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 $9/month and the pricing of the event package is negotiable.
Topia recommends the latest versions of Chrome, Brave or Microsoft Edge. The usage of Mozilla Firefox or Safari is still on beta. Topia works very well on computer and laptops. Mobile devices, tablets or iPads are still on beta but this can change any time.
“The team of HyHyve was really helpful […]. The most important thing was the positive feedback of our attendees who liked the intuitive usage of the platform and the informal exchange with each other. In future we will use the platform for smaller and bigger meetings again.”
Innovation Manager, FiberCheck GmbH
In this showdown of online event and networking tools, we compare Hyhyve vs Topia to help you to join the right platform. While Topia and HyHyve may seem similar at first glance, the differences between them are actually quite significant, and you need to know them to make your online event exceptional.
|Pricing||Starts at 0,03€/minute. Per event/month/year pricing on request.||Free Plan, Essentials, Ultimate. Different prices models, e.g. Essentials costs 270$/ month. 
|GDPR||✅ German company. GDPR compliant.||✅ GDPR compliant.
|Most common browsers supported||✅ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge.||🟡 Recommended are Chrome, Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge. Mozilla Firefox might not provide the best user experience. 
|Platforms supported||✅ Desktops (Windows, macOS, Linux), tablets (iPad, Android-based devices), mobile devices (iOS, Android-based devices).||🟡 Desktops (Windows, macOS. Mobile devices deal with restricted functions. iPads and tablets aren't supported. |
|Broadcast to your participants||✅ Yes, speakers can be invited to the stage flexibly .||✅ Yes, speakers can be chosen flexibly during the event.
|Record Broadcast||❌ No recording feature available.||🟡 Recording is available in the presentation mode. |
|Public access||✅ Yes, via a public link.||🟡 Yes, via a public link and signing up with an email address.|
|Restricted access||✅ Yes, email-based authentication.||✅Yes, via link without/with permission of the host.
|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 8 people on a table.|
|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 up 100 participants on one floor and up to 1000 in a room.|
|Language||English and German.||English and Japanese.|
 In this article you can find more information about the so-called guest days.
 Here you can compare the different pricing packages of Remo.
 Here is the list with all supported browsers of Remo. You should always inform your guests in advance which latest version of the browsers is supported by the platform.
 Here is a list with all supported devices by Remo. Linux systems aren’t mentioned, therefore you should test this system in advance.
 Here is an article about the recording feature of Remo. Depending on your plan you have only an specific amount of hours to record and this function is only available in the presentation mode.
 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 09.11.2021.
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 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. For example, you can’t share data via chat with your attendees or talk to them in a group chat. If you want more than 9 people to interact with each other 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 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.
When your guests are entering the event on Remo via link, it is depending on your settings if they are joining the event instantly or if they have to wait until you let them in. That gives you some control how many people are going to join your event. Keep in mind that you need to have or purchase enough Remo guest days to host a large number of people. After the arrival on your event space they will find themselves on a floor with little rooms where they can find up to 8 seats around a table. By clicking on a seat they can enter one of these smalls room on the floor where they can have a video chat with up to 8 people at the same time.
They can change to another seat in another room any time but they can’t move around freely by just using the cursor. That leads to the usage of the shuffle mode by the host to remix the guests in the rooms and furthermore to engage the interaction between your attendees. In our opinion the platform is missing the aspect that people can get in touch just by moving their avatars freely around the whole space. Remo only allows it to change the location by clicking which seems static and less smooth to us.
The expected number of attendees defines how many floors and buildings your Remo space is going to have. Up to 100 attendees are fitting on floor. They can switch between the floors through the elevator in the building which can host up to 1000 guests. The more floors and buildings you have the more guests you can host. The floor plan is completely customizable as well as the seat, table, banner and billboard arrangements. You can upload your own floor plan or use one of Remos. Also it is possible to change the background, color and shapes, so that you can brand your map. The billboards on the left and right side allow you to present your guests a video or a welcome message. The sponsor banners are giving your sponsors the opportunity to advertise their content. 
As a host you can switch between the two modes of Remo. Changing from the floor to the presentation mode allows up to 10 speakers selected by the host to talk on the stage and share multiple screens at the same time. You can broadcast their discussion on YouTube and record it. Your participants can react to the presentation via emojis, the chat or the up and down voting question section. If you decide as a host to switch to the presentation mode you have to be aware of the fact that all of your guests will be “forced” to join the presentation mode. In our opinion that limits the freedom of your participants to network with each other and to get in touch with the presentations or people they would like to see or meet. After your event you have the opportunity to purchase analytics about your guests dynamics and the engagement with the sponsor banners.
The mechanism of “clicking on a seat to move around in a virtual venue” is not known to everyone. Therefore, it’s helpful to have “practice sessions” 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 Remo before your event, which devices and browsers are suitable for your event. To be on the safe side, you can also test Remo yourself in advance :). They are providing a free test service on their website.
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 Remo room 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.
 The total number of seats per table depends on your pricing plan. You can find more information about table and seats numbers in this article .
 You can find more information about sponsor banners here.
 Here is the list of all supported browsers and devices.
 This is the Data Protection Attendum from Remo. You should read these terms carefully and talk with your data protection officer before you use the service of Remo.
This section was updated on 09.11.2021.
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