When all eyes were on the US Presidential Election, the US Embassy based in Canberra asked Staging Connections to do a live hook up between four locations around Australia and cross to the US Election results. Experienced commentators provided feedback on the live voting and media reports, all with minimal desktop footprint.
Four sites hosted up to 300 guests each and ran live streams as part of the entire six hour event, ready for live crosses at any time. The sites included the National Press Club in Canberra, University of Western Australia (USAsia Center) in Perth, the InterContinental Hotel Sydney and a function at the Manning Bar at Sydney University. A 10-way chat platform was used to coordinate production and stage timings successfully between the US Embassy staff and Staging Connections operators around the country. To maintain steady streaming an Epiphan Pearl production video switcher with live streaming and recording capabilities was used.
April Palmerlee, Communications Director, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, commented on the immensely successful series of events.
“Election Day was always going to be a big one for us and we needed all events and the live stream to run seamlessly from all locations. Staging Connections operated the live cross effectively, ensuring venues felt connected via the web stream and all information was conveyed to our audiences across the country.
“We themed the events in red, white and blue, brought in selfie booths and US themed foods like hot dogs and popcorn. Each room also facilitated a mock paper ballot for the local attendees to participate in the election process with each of the venue’s results announced during the day.
“Overall, I was impressed with Staging Connections webcasting service which contributed to our successful events across the country,” said Ms Palmerlee.
Tim Chapman, General Manager Digital for Staging Connections, coordinated the event for the live stream of the election coverage.
“The success of this event is a credit to the range of world-class technology we have and our talented operators. It was a complex hook up, with numerous stakeholders involved and we needed to have a small desktop footprint, so an innovative wireless broadcast solution was implemented.
“What would once require an outside broadcast rig with large amounts of cable from room to transmission console has now been reduced to an in room wireless 4G solution utilising a laptop and desktop encoder. Upon arrival at the National Press Club in Canberra the facility manager was well prepared to provide roof access for the set up of a dish, but to his surprise Tim replied “ no need, everything required is right here” pointing to a couple of laptop bags and small case. A strong uplink was tested and the live webcast commenced uninterrupted for over 6 hours of continuous streaming at 2Mb. Tim Chapman went on to say “The real benefit to the client here is that we are opening up a new market to events that are after a reliable cost effective web based broadcast method as a real alternative to a traditionally expensive live to air broadcast solution,” said Mr Chapman.
Staging Connections provided webcasting in all locations, as well as the in-room AV for Perth, and maintained constant communication to ensure all parties involved got the timing and crosses without delay.