The NORA annual conference (short for Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association) is an event for eye care and other health care professionals who focus on rehabilitative services to individuals with traumatic brain injury. The multi-day event brings together professionals and key leaders in the optometry and other medical fields to give insight on their methods and research.
The board of directors behind NORA started the conference in 2018 and aims to further professional knowledge in rehabilitative care and build stronger working relationships between professionals. The event once hosted at a venue was now a virtual event in 2021 and was powered by CEwire, an organization that hosts the largest virtual optometric conferences.
We were approached by the team behind CEwire and by extension ODwire to provide a streaming solution that the conference would be hosted on and could be tailored to their specific needs.
When the client came to Audentio, we had already built our in-house streaming solution for communities. The reason that we had spent months building our own tool was that we felt strongly that we had an edge in the integration it could offer with communities. Industry leaders in streaming like YouTube and Twitch have their own guidelines with a fixed feature list that requires a lot of ‘red tape’ to add anything new.
Our white label solution could offer ad-free viewing, single sign-on with XenForo forum software, and the flexibility of having an on-hand development team that could tailor the tool to client needs.
The NORA conference was education-driven with attendees participating in lectures or what they called ‘courses’ and being quizzed on what they learned. In tandem with quizzes, participants would be awarded specific achievements based on the courses they attended and whether they passed the quiz.
Because of their needs, YouTube and Twitch were not viable options. Instead, our streaming solution could adapt with a few added features:
With much of the framework in place, our product development team focused their efforts on building the new features while optimizing the existing for our first live event with our tool.
Early technical challenges came with 1) scaling the platform infrastructure for large numbers of users 2) ensuring we didn’t hit any bottlenecks and 3) redundancies for logging data to prevent failure.
As this was a conference focused on education, a core goal for attendees was being able to receive credit for what they watched. That meant on our end, we needed to track and confirm accurately when this credit would be transferred. The credit system relied on our use of transcripts, certificates, and as-you-watch progress.
We built three methods of tracking this data by 1) using a socket connect to track second-accurate times for viewing 2) backup of slow polling requests from clients with lower resolution and 3) for when you request data about a stream.
Live events can be extremely variable and to ensure the conference was a success we implemented a few measures — multiple dry runs with our community event managers and the client to stress test our product, weekly meetings with the client to show progress and align our goals, a fallback and contingency plan if the need arises.
By preparing as much as we did prior to the event, our team was confident that we could deliver a successful streaming platform for our client. Regardless, our full development team was on hand for the multi-day event to answer attendee questions and help troubleshoot any issues.
Once the event concluded on the third day, our team and the client were extremely happy with the results and how minimal the hiccups were. It is best to have a fallback plan in place but luckily our streaming platform performed as it needed to and the general consensus from the lecture speakers to the attendees were a positive one.
Our goal for the event was to give our client an experience that they wouldn’t have been able to achieve on other platforms and an opportunity to field-test our product. Our client’s goal was to successfully host an annual conference that for the first time was being held virtually and with that there were a lot of unknowns for the speakers, administrators, and attendees.
All in all, the event went extremely smooth and we are very proud of what we could deliver and grateful for the trust that our client had in us. Our close collaboration with their team was a large factor in ensuring the event went smoothly.
It was difficult to find a live streaming solution that fit our specific needs until we partnered with Audentio. As we were preparing for our annual conference, Audentio worked with us every step of the way and were incredibly easy to work with. They delivered on all fronts — a customized streaming solution for our educational conference, a reliable live event with no issues, and wonderful support. We're happy with how the event turned out and are looking forward to continue working with Audentio for our next conference!