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Meet VetsinTech, a nonprofit that used Hopin to help three times as many veterans start new careers in tech

Meet VetsinTech, a nonprofit that used Hopin to help three times as many veterans start new careers in tech
PLANNING A NEW KIND OF EVENT

The conference that helps veterans transition into tech 

VetsinTech’s annual Invasion conference helps current and returning veterans land jobs in tech. Invasion takes place over two days, offering panel discussions, workshops, and the chance for veterans to network with tech employers. The conference is part of the nonprofit’s mission to help veterans translate their military skills into new employment in the tech space. VetsinTech has 12 veteran-led chapters across the United States, and it’s supported by tech giants like Adobe, Google, and IBM.

Invasion conference used to take place purely in-person in Silicon Valley, which proved financially prohibitive for many attendees. But in 2021, VetsinTech took Invasion virtual for the first time in an effort to reach a wider audience. 

The aim was to offer an interactive experience that connected veterans with one another through educational workshops, inspirational speakers, and job opportunities. The event needed to come together with a small team and on a tight timeline.

With those challenges at play, VetsinTech was looking for an easy-to-use event platform that could help them build their community and support interaction among attendees. After extensive research and with several recommendations from its technology partners, VetsinTech chose Hopin to meet their objectives.

Sponsors were eager to connect with veterans about job opportunities, so the ability to easily interact was particularly important to them. To facilitate those connections, VetsinTech provided each sponsor with their own custom booth in Hopin’s Expo area, giving attendees a space where they could learn more about a company and leave contact details if they were interested in a role.

“We were able to bring in a lot of our technology partners, companies like Disney, Adobe, Facebook, Google, and Amazon that we work with on a regular basis. They were able to participate in the Expo area, which is a great feature. Many of our partners had used Hopin before so that was also a big plus for us.” –Oliver Muoto, Head of Marketing, VetsinTech

"Hopin does a phenomenal job when it comes to providing tools for chat, interconnectivity, and networking. That was key. We wanted to provide an event that was as similar to an in-person-style conference as possible."

Oliver Muoto
Head of Marketing, VetsinTech
IT’S SHOWTIME

Connecting veterans with new opportunities

Invasion 2021 featured three different content tracks that corresponded with the three pillars of VetsinTech’s mission: education, employment, and entrepreneurship. 

The nonprofit welcomed an array of incredible speakers, with U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dennis McDonough, opening the first day of the conference. Other keynotes came from Michèle Flournoy, co-founder and managing partner of WestExec Advisors, and Resilience Chief Operating Officer Mike McNerney. In total, 70 speakers joined the conference program to share their insights and expertise.

The first day of sessions primarily featured advice from recruiting executives on topics like how veterans can transition to a role in cybersecurity and the basics of business law. The second day centered around demystifying tech careers with workshops on web development and cybersecurity, and a look at fundraising opportunities for entrepreneurs.

VetsinTech hosted recruiters from more than 20 tech companies, including Disney and Amazon. LinkedIn’s head of military and veteran programs also led a 45-minute session on how to best use the social media network for job hunting, and veterans who are already in tech careers discussed their experiences in the industry. 

Attendees were encouraged to introduce themselves through the event’s chat, where they could connect with technology partners and share resumes directly. Sponsors like Nasdaq and Google made the most of their customizable booths with downloadable content and panel discussions to prompt audience interaction. Invasion 2021 closed with a popular hour-long after party with live music. 

“Attendees loved the number of speakers, the engagement component, and the event chat. We had a very positive response, and from that perspective, we were very pleased with the return on our investment in the platform.” –Oliver Muoto, Head of Marketing, VetsinTech
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How VetsinTech built their most successful Invasion conference to date 

Read more about some of the Hopin features that helped VetsinTech host a successful virtual conference:

  • Main stage: VetsinTech hosted high-profile speakers from the tech community on the main stage, bringing veterans together for inspiring looks at transitioning into the tech industry.
  • Sessions: Invasion 2021 included panel discussions covering a wide range of topics, all designed to answer veterans’ questions and provide knowledge about various aspects of the tech industry.
  • Expo area: Sponsors including Google, Uber, and Reddit hosted customized booths, sharing expertise and downloadable materials, and connecting directly with attendees to discuss job opportunities.
  • Chat: Veterans joined a community of peers, sharing thousands of messages with one another and potential employers.
  • Customizability: VetsinTech customized every aspect of Invasion 2021 to ensure the event was on brand and attendees felt at home.

"For the attendee, I think it's a great experience [...] we encouraged people to introduce themselves through the event chat, to ask questions, and connect with some of our technology partners. We had people sharing their resumes and sharing resources which was phenomenal."

Oliver Muoto
Head of Marketing, VetsinTech
HOW IT TURNED OUT

Reaching more veterans than ever before with Hopin

VetsinTech reached more than 650 veterans with Invasion 2021, a 225% increase from the 200 attendees at its last in-person conference. The veterans were primarily based in the U.S., but with a virtual format, the organization was able to add a new global element with veterans overseas joining online. 

The response to the event was overwhelmingly positive, particularly from attendees who couldn’t make the trip to past in-person conferences. Attendees gave the conference an average NPS of 9.8, with 86.7% saying they’d recommend Invasion to a friend. 

The VetsinTech team exceeded every engagement goal they set for Invasion 2021. More than 75% of attendees met with sponsors in their booths, and there were more than 1,300 interactions in the Expo area alone. On average, veterans spent 28 minutes in Disney’s booth and 35 minutes in Google’s booth. Overall, attendees logged an average of almost seven hours at the conference, swapping 3,827 chat messages.

Following the success of Invasion 2021, virtual events are now a core part of VetsinTech’s strategy due to the exciting opportunities they offer to reach the objectives of VetsinTech as an organization. The ability to reach a larger global audience has also encouraged the organization to start planning a new hybrid range of events on Hopin to continue expanding and supporting its community of veterans.

"People were very impressed and had a great experience. An overwhelming majority of the folks said, ‘This is one of the best events I’ve been to, please do it again.’ I think that’s because Hopin allowed us to organize the event in a very comprehensive way." –Oliver Muoto, Head of Marketing, VetsinTech

225%

Increase in attendance from 2020 to 2021

650

Veterans in attendance

7 Hours

average time spent at Invasion 2021

73% 

Of attendees met with sponsors in their expo booths

"It’s broken down those four walls of a physical venue, and opened up the opportunity to expand [our] network, to expand the community, to invite others regardless of their location. Now the beauty is the potential of using this solution to incorporate virtual and move into that hybrid world."

Oliver Muoto
Head of Marketing, VetsinTech

Lots of virtual audience buzz

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