Best theme/setup for Virtual Event

I am looking to host a virtual event inside of discourse.

I will be using Restream to embed the live stream into Discourse topics.

My question is:

  • How can I display the video in a better UI?

  • What themes/components or plugins would you guys recommend for this.

Here is an example of how I’d want to display the video

I guess it’s just a matter of adding a background image behind the video. Other UI/UX suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Did you end up hosting the event in your Community? How did it go? Any lessons learned to share or aha moments?

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@Samantha_O if you don’t get a response back, I’m hosting events in my Discourse community just like this (sans that example). My first event is in about two weeks, but you can checkout how I have it setup here:

I can let you know how it goes afterwards if you set your own reminder to follow-up with me :smiley:


No I did not, because we are expecting a large audience (10k) and our Discourse Hosting would need to scale our servers.

Everything else is doable, the only problem is that hosting is like $5k+ even then there are uncertainties.

I think it’s great for smaller events. Just use something like Stream Yard to embed the stream and the different event-related plugins to get people to RSVP and you should be good.

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I’ll set a reminder to ask how it goes after. I also signed up so if I remember I can try to see what it is like from a participant’s view as well. :slight_smile:

Good idea! FYI for the stream window, we are using a tool called StreamYard.


@sp-jordan-violet - wanted to check in to see how things went from your end during the event itself. It appeared to run very well.

From a participant’s view, it seemed to go really well. The one thing I noticed: when links were shared via StreamYard (like regular video chat), it could be an area of opportunity/enhancement for participants, as watching via the Community, you can’t click on those links/see that chat. It’s an easy thing to workaround, though, by sharing in chat & on the Community thread.


I was just thinking about responding to you today!

Yeah we had quite a few first-timer mistakes, but overall we were actually surprised at how well it went. We just engaged Discourse for some theme improvements for topics in the events category that will make it feel much more like a live stream event page.

The stream video you saw was from a tool called Streamyard, and we had a few issues that were isolated to that as well. I think we’re going to eventually switch from Streamyard to something else as well.


All in all, sounds like a very productive and successful pilot/test! Congrats :tada:

I’m intrigued by what theme improvements you are working with Discourse on to make it feel more like a live stream event page. Are these just visuals - i.e. bigger display area for the video, or are you looking at other enhancements?


The biggest thing, yes, is a reconfiguration of the UI for a topic to be more like a live stream. Think Twitch: bigger stream window, chat bigger and more visible on the side.

We also want to improve the registration and attendance process as well, though.


How many attendees did you have? any server issues?

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We used a tool called Streamyard for the stream hosting and our Discourse is hosted by CDCK (enterprise), so no we didn’t have any issues and I didn’t expect any either, honestly.

We had about 130 people attend.

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Have you taken a look at this?

It is hypothetical, but good food for thought. Also, being able to use it as an in-person or hybrid app would be very helpful.

I’ve been testing this plugin for live event reporting because it provides the creation of multiple dedicated “blogs” for individual “reporters” to post an ongoing journal throughout an event that are also accessible right within the forum itself (instead of separate outside blogs).

By further adding this embedded audio recording plugin to enable recording audio directly from within the Composer, one could record and post audio interviews, or podcast (and other live event reporting) in their Discourse blog space instantaneously using just their cell phone.