Media 1: Events production company respond with speed and flexibility

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Innovative and creative events specialists, Media 1, have been in the business for over 20 years  and have a proven history of working with major pharmaceutical companies around the world.

The arrival of the pandemic in 2020, however, saw them having to completely revolutionise what they could offer. Capitalising on their flexible culture and wealth of experience, the team pivoted seamlessly from running live events to virtual events. Their network of state of the art suppliers enabled them to create hub studios that could run any type of event on whatever platform the client preferred, while using interactive apps at the same time.

So, how did they rise to the challenge of creating engaging digital events that were as close as possible to the in-person experience for both presenters and delegates? 

Despite having arranged elements of virtual meetings for over ten years, the sudden switch from live to entirely virtual meant the company had to quickly acquire new equipment and facilities. They also had to develop different skills and techniques for communicating with clients, presenters and crew. The team researched, demoed and tested many hundreds of event apps but in the end there were very few that could deliver the standard Media 1 knew their clients expected.

As Steve Bindley, MD of Media 1 commented, “To say that some clients, presenters and delegates had a disappointing initial experience of managing their own virtual events would be the understatement of the year. So when they experienced our One World Studio with TV standard production values, HD resolution and complete control of all audio channels, they were blown away.” 

Event producers need to be able to react speedily and proactively. Take the example of a large  event due be held at the Lisbon Congress centre in April 2020, when Media 1’s client was suddenly obliged to cancel proceedings due to the pandemic, when it was already well into pre-production.  

Unfazed, the team came up with an alternative option, presenting the client with a virtual solution that included an exhibition hall with individual stands, allowing attendees to interact with video, audio, PDFs and live chat with exhibitors. There was also an auditorium that held virtual presentations and satellite symposiums. The new format was such a success that the client had no hesitation in requesting it be repeated in 2021.

One advantage of virtual events according to the team has been enabling clients to reach many more delegates than with physical events due to there being no restriction on numbers. There has also been a noticeable change in audience demographics, given less financial and time constraints.         

After two years of totally virtual meetings, however, Media 1 is delighted to be putting events on ‘in real life’ once more.

Having recently travelled to Munich, Seattle and Amsterdam to support events for clients, they’re currently in pre-production for events in Athens, Rome, Lisbon, Geneva and Sao Paulo.

Again, the ability to adapt was shown to be key. The team were in pre-production for an internal communications event for over 4000 staff, to be held in the client’s purpose built auditorium with a capacity of just over 200 people.

To cater for everyone, the two hour long event was to be run several times a day, Monday to Friday for two weeks. However, just ten working days before the start, it was decided all the staff should attend the event on company premises at the same time.

With no facilities larger than the auditorium and only a couple of staff restaurants available, Media 1 set to work. They made plans to install audio visual systems, including projectors, cameras and screens, stage sets and staging, lighting and presentation equipment in 3 x 1,000 seater marquees and 6 client premises throughout Cheshire. This included carrying out site surveys of potential marquee sites, hiring suitable marquees, booking toilet facilities, power generators, heating, lighting, seating and fuel bowsers, and engaging over 80 crew to set-up and operate the individual sites.

Thanks to Media 1’s customary attention to detail, robust processes and experienced team, they pulled it off. Brief met. Job done.         

But, whether it’s live, virtual or hybrid events, the future looks bright for teams like Media 1 who can quickly don their Superhero capes and produce technically seamless, engaging and creative events.

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Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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