Presentation Rentals at the double for Bill Gates
The first was a live broadcast by the BBC from Deptford Green School in Lewisham, east London, complete with satellite link to a school in Uganda. Later in the day, Gates and Professor Hans Rosling spoke and took part in a live webcast from the London School of Economics (LSE) in central London, addressing the 2012 Global Poverty Ambassadors and students. Gates also used this as part of the London launch of his Annual Letter.
PR was working for live event and communications agency Stretch who were event producers and for whom PR is a regular technical consultant and solutions supplier. PR's project manager was Justin Hammond and Ed Higgins co-ordinated all the elements required for Deptford Green School.
The Deptford Green School speech took place in the school's theatre / concert / lecture hall venue. They had applied for an "inspiring" orator to visit and address pupils via the BBC's Speakers For Schools programme ... Not quite expecting someone of Gates' stature to pitch up.
The school appealed to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation because of its strong international connections and long standing global youth partnership exchange with Uganda.
PR installed a 10K Panasonic projector for the presentation and a 10 x 7.5ft floor mounted screen behind Gates on the stage, and set up the live Skype video link to Uganda.
To ensure Gates was well lit for the broadcast, PR brought in some Source Four profiles for key lighting, which were rigged on to the house trussing.
PR sent the video link to the BBC engineering team who were set up about 120m away in a classroom in another part of the school, while they fed the audio link via ISDN line to one of their studios at their west London HQ in Bush House, from where it was bounced by satellite to Uganda.
In Deptford Green School hall itself PR installed a d&b T10 cluster PA system with a Yamaha LS9 console, a Shure radio lectern mic and a Sennheiser lapel mic for Gates to ensure the packed and enrapt audience could fully enjoy the occasion with high clarity sound reproduction.
At the LSE event, staged in one of the central London College's regular lecture theatre, PR's role was largely as technical consultants, where their expertise in working on these type of events helped ensure that all the correct elements were in place for a smooth webcast.
This event was organised by the Global Poverty Project who have partnered with the Co-Operative during the UN Year of Co-Operatives, launching a new campaign to raise awareness and inspire communities to take action for the 1.4bn people still living in extreme poverty.
PR supplied a 10,000 lumen Panasonic HD projector and Analog Way Diventix2 mixer and used the in-house screen, working closely with LSE's technical staff.
The speech and presentation graphics were run on a series of MacBook Pro laptops which were integrated into the playback system, and PR supplied a second projector to beam live Tweets related to the event onto the wall. PR refocused the existing room lighting fixtures and advised on how to optimise the house sound system for the live audience and the internet stream.
Says Justin Hammond, "It was a great honour to be working with such a prestigious guest speaker as Bill Gates and high profile organisations like the BBC, the LSE and the Global Poverty Project, all combined with the excitement, energy and pressure of live broadcasts. There is no room for errors and it's definitely a 'Right first time' scenario. With good planning and technical knowledge applied in the relevant areas, everything went seamlessly."