Hiring Jitsi Experts for short term contract

An organization I am part of is hosting our bi-annual convention in less than 2 weeks.

Due to teh Pandemic we ahve to do it online rather than in person like normally.

We had planned to use Zoom for this, but during our trial runs we learned their platform has a hard limit of 1000. We need to seat 1040 delegates at least though.

I had been promting Jitsi as an alternative for smalelr groups to use through the free meet.jit.si so as not to have use the Zoom licesne and have simultaneous meetings. But if the propitary unit isn’t going to work for the full convention we need a new solution FAST.

Clearly installing our own instance on our own server is doable, but in such a short time frame working through techncially issues on such, not to mention the actual managment of the meeting on the day of, is way too much of a hill to cimb for our very small set of employees (who arelady whould have been full doign stuff they know how at the in person convention) and volunteers.

What woudl be a good way to look at hiring folks who are intimently familar with Jitsi to do such a large project, in such a short time?

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This is the right place to post about it. Can you share a bit more details about it ? Or prepare to answer some of these questions in private when possible contractors will respond.

  • Where is most of the audience located ? Do they have access to good Internet connections ?
  • What is you budget for virtual private servers or AWS / Amazon provisioning ?
  • How many meeting rooms will you need ? How many people in each room, average ? Simultaneously ?
  • What language will they be using ? This is important if you need on-boarding / basic “How to use Jitsi Meet” documentation for moderators / participants

Good luck with your project, I am interested in finding the outcome. I am familiar with small deployments, I hope other people with more experience can help you.

Hi Jim,

Please also consider about how many of the 1000+ participants are going “on-stage” to talk cause the alternative for Jitsi is to do a live stream to youtube. From our own setup, we are able to handle up to 300 people but to reach 1000+ in a single conference room, it might be tought for jitsi.

Regards,
Anthony

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Everyone speaks English.

Most of the event will be in one room of over 1000 participants. At least one time there will need to be 9 break out rooms, in theory 50+ rooms would be beneficial to allow each state and possibly other committees to have break outs.

Everyone, or nearly everyone, is located in the United States.

I’m not familiar with the budget, I’m just a guy but I’m trying to grab information to present to others. In actuallyt their wasn’t supposed to be a budget for this, but there needs to be.

Due to the nature of the convention, all 1,040 delegates need to have the ability to be recognized.

It will need to be able to be streamed as well so that others, including the over 2,000 possible alternates can watch.

Ideally some sort of “credentials room” so that the committee can verify that those participating are the ones who should, as well as the ability to substitute the alternates for delegates as needed.

You can not handle 1040 persons in a single room with Jitsi. It is mainly about the ui design limitations of jitsi-meet and also about jitsi-bridge performance.

Online conference is an interactive environment by its nafure, i am so curious that how is it possible to go interactive with 1040 persons in the same meeting. I suggest you to check your requirements and current scenario to find out if every attendies have to be interactive. I guess there should be more simple and more easy way of doing it.

Yeah,
our bylaws and convention rules require that any seated delegate be able to interrupt and challenge any motion at any time.

There are ways to handle very large audiences and have some degree of interaction for everyone. I would recommend to the poster that he go to the zoom site and sign up for a zoom demo. they do them everyday twice a day. that way he’ll get experience with how people handle large audiences. Zoom however has real problems with performance because it’s being overwhelmed by new users. But with the jitsi technology you can set up a private server and overcome performance problems.

We are very familiar with Zoom. We’ve been doing “practice” Zoom conventions for 2 weeks now. Limitations on Zoom (like a hard cap at 1,000 partipants in meeting mode) is why I’m looking for other solutions.

do you mean you can’t split >1000 participants into multiple rooms?

and i don’t mean to recommend Zoom. Look at the last sentence in my original post to this topic.

Correct,

We need to be able to mimic all the delegates being in one convention hall, able to make amendments to motions on the fly.

At any rate, the Zoom daily demo uses a webinar format, not a true video conference. It is interactive in the sense that participants can submit questions to the presenter. I found participating in the Zoom demo meeting useful because it gave me new ideas for handling large meetings.

I participated also in a meeting given recently by California Congressman Mike Thompson. He handled a very large number of participants by holding a true video conference among a reasonable number of participants and streaming the video conference to the audience, i.e., those participants not in the video conference. The audience had a chat mode connection to the presenter’s assistant. Also, individuals in the audience were able, upon invitation, to move into the video conference. By “assistant” I mean the person (or persons) who both observes the presenter and connects to the audience via chat. The assistant is able to help audience participants when they have questions about the presentation or connection problems, as well as communicate to the presenter questions from the audience and suggestions for improving the presenter’s connection to the audience. This experience gave me more ideas for my own meetings.

Beyond the ideas and information I get from such experiences, I get more of that intangible thing called “feel” for the technology. For me, ideas and information about a technology are worthless without a visceral connection to it.

I think that would have been possible in Congressman Thompson’s set up. To address the convention, the audience member (see the description in my just-previous post) would ask the assistant for permission to join the video conference.

then a text message from a challenger to an assistant must be responded to immediately by “opening the door” of the video conference room to the challenger and handing him/her the conch.

Thaks for your help guys. For the particular short term item it looks like the team is going to go with a propritary software application due to time and budget constraints. However in the long term I would like shift to hosting our own Jitsi server for our regular internal use. Probably when things slow down a bit late fall-winter.

I will be in contact with those who have reached out to me via email

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