Multi-site, global, extending your reach…

Hybrid events, online seminars, live webcasts, video conferences, video streams, webinars… We are spoilt for choice when it comes to options to interact with our peers, customers, employees or the public more broadly.

For one particular client a few weeks ago, they had a number of offices around the world and they wanted full interactivity, control and HD quality and so they came to us.

We were able to link their offices together and show any site or any combination of sites on any screen connected to our network around the world.

Hybrid events like this, utilising existing video conferencing technology don’t have to be expensive. Many offices have Cisco or Polycom equipment and/or infrastructures. Products newer to the market like Zoom and Starleaf and making interoperability much easier and the technology more prevalent.

If you need a solution for hybrid events but you’re not really sure what you need or how you can make it work, call us.

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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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…

World First @ Rio 2016 – Live Interactive VR Interview

We love what we do but sometimes, something really special comes along.  A world first.  Something to talk about.  Something we’re truly proud of and something we tell our parents about (who usually have no idea what we’re talking about). This year, we travelled to Rio for the Olympics in order to bring the athletes home… virtually.

Samsung asked M&C Saatchi to organise a live interview of athletes who were taking part or who had taken part in the Olympics but oh, by the way, the athletes will be in Rio, the journalists at the M&C Saatchi office in London and it has to be fully immersive using the Samsung Gear.  As part of a team of wonderful technical experts made up of Present Communications, Streaming Tank and Atticus Digital, we made that happen.

VR is not new, neither is streaming.  In fact, more people now stream in 360 and this will become even more popular since the launch of Facebook’s live 360 streaming platform.  But a live 2 way conversation like this had never been attempted before due to the large delay between camera (in Rio) and goggles (in London).  The guys at Atticus reduced the delay, Present Communications got the video from Rio to London and back in record time and Streaming Tank made the two work together.

It was a great effort from the team and a real world first.  Thanks team!

 

Live Interpretation for Webcasting

The World is getting smaller, we are at the forefront of bringing people together using online technologies such as webcasting and video conferencing.  Technology is available for us to make events accessible to people wherever they might be at that specific time.  ‘Delegates’ (in the new sense of the word) are able to interact with each other on mobile devices or at their desks, even from an aeroplane (yes, we have done this).

There are a few obvious challenges to overcome.  The two big ones, time zones and languages.

The first is difficult to change, we can’t change time zones but we can be as flexible as possible with our event and we find ourselves now working on events at more peculiar times of the day.  If live interaction is not required, we can stagger the streaming in different countries.  Or perhaps two or three live events can be staggered throughout the day for the convenience of various audiences.

‘Languages’ are easier.  The stream, already going over the web can be interpreted live with questions and online interaction translated in real time.  This is becoming a relatively common way to stream and something that works really well for multi-lingual audiences.

In this photograph you see a remote location with real time video sent from the event location to an off-site venue which housed our interpreters who were them streamed live in the web.  It’s a big world, but it’s getting smaller.