NIO Events - Case Study

Executive Summary

The Nonprofit Innovation and Optimization (NIO) Summit was successfully held as a hybrid event using Whova’s all-in-one event management system on Sep 21- 23, 2021. With Whova’s assistance, the conference supported a quarter of in-person attendees in Austin, Texas while helping the remote attendees connect through the app. 

About the NIO Summit and the Fundraising Factory

The NIO Summit and the Fundraising Factory assists marketers and fundraisers for nonprofits from across the nation in improving their online fundraising and digital marketing. 

With Whova’s event management tools, NIO organizers achieved an outstanding hybrid event and exceptional networking opportunities for all attendees. 


Poll Results


Private Messages


Community messages


Meetup participation


  • Promoting valuable networking opportunities 

The NIO Summit brings together a large community of marketers and fundraisers, so they wanted to facilitate quality networking opportunities for both remote and in-person attendees. 

  • Engaging virtual attendees in hybrid sessions

The NIO summit organizers needed to make sure that virtual attendees had the same opportunities to engage in sessions as those who were there physically.

  • Distributing information between in-person and virtual attendees

Because the organizers were managing attendees online and in-person, they needed to be able to send separate notifications between the two types of attendees. 

  • Interacting with sponsors

The organizers wanted to make sure in-person and remote attendees engaged with sponsors to ensure a great return on investment. They needed a comprehensive online space to encourage online interaction.


  • Facilitate networking on the Community Board 

The NIO Summit provided a great place for attendees to meet and exchange insider tips with fellow non-profit fundraisers and marketers. The Community Board on the Whova app made connecting at the event easy for both in person and remote attendees. 

The in-person attendees valued the easily accessible online messaging, as 74% of the in-app messaging was from in-person attendees. 

In person attendees reached out to peers on the app to grab dinner or find workout buddies. Virtual attendees also used the app to post coffee dates or study opportunities, and held their meetups over zoom. Virtual and in-person guests could also reach out to each other to set up virtual hangouts. 

Pre-summit parties and cocktail hours were also posted by the NIO organizer on the Community Board to encourage networking. 

  • Exchange information easily with the Business Card Scanner

Attendees at the NIO Summit exchanged over 100 business cards. In person attendees were easily able to scan physical business cards through the app, or exchange virtual cards and store them digitally.

Whova’s attendee name badges also helped speed up networking. Virtual and in-person booths could scan the QR codes on attendee badges to automatically gather their contact details.

Automatically generated name badges could be customized for attendees, sponsors, speakers and more.

  • Engage hybrid sessions with the Q&A feature

Whova’s online Q&A tool made involving the remote attendees in hybrid sessions simple. Remote attendees were able to post questions and comments on the Q&A board before, during and after sessions. In-person attendees could see what virtual attendees were posting and post questions of their own through the app. 

  • Save time with announcements filtered between in-person and remote attendees

The NIO organizers took advantage of Whova’s in-app announcement features to send notifications about event changes or survey forms for remote and in-person guests.

The organizers simply selected the recipient type and then deployed an in-app notification or email. Recipients were separated by attendee categories or ticket types. Organizers could even manually select one or multiple attendees to send announcements to.

The organizers were able to choose recipient categories for announcements.

Attendees saw the announcements on the Community Board in the web and mobile app.

  • Captivate attendee interest with virtual exhibitor booths

Whova’s online exhibitor booths were a great way to engage both in-person and remote attendees. Sponsors could upload live streams, photos, contact information, and advertise their booth with prizes and raffles. 

Attendees could chat with the exhibitors or like and comment on the booth’s page, where they were automatically recorded as a lead.  

The feature was especially productive for virtual attendees, as they were unable to visit booths at the physical event. 

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