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Release Notes & Updates

Engagez Access Groups – Usage Guide

By | Release Notes & Updates

Introduction

You can now customize which Engagez sessions and resources an attendee can see and access using flexible access control mechanism.  This is a walk through on how to utilize this feature.

Manage Access Groups

Plan on how best to partition your attendees into different groups, to customize the sessions and resources accessible to each.  Try to come up with the least number of groups to ease maintenance over the life of the venue.

Once you have identified the groups, follow these steps:

  1. Under Administer menu, click on Features. Scroll down to the Miscellaneous section and make sure the “Manage Access Groups” is ON.  If not, turn it ON and save.
  2. Under Administer menu, click on Attendees. On top of the Attendees menu, click on Manage Access Groups.  This is where you create and manage your groups.
  3. Type in the name of your groups and click to Add.

    You can view the groups you add at the bottom of the popup, where you can delete, rename and assign automatic assignment rules.  To maintain the accuracy of the access group assignments and reduce the manual up keep, we provide two automatic assignment options per each group: a) Default: if a group has Default turned on, any new venue registrant is automatically assigned to this group.  You can have any number of groups set as Default, b) Auto Email Assignments: you might want to categorize your users based on their email domain name.As soon as a user is successfully registered, we match the domain of their email against any email domains listed for any group here, and if we find a match, that group is assigned to the user.  You can specify the same email domain as a filter for any number of groups.At times, you might need to clear existing access group assignments, define new access groups, and modify auto assignment rules.  The “Existing Attendees” button provides two options to facilitate these tasks: (a) Clear Access Groups: clears all access group settings from existing attendees, (b) Apply Auto Rules: applies the auto assignment rules to each existing attendee right away.Click Done to complete the Access Group setup.

Manage Attendees’ Access

Now that you have defined your access groups, let’s see how to manually manage attendee access groups.

The automatic rules will start working on all new registrants.  Meanwhile, you can maintain your attendees’ access groups from the Attendee page, as shown:

To view members of a specific group, use the Filter feature:


Manage Sessions’ Access

The management of Sessions’ access groups is from the Administer->Sessions page, under “Manage Access”.

Click on it to see a listing of all existing sessions with their current access limitations, if any:

To limit access, click to select the target sessions, and then click on the drop down to select the groups to grant access to.  Only attendees assigned to the groups you assign to a session can see and access that session.  A session with no assigned access group is accessible by all.

Manage Resources’ Access

  1. Open the menu in the top right corner of your Resources Panel and select “Manage Access”:
  2. Select the resources you’d like to limit access to and from the top drop down, select the groups that should have exclusive access to them:

Only attendees assigned to the groups you assign to a resource can see and access that session.  A resource with no assigned access groups is accessible by all.

Recommendations

  • Email Validation: If you are using auto email assignment rules to assign groups to attendees at registration time, we recommend you enable email validation option in the Administer Registration and Sign In section to ensure the emails entered are valid.
  • Testing: We recommend you create a few test attendee accounts. Assign each different access groups and sign in as each to confirm your expected behavior.

Contact Us 

To learn more or schedule a demo, drop us an email at [email protected] or contact us at www.engagez.com/contact .

Engagez Livestream – Setup and Use Walk Through

By | Release Notes & Updates

Introduction

The power of Engagez is the breadth of its broadcasting and interactivity options, giving you the utmost flexibility in planning your online engagements with your audience.   You can setup your venue sessions as live broadcasts, on-demand videos or combination of.  When live, you can use Engagez Livestream, Engagez Simulive, or your favorite webinar tools.

Engagez Livestream is a highly scalable and adaptive solution, allowing your attendees to attend and participate in your live webcast, using any device, and from any corner of the world.

What follows is a walk through on how to setup and use Engagez Livestream.

Software Requirements – Encoder

You need live streaming software, and an encoder to take the desktop or camera feed and send it to Engagez, which would then stream the video to all the connected attendees.

There are several good options to choose from.  The best choice for you will depend on your technical know-how and whether using Mac or Windows.  There is a free open source choice called OBS, (https://obsproject.com/).  This is a powerful tool, best suited for more technically inclined users.  Our recommendation is one of these three fee-based solutions:

We mostly use Wirecast for our production work and that’s what we have used below for documenting the live streaming process.

Hardware Requirements

For testing, most notebooks will do fine.  However for production purposes, you must use a high end notebook/desktop PC, exclusively dedicated to run the streaming software.   Refer to your streaming solution’s recommended hardware specifications.  High bandwidth internet with uninterrupted connectivity is a must.

Session Setup

Once you have setup your venue, follow these steps to setup your session(s) for live streaming:

  1. Create the session that will host your livestream
  2. Schedule it with a future date, set its Live Webcast type to Livestream and save it.
  3. Go to Admin->Session, and click on Manage Livestream menu
  4. Your session is automatically assigned to the Default Each stream is like a TV channel which receives the live stream from a streaming source.  If you have scheduled simultaneous live sessions or need to broadcast from different physical locations, you will need to create additional streams.  Otherwise, just use the Default stream.
  5. While “Default” is the selected stream, click on “Encoder Connection Settings” link.  The parameters you need to configure your streaming software to connect to Engagz servers are listed there.
  6. In the “Assign Stream to Upcoming Sessions”, you will see your session listed.  Confirm that the session is assigned to the “Default” stream.
  7. You now have a session scheduled for a time in the future, and a stream assigned to the session, ready to receive live data.

Setup the Encoder (Streaming Software)

We use Wirecast to demonstrate how to connect your encoder to the stream you have assigned to your session.   If you are using other tools than Wirecast, look for similar configuration settings within their menu structures.

  1. In your Engagez Administer menu, click on Sessions and open Manage LiveStream. Select the target stream, and click on “Encoder Connection Settings”:
  2. Start Wirecast. Configure the source based on what you will be broadcasting. You can select a webcam, an external camera or your entire desktop or a window.  To configure, in the bottom portion of the main screen, click on the first “+” sign and add your webcam or Screen Capture as source.
  3. Now let’s configure the connection settings. Under the Output menu, click on Output Settings.
  4. Select RTMP Server.  Set “Address” and “Stream” to your stream’s “RTMP Server” and “Stream Name” values:
  5. Click on Set Credentials, and assign Username and Password to Source Username and Source Password:

Start Broadcasting

  1. In Manage Livestream, while your stream is selected, click on the green button to “Start Livestream”.  Now Engagez is ready to receive the video stream.
  2. In Wirecast, confirm that whatever you have selected as source is being shown in the preview window:|
  3. When ready, in the Output menu, click on “Start/Stop Broadcast” to initiate the broadcast
  4. Back in EZ, in Manage Livestream, view the Preview player where the green button used to be and wait for it to show your stream.  There could be a 20-30 sec delay till you start seeing the video.
  5. Once you see your camera output in the player, go back into your session to view your attendees’ experience.

End Broadcasting

  1. At the end of the broadcast, go back to Manage Livestream in your venue.  Click “End Live Stream”.  This will stop Engagez from receiving additional data and will start preparing the recording.  Wait till your recording shows up with “Completed” status. Click to refresh in case the listing is not showing up after a few minutes. Once completed, you can now download the video to edit before uploading it to your target destination for on demand viewing.
  2. You can start and stop the stream any number of times, and each time, the last recording will get added to the recordings listing here.

Note: Plan on testing several times before you actually do a live program to a real audience so that you are familiar and comfortable with the process.

 

Contact Us

To learn more or schedule a demo, drop us an email at [email protected] or contact us at www.engagez.com/contact .

Collaborate on Uploading Assets in the Media Library

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Media Library

The efficiency of setting up online events is critical, especially as events get larger.   Uploading the event assets, whether on-demand videos, resource files or speakers’ photos can take time, especially as contents get changed last minute by exhibitors and presenters.  Having a centralized library for these assets where all admins have visibility on uploaded assets and can re-use them would provide a major productivity gain. Furthermore, organizations use different storage solutions, e.g. Google Drive or DropBox, as their central repository where they collect the event assets before uploading them into the venue.  Ability to connect into these repositories, and directly upload the assets, instead of copying them first to a local machine, would be a huge time and sanity saver!

To address these needs, we have enabled each venue with its own Media Library, a central repository for all uploaded images, videos and files within that venue.  Admins can now collaborate on uploading assets and reusing them when needed.  Furthermore, the storage has been moved to Amazon S3 for fastest attendee run-time experience.  The Media Library can directly be accessed through the Administer menu, or within the appropriate editors.  Each item in the library is assigned a permanent URL.  This gives admin further flexibility in using the asset anywhere via simply using its URL.

Click on the Upload button and access your assets locally, using links, or from Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.  You can upload up to 5 assets at once, and can edit images within the editor before uploading to the venue.

We want to hear from you.  Let us know what you think of these changes and other features you’d like to see in the offering.

Thank you for your continued support,

The Engagez Team

Engagez Now Offers Simulive Broadcast Feature

By | Product Releases, Release Notes & Updates, Services, Virtual Events | No Comments

Simulive sessions or activities are pre-recorded for broadcast over the Internet at a specific date and time, but are not usually publicized as being pre-recorded. This is like what many “live” TV shows do to present a live looking program but have the ability to do some editing and better manage what viewers see on the program when broadcast so they aren’t seeing behind the scenes activities like audience load in and load out, changes and set up of cameras etc.

For conferences and webinars, simulive allows for the same kind of benefits and when the program is then streamed, the producer can engage in live Q&A. Using the simulive format also allows you to schedule speakers and guests that you might not be able to get at the specific date and time your event is held. It’s also helpful for speakers that will need their presentation reviewed and perhaps edited by their organization before it can be shown.

Many producers combine actual live stream programs with simulive to help keep the cost and technical complexity of an event to a manageable level. The program still has sessions starting and ending on a schedule, just like the live stream, and it functions just like a live session in that an attendee who arrives 10 minutes late will join the session 10 minutes into the presentation and not at the beginning (which would be on demand).

Doing a simulive program on your own can be complex to manage from a technical standpoint and usually requires someone actually starting and stopping the program at a certain time and watching over the process. Engagez makes it simple and allows you to set it and forget it. No one needs to start and stop stream or babysit them.