Virtual Convening Platform Test Drive: Cadence recap

We recently explored the Cadence platform as part of our Virtual Convening Platform Test Drive series. It’s an all-in-one platform for planning, executing, and experiencing your dream in-person or virtual event.

Here’s the gist: Our overwhelming impression spending time in Cadence is of a platform with grand ambitions in all the right directions (person-to-person connection and agency, rich interaction, authentic spaces) that so far ends up clunky and/or confusing in its implementation of those ambitions. The “bones,” so to speak, are there—we look forward to seeing how things refine and tighten up over the coming months.

Highlights of what we learned: 

  • There doesn’t seem to be a way to create a public chat, and the “invite members” function doesn’t work.
  • They got their start on virtual events working with associations and networks. As they’ve evolved, they have really tried to tune into what their users needed from a platform.
  • The screen sharing feature is a bit buggy at times. It flashes in and out when you first start.
  • The platform allows attendees to add their own sessions/meetings (public or private) to the schedule; this is great for setting up side conversations/meetings with other attendees in the moment (and keeping them organized).
  • Symphony integrates well with multiple streaming services. Using the native streaming functionality is limited to 50 participants or fewer. 
  • Extremely mobile friendly. The platform actually began as a mobile app.
  • Their next update will include group messaging.
  • Currently, there’s no chat functionality in Symphony (on the roadmap for Q4).
  • Breakout rooms within a Symphony session are limited to when you’re using the native Symphony streaming (ie: for groups of 50 or fewer).
  • One major plus is the robust branding capabilities. Customize down to the color palette across the whole platform.
  • On the roadmap for Q420/Q121 : lobby experience, group messaging, speaker greenroom, symphony chat, closed captioning and transcription. 
  • Already really well set up for hybrid/blended events (ability to include information/wayfinding etc. for both in-person and virtual attendees).
  • Like many platforms trying to be “zoom-plus” these days, the more advanced features sometimes feel more polished than the basics/fundamentals of solid video conferencing/virtual engagement. 
  • The video chat function has great potential, but falls short as designed. Instead of functioning like you expect (Facetime, Zoom, Skype call), a Zoom room is setup and you’re placed in there alone. You have to figure out that you’ll need to message the person you are trying to connect with and invite them to join you on the call. This makes the whole process feel clunky. However, this is still more functionality than is available on many alternative platforms.

Increase collaboration and connection for your next online convening. Reserve your spot in our upcoming test drive.