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Be Square Redefine Interactive Live Streaming Experience
UK – Recognising that the beleaguered live events industry urgently needed an interactive live streaming platform when the first COVID19 lockdown hit back in April 2020, a trio of production professionals, collectively known as Be Square Media, pooled their resources to come up with precisely that.
They knew that if their idea was to have both relevance and sustainability, the event needed to offer a shared, online social experience for a group of up to five people, just as if they would all be attending in person. They should be able to appear as PIPs: tiny thumbnails in the foreground of the show, chat, mute, or generally discuss the performance via message posts on the scroll bar, all within the comfort of their respective homes.
In 15 months, the company has already supported a number of events, from shows at the Battersea Arts Centre, to After The Flood in the historic Spiegeltent, and more recently Babii LIVE at The Ramsgate Brewery.
According to John Castrillon, who with Tom Barnsbury and Jon Wood make up Be Square Media, audiences and performers needed to be able to interact, so that the performers could see the virtual streamed crowd, as well as vice versa. “In that way it can be turned into a genuine party vibe,” he says. “You wouldn’t normally attend a gig alone so why do it for a live stream?”
In the case of Babii the set-up was simple: a low-production performance at Ramsgate Brewery out of the back of a Transit van (to promote her new album, Mirror), with support acts. This was the first time Ramsgate Music Hall had put on a show at another location.
The live attendance was complemented by additional ticket sales from anywhere in the world. “You are no longer constrained by issues such as venue capacity, or audience location. There are no travel or access issues to factor in, a massive advantage for those with disabilities,” continues Castrillon. “In effect promoters potentially have a global event!”
During the uncertainty of COVID, when last minute postponements and cancellations are always a possibility, the benefits of flexibility are obvious, as any event can be securely underwritten by partnering with a streaming company such as Be Square. “If a live audience suddenly becomes impossible due to restrictions imposed late in the day, the promoter can easily switch in-person tickets to be online instead, thus guaranteeing the revenue.”
So how does it work? Audience members are issued unique links to Be Square events, eliminating the risk of link sharing, and protecting the revenue stream. They can book via a wide range of payment options.
Within this, there is enormous flexibility to allow guest list and comp tickets as required, to cap the event if required and layer QR codes to advertise merchandise, social media links or future events. The possibilities are endless.
“This is a platform that is constantly evolving as we gaze into the future of event promotion,” concludes John Castrillon. “We want to make the audience experience as authentic and immersive as possible, by maximising the vast potential now on offer.”
The ability to interactively stream the Babii show certainly went down well with the promoter, Andy Rossiter. “The Be Square team were fantastic, it allowed Babii’s album launch to be viewed across the globe in a unique and interactive way. We received some great feedback from audience members from places as varied as Brazil, Russia and the USA who were so appreciative that they not only got the chance to watch the event but also take part through Be Square's chat and interactive elements,” they said.
“The expertise and versatility of the production and camera crew meant that the live stream was much more dynamic than we'd seen at a lot of other events and meant that we were able to deliver a quality product to our audience. The crew understood the needs of both the online and in person audience meaning that the additional production fitted seamlessly into the traditional show set up for people attending in person.”
12th August 2021
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