Fusion Conferences

A bespoke live-video conferencing web application designed specifically for the scientific community

Fusion Conferences are a scientific conference organiser. They specialise in hosting meetings and conferences within the academic and corporate industry for those working at the forefront of physical, medical, and life sciences and their related technologies.

Throughout 2021, Steadfast Collective and Fusion Conferences worked together to craft a bespoke live-video conferencing web application designed specifically for the scientific community.

The Fusion Conferences Online the platform now regularly hosts online conferences for chairs and leading scientists looking to make advancements in their fields.

The Goal

To create a bespoke online scientific conferencing platform for hosting live academic conferences. 

Fusion Online looked to fill the void in the market, where other platforms struggled with engagement and retention.

Technology

The Fusion Conferences team can create, manage and successfully run conferences all from their dashboard.

When creating the conference’s schedule, the team can manage content and link speakers and hosts to rooms, which in turn allows these users special privileges. 

Before the conference, guest speakers can submit poster abstract submissions, these are then stored, reviewed and placed in the conference’s poster room.

The team can moderate all live chat, questions and video/audio capability on the fly, allowing for a safe and inclusive space.

Throughout the platform, live video is a key feature, whether as part of a presentation or a networking room.

Live notifications, powered by Pusher, are triggered based on timers, room schedules and the live-chat functionality.

We use various APIs to be able to stream high-quality live video, to provide the ability to share a screen and to allow the host to control live-video usage. 

Laravel and Vue.js are the foundations for Fusion Online.

We utilise Laravel Vapor on top of AWS Lambda serverless technology, with Redis clusters and RDS. 

Pusher is used to trigger real-time notifications and allow live chat. 

Statamic is used as the CMS.

We utilised Stripe’s payment features to build a robust checkout process, handling payments from around the world with auto-calculating VAT.

Fusion Online

Results

Fusion Online has allowed the Fusion Conference’s team to widen their horizons beyond in-person gatherings, enabling participants from around the world to be involved.

Participants can view details of various online conferences, register their details and make payments online. Once logged in, participants see a clear timeline of the conference, with the option to join different room types. 

During presentations, conference participants can virtually ‘raise their hand’ to ask a question at the end of the presentation. Participants with questions can then be invited to join the video feed during the dedicated Q&A sessions. 

Networking takes place via networking rooms, and participants can also chat to other conference participants via the ‘Session Chat’, which provides live virtual messaging.

Interactive rooms were created with the scientific community in mind, including Topic Discussion, Icebreaker, Panel Discussion and Meet-the-speaker rooms. 

A central forum is available to all users to ask questions, find a collaborator, share advice, start a discussion thread, or to post and find job opportunities.

Notes can be taken throughout the conference within the virtual platform, ready for download at any time. The resource centre is home to a full list of participants, an abstract book, code of conduct and helpful tips, guidance and documentation for the conference.

Fusion Online has received wonderful feedback from conference participants since its launch.


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