It’s sNOw Problem to Present in Glasgow from Orkney

Snow Problem for AVD!

As the weather conditions across the country continues to wreak havoc with  conference schedules, not all delegates and speakers have the option to brave the conditions. For one speaker due to present at Holyrood’s Domestic Abuse conference last week, the trip from Orkney to Glasgow was a bridge too far. A last minute flight cancellation left her stranded on the island with no way of travelling down to give her presentation.

The question was then posed to the technical team on site “Is there anything you can possibly do to allow our speaker in Orkney to present live, here in Glasgow?” Our man on site Brian Drummond tells the story.

As lunch time arrives the event organiser breaks the news to me that the final speaker of the day has had travel problems and will need to be dropped from the programme unless we can do something to help. After a couple of minutes head scratching, a plan was hatched. Robbie the venue’s stage manager had an iphone and suggested that the jack output of the iphone could be used to send the audio to the mixing desk, allowing the presenter on the phone to be heard through the PA.

This was good but did not allow for two way communication with the speaker on the phone. To get around this problem and to allow the conference chair to speak to the presenter live while chairing the conference, I utilised our DIS discussion system to its fullest. The discussion system uses push to talk microphones which have little speakers on the base unit.

So I was able to send the audio from the auditorium floor to the speakers on the microphone base unit. I had one of the microphones at the tech position, and because of the excellent RF screening properties of the discussion system I was able to have the iPhone in proximity to the microphone and speaker without inducing the dreaded mobile phone interference.

“This meant that the sound from the auditorium was now being routed through the phone and the chair could now speak directly to the speaker in Orkney. All we had to do now was inform the speaker in Orkney that we had come up with a solution and she could now give her presentation from the comfort of her warm living room. Her presentation slides were emailed through and run when cued.

The whole presentation was a complete success and everything thing ran smoothly. It worked so well in fact that we kept the speaker on the phone for the panel discussion including questions from the audience at the end. When asked a question or taking part in the discussion we displayed a picture of the speaker on the big screen so that the audience could put a face to the voice they were hearing through the PA.

Not too bad at all for thinking on your feet and using what equipment we had to hand. If word gets out everyone will want to present from home 🙂

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