Creating a Virtual Haven: Building a Successful Digital Event Platform for Wildlife Conservation

Client Background: A non-profit organization dedicated to wildlife protection in America approached us for a unique project. Due to the pandemic in 2020, they couldn’t host their annual in-person event and needed a virtual alternative.

Project Objectives: The goal was to create a virtual wonderland for their virtual event. This digital platform was designed for event-goers to pre-register, log in, and engage in various interactive zones. These zones were meant to educate visitors about the non-profit’s mission, its partnerships, and ongoing projects. Features like a trivia system, games for points and leaderboard ranking, and exhibitor pages for local organizations were to be included.

Solution Approach: In collaboration with a design agency, we developed the virtual wonderland. Our role was focused on application development and delivery. The platform allowed users to log in via a magic link, interact with content, play games, and explore exhibitor pages. We implemented a basic CMS system for exhibitors to customize their online presence with images, text, and resources.

Development Timeframe: The project had a strict deadline, as it was event-centric. We had approximately 4 months from the initial client contact to design, build, and deliver the platform.

Project Results: The virtual event was a resounding success. It attracted thousands of unique users who interacted with the platform on the event day and continued engagement afterward. The platform effectively substituted the usual in-person event and was well-received by attendees.

Technology Stack:

  • Front-end: Developed using Next.js for a dynamic and interactive interface, hosted on Vercel.
  • Back-end: .NET Core for the API and exhibitor portal, using Microsoft SQL Server and Azure blob storage for data storage. Hosted on Azure app services and SQL Azure.
  • Third-party integrations: SendGrid for email, imgix for image optimization and hosting, and Google Analytics for usage analytics.

Conclusion: Our collaboration resulted in a successful virtual event platform that not only engaged users but also effectively communicated the non-profit’s mission. This project demonstrated the potential of virtual events as viable alternatives to in-person gatherings, especially in challenging times.