USC’s Hybrid Approach Includes In-Person and Online Events for more than 50,000 Virtual Participants
LOS ANGELES, Calif., May 17, 2021 – 6Connex, the leading global platform for virtual and hybrid events, today announced that the University of Southern California (USC) is utilizing the firm’s Soar technology to create engaging virtual venues as part of the university’s 2021 commencement ceremonies. USC’s graduation events, which include its 2021 and 2020 classes, will be held May 14-20.
USC’s decision to create a series of hybrid virtual events — a combination of in-person events while allowing others to participate from across the globe — was a result of current restrictions on in-person gatherings and an understanding that many usual participants would rather not travel or congregate if even current guidelines allow for it.
Its decision was also influenced by its ability to host events virtually over the last 10 months with 6Connex support. USC’s hybrid approach to commencement ceremonies will be the first for any college or university in California. For more than 10 years, USC has broadcasted its commencement, but a virtual component of this magnitude has never been done before, according to Adam Rosen, Associate Vice President, Cultural Relations and University Events at USC.
“6Connex provides a virtual platform that meets our requirements,” said Rosen.. “And while planning a commencement during a pandemic – when the rules regarding in-person events can change day-to-day – 6Connex worked in close collaboration with us as the landscape changed to help optimize our live/online hybrid approach. .”
USC estimates that around 80,000, including graduates, their family and friends in the U.S. and around the globe, are expected to attend either live or on-demand to at least some portions of USC’s 50-plus events over six days.
Using 6Connex’s Soar systems, Rosen and his team have created 26 environments as part of the ceremonies and events for the 22 schools within USC. Additionally, to accommodate the massive participation expected by USC, 6Connex set up dedicated “server pods” to support the needed bandwidth with security measures in mind.
Working with 6Connex, Rosen and his team have created a set of virtual experiences that replace and/or complement events that were designed to be executed in-person in a way that provides an interactive and engaging experience. This includes social media, videos, walls, photo booths, and the ability to access a 360-degree virtual reality camera.
“Our goal was to create a virtual campus environment where people unable to attend can easily feel that they are here,” said Rosen. “With the support of 6Connex systems, we’ve designed a smorgasbord of activities to create an experience that will make everyone feel like they are part of the event.”
USC plans to continue to design commencements as hybrid events in 2022 and beyond.
“We value the efforts of Adam and his team at USC as they work around the clock to deliver a series of commencement events that will make this a special day for thousands of graduates and their families,” said Ruben Castaño, CEO of 6Connex. “It is heartwarming to support USC as it creates and delivers a series of events that promise to be just as engaging for those looking in remotely as it is for those who are at the LA Coliseum.”
USC is using 6Connex Soar, the industry’s leading enterprise grade virtual event solution, built to deliver the holistic virtual experience, to power its hybrid event. USC leveraged Soar’s ability to allow for the curating of the entire event and dynamically managing multiple virtual ventures simultaneously for a number of different Schools and departments. 6Connex features an open platform that allows USC to easily integrate new and existing apps and tools into the virtual commencement environment.
Soar provides organizations a set of fully customizable virtual environments packed with configurable features, additional engagement customizations and expert-level capabilities to cultivate a personalized experience for any use case. Soar significantly reduces the time and effort required to create and customize virtual environments, and the overall hosting of virtual events.
“Given all the obstacles associated with hosting a set of hybrid events during a pandemic, our team at 6Connex is relying on our 10+ years of experience to ensure success,” said Mike Sokoloff, Director of Sales, 6 Connex. “It helps that our 6Connex Soar solution is a robust, scalable, and secure technology, and able to accommodate the depth and breadth of USC’s commencement ceremonies.”
6Connex is the leading provider of virtual and hybrid event solutions. Our secure, cloud-based platform expands audience reach and drives in-depth content engagement for marketing, sales, recruitment, training, and HR communities. Our product portfolio includes virtual and hybrid venues, learning management, and webinars. For more information, visit www.6connex.com or call 1-800-395-4702.