With the statistics making a solid case for virtual and hybrid events, it’s clear that they’re here to stay. Even as we move into a post-pandemic world, virtual conferences aren’t going anywhere.
But, if you’re looking to launch a hybrid event, you might be familiar with the increased complexities. Hosting a hybrid event isn’t like organizing a traditional or virtual one. It’s tougher than both. You’re tasked with connecting two different audiences and keeping them satisfied, finding and organizing a virtual and physical venue, and taking on the robust production challenges.
You’ll definitely need to choose the right hybrid event platform to successfully plan and execute your event. Since BuzzCast and Hopin are both established hybrid event solutions, it can be tricky to choose between the two. So, to give you a clearer perspective, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between the platforms in this review.
BuzzCast vs Hopin: Features, Plans, and Pricing
Hopin and BuzzCast have different pricing structures. For BuzzCast, you pay an annual license fee which gives you access to the platform and its full features. Then, there are event-specific costs depending on how much support you need and the number of attendees.
Hopin has different pricing plans, and more robust features are exclusive to the higher plans. For example, their Growth plan (which costs $779/month or $667/month if billed annually) doesn’t give you access to:
- Advanced branding features;
- Event upgrades (like multiple stages) an;
- 99.5% Uptime SLA;
Among other restrictions. In contrast, BuzzCast does not restrict features on a plan-by-plan basis.
Support and Managed Experience
One of the most significant differences you’ll find between Hopin’s and BuzzCast’s hybrid offerings is the difference in support. Unlike most premium virtual events platforms, BuzzCast offers a fully managed service to help you design and execute the perfect hybrid event.
With BuzzCast, you can choose from three levels of support to meet different organizational needs. Our offerings include:
- Level 1 support, with BuzzCast’s production service team
- Level 2 support, with BuzzCast’s AV & stream team
- Level 3 support, with BuzzCast’s event tech team
If you opt for level 3 support, our team will help organize the hybrid event’s entire technical aspects. This includes site development and platform customization, mapping the attendee experience, testing Q&As, and more.
Hopin’s level of support depends on the plan you purchase. For example, the Growth plan and below only include email and chat support. You won’t have access to a designated account manager, an uptime SLA, or onboarding and training. However, Hopin has launched a self-service training academy – Hopin Learn – to help you get started.
Branding and Customization
BuzzCast is fully customizable, so you can make it your own. With BC, you can generate customized landing pages with branded URLs, sponsorship booths, and design the look and feel of each page. BC also offers a range of 3D rendered exhibitor booth options.
Hopin’s enterprise and business plans include advanced customization features so that you can design fully customized events. However, their growth plan (and plans below it) have limited branding features. You can use the drag and drop builder to insert your logo, change the colors, and adjust design elements on these lower-end plans. But, for high-quality branding opportunities, you’ll need to subscribe to a higher plan.
For hybrid events, some businesses need extra production help. If that sounds like your organization, you’ll be pleased to know that BuzzCast offers production services through our sister company, The Buzz Lab.
The Buzz Lab has been in the production business for over 12 years now. So if you need help producing a hybrid event, the team can help you plan, organize, and successfully execute your event.
A questionnaire found that more than 70% of hybrid event marketers struggle with connecting their virtual and physical audiences. That’s because creating immersive, interactive experiences requires expertise – the kind that BuzzCast and The Buzz Lab have years of.
Since Hopin is strictly an event hosting platform, rather than a fully managed service, it does not offer a dedicated production services team. However, you can purchase their Business or Enterprise for higher-level support, including a designated account manager, uptime SLA, and onboarding and training.
With BuzzCast, you can pick exactly how much support you need. For example, our technical support might be enough, especially if you have a solid in-house production team. In this case, you won’t need to request our production services.
Uptime and Performance
Both Hopin and BuzzCast are built to handle larger audiences, to meet enterprise needs. So, with both platforms, you can expect high broadcast quality and consistent uptime. Hopin includes a 99.5% uptime SLA with their Business and Enterprise plans, while BuzzCast delivers 100% uptime.
BuzzCast ensures zero downtime because of its technical infrastructure; the platform is built from the ground up using AWS serverless technology. In simpler terms, BuzzCast was designed to perform at scale. So even if your attendee count spikes suddenly, you won’t experience lag or downtime.
Zero downtime is crucial for virtual events, but it might be even more important for hybrid events. Because in hybrid events, downtime introduces a discrepancy between your live and virtual audience’s viewing.
Which Hybrid Event Platform Should You Choose?
Considering BuzzCast vs Hopin are both exceptional hybrid events platforms engineered to meet enterprise needs. They deliver high production value, consistent uptime, and interactive experiences. However, BuzzCast’s support options and feature offerings are more well-rounded.
Hopin offers a robust event platform for organizers to plan, customize, and execute their own events. Thus, even the support options are geared towards self-service; your team will need to learn to use the platform and organize the event.
While many businesses are satisfied with self-service solutions, some prefer more managed experiences. Since hybrid events require more planning and organizing than traditional or virtual events, many companies look for hybrid event platforms with exceptional support.
BuzzCast caters to both kinds of businesses – whether you prefer self-service or a fully managed solution, you can pick the appropriate level of BC support. Our managed service is a popular choice for hybrid events because of our team’s expertise. For example, we partnered with 3 production companies to deliver the Just For Laughs (JFL) Comedy Pro 2021 hybrid event, which was JFL’s first virtual events venture.
Another key difference between BC and Hopin to consider is the pricing structure. While Hopin offers different plans, the lower-end ones are quite restricted with limited features. BuzzCast, on the other hand, lets you mix and match features to your needs and provides a custom quote accordingly.
BuzzCast is purpose-built to meet robust enterprise needs. Our platform guarantees zero downtime, high-quality production value, and unmatched support. If you need help producing your next hybrid event, schedule a demo with us. We’ll walk you through the platform and discuss your specific needs.