The Women’s Institute looked to host a professionally produced hybrid event, made available to their members to view remotely from the Royal Society of Arts. The main livestream featured high profile keynote speakers including HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO, Rt Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE and Dame Cressida Dick DBE QPM Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. The event was hosted on a bespoke virtual event platform enabling comprehensive networking features for all attendees.
As a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the 2020 NFWI Annual Meeting was cancelled. This came as a huge disappointment to many members and as such they were reluctant to cancel a 2021 event altogether. And so the idea of a virtual meeting, bringing together members from all parts of England, Wales and the Islands, was born.
We liased with the WI events team to create a registration page that supported ticketing, and setup their bespoke virtual platform complete with video meeting rooms and exhibition booths for sponsors. We supplied a full compliment of equipment and engineers to ensure a broadcast quality stream direct from the venue.
We were first contacted in January by the WI events team who were looking to find out more information about live streaming and hybrid events. As this was to be their first event they wanted to get a good idea of what options were available regarding what they could offer their attendees.
After exploring a number of options we settled on Evento Virtual as the virtual event platform of choice. This was due to the amount of customisation available in terms of design and features.
We liaised with the exhibitor to begin creating their exhibition booths with their custom graphics.
The level to which we assisted with this process varied for the different sponsors, with some simply needing specifications for their graphics team to work with, and others wanting us to create their booths for them using branding elements from their website.
In addition to this, we made an instructional video to brief the sponsors on how to operate their booth during the event.
The booth contained bios, brochures, videos and polls for attendees to engage with, along with the option to video chat with a representative of the organisation.
Our in house graphics team created bespoke graphic layouts for the livestream. These ranged from full bordered backgrounds for segments involving slide content and when we had people dialling in on Zoom, to a simple watermarked layout for fullscreen camera work.
We provided closed captions on the main livestream so attendees had the choice of viewing with them turned on or off.
We organised the creation of a bespoke registration page which went live at the beginning of May. This included information about the event such as the schedule, details of the speakers and a countdown timer to the event. The registration form captured custom fields such as which WI the person registering was a member of. It also allowed for attendees to register with specific codes for staff and organisers.
The WI had a few key features in mind for the virtual event platform to help maximise interactivity on the day. They required mingle rooms for their attendees to join and meet each other via video chat whilst there was no content on the main stage live stream.
Another feature they needed was virtual exhibition booths. This enabled a variety WI organisations to have a definied presence at the event.
Setup at the venue began the day before the event. We spent the morning getting everything operation in time for the rehearsal at 2pm. We setup our cameras, wireless microphones and comfort monitors in the show room. This setup was cabled in to the control room on the same floor from which the audio/video was mixed and the stream was being produced and transmitted.
The rehearsal ran through various aspects of the event, mainly focusing on the communication between the control room and the show room. The NFWI Chair Lynne Stubbings was given an in-ear monitor so we could speak directly to her from the control room and ensure she was comfortable with the transitions between different segments of the stream. We ran various streaming and caption tests through the day to ensure the stream was transmitting steadily and securely.
Thanks to our many weeks of thorough preparation the event ran like clockwork. We had 5 of our Canon XF300 cameras and a mixture of wireless lapel mics/conference tables mics capturing what was happening in the main room, being fed into our on site control room and mixed using our Blackmagic ATEM 2 and MIDAS M32R.
Our producer ensured we stuck to schedule and played VT content, speaker titles and slideshows when needed, as well as triggering live polls on the platform for the audience to engage with. We also dialed in members of the audience on Zoom to ask questions directly to the speakers live on stream. Using our Epiphan Pearl video encoder, we output a high quality stream to the event platform main stage for the attendees to view.
We were also on hand to provide technical support for all attendees and exhibitors using the event platform to ensure everyone was able to access and engage in the event.
Once the event finished we promptly provided the WI exhibitors with valuable post-event data, showing attendee activity and engagement.
With the help of Hire Frequencies, the WI events team delivered an engaging and exciting event, enjoyed by thousands of people around the country. Through the use of technology they were able to bring together the members of all of the WI federations that hadn’t been able to meet for over a year. If you are looking to host any kind of virtual event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts for a free consultation.