5 tips – Social Media for your Live Event

Live events have an inherent value that the online world can’t replicate.  Your guests want to interact with other, have face to face conversations, that’s how relationships are built.  Even for us, as a tech supplier for events, even we believe this to be true.  And putting your event online will never decrease ‘bums on seats’.  To ignore the online world though is a mistake.  Social media etc provides a platform that potentially has the reach that the real world can’t replicate and the beauty is – you can have both!

Use Video and Live Streaming

This doesn’t mean that you have to necessarily stream your whole event, although of course that’s an option (and a great one).  You can however stream small sections, vox pops (small 10 second interviews and delegate feedback).  Catch delegates during the break and ask them what they think of the event.  Ask the sponsors and put that online.  They might even be grateful!

Extend Longevity

Live events provide great value but the timescale is finite.  Social media gives you the opportunity to engage people before and after the event.  Try leveraging relationships made in the real world online, keep the conversation going and generate more and more value.  You’ll end up getting ‘more’ bums on seats in the future.

Know your audiences

Multiple channels for multiple audiences, managed by multiple people.  Each platform will have it’s own typical audience.  Facebook is older than Snapchat, Twitter is more ‘newsworthy’ than Instagram etc.  The other day, my daughter told me that she doesn’t use Facebook because she’s not old enough but that Instagram is fine.  And who’s even heard of Vero?

Set the ground rules

Get your team involved so everything is covered, make sure your audience is engaged and intrigued from multiple angles but all the while, keep the message consistent and constant.  Your entire team should be engaged in the social media program so long as they’re saying the same thing, albeit in different ways.  Their messages should be tweaked but not changed, to specific audiences.

Engage your audience

Make sure your output isn’t just that, make sure it’s two way.  After all, isn’t that the whole point of social media, it’s a conversation.  Listen to what people say, respond, converse, interact, engage (there is that word again).  They are getting in touch because they want to hear from you, they want to have a conversation.  Get them interested and next year that might translate again to more bums on seats.  At the very least, you’re having a conversation with someone new about ‘your’ subject matter.

 

Webcasting from the Museum of London

The Museum of London asked for our help to live stream educational content to over 600 students in 25 schools.  We used YouTube as a platform, given that this was a public event and we needed it to be openly accessible to as many people as possible.

We provided cameras, audio, encoders and crew and the whole thing went off without a hitch.

YouTube is a great platform for this kind of educational event.  It allows a mass audience to watch high quality video in real time.  It lacks some functionality that other corporate platforms might be able to offer but of course, it is free.

We look forward to working again with the Museum of London in the future and in particular we look forward to rolling out more events like this one.

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.

Social Video Streaming for Live Events

We love getting your message out to the world, that’s what we’re all about. We can build bespoke micro-sites, complex automated systems for user registration, payment gateways and more.

But sometimes, we just want the video online, we want it live and we want it easy for the user. Easy means different things to different people though. We work with many clients who are already familiar with Cisco Webex, GoTo Meeting, Goto Webinar, BlackBoard and more. Or perhaps for your requirements, something like Skype or even Zoom might work better for 2 way communications and that’s why we work with all of these platforms and more.

You have an existing social media presence, your customers interact with you on various social media platforms so why not ‘stream’ or webcast live to platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Periscope and Meercat or even LiveStream and UStream where your customers are already interacting with you. It’s pretty easy to get a video from your phone up live on these platforms but it’s also possible to stream high quality, studio style video to these platforms and bring superb production value to your social media presence.

Festivals, concerts, theatre – online

The festival market is booming. More and more people are attending festivals with an estimated 32m attending last year in the US alone. 145,000 attend Glastonbury, the UK’s largest festival, every day. And many of these festivals are attended, unsurprisingly, by young people i.e. millennials. So what’s next for the music industry?

SXSW, one of the World’s most famous festivals/conferences generated over 1m tweets last year, showing an increasing blend between the online and the offline, the internet and the physical. And of course, it’s not just music festivals. The RoundHouse streamed the Poetry Slam final live and a number of theatre groups are using platforms such as LiveStream to make their performances public.

The technology is there, the platforms are there. We no longer need expensive satellite trucks and broadcast facilities in order to make these performances available on the internet. More importantly, artists are beginning the appreciate the value that an active online presence creates for them. When did you hear about a singer or movie star who is ‘less wealthy’ because his/her video went viral on YouTube? But you certainly do hear about the singer who made it for the same reason. The UK’s National Theatre have been streaming shows for years and the Royal Shakespeare Society reportedly have a larger audience for one online show than see their shows in ‘real life’ in a whole year.

Now that high quality HD content can be made available online, we’ll see more and more artists asking for their shows to be made available to their fans, providing a value-add content to people who go out and buy their records anyway. Event organisers will see their online presence only strengthening their brand and ultimately, helping them sell more tickets. This isn’t a ‘what if’, this is what the evidence is showing us.

Present Communications ltd look forward to live streaming your event in the future.

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.

 

 

AJA Ki Pro Rack

 

We’ve recently invested in the industry standard AJA Ki Pro, a unit that has proved to be of superb quality and reliability for us over the last year.

With a wealth of professional connections, Ki Pro Rack will fit right into your existing cabling and routing system and record 10-bit Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD files direct to removable hard disk or SSD Storage Modules, eliminating the need for time-consuming logging and capturing. The files can be used in most editing systems without the need for additional transcoding or importing processes.

  • HD/SD Solid State Video Recorder
  • Ability to switch between Apple ProRes 422 and Avid DNxHD
  • Built-in broadcast-quality Up/Down/Cross conversions
  • HD/SD SDI, HDMI, and HD/SD analog video I/O
  • Multi-channel AES, analog balanced XLR, and embedded audio I/O
  • Remote configuration and control via Ethernet LAN connection
  • Ethernet file transfer
  • Stand-alone operation and configuration, no need for external computer
  • RS-422 machine control, genlock, and LTC connections
  • Dual Media Drive Bays

 

Multi-Lingual Video Conferencing – Live Interpretation

We’ve been a key supplier to some global, multi-lingual webcasting over the last few years, allowing audiences to watch live events and presentations in real time in their chosen language.  The technology is often complex but we’ve got it nailed.  Webcasting is one way.

 

But what about two way communication?  How can we make two way live conversation available to each participant or group in a chosen language?  Well, we’ve nailed that too.  By routing the call through our systems where the interpreters sit, we can provide each end with their chosen language facilitating international, global, live conversations. The language barrier will soon be a thing of the past, if it’s got anything to do with us!

Roland V-800HD in rental stock for hire in London

 

 

Here at Present Communications ltd, we’ve been using this amazing vision mixer/switcher/scaler/magic box for a while now and we thought it was about time to tell you about it.  The reason we say it’s a magic box is because it has a scaler on every input meaning you don’t have to match inputs.  Each input can be individually scaled, stretched, cropped and zoomed as required to fit any available output resolution.

 

Stellar Image Quality at 1080p (3G-SDI)
Supports 1080p video signals at bit rates as high as 3 Gbps – twice the rate of conventional HD. Asserts all the vividness of high-realism, high-detail camera and computer sources.
True Multi-format Performance
There’s no need to convert the input source to match the video output format. The built-in scalers up-convert and down-convert any video source to the optimal resolution.
Full Range of Connectivity
The V-800HD supports a large number of input formats, from analog to digital, with all the necessary connectors. The SDI connectors accommodate 3G, HD, and SD. The DVI-I connectors pull full duty for DVI-D, DVI-A and even HDMI using a simple HDMI/DVI adapter. The Mini D-Sub 15 pin type connector accommodates SD/HD component as well as computer input via RGB.
4:4:4/10-bit Internal Processing
The V-800HD uses 4:4:4/10-bit internal signal processing. This lets you achieve compositing and output with no reduction in high-detail RGB signals driven from a computer. The result is a sharp, unblurred display of video and text, even on large screens and LED displays. The V-800HD delivers high image quality for all uses, from live broadcasts to event displays.
Newly Developed Key-compositing Engine
Along with the upgraded internal signal processing, a newly developed keyer is included. Chroma Key lets you adjust phase range, amount of chroma, and other parameters based on HSV colour space that is closely related to human chromatic sensation. This allows you to achieve high quality and tight chroma key compositing even when using 1080p video sources. What’s more, the V-800HD can accept an External Key. This attractively composites colourful CG titles and gradation/transparency clips, enabling you to achieve visual effects that are even more impressive.
Multiviewer Output for Source Monitoring
The multiviewer output allows you to monitor the status of all input sources plus the Program and Preview outputs. The convenient HDMI connector enables the use of a readily available and affordable monitor.
Built-in HDCP Mode
When playing back a Blu-ray disc that contains commercial content or digital broadcast programming, the digital output is encoded using HDCP (Highbandwidth Digital Content Protection), which is one means of copyright protection. This means that switchers that are not HDCP-compatible will not display or pass-through such video content, even in cases where permission for use in a live event was obtained from the copyright holder. To resolve this problem, the V-800HD features a dedicated mode that officially supports HDCP. A panel indicator lets you check the operating state when the unit is in the HDCP mode.
Scalers You Can Use Any Way You Like
The V-800HD features scalers that let you make settings independently for every input source. With these, you can take input sources of different resolutions and adjust to any sizing and resolution including odd-sized LED walls. You can freely scale digital, analog RGB, and component sources.
A Full Range of Keyers
In addition to the newly designed Picture-in-Picture (PinP), Luminance Key, Chroma Key, and DSK for 4:4:4/10-bit input, you can also use an External Key.
Multi-Zoom
Using the shared input function, you can assign the video on channel 1 to channels 2 through 4 and the video on channel 5 to channels 6 through 8. The scaler for each input can zoom into any position in the video image enabling a virtual multi-camera environment. This gives the appearance that you have additional cameras connected.

 

 

 

– 8 Input (4 SDI/Composite + 4 DVI-I/HDMI/RGB/Component)
– 6 Output (2 SDI + 2 DVI-D/HDMI + RGB/Component + Composite)
– 4:4:4/10-bit Internal Processing
– 1 M/E (Key, PinP) + DSK
– Built-in frame synchronizers and scalers on all inputs
– SDI support: 3G, HD, and SD
– DVI-D / RGB / HDMI support
– Input status LEDs
– HDCP support
– Live access to two still-image sources
– 10 assignable cross-points
– Multiviewer monitor output

 

roland_v800hd_1roland-v800hd-rear

Shortlisted for the Event Technology Awards 2015

Present Communications are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for an award for “Best Hybrid Event or Live Streaming Solution” at the Event Technology Awards.

PUNCH!Our solution allows us to completely bypass network firewalls and system intricacies safely and securely and to set up video conferencing or webcasting solutions (or any other type of internet connection that may be required) very quickly and easily and with little or no configuration at all. Given its ability to break through most complexities, we have named it PUNCH!

This solution is revolutionising the events industry by facilitating video conferencing and webcasting in places where previously it would not have been possible without expensive and time consuming access to an on-site IT teams and venue networking hardware.

It is worth noting that this product can be used to access internet in many circumstances but the reason why we see it is so fundamental for video conferencing is because it allows video conference unit to receive incoming calls even when behind a firewall. The only thing that is required from the venue is access to the World Wide Web i.e. if you can see google, PUNCH! will work.

“We are very excited about being nominated for this award.  This is a product that we use day in day out and it’s great for the team to get recognition for the way in which they are facilitating business communication and allowing these businesses to connect to their international audiences easily and more cost effectively than ever before” – Kieron Garlic, Managing Director.

We wish all the teams shortlisted for the various awards the best of luck and look forward to being there on the night.