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Any advice on doing virtual meetups?


Ondrej Mihályi
 

Hi, I hope you're all doing well!

In our JUG in Prague we're now thinking about doing virtual meetups. I hope some of you who already organize virtual meetups would like to share some experience and advice.

How do you do virtual meetups? Are people interested, do enough people attend them or at least watch the recordings? Do you have live presenters or prerecorded sessions? Which software do you use for conferencing? Anything would help us to decide whether it's worth it in our area and get us started it we decide it is.

I know that Eclipse Foundation offered to use their Crowdcast subscription for virtual meetups: https://www.crowdcast.io/jakarta4jugs. Does anybody have experience with it? Or do you use something else that works for you?

Ondro
CZJUG


Antón R. Yuste
 

Hi Ondrej,


We've started some months ago to organize a joint event between both JUGs called LaretasGeek: 


It's an on-line roundtable to discuss a specific topic. We combine local and national people, one of the benefits of the on-line format. We speak using Google Meet (4-5 persons) and we emit the session on-live on Twitch.tv (using OBS Studio) so attendants can interact using the chat. We record the session which it's uploaded to youtube, Spotify and Ivoox (podcast format) so it can be consumed later for people who can't attend on-line. At the end of the event, we do some activities for networking: on-line raffle on Twitch.tv and virtual beers on MozillaHub.

The feedback until now is great. On average, 60-70 attendants online and > 300 visualizations between the different platforms. But more important, people told us it helps to connect again with their peers after so many months without events.

Some personal conclusions:

  • We were very reluctant to do something online in the beginning. Our main goal is networking so it didn't make sense for us initially but we did it because people asked for it and we can't be happier with the result. It isn't so good as a real event but it's much better than nothing.
  • Avoiding the typical talk format in favour of something more interactive has been a great point. There are so many on-line talks available right now with all the developer advocates at home, it's impossible to compete. But there's room for more local alternatives as round tables, workshops, katas, lightning talks, etc.
  • Making a professional event on-line is hard. There are a lot of things which can go wrong. We try to keep it casual, just friends sharing experiences with other friends... In that way, it's easier and you don't have so much pressure if there is a problem with the bandwidth or the mic of one of the speakers (it will happen, sooner or later).


Of course, this is just our experience and conclusion, it may (or not) apply to your JUG but I hope it helps and encourages you to give it a try. It's more important than ever to bring people closer.


Cheers,


Antón


On Mon, Oct 5, 2020 at 1:56 PM Ondrej Mihályi <ondrej.mihalyi@...> wrote:
Hi, I hope you're all doing well!

In our JUG in Prague we're now thinking about doing virtual meetups. I hope some of you who already organize virtual meetups would like to share some experience and advice.

How do you do virtual meetups? Are people interested, do enough people attend them or at least watch the recordings? Do you have live presenters or prerecorded sessions? Which software do you use for conferencing? Anything would help us to decide whether it's worth it in our area and get us started it we decide it is.

I know that Eclipse Foundation offered to use their Crowdcast subscription for virtual meetups: https://www.crowdcast.io/jakarta4jugs. Does anybody have experience with it? Or do you use something else that works for you?

Ondro
CZJUG


Łukasz Dziedziul
 

Hi, 

We (jSession - Białystok JUG, Poland) are using Streamyard, also many other Polish JUGs use it as well. It offers the streaming to multiple destinations at the same time (e.g. FB and YT). 
You can customize it with your branding. There are multiple layouts (multiple people, single person, single screen, screen+person). You can see the comments from YT in the "studio" directly and show selected ones on the bottom of the screen. It supports screen sharing. The only thing I've found missing is the ability to manage the layout by the non-owner (e.g. a speaker)

Examples:

Łukasz Dziedziul

pon., 5 paź 2020 o 13:56 Ondrej Mihályi <ondrej.mihalyi@...> napisał(a):

Hi, I hope you're all doing well!

In our JUG in Prague we're now thinking about doing virtual meetups. I hope some of you who already organize virtual meetups would like to share some experience and advice.

How do you do virtual meetups? Are people interested, do enough people attend them or at least watch the recordings? Do you have live presenters or prerecorded sessions? Which software do you use for conferencing? Anything would help us to decide whether it's worth it in our area and get us started it we decide it is.

I know that Eclipse Foundation offered to use their Crowdcast subscription for virtual meetups: https://www.crowdcast.io/jakarta4jugs. Does anybody have experience with it? Or do you use something else that works for you?

Ondro
CZJUG



--
Łukasz Dziedziul


Victor Orozco
 

Hi Ondrej

We (GuateJUG) suspended "regular" meetups since people was getting zoom/youtube fatigue due lack of interactions. We started with meetups with 100 attendees but the last traditional (slides+demo) meetup plumbed to 10 attendees. Turns out, in LATAM we have many JUGs and we were repeating the meetups.

We jumped to an uncoference format that worked better for us. Similar to Anton's answer we host a topic, a couple of guest speakers and attendance is working better now (50-75 attendees per meetup). It mostly depends on your community I guess.

Crowdcast is pretty good for this and we used Streamyard as backup a couple of times. Anyway both platforms work pretty well, have "tests area" and a host is required to control the streaming. AFAIK crowdcast scales better, but is not an issue on 100 attendees meetups.

Cheers

--
Víctor Orozco(tuxtor) - http://www.vorozco.com


---- En lun, 05 oct 2020 05:56:29 -0600 Ondrej Mihályi <@ondrom> escribió ----

Hi, I hope you're all doing well!
>
> In our JUG in Prague we're now thinking about doing virtual meetups. I hope some of you who already organize virtual meetups would like to share some experience and advice.
>
> How do you do virtual meetups? Are people interested, do enough people attend them or at least watch the recordings? Do you have live presenters or prerecorded sessions? Which software do you use for conferencing? Anything would help us to decide whether it's worth it in our area and get us started it we decide it is.
>
> I know that Eclipse Foundation offered to use their Crowdcast subscription for virtual meetups: https://www.crowdcast.io/jakarta4jugs. Does anybody have experience with it? Or do you use something else that works for you?
>
> Ondro
> CZJUG http://www.java.cz/czjughttps://ondro.inginea.eu/
>
>


Łukasz Dziedziul
 

Hi, 
 
Hi,

We (jSession - Białystok JUG, Poland) are using Streamyard, also many other Polish JUGs use it as well. It offers the streaming to multiple destinations at the same time (e.g. FB and YT). 
You can customize it with your branding. There are multiple layouts (multiple people, single person, single screen, screen+person). You can see the comments from YT in the "studio" directly and show selected ones on the bottom of the screen. It supports screen sharing.
The only thing I've found missing is the ability to manage the layout by the non-owner (e.g. a speaker)
 
Examples:
 
Łukasz Dziedziul
 
 


Wojciech Zięba
 

Hi Ondrej,
as Warsaw JUG we have had been taking advantage of the courtesy of Jakarta Eclipse Foundation in March this year. It was alright, but some of our attendants had problems with accessing the LIVE. It may have been caused by the high popularity of Crowdcast early in lockdown time, so take this into consideration. We quickly decided to move to StreamYard as a proxy webservice to stream directly to YouTube as YT is easy to access, no login required and it is easy to watch on different devices. We are very happy with StreamYard, as it does not have such a delay towards YT as Crowdcast have had and it is relatively cheap so we could afford it on our own :)

As to the organisation itself we only did live sessions so far and we are quite happy with number of live participants and viewers of the uploaded sessions. We also, from time to time, did a after-session meetup on Google Meet where people could just talk about the session or anything they want really. It was popular amongst the smaller part of our community, but it was to give people a piece of real, pre-covid, meeting, so it was fun too :)

StreamYard does not require any additional software to install to use it, you can just invite people to your live stream and manipulate it as a host.

If you have any questions regarding StreamYard (e.g. referrals that we can exchange for mutual benefit), feel free to write me directly.

Pozdrawiam / Regards
Wojciech Zięba
Community Leader
Warsaw JUG | warszawa.jug.pl


pon., 5 paź 2020 o 13:56 Ondrej Mihályi <ondrej.mihalyi@...> napisał(a):

Hi, I hope you're all doing well!

In our JUG in Prague we're now thinking about doing virtual meetups. I hope some of you who already organize virtual meetups would like to share some experience and advice.

How do you do virtual meetups? Are people interested, do enough people attend them or at least watch the recordings? Do you have live presenters or prerecorded sessions? Which software do you use for conferencing? Anything would help us to decide whether it's worth it in our area and get us started it we decide it is.

I know that Eclipse Foundation offered to use their Crowdcast subscription for virtual meetups: https://www.crowdcast.io/jakarta4jugs. Does anybody have experience with it? Or do you use something else that works for you?

Ondro
CZJUG


Matt Raible
 

Hello,

We’ve been hosting virtual meetups at the Denver JUG since April 2020. We get around 50 viewers on our YouTube live stream, even for famous folks. We used to get up to 200 for famous folks at our in-person meetups. You can see some of the sessions we’ve hosted on our YouTube channel:


We use StreamYard to stream live to YouTube.


My company, Okta, is a sponsor of the JUG, so we use their StreamYard subscription to get rid of the ads.

We typically do a “tech check” a day or two before the meetup to make sure the presenter has a working microphone, good lighting, and a decent webcam. We’ve recently had some issues with screens that are two small to read, so we’ve started requiring presenters to bump their monitor resolution to 1920 x 1080 to match the YouTube recording.

Hope this helps!

Matt

On Oct 5, 2020, at 5:56 AM, Ondrej Mihályi <ondrej.mihalyi@...> wrote:

Hi, I hope you're all doing well!

In our JUG in Prague we're now thinking about doing virtual meetups. I hope some of you who already organize virtual meetups would like to share some experience and advice.

How do you do virtual meetups? Are people interested, do enough people attend them or at least watch the recordings? Do you have live presenters or prerecorded sessions? Which software do you use for conferencing? Anything would help us to decide whether it's worth it in our area and get us started it we decide it is.

I know that Eclipse Foundation offered to use their Crowdcast subscription for virtual meetups: https://www.crowdcast.io/jakarta4jugs. Does anybody have experience with it? Or do you use something else that works for you?

Ondro
CZJUG


diana.h.gray@...
 

All - We have just launched a new Get Together website where you can post your global meetup sessions. If you click the button in the top right hand corner, you can fill out the form and we can help publish your session.

This is a community site and can be used for adding events or attending topics you might be interested in from other community teams as well.