BIG BANG DIGITAL CONFERENCE 2020

ONLINE BROADCAST, VIA FIX8GROUP’S THE HUB

Live Streaming | Remote Contribution | Comms

BACKGROUND

FIX8Group was commissioned by events agency Fresh Approach to design and deliver a solution for live streaming the Big Bang 2020 digital conference, at which young people could log on and engage with a range of leading scientists, healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians. Due to the Covid pandemic, the annual exhibition event was moved online and the team required a broadcast solution that could be accessed by thousands of viewers, with approximately 60 remote panellists and presenters taking part.

FIX8’s new The Hub broadcast control centre was chosen as the engine room for the event, with a team of three technical engineers and two producers on-site.

the challenge

It was estimated that around 30,000 young people would access the live stream broadcast over the day of the event, expecting to see a seamless transition between presentations and discussion from world-leading speakers. Expert technical preparation for such an event was vital ensuring the lowest latency remote contribution, faultless production and 100% uptime on the stream - paramount to keeping the viewers engaged.

With so many high-profile speakers taking part, from global organisations including BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Army, Network Rail, and the Environment Agency, the client needed a solution that would simply work.

The brief involved bringing in speakers from across the world on the fly, with no real rehearsal opportunity, meaning our technical and production team needed to be on top of their game in every aspect.

the solution

The FIX8Group team provided a portable presentation kit to main presenter Greg Foot, who was based remotely. This consisted of a laptop, camera, encoding equipment, lighting and discreet IFB in-ear communications. Once setup the team had full control over all elements of the presenter’s system. Two stream outputs were to be created, one for the mains stream and one with additional BSL simultaneous interpretation. The infrastructure used allowed up to 16 callers to dial-in simultaneously across two virtual green rooms before delivering the feeds into the Studio. Reliability was paramount, so ensuring stable internet connectivity was designed around a bonded 4G failover on top of the existing fibre WAN connection. Our Network Operations team continually monitored all systems and were proactively ensuring no interruption to the presenters and outgoing stream.

“This was a great opportunity to be involved with Big Bang’s first virtual event with a far reaching global audience. Managing a large number of remote presenters brought its own challenges but the technology within The Hub enabled a clean, reliable production environment for live streaming. Both the events agency and ultimately the end client were more than happy with the production and are already working closely together in preparation for their next event this year”.

Ben Hyman, Senior Project Manager

CONCLUSION

The six-hour stream was delivered successfully, and smooth and seamless operation with faultless live on-air production ensured the events success. The event was watched live by almost 28,000 unique viewers and viewed on demand by a further 50,000 young people including 4,773 British Sign Language viewers across 24 hours. 65 remote callers were processed during the day for panel discussions, coming into our virtual green room, where they were quickly framed and briefed by the producer before been brought live on stream, with success every time.

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Ben Hyman, Senior Project Manager

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