DRIVING INNOVATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY.
Creative Technology (CT) is one of the world’s leading event technology companies, supplying and delivering innovation and technology solutions to the Film & TV, Sports, Corporate, Exhibition and Entertainment - Music industries. Our bespoke services bring together design, advice, support and technology of the highest quality, providing everything from large screen displays to content creation and delivery platforms and systems.
We can suit all our clients’ needs with multiple permanent virtual event facilities around the globe, from a basic green screen set to an xR Sound Stage and beyond. We will guide you through the content creation and implementation process and advise the most appropriate Contribution, Production and Distribution methods for your event.
Creative Technology is a global service provider with inventoried oﬃces in Europe, the USA, the Middle East and Asia Paciﬁc regions so we're well-positioned to provide the very best solutions and most appropriate technology for virtual events of all kinds.
Whatever virtual event our client wants to create we are here to support that vision and turn it into a technical reality.
Streaming events work just like traditional events except they are broadcast to the audience rather than the audience being there.
The methodologies and skillsets are similar in that you still need to create the excitement and pace of an event. As the world moves on from the Zoom experience, customers are looking to have a more engaging experience with the brands.
Therefore, content and storytelling have taken the streaming events to explore more engaging ways to interact with its audiences and create richer interactive experiences.
We created a suite of products and experiences to help our clients tell their stories which include:
Event: 3rd Annual GCCA conference – Building the Sustainable World of Tomorrow
Location: Riverside Studios Hammersmith, London
Creative Technology (CT) worked closely with the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) to help deliver its 3rd annual Conference from Riverside Studios Hammersmith. The virtual event was livestreamed to a global audience on 6th and 7th October.
The initial challenge faced by Rob Day (Senior Project Manager) and Emma Rössl, (Project Manager), was to find a suitable venue that could guarantee the right internet bandwidth, which is key in establishing a high quality connection and vital in delivering a successful online event. All spaces at our Crawley facility were fully booked so our friends at Riverside Studios provided Studio 2 for the two-day event.
CT supplied a curved LED screen, relay / comfort monitors, PPU, video switching, cameras and comms for the studio set up. Full lighting and rigging were also provided along with scenic and furniture to create a professional stage environment. In addition to this, CT pre-recorded and edited a three-camera shoot with LCD backdrop, lighting, and audio in a separate studio onsite for inclusion in the main event.
As with any virtual event that heavily relies on remote contributors, link testing and pre-records were integral. One week prior to the show, CT performed remote link up tests to each of the speakers and a number of pre-records. These included the show Producer and GCCA’s Communication and Policy Director, Paul Adeleke, who joined these records via a separate Zoom link, which gave them the ability to feedback on the pre-recorded presentations in real time. Marantz AVS combined webcam, ring light and microphone kits were deployed to bring in the 26 remote contributors from across the globe. 26 kits along with headphones were sent out to the contributors to use with their own laptops and NEP Home Studio Software was used to ensure consistent quality from each connection and speaker throughout the event.
A complex show comms system was installed onsite that was crucial to the success of the show; with over 40 people connected. An intricately engineered video and audio routing system was devised which gave the team flexibility to react and change routing and signal paths from control surfaces as and when required.
“We were very happy with the programme and execution. It was a very important conference for us to showcase the industry’s sustainability commitment and bring our members together in a compelling way online. The feedback from our members was very positive. It was professionally delivered and whilst not without its challenges on site, the overall production was very smooth when you consider the geographical spread, volume of remote contributors and the myriad technical issues to overcome.” Paul Adeleke, GCCA Communications and Policy Director
If you’d like to speak to CT about any local or globally streamed events, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In June 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Creative Technology (CT) were approached by long standing client, Bernie Kearns of BK Events, to help deliver a virtual event for his client which is an international Blue chip company.
Over the weeks leading up to the event, CT worked closely with Bernie to find the best technical solutions to deliver their vision for this virtual event. The final brief would be no mean feat, agreeing on running three simultaneous 90 minute live virtual shows twice over one day in six different languages!
Multiple control rooms were needed so CT’s remote production suite ‘The Bridge’ was utilised, plus two additional Covid-secure spaces across our offices in London, Gatwick to give us three control rooms in total – each containing Carbonite and Grass Valley Korona PPU switching systems. Quicklink software links and NEP Home Studio boxes were used to link remote presenters back to our control rooms, ensuring low-latency, high-quality streams.
Chris Greetham-Ellis, Senior Project Manager at CT commented, “As we start to deliver more virtual events, we are continuously improving our workflows and processes. With this event, all six Producers and the Executive Producer from client side were based remotely. This was challenging for us in new ways and led us to relying heavily on remote multiviewers and IP comms.”
Artist and Unity IP comms were used to securely link all crew on-site, remote producers, and show callers, allowing for real time communication. To also facilitated Chris Greetham-Ellis, CT’s Senior Project Manager, and the remote Producer to communicate with The Bridge from their respective homes, where they were viewing the production on multiviewers over low latency links.
Bernie Kearns commented, “With all aspects of what we have done in the past, now is a new way of working and an extremely steep learning curve for all. I have to say, working with all the highly skilled and knowledgeable team at CT made it a lot easier.”
As sporting events begin to take place behind closed doors, the Australian National Basketball League (NBL), NEP Broadcast and NEP Live Events devised an innovative concept utilising existing assets that had been side-lined due to Covid-19.
Made up of multiple companies across the globe, NEP Live Events worked together as one to share resources and create a bespoke solution for the NBL - a virtual basketball stadium where, instead of fans being seated in bleachers to watch the game, they would appear in rows on LED screens watching from home via video conferencing platforms.
The engaging event environment - which is the brainchild of Manny Papas, sales director, NEP Asia Pacific, NEP Australia, with content designed and controlled by Toby Harding of Mediatec - allows players to feed off fan reactions and for fans to see each other, which in turn lifts the atmosphere of the game.
There is also scope for one-on-one fan interactions, virtual corporate boxes and other engagement, while the LED screens provide an opportunity for match graphics, stings, player information, team branding and sponsorship to be displayed.
The NBL is now looking at using the innovative technology to host 3x3 Hustle games - basketball games featuring three players a side instead of five - for an event ahead of its regular season starting later in the year.
“We were looking for a solution in the event that we were unable to play a regular home and away season without crowds,” says Andy Crook, chief operating officer, NBL. “The 3x3 Hustle, with a limited number of players in a Covid-19 environment, was the perfect product to test the technology and what is possible.”
One of the other main drivers was to get NEP’s team back and working on a project that brings live sport back to audiences around the globe. “The synergies between NEP Broadcast Services and NEP Live Events (Mediatec Asia) under the one group made the planning and resourcing easy. As the Covid-19 situation meant a lot of equipment and personnel were available, we were able to get the project off the ground in a short period of time,” says Papas.
Creating the crowd
The LED display brief was fairly similar to the digital perimeter signage projects NEP Live Events works on for the Australian Open in so far as it involved a seamless wrap of LED 360-degree around the court. In this case it was a half basketball court rather than a tennis court.
The installation of eight ROE Carbon 3 LED screens and Magic Cube 3 panels was overseen by Mediatec head of special projects Tom Hogan and project managed by Mike Judges. The set-up also comprised Brompton Technology processing, disguise gx 2c media servers to drive the screens and Lightware and Ross Ultrix routing, with the outputs mapped over two 4K canvases.
“Achieving fan engagement involved feeding video conference calls into the server as a 3x3 or 3x4 grid which are mapped in turn around the screens in the 3D space,” says Owen Davison, executive director, Mediatec Asia Pacific.
Incorporating live streamed video into as well as out of the system for the fan engagement made the project unique but it also presented challenges early in the development process whilst introducing the video conferencing platform into the environment.
“Initially Zoom was tested, but we found the standard Zoom operation didn’t fit the requirements we needed to manage the callers and implement them into our displays,” says Davison. “We are currently working with developers perfecting a custom solution that gives us more control over how the software platforms behaves.”
“At the heart of it all though is the sport itself and our job is also to not distract too much from the game, as that is what people want to watch,” adds Papas.
Although NBL has not announced whether the event will run in this way, they would like it to, should circumstances dictate a season behind closed doors. “We certainly are planning on having a full home and away season once the local football seasons are finished. However, we feel we have developed a suitable solution in the event that circumstances don’t allow for a home and away season,” says NBL’s Crook.
“When this option presented itself through our partners NEP, we decided to fully explore it. It’s a great solution that looks good on TV, allows for interaction with crowds and keeps fans and sponsors engaged in the NBL experience as well as providing a quality broadcast experience. If the 3x3Hustle trials work well, it may also provide a long-term solution for the 3x3 Pro Hustle as we seek to establish a place in the market for one of the Olympics newest sports.”
Adding the energy
While sporting events is an obvious application, the solution has been created for any live event where an audience cannot be present but engagement is essential, meaning it could easily be applied to music or corporate events.
A lot of excitement has already been shown around the possibility of the bespoke creation becoming a platform to allow live sport to occur alongside a live and present audience and planning is in place to apply the concept to a full court concept for either basketball, netball or other sports in a larger studio space.
“Over and above the technical aspects there is a lot for the sporting codes to work out in regard to how a season might work under these conditions, especially operating under the remaining travel restrictions. Visually, the displays add to the energy of the game and it has been very well received by everyone who has seen it,” says Papas.
Dave Crump, CEO, Creative Technology, an NEP Live Events Company, agrees events utilising technology in an inventive way to increase interaction and engagement by creating a virtual audience will have a significant part to play. “As long as there are restrictions on mass gatherings and concern about travel, AV will become an even more essential part of the communication process at events than it already is,” he says.
“And undoubtedly hybrid events will have a significant part to play, enabling smaller groups to congregate on a more local basis but with dynamic interaction with other groups in other locations achieves many of the objectives whilst minimising travel and making social distancing easier."
Papas and Davison admit that however well the virtual production technology performs it will never be as good as a live event and they both look forward to restrictions being loosened and live events returning. “That said, some aspects of our virtual lives are here to stay and the future is likely to be a hybrid of these virtual and live production elements,” adds Davison. “AR and in-camera video effects currently evolving in film and television are likely to become the norm in live events too.”