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Vetscapades Event Information

This Knowledge Base article seeks to provide an overview of the Vetscapades event, the support expectations for the IT team, information and instructions from previous years' setup, and instructions for access to media content from previous years.

Section 1: Overview of Vetscapades Event

The Vetscapades event is a student-run event facilitated by the University of Illinois - College of Veterinary Medicine. It takes place near the end of February each year. A committee is formed of representatives from each DVM class, in charge of organizing and hosting the event. The event is self-supporting through fund-raising from ticket and food sales prior to the event. The event is held in LAC 100.

Leading up to the event, student organizers set up a method for their fellow students to submit a variety of media content including memes (jokes encapsulated in a picture or gif format), superlatives (ex. most likely to...), and entries for a video competition (typically a humorous skit written by students) which are judged by a panel of Professors and Doctors in the hospital.

At the time of the event, Faculty and Staff that are attending the event can make their way to LAC 100 prior to when admission starts. Attendees can form a line outside of LAC 100 in the CSLC parking lot around 5:00 pm. Attendees enter from the Clinical Skills Learning Center (CSLC) parking lot to avoid interfering with the nightly hospital staff that may be attending to patients. At 5:30 pm, attendees are seated; as they make their way into LAC 100, they can collect food that was purchased for the event, fill out raffle tickets, and seat themselves within the lecture hall. The event officially starts around 6:00 pm. The event does not have a specific length, however, it is frequently limited to about 2 hours in length.


Section 2: Technical Needs Provided by the IT Team

Overview of support:

The College of Veterinary Medicine IT Department provides support to the student committee that hosts the event. There are concrete expectations for support that the IT team will provide. If support extends beyond these expectations, that is not an endorsement or acceptance of responsibility for future events. It is up to the particular IT team member providing support, if they will provide greater levels of support than what is outlined in this section.

Support Expectations:

The IT Team will:

  1. Technology Needs Guidance
    • Offer comprehensive guidance and support to the event committee regarding their technology requirements, including equipment setup, software selection, and technical troubleshooting.
  2. Software Recommendations
    • Provide recommendations and assistance in selecting appropriate software tools for various event tasks, such as media content management, file conversion, live streaming, and recording.
  3. Lecture Hall Equipment Maintenance:
    • Ensure that all equipment in the lecture hall, including audiovisual systems, projectors, microphones, and screens, is properly maintained and in optimal working condition prior to the event.
  4. Event Streaming Setup
    • Assist with establishing a streaming solution to facilitate remote participation in the event.
  5. Event Recording via Echo360
    • Set up and manage the recording of the event using Echo360, ensuring that all sessions and presentations are captured for future reference or use.
  6. Day-of Support and Troubleshooting
    • Provide on-site support during the event to address any technological issues or concerns promptly, ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted experience for attendees and presenters alike.
    • Conduct a dress-rehearsal with the student committee prior to the event to ensure familiarity with equipment and procedures, and to mitigate potential issues during the actual event. 

Requests for the student committee:

  1. Provide the IT team with 3 weeks notice for the event. This will provide the IT team with enough time to ensure that equipment and content is in a functional state at the time of the event.
  2. Provide the IT team with access to submitted media content locations (ex., co-ownership of Box folder). This allows the IT team to provide support for media content submitted and archiving of content submissions for future iterations of the Vetscapades.
  3. Provide the IT team with contact information for two student committee members. This will give the IT team a primary and backup point of contact to ensure proper communication takes place for the event.


Section 3: Previous Setup and Lessons Learned

HandBrake - File Conversion:

If media content needs to be reformatted or compressed, HandBrake is a good tool for accomplishing this task. File conversion and compression can take some time to complete (up to several hours, depending on the size of the video); it is advised that student organizers check that video file types will play properly through their presentation method and complete conversions and compression as needed, prior to the event.

Click here to download HandBrake

** It is out of the scope of responsibilities for the IT department to convert file types on behalf of the event committee. The IT team will provide guidance and answer questions regarding how to convert file types. ** 

How to convert files using HandBrake:

  1. Download, install, and open the HandBrake application.
  2. Drag and drop the video file into HandBrake.
  3. Set the Preset to a Fast or Very Fast preset. 
    • The goal is not to compress the video but to change the format. If there is a need for compression, the user can select a different preset like Email 25 MB 5 Minutes 480p30. This example preset will compress a 5-minute (or shorter) video to a 480p resolution video at 30 frames per second. This compressed video will have its file size reduced to 25 MB so it can be attached to an email. This is just an example; if compression is required, the student committee should request guidance from the IT Team on resolution and frame rates to use when compressing.
  4. On the Summary page, alter the Format to MP4.
  5. At the bottom of the window, select Browse and select your save location for the finished file output.
    • Ensure that the file extension uses ".mp4", if it does not, manually change the file extension to mp4.
  6. Select Start Encode on the top ribbon to begin the process, or select Add to Queue, if you are changing the file type for multiple videos.
  7. (If you are converting multiple videos): Repeat this process for each video that you are converting, continuing to Add to Queue. Once all videos are added, select Start Encode.

Steaming the Event:

In previous years, the event was streamed through Echo360. There was a positive response to the event being streamed over Zoom, as it was more accessible to the remote audience. As such, starting with the 2024 Vetscapades, it has been streamed over Zoom.

During the 2024 Vetscapades, the event was streamed to the 4th year students who were unable to attend, primarily due to their clinical rotations. Some of the students who watched over Zoom were contacted and reported positive feedback around the streaming through Zoom, although there were some concerns about the presenters volume during the event. Some best practices for setting up the Zoom meeting include:

  1. A student organizer should setup the Zoom meeting.
    • IT can provide guidance to meet the organizers needs for this Zoom meeting.
  2. IT should provide distribution list addresses so student organizers can effectively distribute the Zoom meeting link.
  3. Authentication should be enabled so only student members can access the stream.
  4. Attendees should be set to mute throughout the event.

Lecture Hall Equipment and Presenting:

Playing Videos:

Some iterations of the Vetscapades used VLC Media Player and queued up media content that they intended to play. Other iterations played the content directly from their Box drive using the embedded media player. The method for playing media is up to the student organizers, however, there are some tips and suggestions for each method:

VLC Media Player:

  • Queue up the media in the order you would like it to play.
  • You can set the auto-play setting to be on or off in VLC settings.
    • If auto-play is on, it will continue onto the next video once the current video ends. If the organizers plan on speaking in between videos, it is best to turn auto-play off.
    • To change this setting: Open VLC >> Select Tools on the top ribbon >> In the bottom left, change the "Show settings" option to All >> Navigate to, and select Playlist in the left side menu >> Uncheck Auto Start from the list of options.
    • It would be advisable that you Uncheck the Pause on audio communication as well, to avoid pausing if the hand-held microphone is left on while videos are playing.

Box Embedded Media Player:

  • Because the videos are playing from the online source, the web page can occasionally time-out. When this happens, the student organizers presenting the content will need to refresh the web page to ensure that content loads properly. 
  • Testing that videos will load and play properly from the Box Embedded Media Player will reduce difficulties during the event. 

Box Drive:

Student submissions have typically been collected via a Box folder with an external submission link sent to each of the student classes. The student organizers who set up this Box folder for collecting submissions should add the IT member supporting the event as a co-owner to the folder. This will allow the IT member to provide guidance and note any issues that may arise with files that are submitted to the folder. After the event concludes, the IT member can copy the submitted content to an IT Department Box Archive Drive so that it can be stored in the event that future iterations of the Vetscapades would like to use the old content. 

Hand-Held Microphone:

During the event, student presenters will use the hand-held microphone to present to the attendees. Zoom will pick up any audio from the microphone. When videos are playing, Zoom will still pick up any audio from the microphone, unless:

  • The presenters mute themselves on Zoom (or)
  • The hand-held microphone is turned off.

Turning off the microphone will be the easiest method to ensure that there are no "hot-mic" moments.

Dress Rehearsal:

It is best to perform a dress rehearsal of the event within 24 hours of the event. This will ensure that the student presenters are comfortable and familiar with the equipment they will be using, and can highlight any potential issues that could arise. Student presenters should also test out playing videos through their preferred means, so they can get use to the process of queuing and playing videos.

Possible Areas of Improvement:

  • Streams of Communication
    • Communication and coordination is extremely important for the successful organization of this event. The goal of requesting multiple committee members contact information is to hopefully provide multiple streams of communication so that 


Section 4: Media Content and Access Information

Students submit media leading up to the Vetscapades event in the form of videos, memes, superlatives, and skits. These are typically submitted via a student-run Box folder with a public facing submissions link that is sent to the student body. IT has historically requested co-owner status on the folder so that we can provide a better degree of guidance for the student organizers.

The IT department has set up a Box Team Folder for archiving historic Vetscapades content. This folder will store the content from previous iterations of the event. Occasionally, the volume of content submitted was inadequate for filling the scheduled event time and content from previous years was reused to meet the event needs. Having this centralized archive of content will allow the student organizers to access content they would otherwise be unable to access.

Because this is being made available for future Vetscapades event organizers to use, we would like to store content submitted from each event. The content is only made available to student organizers in the event that they need more content to fill the time slot of the event. There is some content that has been displayed each year by popular demand and this has been set aside in the IT Vetscapades archives so it can be used in future events. 


Section 5: Contact IT About Vetscapades

If you are a student organizer seeking to get in contact with the IT team about an upcoming Vetscapades event:

Phone: 217-333-1533

Or contact Erika Smith:

Phone: 217-244-7698 

Keywordsvetscapades, event, student, run, media, stream, streaming, zoom,   Doc ID135872
OwnerAlbert D.GroupUI College of Veterinary Medicine
Created2024-03-05 15:57:01Updated2024-04-18 09:46:14
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
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