END USER EXPERIENCE
For the end user/virtual attendee, VIrtual Crowd is a completely web-based system. No apps, no downloads -just a web browser. A user will be directed to a website on which the platform is hosted. This can be an existing client website or a new page that we create. Options include VIP Ticketing (which inserts the user into the Virtual Crowd display) or GA Ticketing (which just allows the user to view the Pay-Per-View stream). Alternatively, we can simply provide a link to join.
Every webpage can be customized and branded to fit the client’s needs to ensure brand visibility and consistency throughout the process. Once the users are directed to this webpage, they must first agree to a simple “Terms and Conditions” form. Next, they must grant access to their individual cameras and microphones.
Once the users have completed this step and pressed “Join”, they now enter the Virtual Crowd Experience. The system places the users into a dedicated page for viewing the live stream. At this stage, the users can see themselves in a camera view to ensure that they are in frame. Once they are actively viewing the stream, they always have the the option of muting their microphone and/or muting their video source as well.
THE BACK END
When all the fans have entered the system and are enjoying the live stream, the Virtual Crowd Back End systems are processing the signals with remarkable efficiency.
Our fleet of Cloud Servers compile the microphone and webcam feeds from each and every user and quickly stream them to our Localized Rendering Servers.
Located on show site, the Localized Rendering Servers extract the feeds from the cloud and compile them into our proprietary format. This configuration allows for minimal latency and ultimate flexibility in the overall system.
The Localized Rendering Servers feed the formatted streams directly into our Creative Servers which are also located on show site. These servers drive the various media sources utilized by the production (LED walls, projection screens, monitors, etc.). This is where the magic happens, setting Virtual Crowd apart from others.
The dedicated Creative Servers are the tools we use to curate our content with unique style and creativity. Animations, layers, shapes and blends are just some of the tools we have at our disposal.
A unique and powerful feature of the Virtual Crowd platform is the Moderation Mode. During each event, a team of dedicated moderators will be monitoring each user’s web feed as it comes out of the cloud to identify any type of behavior that is deemed inappropriate. Once someone is flagged as inappropriate, they are immediately removed from the wall and banned from the system for the remainder of the event. Moderators also have the ability to mute/unmute individual microphones and disable video feeds as necessary.
Moderator View allows multiple moderators to view both a Live Grid (subset of users passed to the Creative Servers) and the Waiting Room Grid (users who are watching the live stream but not presently appearing on the Virtual Crowd display). The Moderators can then assign individual users from the Waiting Room to a particular Live Grid location (and vice versa), remove and ban users, and mute/unmute users. Moderators can also interact one-on-one with each user to verify the quality of their audio and video signal. Acceptable signal quality is indicated with a simple green dot for each user.
This is a critical component of Virtual Crowd as it allows full control over who is participating and can quickly and efficiently remove any unwanted behavior from the event.
Interview mode is a unique, customizable feature that allows the client (or production team) to choose one or two guests and interact with them. All other guests are muted or ducked, allowing for memorable moments like interactions between lucky fans and performers. This feature is also well suited for keynote addresses, press conferences, and media events.
Appropriate Site Visit/Internet Speed Test completed to ensure location has suitable infrastructure to facilitate Virtual Crowd and all related equipment.
Event Team arrives on load-in day with everything required to execute Virtual Crowd to client requirements.
Virtual Crowd technical lead verifies adequate connection for the local servers based on preliminary venue tests.
Virtual Crowd team deploys system and integrates with local media playback source (LED wall, Projection Surface, TV).
Virtual Crowd team executes multiple system tests and ensures a quality connection to cloud based servers.
Virtual Crowd technical lead meets with client-specified event Moderators for detailed overview and operating instruction of the moderator systems.
Once users begin logging into the system, Moderators and Virtual Crowd technical team begin monitoring the system, including troubleshooting and customer support.
Event uses Virtual Crowd, with technical team executing programming and transitions as determined by client. Moderators continue to monitor/action inappropriate behavior and bad connections.