E-Meetups: Suggestions and ideas on how to hold an online meetup event

The Cardano Foundation is seeking to create a decentralized, digital infrastructure to empower all of us—which will in turn help create a stronger, more resilient community with a safer future. Finding ways to connect people in digital space when traditional meetups become impossible, fits neatly into that mission—and we want to help our community succeed.

Currently, in light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, how can you provide the community with an E-Meetup online?

Here’s a short guide with suggestions, alternatives, and things for you to consider.

First, we highly suggest to take a thorough look at the extensive guidelines from meetup.com on how to hold an online e-meetup while using their platform, located here:

Secondly, we’ve also polled the community to get some recommendations on good platforms for holding virtual meetups. Check out our list below:

Potential platforms for community and/or large scale (VR) E-meetups:

Google Hangouts - Meet

Pros

  • Simple to set up. Runs in your browser.
  • Easily managed via Google G-suite.
  • Up to 100 participants at a time.
  • Supports live-streaming up to 100,000 people.

Cons

  • May have latency issues depending on where you’re located.
  • Browser-native software runs a little choppy, and only really gets along with Chrome.
  • Requires all presenters to have GSuite accounts.

Zoom

Pros

  • Up to 1,000 video participants & 10,000 viewers.
  • Native platform, easy to use.

Cons

  • Free usage for max. 100 participants. Free plan sessions are capped to max. 40mins. (More pricing details).
  • Recent controversies over privacy and handling of user data.
  • Some vulnerabilities that may allow bad actors to show content without permission.

MS Teams

Pros:

  • User friendly: easily integrated/used via MS Windows OS.
  • Fully cloud based solution.
  • Provides modern out of the box communication features for smooth video conferencing.
  • Supports Office integration

Cons:

  • Requires Office 365 licenses.
  • 250 ppl max. and a max.powerpoint file size upload of 2GB. (May not be a good solution for large scale events.)
  • Structure of files sometimes confuse users.
  • For some it feels non-intuitive.

Hopin.to

Pros:

  • Seems easy and simple in use and focuses on company meetings/event meetups instead of traditional meetups.
  • A short 10min. demo is available upon request.

Cons:

  • Fairly new platform: not much feedback to be found yet.
  • Not optimal for events with < 30 participants.
  • NOT LAUNCHED YET! (Early access available via website registration)

Twitch.tv

Pros:

  • live Streams can house 10’s of thousands of viewers.
  • Streaming made fairly easy: great user experience.

Cons:

  • No native support for streaming/video-conferencing, 3rd party apps needed
  • The platform is mostly gamer focused
  • Trolls and spammy chats: your stream may also be visible for anyone to join and attend…

Decentraland

Pros:

  • Blockchain/crypto community focused platform, where people own the platform and can join via creating an avatar.
  • Customizable virtual environments for socialization

Cons:

  • Powered by the Ethereum blockchain: may not scale well in the future.
  • Fairly new and unexplored platform.
  • Requires Minecraft like building/design skills and experiences to set up and the hurdle may be high for newcomers to join in.
  • May not be optimal for holding actual presentations as a meetup: focuses on socializing online.

BlueJeans

Pros:

  • Easy Access: multiple ways to join a meeting.
  • Ease of use: screen sharing, sign-on, etc.
  • Recording of meeting turn around time very quick.

Cons:

  • Max attendees (company plan) 150.
  • May not be intuitive enough to some users.
  • May experience difficulty with settings for meetings.

Crowdcast

Pros:

  • Easy to use.
  • Extensive functionality.
  • Clear audio/video.
  • Overall positive user experience and support desk.

Cons:

  • Relatively high pricing (See price details)
  • Interface can be experienced as buggy from time to time.
  • Non tech-savvy people may have trouble using the platform.

Please note: the above platforms are just a handful options for you to consider, and are by no means recommendations. As with anything, the DYOR applies, and using such platforms is at your own peruse. Thanks for your kind support and understanding.

Please let us know any additional ideas/thoughts/recommendations you may have! :+1:


The Cardano Foundation Community Management Team

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google meet and zoom are best, do you provide any boost for meetups ?

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Sure, if people hold an (e-)meetup, we usually promote it via our social media channels yes. :slight_smile: Let us know when you’re holding yours and we can work something out.

cc: @ryanhe

thanks this is the boost we want

I’m having a lot of fun using this site for an informal “networking” vibe; https://gather.town/
It allows for larger groups to break out into separate conversations and let’s visitors “work the room” and network.

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