The Scoop: Run The World is an innovative platform that hosts virtual happy hours, conferences, think tanks, and networking events on behalf of people around the world. Dating coaches, matchmakers, dating site and app owners, and other professionals can set up video webinars with their followers or colleagues to expand their profile in the industry and share their knowledge with a wider audience. Over the last year, Run The World has grown exponentially and helped strengthen online communities all over the globe.
Xiaoyin Qu is a 27-year-old tech entrepreneur who is passionate about exploring how technology can drive creativity and build communities. She co-founded her first startup while in college and moved to Silicon Valley in her early 20s to work as a product manager for Instagram and Facebook.
After gaining valuable experience in the tech industry, Xiaoyin enrolled in the MBA program at Stanford University to build on her knowledge. A year later, she shifted gears to found Run The World, a virtual events platform.
The idea for the platform came from her mother’s experience attending her first medical conference in 2019. Xiaoyin’s mother is a Chinese doctor who specializes in meningitis and rarely meets colleagues in this narrow field. However, at a conference hosted in Chicago, she met a doctor whose research and work mirrored hers. She was from China, and he was from Dubai, but they were able to connect thanks to the medical conference.
When Xiaoyin heard this story, she realized a video conferencing platform could deliver that same experience but with greater convenience and at a lower cost to the user. She saw an opportunity to transform networking events by bringing them online — and she dropped out of Stanford to run with the idea.
By early 2020, Run The World had investors lined up and a prototype product in the works. Then coronavirus was declared a pandemic, and digital alternatives to in-person events became more important than ever. Xiaoyin rose to meet the moment and launched Run The World to connect a global audience.
Run The World has distinguished itself in a competitive industry by promoting user-friendly and community-driven features that personalize the streaming experience. The platform is adaptable to a variety of online needs and can host virtual networking events ranging from an intimate happy hour to a dating industry conference.
“We built this company to help people build more meaningful relationships in their lives,” said Andrew Owen, Head of Community at Run The World. “That’s one of the promises of the internet, right? That regardless of geography, wherever we are, we can find each other and connect to each other.”
Lifestyle Experts Can Build Relationships With Their Fans
By facilitating live video streaming, Run The World gives businesses and thought leaders the opportunity to host virtual events that foster meaningful conversations between people who share similar passions, goals, and lifestyles. The platform currently supports over 1,000 communities in 112 countries, and it is rapidly growing.
Dating professionals and matchmakers can use Run The World as an online networking resource and host speaking events, brainstorming sessions, and fireside chats with colleagues all over the world.
Anyone can sign up as a speaker and host events geared toward their interests and expertise. It could be a good way for matchmakers to arrange virtual speed dating events for their clientele, or it could help relationship experts create new business partnerships and reach a larger audience.
“Our events are an incredibly effective way of bringing people together,” Andrew said. “We’ve seen a huge demand for that from the professional community, especially during the pandemic.”
Run The World has created a useful and engaging space for people who are suffering from Zoom fatigue and want to upgrade their video streaming experience.
Professionals can host events where up to eight speakers engage with the audience through live polls and chats. Over the past six months, Run The World has created a framework for over 8,000 events ranging from small five-person meetups to industry conferences with thousands of attendees.
“Interactivity is at the core of what we’re trying to do,” Andrew told us. “We know that good conversations build good relationships, and we want to be the company that brings those conversations to your life.”
Increase User Engagement Through Breakout Sessions
The Cocktail Party option became the stand-out feature on the Run The World platform because it allowed community members to meet like-minded people in a way that makes sense. Event hosts can match attendees in one-on-one chats and give them a chance to share their thoughts and experiences on a personal level.
Sometimes the Cocktail Party feature serves as a warm-up for a speaking event or show, and other times it is the main focus of the live streaming event.
This set-up is perfect for a speed dating night. Event hosts can facilitate one-on-one encounters by telling Run The World to match men and women in one-on-one breakout sessions. They can put a timer on the discussions and repeatedly match attendees on mini dates.
After being matched in one-on-one chats, participants have the option to follow each other on social media to continue pursuing the connection.
“There’s a lot of flexibility here,” Andrew said. “You can use automatic matching or group matching based on gender, zodiac signs, or any set of criteria you like.”
Run The World has created dynamic tools to help event hosts lead interesting conversations and encourage attendees to connect with one another.
Whether you’re planning a singles mixer or a professional think tank, Run The World can help streamline the event and stimulate discussions about the things that matter to you.
A Virtual Space for Sharing Ideas & Sparking Conversations
The Run The World team is all in on video streaming and brings a wealth of experience in the tech industry to the table. This 27-person team includes developers, managers, and marketers from all over the world. The startup does not have a physical office, so it can tap talented individuals from China, Europe, and the U.S.
Andrew described the company culture as fast-paced and passionate. He and his colleagues are constantly experimenting and innovating in the virtual event space, and a lot of their conversations focus on improving the user experience.
Over the last year, Run The World has been embraced by forward-thinking professionals in a variety of industries. Global Silicon Valley has used the platform to host a virtual startup bootcamp for over 5,000 attendees.
“Attendees love it,” said Michael Moe, Founder and CEO of GSV. “What the people in our bootcamp have found is that all of a sudden, we’ve got this very innovative way for them to make connections, to start relationships, to learn things.”
Bill Zheng, Founder of the Global Listener Summit, said his ad-free podcast has flourished since using Run The World to support its discussions. “Our hosts, guests and listeners, for the first time, can interact with each other in real time,” Bill said. “We sold 200 tickets in five days while increasing the number of our followers by 20% — our brand is stronger than ever.”
Podcaster Stephanie Miller has also seen huge success on Run the World. She had to cancel her standup comedy tour during the pandemic, but has used video streaming to host a Sexy Liberal Virtual Tour and connect with thousands of her fans. She hosts shows on a regular basis and includes VIP ticketing options for pre-show cocktail parties or post-show meet and greets.
Run The World has inspired many stories of content creators, influencers, performers, and other leaders coming together to share ideas and engage with people in a dynamic online space.
Run The World is a Flexible Solution for Online Entrepreneurs
In 2019, Xiaoyin Qu embarked on a mission to connect people in a virtual space. She saw great potential for Run The World to bridge the divide between professionals, like her mother, who wanted to create new professional or social ties without leaving home.
As lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing reshape the event space, Run The World has been at the forefront of the movement to spark relationships through live video streaming.
Whether it’s hosting a local speed dating event or a global conference, Run The World has the capacity to create a dynamic setting for people to mix and mingle. The platform has given a voice to businesses, entrepreneurs, and influencers seeking to reach a global audience.
“We’re really interested in supporting relationships,” Andrew said. “Going forward, we want to be a platform where people have the opportunity to build relationships through shared passions and goals.”