Our client Durham University wanted to produce a live, broadcast quality webinar to launch a white paper on Industrial Thermal Energy storage. With a range of contributors and viewers based all around the globe, our challenge was to make the remote contributors feel as “present” as possible and include questions and voting from viewers whilst operating to relatively small budget.
We’ve made a number of similar webinars for other clients, approaching the project as if we are creating a TV broadcast and then feeding our studio output to the web using a resilient network. It’s a bit like replacing someones web cam with a full tv studio. Nevertheless, each webinar comes with a unique set of asks, such as number of participants, presenters and platform functionality. As a result our first task was to investigate which webinar platform would allow us to deliver what our client needed in the most valuable way. Having chosen the platform, our next job was to create a studio. Locations can be expensive so instead we used a virtual studio, created by filming contributors in front of green screen. With many guest presenters, and external contributors our in house presenter Kate Simms stepped in to act as facilitator. We also pre recorded presentations as if live to avoid any delays and maintain quality control.
We managed the whole webinar process, from sending invites and sourcing space for filming, through to production and feedback. On the day we ran rehearsals with our contributors so they felt comfortable with the process and carried out test polls to ensure everything was working as expected. Our director Richard had to manage multiple live and virtual presenters, live cameras, a sound engineer, a presenter, pre records and on screen graphics. It was an incredibly complex platform to manage but Richard’s experience over decades of live broadcasting for the BBC meant he kept everything running smoothly. On the day the webinar ran without hitch. We had over 130 viewers in over 20 countries and both presenters and online viewers were able to contribute to the programme.
The team at Durham were very happy with the result and told us: “I wouldn’t hesitate to use Dependable Productions again and it has made me re-consider traditional approaches to disseminating information. The main value though was in having the expertise in place to deliver a quality production that will serve as a valuable resource in the future. We could have done a standard webinar to launch the white paper but it wouldn’t have had the same impact. The final production gave credibility to our end product.”