As pandemic-era concerns continue to disrupt industry trade show plans, Tokyo-based distributor ASK Corporation opted to take a fresh approach to its presence at Inter BEE 2021, held in November. To make the most of its modest booth footprint and maintain social distancing, ASK developed a high-quality remote product demonstration workflow, with AJA BRIDGE LIVE at the heart of the implementation.
“We’d received a lot of inquiries from customers about remote workflow solutions, so when we decided to have a booth at Inter BEE, we were motivated to develop one to demo our products at the show and also serve as an example for customers,” explained ASK Public Relations Representative Mayuko Minami. “AJA BRIDGE LIVE allowed us to facilitate high-quality, real-time video collaboration between booth visitors and crew at our studio located in Tokyo.”
With a BRIDGE LIVE encoder/decoder in the booth and at the studio, live video was transmitted via SRT and audio through Zoom using NDI and SDI connections. PTZ cameras in the booth provided the remote studio crew a feed of what was happening at the show. The ASK team recorded their demos using AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G and Ki Pro GO. USB 3 drives from the Ki Pro GO were then immediately handed off to the ASK team to create a highlight reel that would get people excited to visit the booth throughout the show. Along with BRIDGE LIVE, Ki Pro Ultra 12G, and Ki Pro GO, ASK regularly uses a host of AJA openGear cards and AJA Mini-Converters – from the OG-ROI-HDMI to the Hi5-3Gs; U-TAP (HDMI and SDI) USB 3.0 capture devices for Zoom; and KUMO routers for live switching.
“BRIDGE LIVE has four SDI connectors and an unlimited IP stream pipeline, which was essential for our remote trade show application,” noted ASK Technical Engineer Akiko Matsunaga. “Its support for NDI is also important. This made it easier to expand the number of sources and destinations we could harness using existing networks, with BRIDGE LIVE handling the encode/decode and allowing us to easily control monitoring with just one UI screen monitor.”
In previous years, ASK could only demo a limited number of products at trade shows due to available booth space, however, using the remote demo workflow enabled the team to show off the entire product lineup and visitors to see details for their product of interest live from the Tokyo studio. In turn, ASK was able to reach more customers, and save time and money by reducing expenses for travel, booth space, power, and more. By minimizing the number of staff needed for the booth, the company was also able to dedicate more resources to customer support, whereas all-hands booth staffing at previous shows could impact responsiveness.
Reflecting on the implementation and what’s next for ASK, Minami shared, “The hybrid exhibition was a first for ASK, but we foresee this practice becoming more common in the future. A lot of visitors were interested in the high-quality video transmission that BRIDGE LIVE supports; it made them feel like they were talking to our studio crew face-to-face, and we received a lot of inquiries as to how it worked and the technology powering it.”
Matsunaga concluded, “Hybrid style workflows with a remote component will be the common way to do trade shows in the future, so now is the time to start experimenting and investing in technology to support them.”
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