Starting as a digital networking platform in 2015, Hubilo currently operates as an quit-to-stop digital event platform with 40% of its consumer base within the US, whilst the APAC and the EU account for 25% of each
Hubilo’s cofounder and CTO, Mayank Agarwal, credits his bond with the opposite cofounder Vaibhav Jain and the agency’s obsession with patron delight for its growth
CFT stuck up with Agarwal to chart the adventure of the startup thru many demanding situations and explore how manufacturers can grow and scale up with the assist of virtual and hybrid events
“For us, it is a friendship of 12 years. Right from the start, we depended on each other and knew that we had to deliver every different area. That is the most effective way a CTO can consider innovation, and the CEO can think about the enterprise and its increase. Cofounders will constantly require that form of consider and area to make it a achievement.” — Mayank Agarwal, cofounder and CTO, Hubilo.
This knowledge among Agarwal and his cofounder Vaibhav Jain has enabled the duo to scale their startup through numerous market conditions — pivoting and updating with each important industry shift.
Hubilo become commenced in 2015 as a virtual networking platform and currently operates as an quit-to-end digital event platform, with 40% of the client base in the US, while the APAC and the EU account for 25% every. Its esteemed shoppers consists of the United Nations, Walmart, AB InBev, Roche Pharma, Echo, and GITEX.
Earlier, the startup informed CFT that it shifted to live digital occasions 26 days into the 2020 lockdowns and due to the fact then have controlled to onboard extra than 750 customers from a hundred+ countries and engaged with greater than 100 Mn attendees through its portfolio of 10K+occasions.
When asked approximately Hubilo’s inception, Agarwal recalled that his cofounder usually had an entrepreneurial mindset and the imaginative and prescient to start his agency. “After college, I become running for an IoT startup when he (Jain) called and requested me to enroll in his startup and construct an in-house tech crew. And I said yes with out thinking twice. I simply knew that if he had started out something, it would grow huge.”
But after they commenced as a digital networking platform in 2015, the marketplace changed into now not equipped for it. It was when Zoom or Google Meet or Meet Now had not end up part and parcel of our daily lives as they're now in a virulent disease-hit global. People were worried of the digital global, and stay-streaming of digital occasions turned into whatever but area of interest. But all that modified in 2020 because the Corona crisis delivered life (and the economy) to a shuddering halt.
While organizations across sectors saw their sales hit rock bottom, virtual networking was many of the few markets that witnessed a surge. By then, almost all enterprises had started out the use of those structures for his or her daily operations, mainly because the paintings-from-home way of life flourished because of lengthy spells of lockdowns throughout the united states.
As realisation dawned that the sector could now not return to pre-Covid normalcy every time quickly, new virtual event systems hit the market, and occasion planners started exploring the ones. But none of these platforms had the tech stack that would assist organisations host large-scale occasions.
Understanding the new project, Hubilo decided to faucet into the possibility. “We experimented and delivered a video networking platform to our current one. We did this in 20 days with a small crew of 35-forty humans. Out of them, most effective 10 have been engineers. In the ones 20 days, we released our new platform and hosted a very a success occasion of around 300 attendees,” brought Agarwal.
After website hosting the video-incorporated event, Hubilo completely realised the capacity on this space and began including more functions to its platform. Since its bounce of tech, the organisation has hosted large-scale activities — — for the Indian entities of companies including Publicis Sapient (TLG India), Nivea India, Reliance Jio, Schneider Electric, and George P. Johnson.
Here are the edited excerpts from CFT’s interplay with Mayank Agarwal as the CTO charts the tech and innovation at Hubilo and his learnings via the pivots and increase.
CFT: Tell us about the initial marketplace hesitancy concerning virtual occasions. What are the key demanding situations, and the way superior is the Hubilo platform to counter them?
Mayank Agarwal: Hosting an occasion is an artwork. When you do it, you have to pressure attendee participation and engagement along with the sessions, and it is difficult. In physical occasions, there are alternatives of setting up stalls, cubicles, and more. But the virtual occasion itself will become a venue, and you need to do the whole lot interior it.
In the start, simply as the pandemic hit, manufacturers have been hesitant, majorly because of the heavy dependence on era. If one aspect is going south, the whole experience could be ruined. But 4 or five months down the road, they began noticing the stability of those systems. Not simply Hubilo however all different occasion structures which are robust enough. So, it’s all approximately trusting the platform.
Going thru this whole enjoy also made us comprehend that it's far crucial to make certain that the event and the attendee reviews stay wonderful for occasion tech systems like ours. Therefore, we always examine how we pressure this journey on our platform through engaging and immersive occasion stories.
CFT: What is the role of records and analytics in a a hit virtual occasion? How can brands make certain the fulfillment of their activities?
Mayank Agarwal: It is essential to study the statistics from beyond events that may help inform all departments of a marketing enterprise what components of the occasions resonate the maximum with audiences. Using event era, organisers can recognize greater than who liked an occasion. They can also apprehend how to tailor each event experience to the character before, for the duration of, and after the occasion.
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People like enticing content, particularly when they are able to have interaction in it with their pals and co-workers. This is one of the motives that the Netflix “watch birthday celebration” characteristic has been a huge success on the platform. One engagement approach that has labored successfully for Hubilo is to think about activities from a broadcasting attitude rather than just seeking to replicate a live event. Ultimately, humans ought to be able to attend an event from everywhere and have interaction with the content material with other attendees, whether they’re in-person or virtual.
CFT: You pivoted and released a brand new product in 26 days. You have additionally launched Hubilo 2.0 with more capabilities. How did you gain this feat?
Mayank Agarwal: We started with a completely basic networking platform in 2015. And then, we experimented with the video element. But at the same time as we noticed growth, we knew it turned into no longer a sustainable model.
So, to apprehend the market and what sort of capabilities we ought to convey into the market, we did what we've continually completed. We focussed on what our customers have been pronouncing.
You may say this product has been constructed on customer remarks. We accumulated a whole lot of comments, specially six months into the pandemic, asking them what needed to be built and what they wanted to see on the digital networking platform. Through that, we additionally understood the type of carrier-stage agreements we must provide, the tweaks and the upgrades we'd should make, and more.
Plus, we had a crew running on scaling, balance, and platform protection at the equal time, making sure that we'd be GDPR-prepared as nicely. After all, we had to be open for the regular marketplace. We also got the ISO 27001 certification in those seven-8 months. So, the whole lot become running parallel lower back then.
CFT: Hubilo has labored with international brands. How do you make sure that brands can leverage the platform’s ability to the fullest?
Mayank Agarwal: Well, we agree with that Hubilo is a worldwide platform. It isn't restrained to any geography, and our customers throughout the globe keep in mind that the virtual international is borderless. The credit for this need to visit our purchaser achievement and onboarding teams. Understanding virtual occasions and their complexities could be difficult. Therefore, our first attention is educating our clients on the way to think about occasions from a hybrid or virtual angle, a way to have interaction with the attendees, the way to scale the occasions further, and more.
CFT: What are the biggest demanding situations when you work with customers throughout sectors and from everywhere in the international?
Mayank Agarwal: A most important mission is language, of path. When you want to attain out to different regions, you should have get admission to to unique languages. It become a key cause for the new platform. We constructed the shape at the backend in order that any language may be added inside a day. So a long way, the platform helps 10 languages, and we are able to be including extra very quickly. Our maximum current event that Hubilo hosted had a sign language interpreter as properly, making the event greater inclusive.
CFT: What approximately the surprising purchaser surge amid the pandemic? What adjustments were required to your operations and enterprise version to deal with it?
Mayank Agarwal: We have a totally responsive customer service team, and we've got virtually no reaction time as a customer support manager is proactively on-call all through exercise classes, in the course of the occasion need to any problems arise, and after the event if the patron needs assist interpreting the information. They aren't just providing aid over chat or electronic mail. The customer service supervisor is part of the overall event team and is available to help in actual-time at every occasion. During the surge, we accelerated our group, and now we have 60-70 qualified engineers who realize a way to resolve complex problems. We also revamped our infrastructure and tech stack to assist massive occasions as we knew we should be geared up for it. All we had changed into a grace duration of 3-4 months because planners could take that point to modify to the virtual event space. Those months were like a warfare length for us. We grew throughout all departments.
CFT: The international is catching on to hybrid activities. What are we able to anticipate from Hubilo to expand that revel in?
Mayank Agarwal: To accommodate hybrid events on the platform, we have made numerous updates to our these days launched app. We at the moment are supplying attendees and speakers with a one-to-one video calling option besides living room and networking alternatives and extra. We have also opened our platform to a whole lot of companies, making it greater bendy.
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Hubilo has recently launched a check-in app to assist organisers enhance safety, safety, and compliance for their attendees, speakers, and groups — both in physical and virtual activities.
CFT: Finally, what’s next to your product playbook and international enlargement plan?
Hubilo has the biggest suite of engagement and gamification features on the market and we’re continuing to feature to that suite of capabilities so that human beings can interact anywhere they may be, on any tool. I don’t want to get into our worldwide enlargement plans just but, because the virtual international is ultimately without boundary lines and our occasions can be hosted from everywhere and in any timezone. That’s one of the most important advantages of a virtual occasion.