability to send all of their new Hio connections to one of 30 CRMs with the click of a button.
For moderated events, the number of participants is limited only by the organizer’s Zoom account (usually 100 people and 40 minutes, if you’ve signed up for a free Zoom account; the length and the attendee number increase with paid Zoom subscriptions).
Virtual Lounge events include the seven-minute, one-on-one video chat functionality along with live group messaging and the option for social media integration. This format is unmoderated, allows unlimited capacity, and has no time limit — much like a social gathering.
Planners can also use Hio to schedule and host in-person events of any size, using their existing registration site or internal systems. The app also supports on-demand push notifications, allowing you to communicate important updates to your attendees in real-time — and to follow up with them post-event.
“Hio can save a lot of money for organizations that frequently host field events because it combines an event tool with a networking tool that are both free,” says Craparo.
It’s also easy to measure the ROI of an event using Hio. The platform’s planner view includes a dashboard that summarizes attendee demographics, types of networking activities (i.e., what pieces of contact information were shared), attendees’ interests and more. The information is also available as a downloadable prospectus.
Hio’s event clients include EMRG Media’s Event Planner Expo, Global Training & Events Group LLC’s Tech Up for Women, Prysm Group’s B2B Marketing Expo and White Label Expo, Network After Work, Rockstar Connect, BOLD Networking and NY Tech Meetup.
Here’s a quick comparison guide showing the differences between Hio’s Host-Moderated Virtual Event and Virtual Lounge events.