Earlier this month, creative production agency Wilson Dow asked us to provide the broadcast solution for the annual National Kidney Foundation Authors Luncheon. For the first time in 32 years, this high-profile fundraising event was held exclusively online.
The National Kidney Foundation is based in the San Francisco area, but physical locations aren’t really important for virtual events. We connected meeting organizers, presenters and authors from around the country to our facility in the Chicago suburbs.
We create online/broadcast events from our ten control rooms by connecting each presenter to their own server. This gives us full control over the audio and video, and allows us to send back teleprompter, notes, slides, or whatever will best support them. Virtual panel discussions, interviews, and tag-team presentations can be seamlessly mixed live (along with music, graphics and video rolls).
From there, we send the stream to a CDN (Content Delivery Network) who makes it available to the viewers.
Considering that we’d be working with some high-profile authors, and knowing that we’d be dealing with varying degrees of technical experience, we decided that our high-end QuickIink servers would be the best solution for connecting presenters.
We’ve been working with Quicklink for several months to customize a remote connection server specifically for our needs. The combination of hardware and cloud-based technology make it a more expensive option for connecting remote presenters, but it has considerable advantages:
- Quicklink servers check all the boxes from a security perspective
- For presenters or remote studios with a dedicated internet connection, the stream is scalable to broadcast-quality HD.
- The user experience is quite simple. And once we’re connected, we can control speaker, microphone and camera settings from our end.
The Quicklink servers worked perfectly, and the event was a tremendous success. The National Kidney Foundation exceeded the number of expected attendees and tripled their fundraising goal.
Clearly, virtual and hybrid events will continue to play an important role in the event industry. Not only does it broaden the audience, but the possibility of connecting remote presenters could mean hearing from executives, keynote speakers, celebrities (and authors) who otherwise might not have been available.
That said, we will continue to champion and perfect the technology side of things. Secure, high-quality, easy-to-use connection methods will play a big role as we move into the next phase of meetings and special events.