A way to do remote participation at a large gathering with speaker?
February 19, 2016 7:02 AM   Subscribe

How to let people watch a talk, ask the speaker a question, and later discuss the talk with other "attendees", without attending in person unless they want to? What tech would be used, how, to best make this happen? (We need to foster community without requiring travel.)

I don't want to drive for 40 minutes or more to attend a live presentation, hear the Q&A, ask a question myself, and talk to other people who also saw the presentation. I don't want anyone else to have to, either, if they don't want to.

Also, assume the organizations putting on these talks don't have much money.

Is there a way to do this yet, and if not, how can we get someone to develop it? (We really need this, for cutting travel in the future.)

A Google Hangout is limited to 10 people, but is there a way to do "fan-out" so that remote people can join, say, an 8-person Hangout pod, with the other 2 slots being 'occupied' by the speaker and by 1 video+mic for whoever's asking a question? Can the speaker be part of more than 1 G.H. pod at the same time?

Am I making any sense, with this description?

How do we make this happen, accommodating both the live audience and also the remote watchers? If it hasn't been built yet, who will build it? We need it for the future.
Extra points if it also lets the speaker speak from a remote location.
posted by anonymous to Technology (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, a lot of continuing legal education is handled like this: presented in a room with a live audience, with a web audience able to send questions to the moderator or to the chat panel on the side of their screen. I've used GoToMeeting as a participant, but I find the system used by Practising Law Institute much nicer. I did a little googling to see if i could find what system they use, but could not. Perhaps someone at their office could tell you.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:57 AM on February 19, 2016

You can definitely do this with WebEx. Like scrittore says, you'll need a moderator in the room if the event also has an in-person component. Or you can do the event completely on-online. The presenter can share slides and video. You can mute participants during the presentation then open up for questions. You can have 'breakout sessions' which are basically small group discussions either during or after the presentation. You can have a q&a session complete with raising a virtual hand to ask a question. I don't know how the cost compares with GoToMeeting or other similar products.
(Full disclosure-- I used to work for Cisco. I wasn't a salesperson, I promise. But I did spend a lot of time on WebEx...)
posted by tuesdayschild at 9:49 AM on February 19, 2016

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