The event was a gala dinner with awards with the aspiration to link and stream five different venues across Australia and one in New Zealand. This event was traditionally one where all the states and New Zealand offices flew into one specific venue for the event. However this year it evolved to a hybrid version, where the individual venues converge online.
We needed to ascertain what the local production requirements were and what the remotes sites needed to see and hear. Did they just need to see and hear the Presenter and Presentation? Did we need to see and hear the remote sites? Did the remote sites need to see and hear the other sites?
The Local production consisted of a pre-recorded series of videos and Powerpoint presentation run off the laptop by the presenter. We were given access to the videos and presentation and we prudently downloaded all these as a back up to the presenter’s laptop.
The remote sites were all having their individual events in restaurants around the country.
Our initial brief was that the remote sites would not need to be seen or heard as long as they could see and hear the Sydney broadcast. We have done this many times before and this can be dynamic and change at the last second, so we specified the necessary AV system to be able to do a two way link up. This was to prepare for each or all of the remote sites should we need to allow those sites to also be seen and heard.
On the night, just after we went live, the presenter decided he wanted to greet every remote site individually! This was a surprise to everyone but we were ready!
We had prepared each state to rename themselves so the Ops team knew who to throw to as the presenter call out their names.
The interaction between all the offices was an engagingly comical and everyone loved being able to communicate on a few different levels.
The presenter also decided during the live event that he did not want to run the presentations, so we reverted to the back-up system to go to the online link that was provided to run the videos.
We used Zoom for all the remote sites to log in and interact as this was the simplest and commonest platform for all to work with. Also we used two cameras acting as a close up and wide shot, from a different angle, of the presenter and stage. Finally set up were three laptop inputs and a two –way Zoom encoder running the event. All sources were set up to be able to go to the local screens as well as the remote sites on Zoom.
The presentations and video rolls went perfectly. The awards went smoothly and everyone was able to see the remote awardees receiving their prizes. The two-way interaction was a huge success with everyone enjoying all kinds of antics once the formalities were over.