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.


World First @ Rio 2016 – Live Interactive VR Intervie

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!


Adding Value – The Importance of a Good Accountant

Present Communications ltd has been trading for around a decade now and we’re doing just fine and we’re having fun.  But in the last few years, we’ve really gone from strength to strength and it’s due to a smoother back office.  That’s it.  We take pride in our work, our technicians understand the importance of customer service, appearance and going that extra mile but in the past, that wasn’t always something that translated to our ‘behind-the-scenes’ operations.

We made a real push to streamline, organise and always be prepared for the next thing; the next push.  One of the steps we took was to appoint a new accountant  We needed someone who would get involved, help us out when we needed it and give us advice geared towards a small, customer focused business like ours.  We went with Amity Accountants who came highly recommended.

It’s probably quite unorthodox to write about your accountant on the business website but fair is fair.  They have played a pivotal role in transforming our business and helping us to understand how exactly we were really doing as a business, how we are doing every day in fact, and where we could find opportunities to do better.

So here is to our accountant, Philip and his team at Amity.  Thank guys!


Lambeth Palace – A birthday bash…

We recently spent the day with our friends at Lambeth Palace and Foodshow to throw a birthday bash for a large multi-national company.  1,000 staff were invited to enjoy the spectacular views and surroundings at Lambeth Palace which is the 3rd largest private garden in London,.  Their evening continued with culinary delights and fairground attractions before a short awards ceremony and a party into the evening.

Present Communications ltd provided audio, lighting and power equipment and technical support for the duration as well as a branded balloon archway and balloon drop to give that final touch.

“We have been a preferred supplier at Lambeth Palace for the last few years and enjoy making event technology work for clients who inevitably have high expectation given that they’ve chosen such an exceptional venue.  Foodshow make sure the food and service received is up to the same exquisite standard and we love seeing clients’ faces as they delve into their dinner”


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.


CatchBox – Throwable Microphone – Audience Interaction and Engagement

We’ve always been big fans of audience interaction. Our audiences can often be online as well as in the room but today we want to focus on the room.

Event organisers, facilitators, and audience members want interaction. Often the best content is from the people watching the presentations. The CatchBox is a fun way to encourage conversation, break the ice, get people talking by throwing the CatchBox microphone and breaking the ice…

Present Communications are proud to be a partner with CatchBox. We are a hire stockist and a reseller and can therefore provide the best option for you and your event. We are even able to hire you the microphone but with your own branded casing, making it perfect for high profile events especially where there might be photographers or videographers.

Check out the website to see the options and the prices – http://eu.getcatchbox.com/