The Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) is an international non-profit based in the San Francisco Bay area of the USA. The organization protects endangered wildlife by supporting animal conservationists, equipping them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.
The WCN runs annual events to create opportunities for conversations and donors to meet. In 2020, they chose to transition these in-person events to virtual events.
The primary goal of every WCN event is to build relationships between conservationists and donors. At in-person events in the past, face-to-face interactions played a huge part in forging these connections.
Now, with the event moving to a virtual space, the Wildlife Conservation Network wanted to continue providing an opportunity for conservationists and donors to meet face-to-face in an environment that mirrored an in-person event.
Without these interactions, the WCN feared conservationists wouldn’t receive the crucially-needed donations to protect endangered wildlife.
After hundreds of hours of research, WCN chose to host their annual events on Hopin.
WCN ran two important events on Hopin — their spring and fall expos. The spring expo was a free, one-day event with five presentations using Hopin’s Stage feature. WCN set up booths for partner organizations within the Hopin Expo feature. Using Hopin’s Sessions tool, the WCN created Q&A sessions for donors to ask wildlife conservationists questions about their latest work in the field.
The WCN’s fall expo is a larger version of their spring expo. To kick off the event, the WCN hosted a donor-only event on a Friday evening. The next day, the full event began.
The fall expo took place over two back-to-back Saturdays with one midweek movie screening about lion conservation work in Botswana. While the spring expo was free, WCN decided to sell tickets for the fall expo. Instead of setting a fixed price, they allowed attendees to choose how much they would pay and provided a suggested ticket value of $100.
During the fall expo, acclaimed conservationists spoke about their work — including Jane Goodall, an English primatologist and anthropologist who is considered one of the most renowned chimpanzee experts in the world. She’s also the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute.
During WCN’s fall expo on Hopin, Goodall spoke about her passion for animals, her favorite wildlife memory, and how she stays hopeful amid challenges. She was interviewed by Dr. Pablo Borboroglu of Global Penguin Society. At one point during the interview, Dr. Borboroglu held up a penguin stuffed animal. Then, Goodall showed her own chimpanzee stuffed animal. Screenshot below.
The WCN works with conservationists around the world, but, often, only one person from a conservationist team can travel to San Francisco for WCN events.
Because the WCN hosted virtual events this year, entire teams could now join for the spring and fall expos.
One conservationist team even presented from a beautiful overlook in Kenya, the geographic location where their work takes place. Because the events were virtual, conservationists could give event attendees a deeper look inside what they do.
With Hopin, Croen says the WCN was “able to most closely mimic the in-person [event] experience, but virtually.”