FIX8Group upscales The Hub for global conference
Wednesday, 24 March 2021
fix8The Hub is operated to strict COVID protocols
UK - FIX8Group’s The Hub was the centre of one of the largest virtual global meetings recently, as more than 500 speakers from over 70 countries joined a worldwide conference for a think-tank organisation.
A global, full-service events agency collaborated closely with FIX8Group to deliver the optimum solution for the project, which was by far the most technically challenging yet for The Hub - FIX8Group’s broadcast and connectivity centre. Due to the company’s significant investment in advanced infrastructure to ensure resilient connectivity capabilities and robust data security protocols in the delivery of virtual solutions, the project was made possible.
This incarnation of the organisation’s global conference moved into the virtual realm as a consequence of COVID restrictions. The range of speakers included thought leaders from Fortune 500 CEOs, government officials, Nobel Laureates, Oscar winners and Olympians to journalists, philanthropists, scientists, investors and digital pioneers. During the eight-day conference, they addressed more than 4,000 participants located across the globe.
“Nothing existed in the UK to facilitate the scale of this virtual, direct multi-contributor event so we were approached by our partner events agency with the challenge of formulating a solution,” says FIX8Group’s Neil Trenell. “The concept for The Hub emerged at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Whilst many production companies were still considering how to take events online, we acted in a proactive manner with tenacity and speed. What we created was pretty cutting edge and presented a considerable challenge in such a short timescale. This was the enabler in our ability to deliver a project of the required size and scale.”
The task involved FIX8Group's team of broadcast, live streaming and network engineers creating rock solid connectivity infrastructure and managing significant amounts of data. A custom-designed solution was engineered to include a remote contribution system spread across eight servers, facilitating up to 64 simultaneous FHD contributors. This in turn converted all contribution feeds to NDI signals which were vision mixed and streamed live. Over the eight-day conference, more than 1,400 remote contribution connections were established at The Hub.
“A significant requirement for this project was that all presenter contributions had to be web-based and without any software installed on their remote computers, such as Zoom or Teams,” Trenell continues. “Due to security restrictions in place across the various government and corporate IT systems, it meant that all remote contributions had to be via our dedicated customised WebRTC-based contribution platform. In the week leading up to the event, every presenter had a scheduled technical test, to ensure they could connect successfully.”
Four separate vision mixing teams each had a dedicated producer, call handler, and vision mixer to manage and operate the live sessions, based in The Hub’s Gallery and show-production space. In addition to the live aspects, which meant working irregular hours on Eastern Standard Time, the team recorded all the sessions and provided them for editing for on-demand viewing via a number of outlets.
“It was an off-the-scale project,” says Trenell, “and I’m incredibly proud of what the entire team achieved in its successful delivery.”

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