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For Arts and Audiences this consisted of a comfortable seating area in a circle formation. Below is a selection of photos from the DAEX Arts and Audiences continuity studio.
The Continuity Studio
The Continuity Studio and Bloggers Lounge are audience facing spaces. The Continuity Studio ideally has 2 screens, one relaying the live-stream feed and the other, aggregated social media activity. One immediate benefit of this is for the event team and those not in the auditorium ‘on the ground'. As part of the 'Camera to Cloud' solution the continuity studio has a live camera and an anchor presenter. This is the entry point for the audience attending online, 'In the Cloud'. The result is presenter hosted live participatory webinar. When available the host receives data showing how many are watching and for those with tickets, identifies to the presenters who is watching.
An established, well appointed and publicised continuity studio will be able to chat and take questions from the 'in the cloud' audience connecting them with the venue, the program and the 'on the ground' attendees. Social Media outreach engagement continues beyond the pre event promotion through the continuity studio using the apps adopted by the event organisers.
If there is not a speaker or live session on the stream, then the continuity studio takes over. Speakers can be scheduled to be interviewed as live stream content during the breaks. For Arts and Audiences additional guests were scheduled and displayed on a screen via skype. The studio team behind and in front of the camera work to a floor-managed production schedule and remain in voice communications using radio communication. The floor-manager works closely with the 'on the ground' events team.
In October last year I was invited to create an online audience experience for the Nordic Nations' annual conference Arts and Audiences being held in Reykjavik, Iceland by the host organisations Audiences Norway and the DCAI (Danish Centre for the Arts and Interculture). Both organisations had worked with me previously as they are partner members of the Audiences Europe Network where I have been a digital audience adviser and content producer since 2011.
For Arts and Audiences we used many social technologies in the final event delivery. With the live-stream they wanted to engage that audience as an entities in their own right. One audience attending at the venue and one not able to attend the venue in person but wanting to take part. To be there or not to be there, that is the question.
The human connection is essential in the creation of experience. Its not the apps its the people posting and for a live-stream to succeed I believe the people hosting are key to the experience too.
The provision of watching a live-stream from experience and anecdotally is not a comparable option to attending 'in the flesh' or as I have come to refer to it, being 'on the ground'. 'Sitting' on the livestream can be a lonely experience. You have to physically set yourself aside and use headphones, especially if you are at work in an office environment. You have to be separate to listen out loud. You don't get to chat to fellow delegates, you don't get a goodie/swag/bonus bag and you don't get the change of scenery. A change is as good as a rest so the adage goes. You also get resigned to the back of the auditorium to watch from the sidelines. Long camera shots, zoomed in head and shoulder shots, picture in picture slides presented in a faux news reporting style crossed with an agonising realtime PowerPoint. Then there is the question of audio, picture quality and buffering speeds.
It was a dialogue along these lines that formed the foundation of the Arts and Audience's Digital Audience Experience. It became clear that a new lexicon was essential to establish a common understanding of the experience we were trying to achieve. IE. Not the above! We didn't want to keep reiterating what the DAEx (Digital Audience Experience) wasn't.
Finally, and above all the Arts and Audiences team were insistent that there should never be a "Be Back Soon" holding slide… ever.
These screen shots were taken only minutes apart as I watched the TEDxBaltimore event a few weeks ago.
Great speakers, but also a perfect illustration to why a continuity studio is so valuable.
The Event - A programmed 2 days of conference speakers with breakout workshops and smaller discussions following a module theme. There were 4 modules, each had a keynote speaker, a case study presentation and a selection of theme related breakouts.
The Audiences - Ticket holders who turn up physically or digitally
'On the Ground' - Ticket holders' environment for those who travel to the venue to attend
'In the Cloud' - Ticket holders' environment for those who attend online
Camera to Cloud - the technology infrastructure delivery expectation required from the Livestream provider, including vision mixing, camera operation and audio channel.
Continuity Studio - the social technology hub of the event 'on the ground’, the eyes and ears for the audience ‘in the cloud’.
Bloggers Lounge - the social media hub of the event, providing a working space with power, water and wifi to ‘on the ground’ attendees to engage with the ‘in the cloud’ networks.
Live-streamed Linear Event Path - A predefined simplified event program offered to the audience 'in the cloud' providing an optimised produced event experience.
PCM (Caron Lyon and Phil Campbell) offer for those who want more from their live stream a Digital Audience Experience (DAEx) for live performances, festivals and conferences in association with Audiences Europe Network.
Combined Bloggers Lounge and Continuity Studio at Arts and Audiences 2014 in Reykjavik
The foundation of a DAEx is the Bloggers Lounge, a hub in which digital divas and dudes pause to drink coffee, tweet to their own networks, scan QR codes to collect offers and sponsor codes, blog, make notes or… and this is the important bit charge their iDevises with the confidence that when they return they will still be there. But be warned, should you use the facility you will probably be interviewed and tweeted, audioboo’d or instagram’d. GalleryCamp hosted PCM’s first Bloggers Lounge, the building block of a credible Digital Audience Experience.
This intro text was written for the Gallerycamp Fringe held in Derby's Media Centre, Quad. Bloggers Lounge was an exclusive for #Gallerycamp14… the very first PCM Bloggers Lounge in the DAEx journey. The photo above is the Bloggers Lounge resulting from the GalleryCamp premier when Phil and I hosted the first DAEx in Iceland at the Arts and Audiences annual conference.
Stage Managers and Production Creatives, Event Professionals
Google Play hosted this Hangout (above) with Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Google+ is ideal if you want to host events with an online dialogue and interact with fans its a great starting point solution. This particular event was to promote Spielberg’s upcoming film, Lincoln. Five lucky people got to actually ask questions and chat with Gordon-Levitt and Spielberg. Three used their personal computers, while two others joined from Times Square–where the Hangout was also broadcast.
With key industry conferences, events and networking opportunities being in major cities it is inevitable that new initiatives start here too. As an event organiser and stagemanager, I understand the attraction of holding events in hi profile venues. As an audience developer, livestream producer and excluded audience member I also understand the frustration experienced by those who don't live so close to these prestigious hubs or would like to attend events that they aren't actually working on.
In October last year I was invited to create an online audience experience for the Nordic Nations's annual conference Arts and Audiences being held in Reykjavik, Iceland by the host organisations Audiences Norway and the DCAI (Danish Centre for the Arts and Interculture. For Arts and Audiences we used many social technologies in the final event delivery, but Google Hangout holds the engagement potential I think can make attending ‘in the cloud’ worth while.
Both organisations had worked with me previously as they are partner members of the Audiences Europe Network where I have been a digital audience adviser and content producer since 2011.
They wanted to engage both audiences as entities in their own right. One attending at the venue and one not able to attend the venue in person but wanted to take part. To be there or not to be there, that is the question.
We held meetings prior to the event for the blogging and social media team. This is hangout (left) was attended by the bloggers.
Each blogger was representing one of the Nordic countries so a face to face meeting was not an option.
We ran a Google Hangout as a mutual digital meeting space, "live lounge"
We also discussed running participatory discussions, talks and workshops using it as a digital breakout space.
Future Equity events
So what is this all about? I want to attend the Free 2015 Stage Management Training events via Google Hangout. I am hoping to convince Equity to actively run their Google+ profile (EquityUK's Google+ profile) and run a hangout in parallel to each event taking place in Guild House. Google's Hangout facility can host up to 10 connections at a time. With one connection used by the venue to host and one for the guest speaker we had an audience capacity of 8 connections. I say connection because one computer connection can be watched by a room of people or by a lone viewer.
Who else would be interested attending via an 'in the cloud' Green Room?
EQUITY: Free Stage Management Training
Equity is running a series of Equity/ SMA Brunch sessions, their free* programme of professional development for stage management members. The first event is today - Monday 16th February and I would like to have been there, Equity Organiser Paul Fleming is scheduled to be telling us all we need to know about the Sub Rep Agreement (the Pink Book and accompanying contract) and answering questions. It would have been great to have been able to attend online, but also to have met other members not able to travel to London in the hangout "digital green room". Integrating this aside technology would be no problem for multi-tasking stage managers attending the event 'on the ground'.
Mon 2nd March - Tax, NI, Pensions and Welfare Benefits - Alan Lean, Equity
Mon 13th April - Accounting and Book Keeping
Mon 18th May - Touch Tours and Access - Lucinda Harvey, SOLT/UK Theatre
Mon 1st June – UK Theatre/ BECTU Get-in and Get-out Guidelines
Jul - None scheduled
Aug - None scheduled
Mon 7th September - West-End and Commercial Theatre Agreement, Equity
Mon 12th October - Risk Assessments, Touring and Site Specific - with ABTT
Mon 9th November - Employment Law (Worker vs Employee), Equity
Mon 7th Dec - TBC
Each session is held between 13:00 and 15:00 at Guild House, Equity, London WC2H 9EG. The training, which has been popular and widely appreciated by members, aims to inform, bring you up to date and help you in your professional lives, whilst offering a sharing experience and networking opportunities for new entrants and experienced pros alike.
As sessions are confirmed and more information is available Equity's SM committee will update the News page on the Stage Management Section of the Equity website - http://bit.ly/EquitySMnews
* Sessions are free to Equity and SMA members, £10 for non-members. All sessions are jointly run by Equity and the SMA. To book please email: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us which session(s) you would like to book for.