Kodiak’s ComFish Alaska trade show later this month puts the “social” back into social distancing.

Attendees can move in and out of forums and the trade show just like in-person events thanks to a new platform called Hopin.

“So it is not some boring old Zoom meeting where you just have to sit and listen, it is nothing like that. Get that out of your hea!. Hopin is such a completely immersive, engaging social experience. I think social is that key word that we’ve been missing out on so many of these virtual meetings.”

Sarah Phillips is director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, host of ComFish for 41 years. She says nearly 30 exhibitors have signed up so far. 

“It has the opportunity for you to visit exhibitor booths, see what kind of specials and discounts they are offering, engage face to face with the representative for that exhibitor.”

Phillips says the forum line up provides the same opportunities. Forums include appearances by Alaska state and federal legislators, updates from the governor’s office, marketing, fishery updates, crab research, sea stories and much more.

“You’ll still have that opportunity to do Q&A, any questions that you type into the chat box, they’re going to be answered by the moderator or the presenters. And even after that session, some of our speakers are willing to go into a private session with anyone that they want to talk with face to face.”

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The new Hopin platform also provides for enhanced connections to socializing with anyone who’s signed up for ComFish.

“As soon as you log into ComFish, you’ll be able to see every other person that’s registered. You have the opportunity then to go ahead and click on their name, request that social engagement, you can do a video chat, you can send a regular text chat, or you can even schedule a meeting with them, the possibilities are endless. So it’s just like if you were at ComFish and you run into someone you haven’t seen in a long time and say, Oh my gosh, I’d love to catch up. And maybe there’s a few people you see, and you’d love to get the whole gang back together, you can go ahead and schedule a special session.”

Phillips credits local and corporate sponsors for enabling the Chamber to purchase the Hopin platform for ComFish.

“People have really stepped up because they know the importance of this show to not only our community, but all of Alaska in the Pacific Northwest.”

ComFish is set for March 30 and 31.

Registering for free at www.comfishak.com also enters you for prizes and a Hopin sneak peek.