GEVME Pivots Quickly and Turns Virtual Events into Memorable Experiences
Platform Enables Fully Customizable Digital Venues
Lockdowns and quarantines affecting countries across the world turned meeting and conference planning on its head in 2020. Marketers seem to agree, however, that virtual or hybrid events with a scaled-back in-person element are here to stay. But one of the biggest challenges of virtual events is the lack of networking opportunities.
GlobalSign.in is an event technology company headquartered in Singapore with a mission to connect people through experiential event-planning tools online. Its flagship solution, the GEVME platform, caters to all stages of an event lifecycle, from registration to post-event analytics. When the pandemic struck in 2020, GlobalSign.in worked swiftly to develop the GEVME Live platform to power virtual events. The platform enables fully customizable digital venues with a focus on creating immersive experiences and meaningful avenues for engagement.
AWS had all the tools we needed to create next-generation virtual event software and networking opportunities.”
Founder and CEO, GlobalSign.in
Agile Cloud Foundation Reduces Time-to-Market
GlobalSign.in built its core GEVME platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2015 and leveraged the agility of the AWS Cloud to quickly go to market with GEVME Live. “Having GEVME on AWS made it easier to pivot fast to build something new,” says Veemal Gungadin, founder and CEO at GlobalSign.in. Speed was critical when building GEVME Live to retain existing customers by offering them a digital alternative to carrying out planned conferences in 2020 and beyond.
The ability to spin up Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances for experimentation in a matter of minutes on AWS—and delete them just as fast when engineers found a better method—was key to building GEVME Live in less than 6 months. “With each iteration, AWS solutions architects gave us recommendations on how to lower costs,” Gungadin adds. “AWS had all the tools we needed to create next-generation virtual event software and networking opportunities.”
GEVME Live uses Amazon Chime for breakout sessions and watch parties for product demos, and features “serendipity rooms” designed to promote spontaneous interaction. In these virtual rooms, event participants enter to “mingle” with whomever is present using the native chat function.
Machine Learning Powers Recommendation Engine
To further forge communities during digital events, GEVME LIVE integrated a recommendations engine with the support of Babel, an Amazon Consulting Partner. Conference participants receive personalized suggestions for event sessions and presentations, in addition to attendees or exhibitors to meet based on mutual interests. “Identifying and leveraging digital touchpoints are what these events are all about. Customers recognize GEVME Live recommendations as a differentiating benefit of using our platform,” Gungadin comments.
GlobalSign.in built machine learning models in Amazon SageMaker that match people and content based on pre-registered data, such as job roles collected and analyzed during an event. Recommendations are renewed every 15 minutes as new people register and sessions are updated. For GEVME Live recommendations, engineers chose a serverless approach, deploying Amazon Athena for interactive queries and AWS Glue for data integration.
Enhanced Live-Streaming and On-Demand Video Content
Low-latency, high-quality video is a core requirement of virtual events. GEVME is using AWS Elemental MediaPackage to deliver on-demand video content formatted to play on connected devices, including mobile phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. Virtual events also feature numerous live sessions that can attract hundreds of users, in which Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS) is used as a managed live streaming solution.
With Amazon IVS, engineers can create channels for an unlimited number of simultaneous events. “We can provision channels in a few seconds and don’t need to worry about scaling the underlying infrastructure; everything is automated,” says Akash Joosery, software development engineer at GlobalSign.in. Pricing was also a major influence in the choice of streaming technology, according to Joosery. Charges for Amazon IVS are based on how many people are watching, rather than the total time videos are streamed. This makes it a good fit for digital events of all sizes that stream multiple video feeds simultaneously.
Priority on Data Security and Compliance
Enterprises and event-planning agencies are GEVME’s primary customers. Particularly with fully virtual events, organizers’—and potential customers’—first concern is data security. GlobalSign.in is ISO 27001 certified, and for the first time in January 2021, ISO officials audited the GEVME Live platform. “Being on the AWS stack has definitely helped us achieve faster compliance,” Gungadin highlights. “Previously, in-person events only broadcast public content. Now event participants are having all types of high-level internal discussions over video, and they want to ensure critical data assets are protected.”
GEVME uses AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) to encrypt data at rest and in transit and AWS WAF to filter application traffic. It uses AWS CloudTrail to track user activity and logs, which simplifies the compliance process. The business also follows AWS best practices for security in the cloud, including dual-factor authentication and segregation of roles via security groups.
GEVME Live Successfully Hosts 5-Day, 24/7 Event
The first major test of the GEVME Live platform was in December 2020, when it had to support SWITCH 2020 (Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology), a government-sponsored event hosting 600 information sessions and 27 interactive pavilions over the course of 5 days. GEVME Live’s recommendation engine provided each attendee with up to 125 recommendations for meeting opportunities and 250 suggested exhibitors and sessions.
With SWITCH 2020, GEVME Live proved its a scalable platform that empowers organizers to go beyond flat 2D events. Even agencies organizing events without a team of developers can create unique experiences by leveraging GEVME’s user-friendly, integrated platform. On the backend, GEVME continues to test new concepts and add features to GEVME Live. “The biggest benefit of being on AWS is the ease of deployment, which allows us to continuously update and customize GEVME Live for our customers,” Gungadin says. “Once a developer pushes new code, it’s reflected in our system in 10 minutes or less. That’s how efficiently things happen on AWS.”
To learn more, visit Media Services on AWS
GEVME is a technology platform providing end-to-end solutions for managing virtual, face-to-face or hybrid meetings and conferences. The GEVME Live version of the platform enables immersive experiences with personalized recommendations for event participants.
Benefits of AWS
- Develops virtual event platform in 6 months
- Deploys new code into production in 10 minutes or less
- Generates personalized recommendations every 15 minutes
- Provides low latency for streaming and on-demand video content
- Ensures data security and compliance with encryption and logging best practices
- Controls cost for video streaming with pay-per-viewer model
AWS Services Used
Amazon Interactive Video Service
Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS) is a managed live streaming solution that is quick and easy to set up, and ideal for creating interactive video experiences.
AWS Elemental MediaPackage
AWS Elemental MediaPackage reliably prepares and protects your video for delivery over the Internet. From a single video input, AWS Elemental MediaPackage creates video streams formatted to play on connected TVs, mobile phones, computers, tablets, and game consoles.
Amazon Athena is an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. Athena is serverless, so there is no infrastructure to manage, and you pay only for the queries that you run.
Amazon SageMaker helps data scientists and developers to prepare, build, train, and deploy high-quality machine learning (ML) models quickly by bringing together a broad set of capabilities purpose-built for ML.
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