Innovation Manager, FiberCheck GmbH
A successful online event requires not only well thought-out planning, but also an easy-to-use online networking tool that can be operated intuitively by everyone. In this article, we will show you, why Topia is not the best choice if you value high compatibility with different browsers and devices and if you prefer more than 9 people engaging with each other at once. In this case, we have a wonderful alternative for Topia, which you can use to host an in-person like and dynamic event: HyHyve
HyHyve is the Topia alternative that supports almost any device and browser, that will wow even your skeptical attendees and that is based in the EU.
Besides Topia, there are also other interesting online networking platforms and similar apps of competitors with the possibility of flexible video conversations:
Topia offers a free package which is limited to 25 participants. The community package is available for $9/month and the pricing of the event package is negotiable but it starts from $200/month.
Topia recommends the latest versions of Chrome, Brave or Microsoft Edge. The usage of Mozilla Firefox or Safari is still on beta. Topia works very well on computer and laptops. Mobile devices, tablets or iPads are still on beta but this can change any time.
“The team of HyHyve was really helpful […]. The most important thing was the positive feedback of our attendees who liked the intuitive usage of the platform and the informal exchange with each other. In future we will use the platform for smaller and bigger meetings again.”
Innovation Manager, FiberCheck GmbH
In this showdown of online event and networking tools, we compare Hyhyve vs Topia to help you to join the right platform. While Topia and HyHyve may seem similar at first glance, the differences between them are actually quite significant, and you need to know them to make your online event exceptional.
|Pricing||Starts at 0,03€/minute. Per event/month/year pricing on request.||Free Plan, Community, Organization. Different price models, e.g. Community costs 9$/ month. 
|GDPR||✅ German company. GDPR compliant.||❌ Not GDPR compliant.
|Most common browsers supported||✅ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge.||🟡 Recommended are Chrome, Brave and Microsoft Edge. Mozilla Firefox and Safari are available in a beta version. 
|Platforms supported||✅ Desktops (Windows, macOS, Linux), tablets (iPad, Android-based devices), mobile devices (iOS, Android-based devices).||🟡 Desktops (Windows, macOS, Linux) are recommended. Mobile devices, iPads and tablets are available in a beta version. |
|Broadcast to your participants||✅ Yes, speakers can be invited to the stage flexibly .||✅ Yes, speakers can be chosen flexibly by the admin during the event.
|Record Broadcast||❌ No recording feature available.||❌ No recording feature available.|
|Public access||✅ Yes, via a public link.||✅ Yes, via a public link.|
|Restricted access||✅ Yes, email-based authentication.||✅ Yes, via password, guest list or email-based authentication.
|Custom background picture||🟡 Yes, but not recommended.||✅ Yes|
|Custom maps||✅ Yes, fully customizable, including walls and the option to create buildings/places familiar to participants.||✅ Yes, fully customizable floor plans and individual arrangements of the features.|
|Maximum participants per "circle" (ad-hoc conversation)||✅ Up to 50 people.||🟡 Up to 9 people in a video chat.|
|Maximum participants per room||🟡 HyHyve spaces/rooms have an organizational soft limit of 250 participants. Multiple Spaces can be linked and can provide space for up to 5000 participants. ||✅ Depending on the price plan you can have an unlimited number of attendees in your world.|
|Language||English and German.||English.|
 In this article you can find more information about the pricing models of Topia and compare them.
 Here you can find a list of supported browsers by Topia. You should always message your attendees in advance which browser they should use in order to guarantee the best user experience.
 Here is the list with all supported devices of Topia. You should always inform your guests in advance which device is the best choice for the platform.
 We recommend to divide rooms if more than 250 participants are expected. This ensures that the rooms do not become overly large and participants “get lost”. HyHyve can provide a high level of interactivity by switching off linked and unused rooms at off-peak times with fewer participants.
This comparison was updated on 23.02.2022.
Topia is a playful online networking platform based in the US where you can explore different worlds, build your own one or interact with other users. In your own world you can hold public or private events for a variety of occasions anytime. It’s Topia´s goal to connect people from all over the world. Therefore you can customize your own world, private message with friends, even when they aren’t in your world, or get to know new people on events in other worlds. When you are moving your avatar closer to others, you will be able to see and hear up to 9 people in a video chat. Almost every world you can find on Topia is themed like museums for NFT-art or a centrum for language learners. As colorful as Topia is, you have to keep in mind that this networking platform might not fit every kind of event. If you want more than 9 people to interact with each other via video chat at the same time, you should consider to choose another platform or other services. Besides that Topia is a good choice when you host small gatherings or large events with prechoosen speakers in a broadcast because it keeps people engaged with a variety of interactive features.
Compared to other tools like Zoom, specialized online event tools like Topia or HyHyve are able to create a group dynamic between the participants that is otherwise only found in real life. Through the countless design possibilities of the spaces, you can turn any event into an unforgettable experience.
Technically, Topia works very well, but there are some areas you should consider as there are some points which are related to Topia and the overall event organization. For example your attendees need to create a Topia profile with their email address in order to join your event. The larger and more complex you build the world the more confusing it can be for your attendees. So it’s recommended to provide a quick onboarding message when they are entering. Walls aren’t walls in Topia. If you name the zones in your world it will be easier for your attendees to figure out which zones are private or public. To guarantee a pleasant event experience you should choose a server where most of your attendees are coming from. In the case there is just a low bandwidth given you can use a feature such as the audio only-stream to communicate more effortlessly. 
Screensharing and sharing data via a link is possible as well as playing games or switching to a Miro whiteboard. You can place notifications in your world to inform the guests about the upcoming specials on your events. If you get closer to other avatars you connect with up to 9 people via video chat. Even when you leave the world you can still be in touch with users you have met recently. As an admin you determine who can enter your world or who can be a speaker in the broadcast. Depending on your chosen price model you can invite an unlimited number of guests.
The mechanism of “moving closer to each other to start a video chat” is something you should practice with your participants in advance (e. g. online networking and after-work session a couple of days earlier). The other option is to send your participants an email with some instructions how to engage with the platform in advance.
For an optimal user experience of their service, Topia recommends the latest versions of Chrome, Brave or Microsoft Edge. The usage of Mozilla Firefox or Safari is still on a beta version and the usage might cause a limitation of the tool functions. Topia supports computer and laptops the most. Mobile devices, tablets or iPads are just having a limited functionality on their platform.
It’s best to ask Topia before your event, which devices and browsers are suitable for your event. To be on the safe side, you can also test Topia yourself in advance :).
As “clicking on links” leads to a start of the user’s standard browser, you have to ensure that the browser recommendation is communicated often and clearly. As selecting the right browser and joining the Topia worlds can sometimes be tricky, you can implement a support hotline or a team during your event to guarantee a seamless experience.
Topia is a company which is based in California. On their website they aren’t mentioning if they are GDPR compliant. 
To be on the safe side, you can ask Topia whether they are really GDPR compliant, and additionally discuss with your data protection officer whether you can use the service or not.
 When the problem with a low bandwidth occurs you can choose to broadcast audio only. You can also improve the user experience if you ask your attendees in advance to use a specific device and browser.
 You can find more information about NFT-art and how to connect your Ethereum Wallet with your Topia profile here.
This section was updated on 23.02.2022.
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