Freelance

Greycroft Summit

Chris Ellis

The pandemic has changed a lot for the events industry. Many companies have dropped their events altogether, but that's not an option for some industries. Face to face interactions are still the cornerstone for many business relationships.

Greycroft is a venture capital firm with bases in New York and Los Angeles. Every year they host Greycroft Summit which aims at providing an intimate networking gathering that facilitates client-investor relations.

They couldn't compromise on these relations and needed an integrated experience for their conference. I partnered with David at SCD Studio to create this experience.

What we built

Traditionally, the Summit was a small group of around 50 people meeting in beautiful locations around the world. The small group size created an intimate networking experience that Greycroft hoped to duplicate on the web. They wanted real time interactions between guests with chat and smaller breakout sessions.

To achieve this, we used the MeteorJS platform. It was a great choice because a week before the event, the guest list had ballooned to over 300. We were blown away with how performant it was on the day of the event.

The Lounge / Greycroft Summit

The Lounge

The concept of the Lounge was to provide the "hallway track" experience that you often get at conferences. I've heard some conference goers say that they only go for the hallways.

Incredible relationships can be built in a 5 minute conversation. Covid has made this much more difficult to duplicate, but we gave it a go.

We built the ability to have 1:1 conversations via chat, a way to share your social media, and the ability to pop out into a 1:1 video chat.

I was in charge of integrating Twilio Video functionality into the application. We utilized React for this part of the interface.

Working on the interface

One challenge I came across with Meteor was sharing state between different rendering libraries. The majority of the application was built in BlazeJS. I didn't want to pollute session with a bunch of quickly changing variables and end up with race conditions. We ended up mimicking React's props in the Blaze-React interface.

Performance

The day of the event was hectic like many events are. One of our concerns was the number of simultaneous connections. This is where Meteor Galaxy shined.

Since events are limited affairs, we were able to supercharge our clusters by maxing out each container and just adding more. We had built in analytics for second by second connections and compute power. It was really just amazing.

Though the conference was only 300 users, we ended up with over 500 simultaneous connections. I know I had multiple windows open on the day and I can imagine most of the production team did  as well.

Moving forward

David and I will be working on more events with Greycroft and other companies. We're expanding the platform and tailoring it each clients' needs.

If you're looking for a bespoke conference experience, please reach out to us!

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