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White Light’s SmartStage enables new virtual identity

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 11:00

White Light’s SmartStage enables new virtual identity for Vistage International’s Executive Summit

Having cancelled their live London Executive Summit due to COVID-19, world-leading executive coaching organisation Vistage sought an innovative and fully digital solution enabling them to re-conceptualise and deliver this flagship event. To help bring the new digital format to life, technical solutions specialist White Light (WL) utilised its award-winning SmartStage studio in Wimbledon.

Formed over 60 years ago and comprising of 24,000 members from SMEs around the globe, Vistage annually connects more than 200 CEOs, MDs and senior business leaders for their live summit. Following cancellation of the London event, Vistage required an advanced technological solution to deliver a series of expert-led coaching workshops to their audience, conducted safely online via a professional platform. Hiring WL’s SmartStage facility enabled the live presenters to access a safely isolated location and work together from a social distance, while connecting with other remote presenters participating from the USA.

James Thurlow, WL’s Venue Technical Manager explains: “We embedded the stream within a purpose-built microsite, which not only assisted in branding the event but also enabled other functionality such as peer-to-peer chat and the submission of audience questions.  We relayed these questions back to presenters in real-time, giving the feeling of 'live interaction'.  The website also gave us the ability to display event insights such as information on the agenda, keynote speakers and sponsors, as well as linking through to the client's social media channels.  We added further variety to the transmission by employing a multi-cam set up in the studio and changed the city backdrops throughout the event.”

The Executive Summit drew a peak audience of up to 486 delegates from 14 different countries, including South Africa, Australia and the United States, all viewing the stream concurrently. The technology greatly enhanced the experience for all participants, allowing for natural visibility and engagement between the co-hosts, keynote speakers and peer network, within a connected space.  Sally Wells, Vistage Chair for London comments: “This was my first experience of using SmartStage and I found the WL team hugely supportive throughout the whole process. The studio set-up provided a safe location where I could host our four live presenters from the required social distance and connect with other members of our expert panel remotely. Our studio time and costs were minimised, as the event went live without any need for pre-rehearsals and the solution enabled swift changes in our virtual backdrops and other content. Being able to naturally engage with the people I was addressing and interpret their body language and reactions, made it feel as close to a real-world event as possible.”

What is SmartStage?

SmartStage is an immersive video environment, which replaces the traditional green screen element of a virtual studio and allows all participants within the space to see and interact with the content around them. The content, such as financial data, structured teaching syllabus, corporate messaging or any other supporting asset is placed within the natural eye line and close proximity of the presenter. This enables the presenter to interact with the content and co-hosts, keynote speakers and audience in a far more natural way, responding in real-time to their body language and reactions. With no rehearsals and no green-screen training required, the speakers are more comfortable and can easily see and relate to the environment around them.

The SmartStage environment is proving incredibly popular within markets such as Education, Corporate Communications, Broadcast, E-Sports, Government and many more. The set-up is scalable to fit any sized space and does not require a dedicated broadcast studio environment.

The set-up is scalable to fit any size studio space and allows both lighting and reflections to immediately appear more natural. The technology was awarded the 2018 IBC Innovation Award for Content Creation.

For further information about SmartStage please contact: