Making companies and people meet again… online. BCE’s Marketing Manager Laurent Seve and Head of production and digital media Xavier Thillen discuss some of the major Luxembourgish projects undertaken by BCE and talk about the future of hybrid events.
By François Pascal.
François Pascal/FP/ How did BCE manage to answer swiftly to the market situation?
Laurent Seve/LS/ When the pandemic struck in 2020, Broadcasting Center Europe was launching BCE streaming on the media market, a set of services including high quality production, postproduction, advanced live streaming services, and online video features.
With numerous companies and institutions looking forward to creating as-real experiences in Luxembourg, it was important to adapt our streaming offer to meet the needs of our customers in question of quality, organization, and continuity.
Xavier Thillen/XT/As a matter of fact it was important to find the right balance between our existing means and services, the work of our creative teams and the use of our proprietary streaming platform to offer to the market advanced streaming and production services while keeping a price scheme which could match the market situation.
FP/ You are talking about advanced streaming and production services, could you tell us more about it? What makes BCE unique on the Luxembourgish market?
LS/ Back in 2018, our company acquired Freecaster, a live streaming expert providing advanced services for key customers such as the famous Tomorrowland, numerous Fashion houses like Céline, Yves-Saint-Laurent and Lacoste as well as key institutions such as the Bundesrat. Freecaster’s online video platform provides a wide range of added-value features including seamless HD live streaming, content chaptering, live camera selection, geo-targeting, social network integration and content management. In addition, thanks to an extended content delivery network (CDN) with multiple partners worldwide, BCE ensures the immediate availability of our customers videos on a global scale.
XT/ On the production side, BCE has a long experience in event coverage, we also have all the means: cameras, lights, sound, studios, outside broadcast vans, even drones, and the teams to ensure the best production. We also have a postproduction department which can match the video experience with our customers branding, integrating logos and graphics, but also creating animations, web pages and extra content to enrich the user experience.
LS/ Not to forget the integration of additional modules adding interactivity between the viewers and the speakers, such as the live chat, with a complete moderation tool, forms, to address questions directly to the speakers and the integration of polls systems directly in the web page and in the video itself. It is our ability to manage live streaming events from A to Z which makes BCE unique on the market. We are a media and video company; therefore, we have all the expertise to ensure the success of our customers online events.
FP/ With this comprehensive approach, what type of projects and events can BCE produce?
LS/ While we have streamed numerous one-day events, our platform can also ensure the streaming of longer programs. For instance, the Asteroid Day streamed both live and recorded content for 34 days, gathering a global audience and promoting awareness to the public about the importance of asteroids.
For the ICT Spring, we provided both production and live streaming services. While we can host events on our online video platform, the live streaming feeds were integrated in their event platform flawlessly. In addition, BCE teams were on site to ensure the coverage of live sessions and interconnect the speakers with the participants on remote locations.
XT/ Our expertise goes far beyond live streaming and production. As a matter fact we can also install any type of media systems and technology. For Luxembourg For Finance, we installed a production studio at the Chamber of Commerce premises. With more than 15 live events produced by BCE, Luxembourg For Finance offers to its viewers high quality programs with live interaction thanks to an online form and the integration of polls. The events also feature live translation in multiple languages.
In addition to the full set of professional lights, sound systems and cameras, the set can be easily changed to match the design of other companies such as The Bridge Forum Dialogue and the FEDIL, to name but a few.
“We would like to thank the entire BCE team for their efficiency and professionalism in the excellent implementation of the Bridge Forum Dialogue video conferences.” The Bridge Forum Dialogue.
“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and general acceleration of online communication, FEDIL opted for new ways to connect with its members through digital media. When it came to the organisation of FEDIL Industry Days 2021, a local event under the umbrella of the EU Industry Week by the European Commission, we sought professional advice, infrastructures, and support for setting up an ambitious programme including various speakers and configurations. The BCE team and services successfully reflected our ideas and together we entertained the audience with high-level presentations and expertise.” – René Winkin, General Manager, FEDIL.
LS/ Talking about studios, we can also install ephemeral sets, as with the connected race Lëtz Go Gold, where BCE installed an outside TV studio next to the Fondation Kriibskrank Kanner. For this event, BCE was on site with a production team to cover the live acts and participants interventions. The runners were connected via 4G to the main platform and contributed to the main live show with live interaction with the speakers. The live stream was integrated to the Lëtz Go Gold website and a live chat module allowed people to discuss with a dedicated team at the foundation.
“BCE is and is for us a reliable partner that excels in competence, quality and efficiency. I was also delighted to find that behind the company lies committed people with heart!” Anne Goeres, Directrice, Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner.
XT/ For the Ministry of Agriculture the live chat was used directly in the studio. A moderator was communicating the most interesting questions to the main speaker. There was a real interaction between the online viewers and the Ministry. We could also quote the Ministry of Education for which we have created a page with an online form. Opened for questions a few days prior to the event, it allowed the minister Claude Meich to answer clearly to the viewers concerns.
“In 2018, our Minister of Agriculture decided to apply a paperless area claim declaration procedure from 2021 onwards. To achieve this ambitious goal, technical assistance is essential. Therefore, we planned a large-scale presentation of the online procedure via a webinar. BCE is an experienced partner who had already provided a very professional service on other occasions beforehand. Therefore, our webinar was a full success despite the good weather conditions for farming activities” says head of SER’s direct payments division Jean-Paul Didier.
FP/ With the new and less restrictive rules announced by the government, how do you see the future of hybrid events?
LS/ While many companies state that live streaming was part of their digital evolution and were planning to integrate this type of technology in their workflows within the next ten years, they admit that the pandemic forced them to review their priorities to ensure the perfect communication with their customers and contacts.
Live streaming is now part of companies’ hybrid communication strategies. While people will progressively come back to on-site event, the pandemic accelerated the rise of next gen events, allowing companies to get in touch with a wider audience, to connect with participants located on a remote location, to create live interaction with the viewers and to enrich their content with video.
XT/ On BCE side the pandemic accelerated the development of our new streaming platform. With our numerous customers, we have a deep understanding of their needs and could therefore design a new solution to answer faster the rising demand.
The BCE Stream secured platform allows us to organize multiple events per customer, easily integrated live chat, question forms and other interaction modules but also create in a few clicks a complete private event, with password protected access and automated messages for the login and event reminders.
The Fedil Industry Days 2021 were organized through this platform, allowing the customer to select the exact date of the live streaming page publication as well as the availability of the replay. The Fedil also received the final video file via a secured link.
The BGL BNP Paribas was looking forward to creating an internal event for its employees. In a few clicks, the BCE Stream platform created a registering page, a login page and allowed BCE to easily allow or deny the access to the event. Once allowed, the participants automatically received their personal login and password by email. Our production team installed an ephemeral set at the company headquarters in Luxembourg Kirchberg and ensured the live streaming in high definition to the registered employees.
LS/ BCE supports the events industry since the beginning of the pandemic. As a leading European media player, we will continue to provide high quality services to ensure the development of our customers both in the digital and real worlds.
Our experience and technology can answer any type and any size of projects, whereas it is a live concert (Tomorrowland), a cultural festival (La Nuit de la Culture), a trade show (ICT Spring, Home Expo), a corporate event (ACA), sports (Skoda Tour, ING Marathon, Confédération Européenne de Volleyball) or Fashion shows (Louboutin, Givenchy, Hermès), our teams are available to assist you at every step of your projects.
FP/ We could say that we have entered a new era in live communication. Thank you very much for answering my questions. For more information about BCE streaming services feel free to visit: https://www.bce.lu/bce-streaming/
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