Who decided which sessions might be most popular with the audience?
PCMA determined the content. All the concurrent sessions were broadcast live, and the organization’s education and events teams decided which sessions would be most beneficial to replay.
In terms of the technical audio details, how many headsets were available in the room? How did the mobile app work to give attendees the ability to use their own phones to listen?
We had 500 infrared headsets available in the room. We also wanted to show the latest technology that allows broadcasting multiple channels of audio over a Wi-Fi network to mobile phones, which eliminates the need and cost of deploying headsets and receivers. The technology for this is based on a hardware-based station that takes in all the audio channels and connects to a local Wi-Fi network. This network can be an existing one in the venue, or depending on bandwidth availability and needs, you can deploy your own local Wi-Fi network. Users just download the app and connect to the Wi-Fi network. The app interface can be branded with your show look and feel.
On the backend of the technical details, can you walk through the specs of capturing all the content from each session room?
Each room that was streaming content required a streaming computer. Our proprietary systems allow for you to stream and record at the same time. They also allow you to combine sources like we did at Convening Leaders where we had a camera in each room. So, the camera signal and the presentations that were being projected in the room were both fed into the streaming device, which created the picture-in-picture that allowed you to see both the camera shot and the graphics. All of the streaming computers were controlled at the control center by The Mix, and all of the signals were sent to The Mix via the building’s existing network infrastructure. In The Mix control area, we had a receiving computer for each streaming computer that had digital signage software running, which creates the overlay for each session showing the session name, room, and audio channel information. This takes about a day to set up and test.
Can organizers leverage this display area as a sponsorship opportunity?
The potential for sponsorship on this type of installation is huge. The screen is just a canvas with unlimited possibilities with regards to what goes where. So you can create separate areas with sponsorship graphics by area, or you can sell video add space to run commercials or any mixture of video and still opportunities.
The Mix was a huge screen with loads of programming options. How can event organizers with smaller audiences and smaller agendas scale this concept for their own attendees?
The Mix was a 65-foot-by-18-foot LED screen, which was made up of 400 LED tiles. The concept can be scaled to any size or display technology. The original concept eight years ago was simply four LCD monitors showing four concurrent sessions. You can use a series of monitors, projection, or LED to scale and customize to your meeting size and requirements.
Interested in more insights on the future of digital engagement from Freeman? Check out this interview with Richard Maranville, the company’s Chief Digital Officer.