With their calendar flipped upside down, the team didn’t hesitate. In April, planning began for what a virtual streaming event could look like. Partners needed a platform to continue events and to connect with an audience in a meaningful way. Since the event center already had live streaming capabilities and a production studio, it was a matter of flipping things around to incorporate more broadcast components into the mix. That’s when Aaron Martinson, Director of Production, took action.
“It became apparent that we needed to change our direction for the year and provide a means to our clients that helped them to reach their goals, while staying safe,” Martinson remarked. “This meant getting creative with what we have to offer and how to facilitate more in terms of virtual connections.”
The Infinity Park Event Center already has a very robust production room that facilitated live shows for clients. Incorporating more of a broadcast feel became the mantra, with TV components like lower thirds on the screen, graphics, and using cameras for live or recorded speakers. These add-ins helped to make events feel live and were all easily adapted.
This process wouldn’t be possible without an audio engineer and stream coordinator who works with speakers over Zoom making sure they look and sound their best. Participating clients have also helped by acting as a “client producer” – someone who has the vision for the look of the show, and goals that need to be accomplished by the broadcast. A broadcast switcher fills out the team with experience in inserting graphics in fast live TV style, while also maneuvering cameras, graphics, and picture in picture capability.
At this point Martinson has worked with two clients in the new format, with the first being an annual conference and the second a fundraiser. One of the challenges for the team is working with the customers VEP (virtual event platform), but that is also part of the fun. Every platform is different and has various capabilities from live auction, to commenting, to selling tickets, which makes every event unique.
James Stanphill, Senior Coordinator, Development and Operations for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation was the first Infinity Park Event Center partner to plan a virtual event.
“We are so grateful to the team at Infinity Park for their knowledge, dedication, and flexibility in making our event a success!” Stanphill said of his experience. “They were so helpful in integrating with our event’s platform, finding solutions as problems came up, and implementing quickly so that we could focus on our mission.”
The non-profit had worked with IPEC previously and had confidence in the production team’s capabilities. Over $100,000 was pledged to the charity during the virtual event.
Martinson says that the best part of this whole process was watching a client’s eyes light up when they realized that they could increase attendance and share their fundraising platform or event to a broader audience around the world. The ability to broaden the horizons has made a big difference in terms of interaction in the events that they have worked on thus far.
It looks as though the first quarter of 2021 will bring more of the same challenges. We can safely say that Infinity Park Event Center is ready to host the type of event you need – whether virtual or not – for years to come.