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Case study: UKickstart Event 2020 at the Science Museum

The first UKickstart event, initiated by etc.venues, brought together 1,419 event professionals across 12 venues and an extensive online audience – and was the first UK‐wide live and virtual gathering of event professionals post‐lockdown.

Illuminate at the Science Museum was one of the 12 venues across the UK that was chosen to host a selection of physical attendees. Illuminate hosted its panel discussion ‐ ‘Working in a post‐Covid world – How to kick‐start Live Performance’ – on Tuesday 8 September with 30 guests attending in person, and 1,400 joining virtually. The panel discussed the issues encountered due to the pandemic, covering small music venues, theatres, indoor/outdoor venues and arenas, as well as the solutions to overcome these.

The panel was chaired by White Light managing director Bryan Raven, with speakers including Adam Blackwood, founder and creative director of Private Drama; Jon Drape, director of Engine No 4; Clara Cullen, venue support manager and Nicholas Wells, owner of Power Plan Services Ltd.

The event kicked off at 4.30pm with guests seated theatre‐style in Illuminate with the required two metre distancing between them. The panel session concluded at 5.30pm. Illuminate’s catering partner, Moving Venue, was on hand with refreshments for the duration of the event.

The Science Museum has implemented a number of Covid compliant safety measures in accordance with government guidelines – these include: the implementation of one‐way systems; two metre social distancing where possible, with signs placed throughout; hand sanitiser stations and handwashing facilities; perspex screens installed at the welcome desk and cloakroom; enhanced cleaning regimes; and compulsory use of face masks in certain parts of the museum

“The UKickstart Event received phenomenal interest, which is why we welcomed the offer from Whitelight to extend the event programme and include the in‐depth discussion on live performance in Illuminate. The event was incredibly well attended, with over 1400 event professionals taking part including over 300 in person at venues across the UK,” Adam Simpson, leader of UKickstart and director of marketing of etc.venues said.

“We were delighted that Illuminate could host the additional panel and act as a further venue hub for the event.”

Combining Illuminate’s permanent equipment infrastructure with a comprehensive streaming service enabled the hybrid delivery of the live performance panel session. Using the venue’s Crestron NVX digital matrix system, all audio, video and lighting elements were seamlessly integrated, including d&b audiotechnik and Christie solutions. WL worked in collaboration with its partner SFL for the vision mixing and streaming.

Multiple cameras, including broadcast quality PTZ and manned cameras, captured the panel’s expert guest speakers and helped bring the session to life, particularly for the guests who were attending remotely. The session was streamed directly to the Glisser Platform for enhanced audience insight and engagement.

A video recording of the event can be found here.