Washington and Lee University (W&L) in Lexington, Virginia, is a nationally ranked, private liberal arts university and one of the oldest schools in the nation. Its Mock Convention is a simulated presidential nominating convention held every four years and 95% of university students are involved. The W&L Mock Con dates back to 1908 and is the nation’s most accurate predictive convention.


W&L’s Mock Con committee expected record views of its live stream due to the interest in the February Democratic primary and its 12 candidates. The three-day simulated Convention Weekend offered an accurate replication of the actual Democratic Nominating Convention including nationally recognized guest speakers, a media panel, and the state delegation parade.


The students at W&L needed a Content Delivery Network (CDN) partner to help deliver seamless and high-quality live streaming to viewers worldwide. The team also wanted to capitalize on the growing consumption of news video across mobile devices and reach out to a wider Mock Con audience that consumed content on the go.

“The stream quality was spectacular every day of Mock Con. It was the most watched Mock Convention of our 112-year history thanks in large part to Limelight. The performance of Limelight’s CDN enabled us to deliver a superior user experience for all audiences and set the bar high for future events.”

DONALD LECOMPTE, Logistics Chair for Mock Convention 2020


Limelight helped push out the convention in a way that had never been done previously, allowing the students to host the live stream on a dedicated Mock Convention site. Embedding the player made it much easier to attract viewers and take ownership of the audience. As a result, total viewership was 4X more than the 2016 convention, setting a new record of nearly 60,000 engagements.


Using MMD Live, W&L’s Mock Con was able to deliver its live streaming channel from a single input stream to multiple formats, multiple bitrates and multiple devices to Mock Con viewers all over the world. Stream delivery was simplified by automatic on-the-fly format conversion during the live stream, and integration with Limelight’s CDN provided instant global scale to get Mock Con content to audience devices wherever they were located.


Mock Con also easily handled traffic spikes during the live stream and successfully managed to provide a seamless and broadcast quality experience throughout the three-day online event. The local Limelight customer service team worked closely with W&L students to understand their needs beforehand and were available around the clock during the Mock Con broadcast.


The Mock Con students predicted on Feb. 15 that Bernie Sanders would best Joe Biden in a contested Democratic convention. Sanders dropped out of the race in April clearing the way for Joe Biden to become the presumptive nominee to challenge President Donald Trump in the general election. The 2020 Mock Con becomes only the third held since 1948 and the seventh overall to select the wrong challenger.