Whova was a HOMERUN! Our Annual Conference was a Success and We are Here to Stay!
Updated March 06, 2023
Whova was a HOMERUN! Our Annual Conference was a Success and We are Here to Stay!
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Whova
I use Whova in my organization to plan, organize, and deliver our annual GAPS OnCon (a virtual online conference for our graduates and the general public). We have a vast global presence and community engagement can be challenging because of the given fact we are spread out among many countries. Whova bridges the gaps (pun intended) between our worldwide attendees and gives them a sense of connection.
- Community engagement is everything and Whova does it well
- Reliable technology that performs! (Mobile and web apps)
- Customer service is bar none!
- Mirroring Web App and Mobile App functions for sponsors (no sponsor chat in the mobile app as compared to the web app... would be nice for that to sync up)
- Better WYSIWYG web templates (they could be more dynamic for better looking and functioning event sites)
- Whova could definitely use a built-in affiliate marketing feature. This was sorely missing for us and we had to design our own using discount coupon codes, which was a crude process. Hey Summit, our former event platform, had a great affiliate program built into the software. Their implementation and delivery needed work, but this is one area Whova could corner the market even more, in my opinion.
- Easy registration and early access to the platform (3 months pre event)
- Community Boards
- Q&A and Chat Tabs
- Improved attendee engagement from our last event on another platform. HUGE DIFFERENCE with Whova in this area!
- Staff stress levels were much lower due to the features and functions of the Whova EMS. We saved time and manpower this time around - even with the learning curve of a new event platform.
We looked at Evia Events before we found Whova and Whova stacks up far and above what Evia had to offer and was much more affordable for us too! Our first event was on the Hey Summit platform based in the UK. The platform was awful and we had such an admin nightmare. The only thing we loved about Hey Summit was their built in affiliate platform. It was great and if Whova had that, it would literally be PERFECT!
Do you think Whova delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Whova's feature set?
Did Whova live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Whova go as expected?
Would you buy Whova again?
Whova Feature Ratings
20 - Our Director of Marketing handles company-wide social media and e-mail campaigns, as well as all website design. Our Event Coordinator handles all event logistics and leads the team each week through a list of goals and tasks to achieve. Our Financial Director provides weekly financial snapshots to keep us within our event budget.
5 - People with experience in either other EMSs or LMSs who can grasp the tech and features of the Whova platform.
- We added a "watch all sessions" contest. We were able to see which attendees watched all speaker sessions and chose a winner from that pool. The analytics offered in Whova gave us the information we needed to determine who indeed watched all of the sessions. Very helpful and the grand prize winner was HAPPY!
- Round Tables
- Tracks for our GAPS Youth Movement (GYM) members with content that is engaging for their age group
- separate registration pages (this is a helpful new feature)
- We found out about the Abandoned Transaction feature a bit late in the registration of this year's event, but next year we will keep a close eye on this feature from the start of the event to take full advantage of it. We recovered some sales this time around and it was great to see how well that worked!
We already registered with Whova for our 2024 event and we will continue to use Whova for the foreseeable future as long as the price doesn't rise too high. It was a bit of a shock to see the difference between last year's price and this year's price - nearly 2k increase! We were able to negotiate, thankfully, to lower the price.
Evaluating Whova and Competitors
No - Hey Summit was our last event delivery platform. It was a UK-based company, which was not brought to our attention upfront, so customer service was usually sleeping when we needed them, but once they were back in business hours, they would answer in a timely manner. Whova is in our time zone, so replies were super fast by our account rep and live chats on the site. Hey Summit's user side was confusing. Attendees had to log in for each session, which was very confusing and resulted in a huge influx of e-mails from confused people. Our e-mail inbox was so quiet with Whova again this year (Feb. 2023)! Community engagement was not nearly as emphasized with Hey Summit. Whova far exceeded our expectations in this area. Our attendees loved the connections they made!
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Prior Experience with the Product
Features! The Virtual Exhibitor Hall, Community Engagement, Web and Mobile Apps, and ease of delivery were all features we needed. If Whova can implement an affiliate marketing feature, I think your platform would be PERFECT!!!
Implementation was a team effort among my staff members where each person was always pleasantly surprised at how easy and user-friendly the Whova EMS was in regards to completing tasks and goals for our event. The workflow of the EMS is quite logical. The guides and videos are accurate and helpful.
It's just right for us! However, we did go with an external WordPress website. The website design options in Whova are too limited for us.
No. We followed our workflow from the last event and everything went flawlessly.
All I can say is that the second event experience was just as incredible as the first time around. The instant chat feature gave us instant answers and our account rep Jon was on top of whatever we needed in a timely and professional manner. We are in our post-event phase at this point and we are providing Jon with our "whova wishlist" for future features this coming week.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
We did not purchase premium support. We once again went with the basic support package, since we have such a capable team and because our Whova rep was so accessible, as well as the online chat. We knew we could add on more support if needed, but we were pretty much self-sufficient again this time around.
Yes - This was our second time using the Whova EMS and there were two bugs in the mobile app:
1) We had DUPLICATE boxes/buttons on the home page of the mobile app. The duplicates are Photos and Documents. They were doubled up for some reason
2) Applying emojis to community board posts with LINKS in them is really difficult. It opens up the link rather than brings up the emoji choices. You have to find the sweet spot for the emojis to pop up (and the reply option) and it’s very hard to find it without opening up the link instead.
The workflow of using the top menu and then following the extended left-hand menu to access the top menu's features is how my brain is wired and was super easy to use!
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
- Adding speakers, sponsors, & exhibitors
- Mapping out tickets and agenda
- Community board navigation
- Affiliate Marketing - We had to use discount codes to create our own affiliate marketing platform. If Whova could have this as a platform feature that allows affiliates to register, grab some auto-populated widgets, and track affiliate sales, it would be nearly PERFECT in every way and a lot easier on us that doing it manually with discount codes!
- When testing announcements e-mails (sending a test version to myself for review), each test e-mail populated in the "Organizer Announcement" topic in the Community Board. If I tested three drafts, all three showed up in my list of Announcements on the mobile app. I wasn't sure if this happened on my end only or not. I didn't want attendees to see these duplicate test e-mails/drafts. I had to go in and manually erase these test e-mails. It was a bit annoying and again, I wasn't sure if attendees were seeing this or not.
Yes - LOVED the mobile app! There were a couple of glitches with the mobile app: 1) DUPLICATE boxes on the home page (Photos and Documents were doubled up for some reason) 2) Applying emojis to community board posts with LINKS in them is really difficult. It opens up the link rather than brings up the emoji choices. You have to find the sweet spot for the emojis to pop up (and the reply option) and it’s very hard to find it without opening up the link instead.
Everyone on our team had their assigned tasks to complete in Whova on a weekly basis and did so with ease and confidence.
We had no performance issues with our event delivery. We did have some meet-ups that had some glitches for some attendees, but I believe they were quickly resolved and were more on the part of user error than anything. Once they got the hang of it, their meet-ups went more smoothly.
- Some kind of affiliate program system and affiliate tracking would be nice. We need that kind or marketing support and I am sure other customers do too.
I am sure many affiliate program and tracking software companies would LOVE to work with Whova!
Relationship with Whova
The vendor was clear and attentive. We had a great sales experience with Jon.
After the sale, we were informed that our event would be established within 24 hours. It was an we are already set up for next year! Our rep, Jon, was fast and efficient!
The price! The quote for 2024 was much higher than previous years and he was able to bring down the price for us to help us afford the platform for 2024. Jon found ways to "trim the fat", which helped to reduce the price to something more affordable.
Yes - To my knowledge, the upgrades were integrated smoothly and we didn't experience any impacts of the new release.
- A robust affiliate tracking system that gives affiliates some auto-generated widgets to use on their sites and in social media posts.
- Edit buttons for all posts, replies, etc. Our attendees want to be able to edit their posts when they make a mistake/typo. They complained about it a lot!
- Emoji button for chat tabs in the individual speaker sessions.
- More choices of emojis in general (for the community boards, messages, and anywhere an emoji can apply.
- Delete buttons for attendees who post a question in the chat, but meant to ask it in Q&A. If they can delete the chat, it would be helpful for admin as the attendee often catches thai before we do and has to message us to remove the ill-placed post
- It would be great if there was a red dot notification that pops up each time a new chat is added (right now only a red dot displays when the first chat is added). No other notifications come up on the chat tab in the speaker sessions when successive chats come through. Attendees aren’t prompted to go back and check the chat tab if they think nothing new has been posted there. They missed a lot of good conversations in the chat tabs of our speaker sessions because there was no new red notification dot to alert them that new chats had been added.