August 12, 2020

The Climate Reality Project Goes Big and Goes Virtual | Part 2

Karim Kassab
SVP, Technical Production

Part 2 of 3

ICYMI, here’s Part 1 of this series. 

Let’s pick up where we left off, tackling the opportunities that come along with a complex virtual event. 

Opportunity: How do you capture speakers who are spread far and wide?

1. Equip them to connect from their homes.

The current pandemic provided our technical team with some creative problems to solve when it came to capturing speakers on video, some of whom were strictly sheltering in place. 

In one case, we shipped a variety of equipment to the speaker directly.

  • Two remote-controlled 4K cameras
  • Four laptops for communication, prompter and signal ingest
  • Microphones
  • Ingestion boxes for cameras and mics
  • Lighting equipment package
  • All required software for remote view, access and record activities

We then scheduled multiple video calls with our technical team to instruct them on how to set up what was essentially a home broadcast studio.

Image of remotely operated 4K video camera in a recording studio.

With the technology in place, we could record sessions remotely, with full technical crews operating and managing the equipment and transmission from studios in both Atlanta and Orlando.

The event content and creative provides the hook for many attendees along their event journey so nailing this aspect of the show was vitally important to get right.

The Climate Reality Project attendee journey infographic.

2. Make smart investments.

For all of our 48 speakers, we went the extra mile and invested in a block of time with our remote broadcast studio.

Utilizing the studio allowed for more consistency and better video quality as we leveraged their sophisticated switching and control equipment connected to redundant, high-speed broadband internet. 

Virtually connecting our production team with our engineering team, we minimized any issues and could focus on connecting—by multiple means—to presenters around the globe.

Image of live speakers for climate change virtual event.
Virtual training event presentation screen with speaker image and presentation support slide.

Opportunity: How do you facilitate table work for thousands of participants?

Solving for this opportunity was absolutely key to the success of the program, because table work that happens live and in small groups is a central component of the training. After weighing many ideas and options, we determined that integrating Zoom with our virtual platform would allow us the functionality the attendees needed. 

Ultimately, we secured 565 individual Zoom licenses which allowed us to facilitate nearly 3,500 meetings over the course of the event. 

Often, there were as many as 350 meetings happening at once. 

Meetings were created for all table work groups, chapter and branch meetings, and speed networking sessions. Mentors could leverage their event Zoom accounts to connect directly with their mentee on private Zoom calls if they needed additional support through the training process. 

Opportunity: How do you accommodate participants in multiple, international time zones?

The Climate Reality Project’s in-person training events are focused toward attendees that can easily travel to the event locations. Going virtual allowed us to open up the audience to participants from every corner of the globe at one time, presenting even more opportunities for the team.

Twitter post from attendee saying Proud to be working with a team of great minds and committed mentees.

Spread across 143 countries, there were 17 time zones to consider. 

Image of four wall clocks showing different time zones around the world.

Attendees were grouped into three different time zones: APAC (Asia/Pacific), EMEA (Europe/ Africa), and AMCA (Americas/Canada). 

In order to provide a customized experience for the three geographical areas, we presented three front-end websites with unique timing for the broadcast sessions. All sessions were presented in English, with live captions for virtual ADA in English.

At the end of the day, the agenda allowed participants to prioritize and tune in around their other existing commitments (including their day jobs!) with options that were convenient for their own local time. 

In the third and final part of this blog series, we’ll talk about:

  • Meaningfully connecting participants online
  • Making virtual Q&A sessions work well
  • Tracking and verifying attendee progress
  • Effectively graduating attendees who complete the training

At Hartmann Studios, we solve business challenges regardless of the environment, made possible through our talented in-house team of experts in creative development, communications, technical production, audience engagement, brand messaging and storytelling.

Reach out to us today.

See Part 3 to Keep Reading

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