Start-ups aim to bring big conferences online as coronavirus triggers cancellations

Several major tech conferences, from Mobile World Congress to Facebook’s F8 event, have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Start-ups Hopin and Run The World have built platforms for hosting events — both big and small — online. Both companies say they’ve seen a big increase in demand as event organizers look for alternatives due to health concerns.

Start-ups aim to bring big conferences online as coronavirus triggers cancellations
Start-ups aim to bring big conferences online as coronavirus triggers cancellations

Johnny Boufarhat was alarmed at the number of inquiries his start-up was receiving, as health concerns around the fast-spreading coronavirus forced major tech conference organizers to pull the plug.

The British entrepreneur’s platform, which is currently in “early access,” lets users watch and interact with events virtually. Called Hopin, the London-based start-up’s service broadcasts live events for up to 100,000 people and holds offshoot Q&A sessions and networking opportunities — entirely online.