Events & Conferences Feed

Producers Pool - Dates in the Diary pt1

16C4091B-87F7-409A-BEA1-943BEF891563

Towards the end of 2019 I was introduced to the concept of the Portfolio Career and it was a mindset game changer.

2019 was also the year I asked myself, which I often do year on year - "If I won the lottery what would I do?" The answer has been the same for as long as I can remember. To fund and produce independent small scale theatre working with emerging artists and directors.

This time I accepted I’d probably never win the lottery but ya do want to do this.

I know my craft as a stagemanager, my digital learning and project experience has encompassed social media and associated productivity technologies, podcast audio recording and production, I can edit video.

Mobile live-streaming and virtual worlds. Audience and augmentation.

Technology and theatre.

Not for technology but for engaging immersive idea revealing story-driven theatre. Unusual productions in extraordinary spaces. A big part of the lottery dream is to have the money to fund it.

Then there is like-minded professional networking. Nothing is more aspirational than spending time talking, listening and strategically dreaming with fellow producers. All on differing trajectories in their own careers. A community of collaborators. A tribe of mentors.

Chris Grady hosts Producers Pool.

I was, since 2018 forever attempting to synchronise my meetings in London at Equity or events by Cybersalon to draw a three-card trick where I’d get to attend a Producers Pool, Equity meeting and a Cybersalon event. Trump card would be to fit in a theatre show too.

I would augment my attendance at events on occasion, to showcase remote access potential. The immersion in ground-based experience made the strategic split to include cloud-based access hard to make happen when I was the on needing access and not providing the access which was the ultimate aim, to extend attendance.


The value and reward of cloud access were invisible to physical organisers. The concept appealed but in practice, the management of the physical event was enough.

Blending Digital and Physical looked to be a pipe dream. Then came Covid. One of the first to embrace the opportunity to pivot to digital was Producers Pool. Hurrah!

So independent producers and theatre-makers meeting monthly often with an influencing peer speaking currently happens online.

What do you have to offer?

What do you need?

This leads to the momentum and mindfulness of conversations. 

What can I offer? Insights, experience and practice to pivot to digital. What do I need? The blending back to physical with gradually lowering balanced percentage extension option to attend either way and get the same influencer insights and networking dialogue.

I don’t ask much! Am I asking too much?

Monthly on the last Wednesday, until further notice starting January 27th if you are interested in joining Producers Pool find your way to the Facebook Group.

For the mindfully invested. 

63D86696-92A9-4519-A9B5-6E2251CA6E92

The journey starts here www.chrisgrady.org/producers-pool
Producers' Pool (UK & International) - next meeting 4.30 pm Wed 27th January


Digital Venue Reccy - 01 - Kumospace

I’ve had the idea to produce and host a digital field trip. To take a small group of producers, creative producers and self producing artists and visit a number of digital venues or look extensively at one platform both for an audience experience and performing or screened content perspective.

Following Chris Grady’s Show Me producers festival of workshops a fellow producer reached out to me and we started meeting to explore digital venues and perception around audience and production engagement.

We have AltSpace, SecondLife, GatherTown, RoBlox, to name a few on the immersive list. There are 2D, 3D and VR options. We visited Kumospaces. 

Kumospaces are 2D top down themed rooms. Participants inhabit small circular video portals moved around by the keyboard arrow keys. There is an interesting propinquity compulsion to place your portal window on furniture, lounge chairs or bar stools in the roof terrace there are pool inflatables.

Go drop in on my PCM Adventures Hall. 

8750CB72-5E73-45C2-A7EB-7EB3ABB28848

But you need to be aware of first time obstacles to entry. This is surprisingly common... the audience the account holder invites don’t have a guest entrance or a indicator that if they are visiting and don’t want the sales pitch to sign up it’s not obvious how you enter the space you expect to enter by clicking direct link you give out as host.

No sign up or download should take the invited guest to the optimal point of entry. If it’s unique selling point is easy access and immersive simplicity I expect to click a link and it take me to where I need to be.

There are 2 options the admin can set for entry. Guests can be required to Register to enter or enter using a text link to Continue without an account.

FDF0D743-0B49-4900-9ACC-F27DBD9EBFE1Once a guests has entered without an account the browser resolved the direct URL as expected.

On arrival the guest enters with the camera tight on thier oen video portal. For a first arrival this can be disorientating. In the bottom navigation is a Map.

A full overview of the space is revealed with the placement of fellow guests displayed.

A89B69F5-CA40-4F6C-9A6F-9E777C7CC44B

I'd like to see a better enterence interface for guests. The capability to embed kumospace to a page would be nice too.

What I do like is the special audio. Move towards the grand piano and lounge musak can be heard. Getting a digi-drink at the bar and watch it slowly dry. Nice early days touches.

Very interested in the development of Kumospace.


References & Context.

Competitors to Kumospace - https://craft.co/kumospace/competitors

Co Founder Brett Martin

Kumospace Venture Capital and Private Equity Financings


An 8.5 hr Zoom call. #WriggleSymp21

Wriggle Dance Symposium 

I love supporting projects. I love supporting produced events requiring digital support and audience access.
Latest project Wriggle Dance Theatre’s Early Year’s and Families Symposium took place today.

Lights Camera Action ... mic / mute

It’s all in the planning and prep.
The Symposium took place in one Zoom Meeting. It used Polls and Breakout Rooms, it pinned and spotlighted, its shared audio, QuickTime video, keynote and PDF preview. A Whereby video room as a helpdesk was open throughout running in parallel. Closed Caption and live transcription was available too.
Alongside this an online feedback board was created using Padlet. Attendees were invited to leave feedback and share insights in real time.

DC5FCC99-6E45-4641-8958-C71EE448ACCF

All digital presentations, performance, workshops and the attending audience but it’s time to explore the hybrid of Digital and Physical. The paperwork won’t change the delivery will be more complex.

E2150E43-76B1-4576-AD92-B7D6F458FF60


Today marked the premiere showing of Wriggle Dance’s film version of their stage production of Squidge. In conversation panel showcased CO directors Lucy Knight and Kath Kimber McTiffen legacy and guest panels presented rich practices hi lighting the power of movement, dance and touch for early years children.

C31CAE74-ACC0-4D6E-A7D5-C845E65A01DB

 
The pandemics indelible stamp extending work from the sector in to digital featured also. 
To conclude the day Coventry Dance facilitated a speed networking opportunity. Ending the day in conversation. Finishing the day with a blog post.


Video Help Desk for your Digital Events

E433B163-199B-4785-8A28-289DF7572F4D
I have been on HelpDesk duty today.

With multiple-sessioned events like festivals, across multiple platforms for attendees, guests, speakers, performers and crew the thing that is painfully absent with digital and its zeros and ones is the corridors, the greenroom, the watercooler, the bar and the liminal spaces.

The space between the spaces.

QuiQuo do this well and event wrappers have potential to accommodate this but to date these wrappers have been outside my budget and production timescale. Digital Stagemanagement and the production consulting tend to be too late in the precession for me to augment in these options. 

A single help desk is the first step. It becomes an anchor point between physical and digital in-person encounters. It’s a point of real present. This I can do with Whereby. I have 10 rooms some are on loan to groups and some like this help desk for SparkFestival is a special hosting.

This was my toolset today

  • Whereby - a super simple easy access for first time tech shy audiences. I settled on this platform prior to COVID when another app to download or service to sign up to was enough to stifle or demotivate any engagement.
  • Splashtop xDisplay - connects a second device to enable monitoring while focusing on your main screen.
  • iPad as a second screen with xDisplay - an old iPad 2 connects to extend your desktop. I use this on a stand on my desk for ficus timer and for general social media and news notifications. 

Finally I have 2 documents prepared specifically for this help desk. A festival reference with all the info including ticket links and zoom access links to each performance or workshop and a intro guide to Whereby as a help desk including a outline of the visitor experience.

  1. Helpdesk document - Festival Programme (private document not available to share)
  2. Helpdesk document - How To for team staffing - http://bit.ly/pcm-helpdesk-sparkfestival

This service is integral to my Extended The Audience offering when compiling extended audience packages. If you want to know more please get in touch.

I must also thank Alison Rouse who staffed the majority of the sessions enabling me to focus on the main digital auditorium as Zoom controller throughout the opening days of the festival.


Digital Stagemanager’s Zoom checklist

#SparkFestival

17F218E7-299B-44F3-B7E1-AA0D980474A4
Audience checklist
Everything you want to know to get the most from the SparkFestival experience.

Festival Brochure - Everything to apply the audience checklist to!

Then there is my behind the scenes checklist to make my job smooth primarily for my own sanity but ultimately for a smooth audience experience.

My Digital Stage Management (when using Zoom)Barebones Check List

  • Holding - title slide (proverbial house tabs!)
  • Music - as the audience enter and settles
  • Activate Otter captions/transcription - plug in service on Zoom for on screen auto generating subtitles
  • Continuity announcement - Greetings, CC, get the best, SafeSpaces, looking after chat, Welcome.
  • Co-Host - back-up connected host incase DigiSM interwebs break
  • The half - 30 mins before opening the zoom space / admitting attendees from the waiting room to check all present and correct.
  • Hiding Non Participants - with zoom meetings when audience cameras are off hiding the blank video windows tidys up the host view and recorded media captured.
  • Waiting Room - before all is set it’s nice not having the audience wander in before ready to start. Camera off, waiting in the proverbial wings!
  • Clearance - Audience in and ready to roll. The message messaged to indicate the music will fade and curtain (holding slide) with raise.
  • Announcement & pre-show roll - The branding and bumper bits for consistency and polish.Emergency monitoring - Just in case bad things happen with the hosting connection a standby procedure should be prepared. A technical difficulty virtual background for the co-host or a slide.
  • Chat Monitoring - if bad stuff posted in chat and a keen eye must be directed on the chat. Engagement can be established here too. Call and response, Questions for the guests?
  • Show/Event ends - a plan for the end of the show
  • Post-show Play-out - Goodbye and thank you while the on screen talent waits in the wings for the audience to leave.
  • Closedown - when the audience leaves the curtain falls. An audience can stay and chat but eventually you have to end the party!

Part of the producing part of my job is creating on brand screen assets. For Spark that’s static title slides and animated pre and post show bumper videos. I produced the audio track with 2 children Max and Addi and thier Mum. They were amazing.

Pre-show reel

Post-show reel




Jack of All - digital skills - editing

Animated intro for digital audiences attending Spark Festival live shows and screenings will have a short tone setting ‘bumpers’. 2 local children join a Zoom call with their mum to record the announcements. A Welcome and a Farewell.

It’s a simple gesture but important as part of the audience experience. ‘What you see is what you get’ is to be human and critical. Return, reinforcement and recognition is the purpose of branding.

I love Sparks joyous illustrations. Bright, fresh, splashes of colour.

iMovie, Ripl and Pixlr the tools to actualise my digital producing stagemanagement skills.

Closing Bumper in the edit

B0FD1DA0-6A3D-42A1-B4A7-08A197A117C6
Opening Bumper in the edit

0EE8DCF1-E383-47A4-BA7E-0ED50B8ABD42


Closed Captions the easy way with Zubtitles

One good imperative to come from online events, meetings, performances and conferences precipitated by the Covid pandemic is the recognition that accessibility online is not only respectful and supremely possible but opens doors to previously excluded audiences.

Audiences as entire communities. Communities have cohesive dialogue. Provision before attendance must be in balance.

Closed Captions are the most prevalent support for access. Attention for the provision need the allocation of resources and time. 

For real time transcription and subtitles I use Otter. For captioning I have discovered Zubtitles. Brilliant. Styled and baked onto videos or generate srt files slit timed to perfection to upload to video hosting. 

10AADCD2-0E4B-4AAB-B249-C9F78B79E37B

https://zubtitle.com/?via=caron

Referal code - ICH027

Yes it’s true captions enable videos to be watch on mute but for those needing the facility for access it’s an overture of equality. It’s an even playing field.

I have started including voicing readings of the newsletters I produce for Equity’s Online Branch. I will include them in my own.

I would like to learn British Sign Language too. I am looking to establish connection to include sign interpretation on projects in the future. It’s only with these provision supports in place can the communities participate with ease.

B1CFF6DF-F2EA-4AF1-A0F0-5B44179E7BCD


Cybersalon - Dates in the Diary - pt 3

My last trip to London was Wednesday 29th Jan 2020. It was to hand over a project I’d been producing on behalf of the Stage Management Committee.

The Equity SM Buyout Calc - Work in Progress - updates webpage. 

I also attended a meeting with Equity senior management in regards to the Online Branch’s - last stand. 2020 was a progressive year. Our milestones were being awarded funding to explore the development of the branch technology and the assignment of a staff organiser.

I also attended a SafetyCurtain Trustees Meeting before Cybersalon

I had a fabulous overnight stay

Gaming For Good was the last Cybersalon on the ground event I attended

Here is my mini Vlog which I'd neglected to post before now. The practice of capturing short clips and using Quik to mash up a 1 - 3 min video is a good one to master.

If you attend a Cybersalon event be sure to say hello.

Games For Good 3.0 - Tend & Befriend Edition

Cybersalon's Online Record documenting the event - LINK

Last decade will be condemned as a total failure of humanity to work together. Next decade and climate change crisis bring challenges that can only be solved by working together.

Join us on a journey of discovery of games that can skill up our ability to collaborate, from passing weapons, providing covering fire in a firefight, healing or boosting a teammate over obstacles.

Speakers

  • Eva Pascoe (Cybersalon.org) –  a peek into the history of collaborative video gaming
  • Ben Greenway – emotional exploration on how to cooperate with total strangers when no shared language can be found Journey (by ThatGameCompany).
  • Karo Janicka – how to leverage the community to improve village life in Stardew Valley (by Concerned Ape)
  • Simon Sarginson – surviving galactic wars by teaming up with aliens in Startopia (by Mucky Foot)
  • Douglas Rushkoff – author of Cyberia book (1994) and lead of Team Human podcast on  collaboration for the survival of the species

Cybersalon is living despite lockdown. Cyberspace persists!

New Events for your diary for 2021:

2nd February – Tuesday 7 pm -  Zoom
Algorithmic Economy – the good, the bad and the ugly
Artificial Intelligence, Silicon Valley monopolies and platform cooperatives

16th February – Tuesday 7 pm
The Future is Swedish  - Universal Service Network
Ericsson 5G, fibre optic and open source software

2nd March – Tuesday 7 pm
Everyone gets a voice - Massive Multi-Person On-Line Deliberation, Citizens’ assemblies, e-voting and Liquid Democracy

Cybersalon Website

Cybersalon on Eventbrite

Cybersalon Facebook Page

Cybersalon on Twitter


Zoom in music mode.

I am a reluctancy user of Zoom for professional purposes. But since the first lockdown Zoom has stepped unto the plate in terms of developing the necessaries to improve the audience experience as well as improve the way we manage the technical delivery of Zoom beyond its intended function of a meeting platform.

The biggest step has been in managing audio. The nature of the internet does mean latency, the speed data varies being sent and received, differs between connections so sycronising music where singing or play back is needed simultaneous at the receiving end is hard and pretty much impossible in many cases the more receiving points are expected.

The biggest challenge is instructing Zoom not to process sound on our behalf. By default zoom intelligently processes the noise in our immediate environment reducing background sounds and focusing on the human voice.

Playing instruments, playing music and talking while playing music in fitness or dance classes plays havoc with zoom. Zoom settings are not always easy to access or should I say easy to cover as they reside in several locations and some cascade while others set president.

This is the most comprehensive video I have found to date. Zoom updates and moves items while only revealing others once remote settings have been activated! Oh yeah that’s a thing!

Zoom High Fidelity Music Mode for Online Music Lessons

Extract from the video show notes. 

Be sure to read them in full and subscribe to The Music Repo channel.

“Zoom now has High Fidelity Music Mode! Zoom have recently released a new update with enhanced audio settings for musicians. Discover how to set up Zoom for teaching music using the new High Fidelity Music Setting.”

This video is a complete update on Jane’s previous video on how to set up Zoom in Music Mode, and includes some brand new sections and information based data and feedback and FAQs from here community.

She even provides time stamps to help viewers navigate the video.

00:00 Intro

02:05 Zoom Desktop Client Settings

07:28 How to share audio files, computer sound and music streams in Zoom

08:32 How to set up Zoom for Stereo Audio

10:43 Zoom Mobile App Settings

11:24 Zoom latency and sync issues - live collaboration is not possible in Zoom, but there are some other strategies you could use instead


After watching and learning so much from the channel it was from this Zoom audio video I discovered her proximity to Nottingham. I can’t wait for lock down to end so I can buy this woman a coffee. It sure is a small world.

You can get a more detailed post on Zoom in Music Mode from fellow East Midlander, Jane Sherratt’s website

The Music Repo web site is a treasure trove for helpful guides, hints tips and more on setting up your home recording studio.

Check out Jane’s Music Repo Channel on YouTube

Jane, if you read this, thank you.

I have set up sound desks following engineers instruction and operated sound on small theatre shows. Not until now have never felt I understand it contextually. *hat tip*


#ACMC21 - Dates in the Diary - pt2

Arts & Cultural Management Conference: Revisiting Boarders conference later this month is taking place over 3 days (28-30 January). Participants are invited to deepen the conversation through the key themes:

REsilience // REinterpret // REimagine

I am seriously missing the intellectual stimulation of conference. A presented program of speakers all top of their fields, influencers in the professional communities. I’ve organised conferences, hosted events, spoken on stage, delivered workshops, anchored live-streams, live blogged and simply attended.

The pure attendance is so very elusive. I learnt in the early social media and networking days that you can’t be in 2 places at once. Experiences are left wanting.

I guest blogged I live tweeted as an interpretive channel. Take in a talk and listen for tweet-able gems. I’ve moderated hashtags and curated feeds. Reading the flow and filling the gaps again being an I interpretive channel.

Some speakers require your full attention. Some speakers need absorbing. Some speakers demand amplification. As an attendee you can not do both. I do not enjoy doing both as neither objective is accomplished effectively.

Walking that line of being present  on the ground and engagement in the cloud has fundamentally changed with the decimation of the professional events industry following the dawn of Covid.

I have had my interests in corporate hospitality events and the entertainment industry. I have sat the audiences of both. I have served both. I have been invited to talk. And all have been rewarding.

Now is a new time and a new dawn. No one has any less to say or share. It’s all digital now.

In 2014 my biggest livestream commission took me to Reykjavik

I was trying to market the extended audience concept and had returned it to a ferocious back burner with the heat of hope turned up high.

The Arts & Audiences extended audience experience session archive is still live, is still a vibrantly connected to its 2014 content as its is to you reviewing the legacy. http://www.audienceseurope.com/media-legacy-library.html

I want the attendee experience. The digital experience.

I have my first conference of 2021. Speakers I want to hear speak. Fellow attendees in theory feel the same. This combination is fire.

“#ACMC21 aims to provide an engaging space for students and emerging professionals to explore, question, and discuss what borders mean in today’s world, especially within the arts and culture field.”

It is from a post by networked connection and a conference speaker John Whall I discovered the conference in my LinkedIn feed. I will be blocking out my schedule saving on travel and accommodation but hoping to connect through the hashtag and selected conference platform while staying at home.

  1. Review the programme
  2. Identify ‘must be present for’ sessions
  3. Looking for the conference corridors / break out social opportunities
  4. Booking my ticket

Will there be conference corridors? I expect so, If not I may create one. At least for friend and network colleagues to come and meet. Hey, if the conference organisers read this they might ask me to create or host one.

A50349B3-9E74-4E29-89AF-584C810AA08F

I’m particularly interested in QUAD's Digital Participation Curator John Whall a close to home contact who I have not seen in a really long time and is a valued contact.

The conference is a joint initiative with The European Network on Cultural Management and Policy (ENCATC), aiming to foster innovative and necessary conversations with the theme of REvisiting Borders.  

It even has an Audience Europe Network essence  with several familiar names including Steven Hadley with Audience Agency, phenomenal speakers and practitioners. Steven’s Democracy of Audiences interest is particularly close to my heart.

The press released post shared by John thrilled even further as his presentation is wandering into the realm of VR too.

“Under the conference themes of REsilience, REinterpret and REimagine, John will be delving into virtual reality (VR) to deliver a practical presentation around ‘Participant-Led Engagement and the Reimagining of Exhibitions and Collections Using Immersive Technologies’. The session will be delivered in VR and demonstrate live research in how galleries and museums can work with community groups in changing how we create, see and show exhibitions using VR and AR (augmented reality). “

Quoting John the release added: “QUAD has been part of developing some exciting VR and AR content over the past few years. From exhibiting artist to partnerships with technology companies, my role in this time has involved exploring where communities and socially engaged arts practice can not only be a part of the processes involved, but also provide new creative opportunities for participants to create new work, as well as reimagine existing ones. The 2020 lockdown showed that there is a huge interest in showing and seeing exhibitions and collections in digital spaces, but what I’m really interested in is how those that visit those spaces can have an impact on them. ” 

So exited.

Visit the ACMC website for more information on attending the conference - http://acmconference.com/  

25CBEAB0-CF4C-4935-9762-D14C8624697F

The 2021 ACMC is a joint initiative with ENCATC, aiming to foster innovative and necessary conversations with the theme of REvisiting Borders. #ACMC21 aims to provide an engaging space for students and emerging professionals to explore, question, and discuss what borders mean in today’s world, especially within the arts and culture field.

ACMC 2021 Full Schedule

From across the world selected speakers will deliver presentations, panel discussions, interactive workshops, poster presentations, artistic performances and networking sessions at ACMC 2021.

See the full event agenda https://secureservercdn.net/160.153.138.177/y3y.e66.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/ACMC-2021-Agenda.pdf

Source Reference links

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/john-whall-34755a69_quad-curator-to-speak-at-arts-cultural-activity-6752547084047532032-0gsE

https://www.derbyquad.co.uk/about/news/quad-curator-speak-arts-cultural-management-conference


Standing Up and Moving On - Ignite Liverpool

In November 2015 I spoke at Ignite Liverpool with a short, PechaKucha style presentation entitled "My Analogue Life in a Digital World" It's preface being...

Everyone has a story. We are analogue beings adapting to a digitally enabled world. This is my story. It all starts with a square peg and a round hole. It’s about personal perspective, about understanding your own story and its place beside everyone else’s. When did you plug in?

I'd been capturing, live streaming and producing media for projects for the last few years and my presenting confidence had plummeted since I hadn't done any talks for a while. I also found myself out on my own after being in a collabortive partnership where I'd taken a different direction to my original career journey. As sad as the close of that era in my life was I had to accept and embrace change to move on.


Standing up where I knew it would be recorded and provide me with an asset of me presenting not created by me was my key motivator.


So thank you Ignite Liverpool for this opportunity.

I do hope I get to present again in 2016 but, and this is why Ignite Liverpool had been on my radar I will be attending via the livestream they run each time.



On the 26th Jan 2016 I watched the live stream.

Skitch

Adrian McEwen 

Skitch(1)

Louise Shannon

Skitch(2)

Tom Williamson


I love attending via travel but attending via the web can provide an alternative and equally as informative experience.