Why You Should Consider Clubhouse to Enhance Virtual Events
With social distancing and the lack of group gatherings, club lines waiting behind the velvet ropes have all but disappeared in the physical world.
But that hasn’t stopped the Clubhouse app from becoming one of the most talked-about – and FOMO-inducing – in recent weeks.
What is Clubhouse, and why should planners start thinking about using it to enhance virtual events? Let’s take a closer look.
What is the Clubhouse App?
While you might’ve heard of Clubhouse, it’s unlikely you’ve joined because of the exclusivity surrounding it (one reason it’s drawing big buzz. Another? Twitter-trending Clubhouse room conversations by celebs including Kevin Hart, Drake, and Tiffany Haddish.)
Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app. The company describes itself as “a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations – with friends and other interesting people around the world.” It’s billed as an online space to “chat with the people you follow, or hop in as a listener and hear what others are talking about.”
Vogue described the app’s experience, mimicking real-life interactions as “a dizzying bringing together of live podcast-style conversations, panel discussions, networking opportunities (some savvy people are already swapping ‘influencer’ for ‘moderator’) and advantageous multiple-room use (locked and private options are available so you can talk to pals too).”
Users can listen in or step up on stage and share their thoughts – just like an IRL cocktail party. One important rule is the audio doesn’t leave the app. There’s no recording or saving of conversations.
Sounds interesting, right? However, the only way to get into the private beta is by invite – either by joining the waitlist (cue the rope drop line FOMO) or asking an existing user for one. And by the way, the app is only available to iPhone users.
How is Clubhouse Unique?
Because the platform lets people chat in real-time, share stories, collaborate, and bounce ideas off of each other, some like Social Media Examiner are speculating Clubhouse may be the next major social media platform:
- “It offers the ability to connect and engage with professionals outside of your industry or niche.
- The typical social media algorithms that help people create echo chambers on other platforms are replaced with spontaneous rooms filled with real-time chats on a variety of topics.
- The focus is on high-value conversations rather than produced content.”
According to The Oprah Magazine, “A major thing that sets Clubhouse apart from social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, is that once you join a room, you don’t need to be staring at your screen to participate. Theoretically, someone can be more fully engaged in what’s going on in front of them while still interacting in a discussion room on the app.”
What are the Main Clubhouse Components?
- Hallway: This is the app’s main feed, listing active and ongoing chatrooms.
- Calendar: This shows a list schedule of upcoming rooms. Anyone can add a new room or event, which then notifies those following you.
- Room: Displayed on the Hallway in an at-a-glance format, each room has a name, a list of some of the people in the room, and the number of people and speakers in the room. Rooms can be public for anyone to join in or private.
- Listener: Just like it sounds, this is how most people start participating in Clubhouse, listening in the background to the conversation happening. Think of it as walking up to an in-person discussion and observing to get a sense of what’s being talked about before jumping in.
- Speaker: Again, just like the name implies, speakers are invited to join the stage (often by the moderator) and given the ability to unmute microphones to start talking. Speakers may be brought up on stage for a few minutes or a longer time – it varies from room to room and topic.
- Moderator: If you open a new room, you’re the moderator of that room, a curator of that room’s conversation – or an engaging IRL party host. Other moderators can make you a moderator for the room you’re in (slightly similar to making someone a host on Zoom.) Moderators control the flow of speakers and audience members, inviting or accepting people to speak or allowing attendees to raise their hands and ask questions.
- Clubs: As ongoing or recurring conversations, this is one of the most valuable ways to create active communities within Clubhouse. Clubs have four member types: Founder, Admin, Member, and Follower.
Why Should Planners Keep an Eye on Clubhouse?
Even with the surge in virtual events in 2020, the desire to connect and network remains strong. Clubhouse offers several unique and natural ways to create those connections – whether it’s bringing together large groups for networking, niche-specific groups for intimate conversations, or private deep dive chats.
Refinery29 offers another reason for the app’s popularity: “A synchronous conversation feels more personal than typing something out.” The simple use of audio provides a refreshingly different way to share stages with thought leaders, KOLs, and even celebrities and have direct real-time conversations – something many crave as in-person events remain on hold.
Looking for other next-generation ideas to improve connections with virtual audiences? Learn about ExVo, Allseated’s fully-integrated and immersive virtual event dimension.