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DSA is the Largest Socialist Organization in the US with over 70K members and growing.
They have a powerful youth division, that played a significant role in the 1980s in the movements against apartheid in South Africa and United States intervention in Central America. They have helped introduce many student activists to trade union struggles, with many of the organization’s alums going on to become labor organizers and union staff members. In the late 1990s, YDSA (Young Democratic Socialists of America) chapters became heavily involved in the national movement against the prison-industrial complex.
The YDSA Annual Convention event would focus on internal leadership development, regional community building, and debating political direction for the upcoming 2021 year.
DSA was concerned that with the current COVID-19 situation they would need to cancel their event. So they approached us to consult them as to whether they could bring it online instead, while addressing many unique requirements related to attendee permissions, moderation, on-the-fly schedule changes, private sessions, and more.
We & Goliath put together a virtual conference that enabled YDSA to meet all their nuanced technical needs, such as moderated sessions that allow delegates to appear on camera in a specific order, for a 2 minute period of time. Voting segments during a session, pinned links to direct attendees on where to vote for each initiative, attendee chats, and private meeting rooms only available to certain groups in the event. In addition, they had 1-on-1 chat and video meetings available. Lastly, three keynote talks and evening “socials” kept everyone inspired and feeling connected.
Their delegates were able to speak and argue their points in a clear and concise manner. And with 150 attendees, the event was a success at a 97% attendance rate. The organizers expressed their appreciation with how much we were able to pull off for them in such a short (three week) period of time. We were able to navigate their complex needs successfully on our platforms, with only a couple of simple feature requests that we’re working on for their next convention.
We did multiple trainings for their delegates, confirming their audio/visual was working properly and teaching 150 of their attendees how to request to get on camera in order to speak when it was their time and how to navigate getting off camera and resetting the software so they could re-enter cue at the appropriate time.
We worked with their chair and Presidium to establish a clear plan for the day of the event. The Chair was able to be on screen and invite the next delegate to speak into the session, time their 2 minute talk, and then push them out of the session on cue. They were able to host multiple trainings, sessions, and speakers every day between our live event stage and breakout sessions.
We assisted their directors to help strategize on how to implement their voting system in with our event software, trained the delegates on how to speak, and when to come on camera, the moderators how to control the back end of the software and let people back on screen, and then push them out.
Security measures were in place in order to ensure that the attendees that were not allowed to be there were kicked out of the event, and any chat interruptions or distractions were muted. The event remained private and ran smoothly.
We answered attendee questions in a Help Desk Expo booth that allowed them to test their audio video and video before going on screen to talk. We worked with about 150 delegates that needed to go on screen at various times, and successfully pulled off getting their software to work correctly.
Led personal training sessions for elected officials to become familairized with the platform and the plan for their interview or panel on the main Stage.
Coordinated a TV style backstage for Nina Turner, and a basic stage for two other panel discussions.
In the past, this event has featured keynote speakers such as Noam Chomsky and Cornel West.
This year we were proud to host Nina Turner, National Co-Chair of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Campaign and Jabari Brisport, the Democratic nominee for New York’s 25th State Senate district general election to be held on November 3, 2020.
Nina Turner’s keynote address got everyone excited and ramped up for the event. It was simultaneously live streamed to social media and within our conference platform. The delegates and attendees were so excited to hear her speak and the chat was on fire!
We created this custom graphic/slideshow to help train users on the features and navigation of the event platform.
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