A year of tailor-made virtual solutions

A global lockdown and unprecedented event restrictions in early March started a wave of cancellations across the entire mediAVentures project calendar for 2020. A few days later, the core in-house product development team held their very first virtual meeting to discuss a radical and ambitious idea, our virtual booths were born.

The first hurdle was a full-blown virtual congress in North America with 5 simultaneous rooms in early April. With Chinese factories closing, resulting in a global shortage of high-end computer and networking parts, we had to resort to our in-house equipment and find creative ways to guarantee redundancy and visual compute power across every control room with the available equipment. A generator was installed as part of the redundant power and data network. A beefy UPS station, combined with clever power distribution techniques ensured the uninterrupted operation of each control room, independent of each other and the outside world. An enterprise-level overhaul of the fiber optic data network and infrastructure bundled different internet and data streams, further adding to the redundancy and continuous reliability of our entire operation. At the same time, a lot of effort went into protecting the different operators. Every control room was built with temporary walls, connected through extra-wide corridors and finished with Perspex separators between each operator.     

Getting the physical control rooms in place and wired-up was just a small part of the story. Together with our software developers, we had to find a way to bring the well-known personal mediAVentures approach of the speaker ready room to a virtual platform. Giving each presenter and moderator a personal training to discover all aspects of this new system at their own pace was one of the most important goals within our design philosophy. Week after week, the functionality of our new platform expanded to meet the ever-growing list of demands of our customers. We discovered early on that virtual speakers prefer to pre-record their presentation, leaving a lot more space for interactivity and heated debates with the audience on the day of the event. Recording your talk at your own pace, with room for specific editing requests, was one of our most popular and reassuring tools in creating interactive virtual congress events.

Besides taking and fine-tuning the enormous logistical task of speaker management, training and recordings upon us, we also focused on a future-proof toolset that gives feedback and control to the team of organizers of the virtual event behind the scenes.
Every pre-recorded talk or advertising video that is edited by our studios, becomes available in our ‘review cloud’, this is a virtual place where our customers can review the edits, and precisely comment on and request further changes to the edit. After files are approved by the organizer, they find their way to the control room media servers or become available on the online platform.

A total of 3 master control rooms were installed physically in our HQ. This is where a dedicated project manager can monitor all the control rooms that are used for an event simultaneously. A special Zoom meeting with a few high-level staff members of the virtual event ensures a perfect overview of the entire event. Interaction, audience numbers and polling in each room can be monitored, triggered and analyzed both from the master control room, and remotely by these staff members. Ensuring swift responses to unforeseen situations throughout the entire virtual congress. The master control room is also ideal to monitor progress in one or more live site operating rooms, bringing live surgery into the mix at the best possible times.

Together with this back-end toolset, the front-end user experience is evolving and will continue to do so on a weekly basis. Improving multi-room navigation, adding more interactivity tools and expanding session information sections, advertising options, analytical audience reports, automated certificates and sponsorship opportunities, the story has only just begun.

At mediAVentures, we strongly believe that this new virtual toolset will continue to find its way into the hybrid events of the future. Week after week, our software, hardware and creative tools continue to improve and expand, bringing us a few steps closer to the vision we had on that very first meeting in March. Events will never be the same again and mediAVentures is at the forefront of innovations to make this vision come to life, pushing existing technology and trying to shape a part of the future that will make every event more interactive than ever, from small private remote proctoring sessions to the biggest international hybrid medical congresses, the future is looking bright!

The mediAVentures team