Now in its 20th Anniversary year, the PF Awards is the largest pharmaceutical sales awards in the UK. Held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in Central London, the awards recognise excellence in pharmaceutical and medical device sales and Corporate Events are proud to have successfully produced this event for the past 9 years.
This year however was very different, in early March the outbreak of Coronavirus in the UK was just becoming apparent, leaving our client with the agonising decision to either cancel, postpone or carry on with the event ‘behind closed doors’. Our client took the brave decision to continue with the event with no physical audience and asked us to produce a live streamed broadcast online to its global pharmaceutical audience.
With less than 48 hours to go, our technical team turned the event from a live production for 600 guests into a live streamed broadcast with no physical audience.
Determined to give this year’s nominees the recognition they deserved, we ran the awards in the traditional fashion with all the glitz and glamour usually associated with the PF Awards. We installed a full lighting rig, dry ice, sound system and live cameras to give our virtual audience the full black-tie experience.
Live streaming is something we have successfully delivered for our clients for many years but always to compliment the main event and widen the audience reach, for this year’s awards live streaming was the only way our audience could view the event so it had to be delivered perfectly – there was no room for error.
In the weeks leading up to the awards our in-house studio designed and produced a fantastic slide presentation used to announce winners and our in-house camera team filmed and edited the rigorous judging day at Leicester Football Club. With such limited time between the judging and the awards themselves we also conducted a rehearsal day at the client premises to ensure detail was spot-on for the awards night itself.
On the night we mixed two live broadcast cameras, slide presentation and sponsorship branding into a Barco E2 screen management system to create a full versatile, multilayers screen solution onto Vimeo Pro platform. The client was then able to embed this Vimeo output directly onto their webpage and send a secure link via email to its global audience.
The audience simply clicked onto the secure link which took them directly to the live video on the PF awards home page.
On stage our hosts Martin Bayfield, former England Rugby star, and Melanie Hamer creator of the PF Awards enjoyed great dialogue and really brought this year’s PF Awards to life – not easy presenting to an empty room. The production team also worked tirelessly to ensure the event was executed perfectly whilst practicing social distancing.
Our client commented, “Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic had forced us to produce the awards ‘virtually’ with no audience, the event was a great success, continuing to recognise the best the UK pharmaceutical and medical device industry has to offer. Our sponsors include many of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical industry were delighted with the online brand exposure and we thank them for there continued support.
The audience figures were also very strong, the PF awards is usually a sell-out event with approximately 600 guests, this year we had well over 1,000 unique views on the night alone with many more view post event.”