What’s the fate of virtual events now that we’re back IRL?

Virtual events platforms are struggling with the return of in-person events.

During the pandemic, Hopin, a virtual events platform, became the fastest growing European startup of all time.

What’s the fate of virtual events now that we’re back IRL?

After reaching unicorn status in 2020, the company more than tripled its valuation to $7.75B in August 2021.

But now that IRL events are back, the fate of Hopin, and virtual events at large, is at risk, per Financial Times.


… has dealt with a number of challenges in 2022, including:

  • Layoffs: the company let go of 12% of its staff (totaling 138 workers) in February
  • Falling stock: Hopin’s share price fell 41% in Q1 on Zanbato (a trading market for private companies)

As a result, Hopin has pivoted to marketing itself as an all-events platform, capitalizing on the demand for hybrid gatherings with both in-person and virtual components.

With happy hour back in person…

… it makes sense that the appetite for online events is shrinking. Case in point: In November 2020, Hopin’s platform featured 15k+ events — it now shows fewer than 500.

Despite the drop in demand, virtual events will likely have a role going forward, especially virtual work events and conferences, which:

  • Are cheaper, more inclusive, and more environmentally friendly than in-person meetings.
  • Align with the trend toward remote work, which has led workers to expect both remote and in-person options.

BTW, if you’re organizing an event anytime soon, here are 15 ways to drive ticket sales.

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