Community, Technology

’24LABS’ hosted a large-scale virtual conference via Airmeet, with 3000+ participants

Ishani Appaya
• September 30, 2021
virtual conference on Airmeet 24 hours of UX
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Overview
Event Name:
24-hours of UX
Industry Segment:
User Experience Design & Service Design
Community Name
24 LABS
Use Case:
Virtual Conference and Workshops

Executive Summary

24 LABS is a non-profit organization and a worldwide community initiative around User Experience (UX). It unites the local communities working locally in UX at the global level through virtual conferences, events & workshops. They are involved in UX research, interaction design, service design, user experience consulting, usability testing, data visualization, and software development.

Jesse Anton and Peter Horvath, Co-Founders of 24 Labs shared their journey; “We have been running in-person events for the local community for a while. We had 40-45 events over six to seven years, with an audience of 50 to 100 for each event.

When the pandemic hit, we reached out to other people worldwide with similar communities and did a virtual event on a different platform. We started as local in-person and went all-in global and virtual, eventually moving to Airmeet with 24 Hours of UX. We are here to help educate and make connections between people.”

To this, Peter went on to add, “We have a core team globally spread across all the continents. Today, user experience design is very much US-focused. Through knowledge sharing and education, we want to show how it’s done all over the world, bringing in a local flavor at the same time.”

The community recently hosted an event called 24 Hours of UX on Airmeet. As Peter Horvath, the Experience and Service Designer and Business Strategist mentioned:

“24 Hours of UX is a 24-hour non-stop event. We feature different speakers from around the world. Instead of approaching the speakers directly, we reached out to local communities that were also battling the challenges of COVID and were not able to do in-person events.

We asked them to do the event together on the platform to discuss the state of UX in their regional country or city. They proposed the speakers.”

The event had various keynotes, presentations, and workshops where people made new connections and interacted with each other. Furthermore, it had 11 sponsors and 29 community partners, including Whitespace, Adobe XD, Mozilla, and numerous UX groups from countries around the world.”

Jesse and Peter explain how they leveraged Airmeet’s features to host their 24-hour long event on a big scale.

virtual conference on Airmeet 24 hours of UX

Challenges (and Solutions)

Challenge 1: Hosting an industry-wide virtual conference-style event

While talking about their search for an innovative virtual platform, Jesse explained, “There were so many platforms available when we considered our second event. We looked at how the industry had innovated and how many other players there were in the marketplace.

Then I evaluated as many platforms as I could find. Most of the platforms we saw were really geared towards being corporate-type event management platforms with corporate-type pricing.

We needed something as close to a big virtual conference style as possible. We wanted the capability to host a big industry conference as opposed to just a corporate event. Among all the platforms, Airmeet fit a lot of our requirements and criteria.”

Here’s how Airmeet helped them host a big industry virtual conference that they envisioned.

A stable platform: Airmeet provided a stable platform to let them host their event on a large scale and connect community groups from across the world.

On having stability, Jesse went said, “Airmeet proved to be a very stable and reliable platform. We did not have any issues like the platform getting overloaded or running slow. Everything worked smoothly, and we could build trust in it. We had run several tests on the platform before the event, and Airmeet worked as we expected. That was really positive.”

Multiple sessions: On Airmeet’s ability to handle multiple sessions, Jesse said, “The ability to have multiple tracks was something that we had set out to try this year. The flexibility to do so was so readily available on Airmeet, and that was wonderful. We could do whatever we wanted with the content, which was very nice.”

Peter added, “This year, we wanted to do something more and scale from our previous events. We did a multi-track event where we had two tracks. One was strategic and visionary, and the other one was more hands-on and practical.

Altogether we had around 40-45 sessions over the course of the 24-hour period. The communities spoke about the UX in their regional country or city. Speakers had 1-hour talks, and besides these, we also had workshops sprinkled throughout the day. There was a lot of activity going on. We had over 3000 participants, and the quality of the event overall was much higher than in the previous year.

We had much more really high-quality talks in the community sessions. We also had a few keynotes from some really well-established participants.”

virtual conference on Airmeet 24 hours of UX

Challenge 2 : Having a seamless virtual conference event experience

Peter mentioned, “I think one of the challenges is community management.” Hence, to make the event successful and manage the community effectively, having a seamless event experience was very crucial.

Airmeet features helped overcome the challenge:

Ease-of-use: Regarding ease of use and the Airmeet interface, Peter said, “I think the interface was nice and pretty straightforward. It gave us flexibility in terms of how we wanted to use the customer interface, and we could customize the frontend and backend.” Peter was also very appreciative of how readily high-quality videos were available on the platform for a glitch-free experience.

Product Integrations: Airmeet’s product integrations helped them organize and run the event. Jesse said, “We used Eventbrite for sign up, and Stripe for payments.”

Customer Support: Jesse mentioned, “The support was always available. You could go to the 24-hour support lounge on Airmeet and speak to the team at any time. I generally did that before the event. By the time the event was going, everything was set up.”

Way Forward

About their future plans with Airmeet, Peter went on to mention, “We will see how we will evolve. We will also see whether it will remain an annual event or be a different format.”

He further added, “We also have a spin-off which we started before the event, called 24 Minutes of UX. It is a podcast where we pair up guests from across the planet. We bring together a seeker of advice and giver of advice and let them have a dialogue, which we structure for 24 minutes. We will definitely continue that.”

Jesse mentioned, “I feel like the Airmeet platform is continually evolving. We would see new feature drops almost weekly. That’s nice for a Saas company. It shows that you are not rigid and are reacting to the needs of your customers and the market.”

He further added, “I think that your organization was very receptive to us and helpful, be it the sales or the support. I got a good feeling about it. I really appreciated that it didn’t feel like a hard sell. You have a good group of young people working really hard, with an interesting vision.”

Airmeet has impressed 24 LABS, helping them host their UX conference and workshops on a large scale.

Book your demo today to learn how you can leverage Airmeet’s features to host and manage large-scale events successfully.

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