The best internet experience is not just about speed…

Don’t get me wrong, internet speed is important, it’s very important.  Some users of hotels and conference centres genuinely require very fast internet and there are a few venues in London and around the country who can provide this (call us to find out which ones).

But much of the time, we actually don’t require super speeds.  We need internet that’s going to work, that’s low latency and well structured.  Once again, when it comes to internet, quality wins over quantity.

As I write this, I’m actually sitting in a conference room in Nigeria. We’ve paid for really fast internet and, as promised, that is what we have.  The streaming video has actually been remarkably stable despite the regular power cuts.  But we’re struggling to manage and preview the streams because the ‘quality’ of the network isn’t up to it.

The problem is, it’s very difficult to measure quality of internet and network.  You’re going to find out how good it is when your guests all try to log on at the same time.  Or you can just call us and we’ll tell you where has the best networks.

The power of touch…

For those of you who read our posts (and tweets etc), you’ll know that we’re all about engagement and interactivity.  That’s why we provide video links, internet connectivity and it’s why we stream events around the globe.  But our background is in the conference room providing support for meetings and seminars and that’s why we’ve now introduced into our rental stock a couple of Phillips 10 point multi touch surfaces, the Phillips 43″ 43BDL4051T.

Go to the Phillips website here…

A brand new level of interactivity is now available thanks to integrated touch technology. More flexibility and optimum simultaneous touch performance coupled with excellent operability opportunities give you the ultimate in user interaction. Multi-Touch displays are equipped with automatic touch recognition. The USB connector is HID-compliant, providing true plug-and-play operation.

 

 

Making Your Webcast Accessible

Webcasts make your events available to a wider audience. People from anywhere in the world, on any device, can watch your event live. Your webcast, by its very nature is accessible. But our job isn’t done there.

Driven by our work with the public and third sectors, particularly the NHS, we have developed a unique method to integrate live captioning (subtitles) into your stream so those with hearing difficulties can benefit from your event.

As a standard, we can integrate Q&A features into webcasting platforms so those watching your live stream can actually communicate with those in the room in real time. In addition, we are now able to ‘invite’ other users to the webcast by sending a link. The guest, from their home or office, can use their webcam to take part live in the event.  For us, accessibility really is, and always has been key.

A combination of these technologies, from live captioning to 2 way video make your live stream as accessible as possible.

WiFi at your outdoor event

We all love being outdoors. Sometimes we want to get away from the hustle and bustle, leave technology behind.

Unfortunately as event organisers, we don’t often have that privilege. Guests at your festival, party, wedding or outdoor sporting event expect to be able to connect to their friends, customers and the wider world. Present Communications can make that happen.

We take internet connectivity from 3G and 4G across all the networks as well as satellite and microwave connections. We can connect all of those connections together and provide a strong and resilient internet and wifi connection to any number of guests over large areas.  We call it PresentAnywhere.

This internet is not only strong enough to provide internet for your guests to upload photos to their social channels but also good enough for live streaming and media centres etc. Imagine what that can do your your events media profile…

Come and see us here –

Present welcomes Alpha Media Events

Present Communications are quickly becoming the ‘go-to’ technical supplier in the UK for quality webcasting services. Our highly skilled engineers work with our trade partners around the UK, Europe and the world to provide live streaming video production for end clients in a number of exciting sectors.

As a part of our expansion in this sector, we are very pleased to announce our acquisition of Alpha Media Events Ltd. Managing Director of Alpha Media Events Ltd, Dan Dexter will join Present Communications ltd as Director of Webcasting.

Dan brings with him a decade of experience in live events and webcasting including 360 and has a particular interest in public sector events and accessible webcasting.

We’re really looking forward to working with Dan and his team in exploring and merging our various technologies to bring clients a better experience.

Present Communications ltd aims to be the most respected and trusted technical support business for live events, providing a superior service to its trade customers. We look forward to Dan continuing to exceed client expectations for years to come.

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Museums, Historic and Unique Venues

Over the years, Present Communications have provided exceptional technical support to some amazing events in wonderful locations. And our impeccable attention to detail and the care we put into our work has lead us to being asked to provide audio visual equipment, services and live event support to some beautiful venues. In fact, we were the first supplier ever to provide technical support to the Wellcome Collection Conference Centre after it was refurbished almost 10 years ago. Since then, we’ve been in-house at places like Lambeth Palace and Southwark Cathedral.

Most recently, you may have seen adverts in the newspaper, on the news or on the tube for the new Postal Museum which we are very proud to be supporting. We have worked for years with the staff now at that venue and so we were the obvious choice for a potentially demanding venue (in that it is open to the public during the day).

We are very proud of the fantastic work we do in these venues and we are now calling on other unique and historic venues who might be looking for a new supplier to get in touch.

Video Conferencing Training for Engineers

Video Conferencing is key to what we do and it’s becoming commonplace in the live events world. Customers expect it to work (and it should) and event organisers want their events to include as many people as possible, whether they’re in the room or not.

We believe that technology should be used by all to bring maximum value to customers and that video conferencing specifically is a fantastic, valuable tool which allows people outside the room to interact and be engaged with those in the room.

Please feel free to attend our training day and learn about the technical opportunities and challenges associated with video conferencing. This training will be technical and designed for people with a good knowledge of AV and IT infrastructures.

The training will take place at our office in Wimbledon on 4th August at 10am. Please contact tom@presentcommunications.com if you would like to attend.

Hybrid Events must be interactive and engaging…

Live streaming, video conferencing, webinars, hybrid events…

These terms all mean something a little different, and we’ve covered the differences in the past. Is largely semantics really, the most important thing is the way in which we decide on our platform of choice.

There are a number of elements to a live video / hybrid events. First, there is the on-site element. This includes the PA system and screens like normal but also now we introduce the video cameras etc.

Secondly, we need to take the video, slides, and audio from the room and send it to the internet. Potentially, we also need to take video, slides, audio and more from the internet and present it back to our audience in the room. That’s the key to being interactive and engaging our audiences, both in the room and online.

Thirdly, the content that we’ve sent to the internet needs to actually make it into the offices and homes of our online participants and vice versa and for this we need a platform. Some live streaming platforms might include Facebook Live, YouTube, ON24, Talk Point, Inxpo etc. Video conferencing platforms might include a Cisco MCU like our in house system or something cloud based like Zoom. And webinar platforms include things like Webex, Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting. That’s a lot of options. And to make it more complicated, a hybrid event is essentially a mix of any of these with a live event.

Bringing people ‘into’ your event from online, whether they be at home, in their office or on the train gives the event owner huge potential to widen the audience to increase the reach of the event. It also places a responsibility on the event owner to ensure that the online participants are just that, participants. Engagement should be considered just as important for those people online. In fact, it should be considered more important because those participants don’t have the advantage of actually being in the room with the other delegates.

Now for the techie bit… In order to ensure the delegates online and in the room are fully engaged, video and audio needs to be high quality and real time. Content needs to be available to all users too. Currently, there is a technological gap between what’s needed and what’s available. I could blame it all on Apple but that’s a conversation for another day. All I’ll say is WATCH THIS SPACE…

Telepresence Robot on hire…

We had the fun experience of providing a remote controlled telepresence robot to our newest client – the University of Surrey.

Earlier in the day, Present Communications ltd facilitated a ‘typical’ video conference, where a professor from Harvard presented to a lecture theatre here in the UK. After the presentation, the professor wanted to be actively involved in the drinks reception which required him to be able to ‘mingle’ with the guests from over 3,000 miles away.

We provided a telepresence robot which allowed the guests to interact with the professor in real time and in person … virtually. Live video and audio were streamed in both directions.

Here is a little video of the robot in action, being controlled in London, from Boston.

2017 is the year for live video…

We’ve been talking about it for years, live streaming is becoming commonplace.  But what do we mean by live streaming?

Video sites are everywhere.  YouTube & Netflix are responsible for around 3/4 of all internet traffic by some estimations so we’re used to watching video.  Kids expect video, TV shows now are produced by Amazon and Netflix rather than traditional broadcasters.

Facebook Live has given brands a platform to provide live video content, including 360 to consumers directly and threatens to leave other platforms behind.  But now Periscope wants in on the action and has answered the call of the ‘professional’ streaming company by launching it’s Periscope Producer.  This allows us to produce ‘TV style’ productions but stream direct to Twitter.  This is already possible on Facebook Live and YouTube.

But we’re also expecting more from our live video.  The audiences provided by Facebook are great but perhaps for today’s meeting I want slides, I want interaction, I want live vision mixing in the cloud, I want automated registrations or a shared, interactive whiteboard.

Present Communications are familiar with all the major platforms, from the streaming sites mentioned above to the meeting platforms like Cisco Webex, Citrix GotoMeeting and Zoom.us.  If you’re not sure what platform to use, tell us about your meeting and we’ll recommend one.