Big Data

Virtual attendance platform increases conference reach and revenue with IBM Cloud

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Think about a typical conference: four days, multiple tracks and topics, hundreds of sessions. Then there are meetings and events on top of that.

The challenge for conference organizers is to drive attendance and keep their audiences engaged, yet so many potential attendees never even end up purchasing tickets due to the time required and the cost. For those that do attend, how do they make the most of their time with such a packed agenda?

ConferenceCloud is a virtual attendance platform specifically designed for conferences to leverage their content to digital audiences. In the conference industry, there are a lot of events and there is a lot of content to consume. The conference organizers can’t be everywhere, nor can the attendees, so it leads to a lot of missed opportunities. The goal of ConferenceCloud is to be a Netflix-style hub for conference content.

It offers live-streaming HD video, Q & A and chat, and archive capabilities for on-demand playback.

ConferenceCloud virtual attendance

ConferenceCloud is the founders’ second try at a startup company. The first, a web development company, led them to a number of tech conferences, but they didn’t have the time or funds to attend all of them. What they could do was live-stream conferences that were available via video. That sparked the idea to provide a platform conferences can leverage to share their knowledge with people who can’t physically attend. The founders shut down their first startup to pursue ConferenceCloud.

The technology foundation

ConferenceCloud runs on IBM Bluemix. The servers that support the live-stream video are bare metal and the rest of the applications and storage are virtualized.

ConferenceCloud became acquainted with IBM at a business competition and joined the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program to take advantage of go-to-market support, business mentorship, technical guidance and more.

ConferenceCloud uses Watson AlchemyAPIs for text insights to enable a networking component, where attendees create a virtual “hallway track,” the unofficial track that most conferences have.

Also included is a recommendation engine that suggests connections for attendees to make. The recommendations are based off of the insights from the chat box related to what questions attendees might have asked, which conferences they might have attended or topics in which they might be interested.

Watson also enables speech to text, as well as text translations for real-time internationalization and captioning.

ConferenceCloud has built the platform its founders needed several years ago when they couldn’t afford to go to every conference they wanted to. Now, they can attend and moderate all the conferences they want, even keeping up with their hobbies.

The virtual attendance platform in action

ConferenceCloud customers can stream their conference live and scale their events to larger audiences through virtual attendance. The solution helps users recover foregone revenue and monetize content.

Read the case study to learn more.

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