Restrictions on hosting live events and travel have seen a huge rise in virtual events across the globe. Bristol-based production experts Sounds Commercial are one of the many companies currently focused on providing virtual solutions for their clients.

Group Operations Director Kieran Murphy told us: ‘All the team here at Sounds Commercial cannot wait to be able to produce an in-person event again. However, in the interim during the latter part of last year, we’ve been fortunate to be involved in some fantastic streamed events. These have demonstrated that success can still be achieved virtually.

‘I also feel confident that at the latter part of 2021 we will see the return of large-scale production ceremonies and I feel there is a massive appetite out there for them. For now, we’ll continue to work with our clients on pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved through virtual and hybrid events within the ongoing restrictions.’

Sounds Commercial has kindly shared a case study from a recent virtual event with us.

Organising a virtual conference for the IBISTV Global Summit

TV set built by Sounds Commercial for IBISTV Global Summit

Image - IBISTV Global Summit

Sector: Automotive.
Format of event: Virtual conference in a TV studio environment.
Platform used: Bespoke virtual platform designed specifically for the client including sections such as a main auditorium, virtual exhibition stands, virtual networking areas, live Q&A sections.
Remote participation platform used: Zoom.
Venue: Due to the size and scope of the set design, we sourced a section of a sports stadium to build a TV studio from scratch within a vast open space.

Our objective was to create a TV studio feel for a virtual conference streaming to thousands of delegates across seven continents, using the latest virtual event streaming technology. We designed and built a 16m wide TV set with a 14m ultrawide screen to display content behind the celebrity host.

Our approach to designing and operating this event was vastly different to our usual approach to a live event. We’ve had to take into consideration and prioritise many different factors since the Covid-19 restrictions have been in place.

This event was initially planned as a hybrid event – with a select number of socially distanced audience members in attendance. However, with the ever-changing regulations on attendee numbers allowed, we agreed with the client that the event should be entirely virtual. This would prevent any potential changes in regulations affecting the event at the last minute.

TV set and stage created by Sounds Commercial for a virtual conference

The biggest positive of running an event virtually is being able to offer the experience to a limitless number of delegates. The delegate experience is of course different to a live in-person event. But by offering a variety of interactive elements, you can still create an engaging event, virtually.

Client feedback

‘After 20 years of working with Sounds Commercial, they're still able to impress us every year by going above and beyond on all elements of planning to delivery. The complexities of delivering such a large production in the middle of the pandemic were managed seamlessly. It was so reassuring to know that all our staff were kept safe from the spread of Covid-19, as Sounds Commercial are the first production company in the UK to be awarded the Safe2Attend status.

‘Sounds Commercial were able to push boundaries on the scale of what can be achieved when producing hybrid and virtual events. They have cemented our relationship. Here’s to another 20 years working together.’ - IBISTV Global Summit CEO

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