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December 29, 2014 / carlispina

Host A Virtual Event Using Unhangout

Unhangout logoRecently I had the opportunity to participate in an event that was run using the Unhangout platform and it proved to be an interesting way to host an online event that offers many of the features of in-person conferences. The platform, which uses Google Hangouts, makes it possible to offer an online event where all participants start at an opening event, such as a keynote, and then break up into smaller groups of up to ten participants for collaborative sessions. While all participants are in the “lobby” or main section of the event space they can view a video from the organizer and also participate in a text chat amongst themselves. The event organizer can then set up smaller sessions and participants can opt to join one of these sessions for the next portion of the event.

Once participants have moved into the virtual rooms for the smaller sessions, they can participate in a Google Hangout, which offers video chat capabilities and tools to collaborate on documents from Google Drive. The event organizer does not automatically have access to each of these sessions (if the organizer opts to participate in one of the small sessions, this will occupy one of the available ten spaces), but does have the ability to send out a message to let participants know when to reconvene in the event “lobby.”

When I participated in one of these events, the entire process went quite well with the movement between areas of the Unhangout working seamlessly. The project is open source and the code for the platform is all available on the group’s GitHub page. If you think it sounds interesting, you can set up your own instance to host events or you can contact the Unhangout team about other options. If you want to learn more about the Unhangout platform, you can read a Medium article about another event hosted using the platform or you can watch the video below.

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