Question

What are the most unique ways to hold a video conference?

With in-person events mostly canceled this year, video conferences have never been more important. There's the standard group Zoom calls, but then there are also a ton of unique, new new takes on what a video conference could be, including:

  • SpatialChat is perhaps the most unique option, as a 3D audio app. Up to 50 people hang out in a virtual room, and can move around during a call to hear other. You'll overhear others' conversations, and can move to join them, or could all gather around the main speaker for a talk. Could be good for hangouts, meet-and-greet type stuff—or could get crazy
  • Icebreaker lets 8 people on the stage presenting at once with up to 200 attendees, or you can split into 1-1 calls. Good for roundtables or group activities.
  • Airmeet is built more for networking events. Group people into tables while waiting, let people "go backstage" to chat with hosts, then host event. Accept questions then bring people on to talk about them.
  • Shindig is built for live events with attendees joining in groups. People go into a waiting room first, pick people to hang out with, then get invited into the full event together. Could work well to say have 3 university teams meet together, while showing how's in which group.
  • Hopin is built for a modern take on events with group side-calls, custom branding, and an event schedule with separate videos per talk. There's also a virtual "Expo" area with virtual vendor booths—perhaps to share prerecorded talks, or build something unique.
  • Rally is for virtual roundtables. Let up to 35 people group up and then swap between "tables" to join other conversations.
  • Crowdcast helps you teach live classes, with live question/answers and tools to broadcast to other live social streaming. You can sell events, and promote them through Crowdcast's homepage.
  • eWebinar is built to record videos that are almost "make your own adventure" classes, for "interactive" pre-recorded sessions. Instead of live videos, you record different options to let viewers steer their webinar to feel like it's live.

Or you could have a more normal webinar, perhaps embedded into your site:

  • Zoom has webinars—and recently added picture-in-picture mode, too, and can stream to other live video services automatically. Wildly, up to 100 people can talk at once, and up to 10k can listen. (GoToWebinar, WebEx, and more are also options here.)
  • Whereby is a Hangouts/Zoom replacement (formerly Appear.in), where you just share a room link and let up to 50 people join in. Cool thing is that you can build it into your site with its API.
  • Daily takes that further—it's just an API to add live videos to your site, for up to 200 participants at a time.
  • Dacast is another tool to build video into your site, seems more popular with edu and enterprise.

Then you have new tools to add effects to videos, including:

  • Unscreen lets you remove background from any video, for picture-in-picture effects in your pre-recorded videos.
  • mmhmm makes existing Zoom/Meet/YouTube Live videos better—with tools to collaboratively present with others, create picture-in-picture effects, and build more immersive shows.

Got any other cool conferencing tools you've tried—or have you tried any of these tools and have thoughts on how they worked for your team?

Would love to hear the best online events you've attended and the tools that made it special!

Mentioned
#Zoom #Video Calls #Slack #Microsoft Teams
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Max07498926's avatar
@Max07498926 (via Twitter)
a year ago

Don't forget @TeoohEvents!

2 points
filmbarend's avatar
@filmbarend (via Twitter)
a year ago

While I don't like you can't design custom templates, @prezi video gives a nice toch to slides and video combined. Also virtual webvam output, so it works with Zoom et al.

2 points
EvanTahler's avatar
a year ago

Check out what CascadiaJS is doing this year (https://2020.cascadiajs.com)
- Pre recorded talks + live QA. Broadcast with on-sceen live chat. Better because it allows for captioning and moderation. Tool - twitch studio.
- live Karaoke
- “tables”, sponsor rooms, and socializing with https://remo.co/
- audio socializing via rambly.app

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @EvanTahler )
a year ago

That's an interesting balance of pre-recording plus live QA; seems like a good use of the live time.

How did the sponsor rooms work out? Were they just essentially ongoing calls with the sponsors about their products?

Rambly looks awesome!

1 point
chrismessina's avatar
a year ago

Connect.club is a pretty slick take on virtual spatial networking.

I've collected more here: https://www.producthunt.com/@chrismessina/collections/virtualspatialpresence

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @chrismessina )
a year ago

Oh cool, that's an amazing list—thanks for sharing!

I'd almost forgotten Messenger Rooms is a thing.

1 point
nirajshah's avatar
a year ago

Here is another one https://try.twine.nyc/digital/ (one on one deep conversation) - (founded by my ex-boss)

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @nirajshah )
a year ago

Interesting! So it's matching you to other people with similar interests to try to help make friends online?

Reminds me a bit of Donut, a Slack add-on I'd used in the past that randomly matches you up with other people on your team to help you get to know everyone in a large company. Pairing people up by interests would be even more interesting.

1 point
avatar
anonymous
a year ago

Missing one from this list -- an amazing conference-focused application called https://gather.town/ Check it out!

(Superuser, I created a spaceship world for our company-wide virtual offsite. It's really really exciting what's possible, and for builders like me it's quite fun to play with! )

1 point
chrismessina's avatar
@chrismessina (replying to anonymous )
a year ago
2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to anonymous )
a year ago

Ohh interesting, like Second Life redesigned with 8-bit graphics for work! Does it have spatial audio where you can faintly hear nearby conversations then move closer to join in?

1 point
avatar
anonymous (replying to @maguay )
a year ago

Close ! It has proximity-triggered video calls. So you and somebody else automatically pop in each other's screen as a video window (it's close to seamless) when your character gets near someone else.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to anonymous )
a year ago

Oh that's cool!

1 point
orbitalchat's avatar
a year ago

Video is great but it can be overwhelming when you're on it all day. That's why we're building Orbital, the only audio chat app made for large groups. We're open for beta registration now at http://orbital.com. 🪐

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @orbitalchat )
a year ago

Since you mentioned all-day, is Orbital built around push-to-talk ala Discord, or would you actually keep a voice conversation and open mic running all day?

1 point
orbitalchat's avatar
@orbitalchat (replying to @maguay )
a year ago

Hi @maguay! At the moment we see a lot of teams using the app as a virtual watercooler and meeting rooms. So, it's there when you need it but you can mute yourself anytime, or move your marker away from other people if you want some quiet. We do have push-to-talk in the roadmap, as well. Here's a demo of how it works:

1 point
danieldcn's avatar
a year ago
1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @danieldcn )
a year ago

Interesting! Would be curious to see how much it helps "zoom fatigue" in real use.

1 point
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