As a nation, we are all under pressure to be more productive yet there is still an expectation for delegates to travel far and wide to attend conferences and events. In the FE sector in particular, it can often be a challenge to juggle the demands of the job with the time commitment of travelling to attend important conferences at the other end of the country.

Travel and accommodation costs can also be a real issue in a sector that continues to face so many financial challenges. Delegates could end up missing out on an important conference if the budgets don’t stack up once travel and accommodation have been taken into account.

As director of live broadcasting at video agency, Zut, I can offer an innovative solution that can help save cash strapped FE organisations both time and money. We specialise in helping conference organisers to make life easier for delegates by providing live video link-ups between multi venue conferences.

Our expertise in live video streaming allows conference organisers to run events across more than one venue, vastly reducing the travel time for delegates and practically eliminating the need for costly transport and overnight accommodation. So instead of staging an event at one large venue and expecting delegates to travel, the conference could be run across a number of smaller venues; one central venue in each region for example.

We use specialist video technology and multiple cameras to enable speakers and delegates at each venue to listen and interact seamlessly with presentations and panel discussions as they take place.

Delegates can also take part in Q&A sessions across each of the venues. There is also potential for delegates who can’t make one of the regional venues to participate online via a dedicated web link.

The high quality style live video link-ups are delivered using multiple cameras, which make the overall experience for delegates just as engaging as watching a professional TV broadcast with an added interactive element. The overall experience is much more sophisticated and engaging than the more widely used video conferencing concept, which can be used to replace face-to-face meetings.

One FE organisation that has already embraced this innovative multi-venue approach is the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA). The organisation enlisted the help of Zut to manage live video link-ups between venues in Leeds, London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cambridge, Newcastle and Exeter as part of its inaugural digital membership event. WEA members were also given the chance to participate online through a special Meetoo weblink.  

As a national FE organisation with thousands of members across the country, bringing people together can be a real challenge for the WEA but the live video link-ups at the recent digital membership event proved to be a big success.

Live video link-ups offer an excellent alternative to delegates travelling long distances to attend conferences and events, saving organisations in the cash strapped FE sector both time and money.

Conference organisers who are willing to take a more innovative approach to FE events can really help delegates manage the pressures of balancing productivity with attending important conferences and events.

Chris Holmes, Director of Live Broadcasting at Zut video agency

About Chris Holmes: He works with clients across the country including Edge Hill University, Liverpool John Moores University, Carmel College, Everton, Adidas, Umbro, Carillion, Brabners, Russell Hobbs and the NHS.

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