As hybrid event models have become the new norm, live event production companies like AVTEAMUK LTD have navigated a range of new challenges – from adopting new technologies to refining live stream chat moderation strategies and incorporating real-time social media interactions into an event stream. With each hybrid event requiring so many moving parts, fast and simple AV setup on-site is paramount, which AVTEAMUK deploys AJA’s Thunderbolt-equipped Io 4K Plus audio and video I/O technology to support.
“The pandemic presented a paradigm shift for live events and drastically altered our day-to-day. We had to pivot to support hybrid events, which meant new investments in technology like the AJA Io 4K Plus,” shared AVTEAMUK Founder and Managing Director Matt Thompson. “It’s an incredibly portable I/O solution that allows us to quickly input any SDI sources we need to into our laptops in seconds, which is a huge time and money saver, as venues often charge an overnight hold fee to account for setup time. Io 4K Plus also has such a flexible feature set, which has helped us handle many unexpected client curve balls.”
The AVTEAMUK crew handles nearly every aspect of each hybrid event, from providing the rental equipment to the crew, planning, and logistics. Once they sign a client, the team builds a proposal that outlines risk assessments, project floor plans, method statements, and more, and then determines the best path forward with the client. Io 4K Plus is a staple for most of its hybrid event productions and fits easily into a mobile hybrid trolley that AVTEAMUK designed and built in-house for events. The trolley also includes radio mic receivers and antenna distribution, monitors, streaming tech, fully integrated patch bay, recorders, and other essential gear for managing NDI sources and streaming needs. When the team arrives on-site for a project, they unload the trolley from a truck, roll it into the venue, and can start working after a short setup.
With 99 percent of its projects now hybrid, Thompson finds the convenient setup frees more of his time to coach clients. He explained, “Now that we’ve seen the advantages of blending physical and virtual events, such as broader, global audience reach, there is no going back. The pandemic opened Pandora’s box for live event production, and hybrid is here to stay. Thankfully we now have a solution with powerful audio and video I/O capabilities to support them, which allows us to focus less on the tech and more on helping clients who aren’t as familiar with the intricacies of facilitating a hybrid event.”
AVTEAMUK recently deployed the trolley to produce a hybrid aortic surgery masterclass. As surgeons from Holland physically gathered at the College of Surgeons, the team live streamed their demonstrations to virtual attendees worldwide. With limited time to set up the AV workflow in the surgical area, the team was able to hook AJA Io 4K Plus into a laptop on-site quickly and easily. Outside of healthcare applications, they have leveraged the AJA-equipped trolley to produce hybrid events for customers across a broad range of industries, including defense, cybersecurity, utilities, education, enterprise, and entertainment.
Although the team primarily streams client events in 1080p, it acquires footage in 4K when possible, especially for projects that require the creation of a highlight reel or promo. Thompson concluded, “4K acquisition gives us greater stabilization and more flexibility in post, so even though we’re streaming in HD, we’re often working with 4K/UltraHD devices. The Io 4K Plus supports these technologies, and provides a reliable, high-quality I/O product. We’re constantly on the lookout for tools like Io 4K Plus that can reduce deployment time on-site without compromising production quality.”
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