AWS for M&E Blog
Pylon One powers up delegate live virtual event platform with Amazon IVS
Event Communications Technology services provider Pylon One has delivered robust connectivity for major events around the globe for more than two decades. From the United Nations Climate of Change Conferences and G7 Summits to leadership gatherings for Fortune 500 companies, the company has designed and built enterprise-grade Wi-Fi networks to support these notable assemblies. The company recently extended its core capabilities with the launch of its Delegate Live virtual event platform, which allows event organizers to replicate the benefits of face-to-face interactions online. Developed by events people for events people, the platform leverages Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS), in addition to a host of other Amazon Web Services (AWS) tools and third-party applications, to provide high quality, interactive, low latency live video streams.
“Video delivery speed is crucial for participants to engage with virtual events, which is why Amazon IVS is so transformative. It provides low latency video out-of-the-box, giving our users a near real-time experience on a global scale without buffering, and because of its transcoding capabilities, viewers automatically receive the highest quality feed for their available bandwidth,” said Mike Lang, Pylon One Sales and Marketing Director. “Working in collaboration with AWS ensures that we maintain our best-in-class reputation and stay ahead of the curve, continuing to deliver innovative solutions worldwide.”
The Pylon One team had been working on the platform’s underlying technology for a few years, but development was prioritized and accelerated at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Built on AWS around Amazon IVS, the platform is customizable for each event and can be hooked into a range of applications, providing a native browser-based experience. This allows companies to use their preferred tools for aspects such as event management and ticketing, captioning, and white boarding.
In one of their first deployments of the platform, the Pylon One team was charged by Event Production Agency Chimera to create a versatile, digital environment for a three-day meeting of 250 global managers spanning 18 time zones for power supplier Aggreko. With an emphasis on discussion, group interaction and feedback, the challenge was to facilitate virtual collaboration in a way that was not just another group video call. Achieving global delivery of the video streams with a latency of about three seconds using Amazon IVS, the developers could instead focus on fostering deeper engagement of event attendees with real-time feedback tools, including live chat, Q&A, emojis, and live polling.
Throughout the event, presentations were delivered live from a hub studio in London and a remote studio in Houston. Segments were debated with live polling, and the low latency offered by Amazon IVS allowed the production team to display the results within the broadcast. Viewers were also able to select thumbs up or down emojis, or participate via live chat, which saw heavy usage. By leveraging the Amazon IVS timed metadata functionality, the live video feed and interactive features were kept in sync and resource overhead minimized. Inside the live chat, attendees could share photos and show off conference swag. For content moderation, Amazon Rekognition analyzed images in real-time, automatically quarantining potentially inappropriate images. Post-event, a wealth of analytics revealed insight for each element of programming.
“By building with Amazon IVS, we are able to innovate and create unique, custom experiences for our customers,” Lang noted. “Moving forward, the team will be migrating towards entirely serverless infrastructure, further simplifying operations, and providing scalability and reliability, while freeing up precious time for the team to focus on what they do best – creating standout virtual experiences.”
Delegate Live has continued to facilitate events with a virtual element at scale, with up to 3,000 participants to date. Though some events and conferences have resumed in-person activities, offering a virtual attendance option remains a priority for organizers, and some companies are choosing to forgo a return to traditional gatherings after recognizing the potential of innovative virtual event technology. Rather than navigate the logistics and costs of plane tickets and accommodations, companies can invest in creating highly engaging, interactive virtual events with participants around the world.
Lang concluded, “The imaginations of our production company partners continue to push our creativity and programming capabilities to new levels, and we are keen to further harness the capabilities of Amazon IVS and arsenal of AWS tools to ensure that each custom build not only meets the vision of our client, but also exceeds expectations for a virtual live event experience.”
For details about using Amazon IVS to build interactive live video, check out: https://aws.amazon.com/ivs/
To learn more about the Delegate Live virtual event platform and get in touch with Pylon One, please visit: www.pylonone.com.