Taking pride in virtual
National Student Pride is the UK's largest LGBTQ+ student event, annually bringing together nearly 2,000 students from more than 170 global universities. It's an exciting, weekend-long festival featuring talks and debates with inspirational activists, student parties, and the UK's largest queer-inclusive recruitment fair. Past speakers and performers include Sir Ian McKellen, The Pussycat Dolls, and Will Young.
For its 2021 edition, National Student Pride decided to pivot to a virtual festival. This shift presented a big challenge for Festival Director Ollie James Parr and his team of volunteers. They had to figure out how to translate all the joy and energy of the physical festival into an engaging virtual experience.
To overcome this challenge, National Student Pride turned to Hopin. The decision to go virtual helped pave the way for a fantastic agenda of speakers, and offered the flexibility to book pre-recorded interviews with high-profile celebrities like Stephen Fry and Alan Cumming.
Ollie and the team also got creative with Hopin’s customization offerings, bringing in a design agency that made artistic use of the platform's 'Dark Mode.' The result was a fun visual experience that aligned with National Student Pride's branding. This attention to detail kept attendees engaged from the moment they started to interact with the festival online.
The National Student Pride team sold sponsors on the virtual format by offering them new and dynamic opportunities to connect with attendees on Hopin. This helped them land sponsors like Clifford Chance, EY, Clyde & Co, Creative Assembly, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Lloyds Banking Group, and Santander.
"We're very fortunate that our sponsors were won over by what was available on Hopin and the opportunities they would have, not just in terms of meeting students at the career fair, but also in terms of the brand recognition and the branding usage across the site and event." – Ollie James Parr, Festival Director, National Student Pride