When real-life social gatherings go online / Virtual Mojito Live EP026

Ever wondered how to bring real-life social interactions into virtual experiences?

Hello community,

“Ever wondered how to bring real-life social interactions into virtual experiences?” - you may often be asked a year ago. How about now?

Many community events and social gatherings have been transferred to the virtual experience. But there are still a lot of virtual activities that seem to be in chaos.

Why? Because these organizers believe that people will react the same, and they missed a lot of details, such as the friction in network connection, camera-ready scene, etc.

We are happy to cover a lot of resources and stories to help you learn more about it. Scroll down and check it out!

@felix12777 on Twitter

Tools and resources

Toucan →

Toucan is a video conferencing platform specializing in creating seamless social interactions for our users. Host spontaneous or recurring meetings, networking events, and collaboration sessions.


Hey! Tell us about yourself and a fun fact.

I raced Bill Nye the Science Guy up a mountain and WON. (He wasn't super young at the time, and I was a sophomore in high school; however, his legs alone are about my height, so I consider it an accomplishment.)

What motivated you to start your company?

When my brother Ethan and I were sent home from Stanford in March 2020, we saw our lives move completely to an online environment. We found that our lectures and classes translated reasonably well to the virtual setting, but what greatly suffered was our ability to interact in a natural, fun way with the groups and communities that we were a part of.

Every "social" event on a traditional video conferencing platform was awkward and stilted. We had no agency over where we went, who we talked to, and what we talked about. We realized immediately that distributed communities, companies, and organizations suffer in this way every day, so we decided to build Toucan to address that need.

How do you acquire users and grow your company?

To date, we have had over 40,000 active users on our platform. Our growth has primarily been product driven, as Toucan works best with larger groups. One host brings 10+ people onto the platform, and since Toucan is currently free for all to use, many of those attendees then, in turn, become hosts themselves.

The users we've had on Toucan so far have largely been employees and/or managers of small & medium-sized companies and teams in the tech sector, as well as consulting and marketing agencies, in addition to several users in education.

What is your future goal?

Since the very beginning of Toucan, we have prioritized building and maintaining a strong, supportive community around our platform. Our community gives us valuable feedback that we need to hear in order to make our platform better. And our next step as a company is to give our users even more agency and even more ownership of their own place on Toucan.

We have recently launched a massive update to our platform called "Spaces," which gives users custom virtual real estate within the Toucan environment. Personalization is a massive priority for our community of communities, and we plan on building the functionality to let our users take even more ownership over their experiences. Be on the lookout!

Anything our readers should know?

Right now, any Toucan user can create one free Toucan Space. Spaces are open at the discretion of the host, so they can technically be open 24/7, and they have added security in the form of a passcode. Plus, you get to choose a personalized permanent address! Our early Spaces users are using theirs as a place to to promote connections among remote co-workers and community members.

Antonia Hellman, CEO & Co-Founder, Toucan

Virtual events that you should not miss

24 Jun / Date With Improv for Singles 30-50 by Date With Improv

01 Jul / Female Founders Startup Accelerator – Grow F Demo Day #5

05 Jul / Online Tech Summit on Big Data, Data Science & Machine Learning

07 Jul / Propolis Roundtable: What is 'growth marketing' and how do I use it?

08 Jul / Cracking a UX Design Interview [by UX Designer at Amazon]

Get more virtual events →

What we’ve been reading

Virtual events aren’t replacing in-person events, they are completely transforming them

“From virtual happy hours and new employee onboarding, to birthday celebrations and shareholder meetings – almost no event has been left out when it comes to their digital transformation. And most everyone has stories of varying experiences for a handful of these scenarios.”

Thanks for reading! You can find the list of curated virtual event resources on our website virtualmojito.com or read the previous newsletter.

I would love to hear your ideas - send me a message at hi@virtualmojito.com and start a conversation!

And of course, share this post with your friends who might find it useful!

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