• by Erica St. Angel
    on August 28, 2012
    Five Questions with ACTIVE Network, New Webcasting Alliance for Mediasite Events

    Big news this week - we just announced a strategic alliance between ACTIVE Network and our Mediasite Events division. I caught up with lovely Linda McNairy, VP Strategic Partner Management (at right), to ask five questions on what's new with all things ACTIVE Network, and why she thinks webcasting, live streaming and hybrid events are such hot initiatives for meetings and conferences right now.

    1. What’s ACTIVE Network?

    "We’re focused on providing activity and participant management™ solutions. What this means is ACTIVE Network helps all types of organizations transform and grow their businesses. We do this by giving them flexible and robust management of their activities and events which leads to stronger engagement with their customers. These activities can range from athletic events to community activities to professional meetings and industry conferences. In the end, ACTIVE Network helps event organizers, meeting planners and event marketers get participants, manage activities and build communities, so they have more time to stay focused on their core mission of creating great experiences." 

    2. Who is your typical ACTIVE Network client/user?

    "ACTIVE Network Business Solutions provides a unique combination of experience, groundbreaking technology and flexible reach to meet the needs of every stakeholder in the industry, from planners to suppliers to executives. For example, we work with small companies who require simple yet powerful registration technology for their events. We also partner with many of the global Fortune 500, who rely on our technology and industry expertise to consolidate all aspects of planning and managing their events organization-wide – in a discipline known as strategic meetings management (SMM). Some of the largest expositions, conferences (for example, the 15,000+ attendee annual Cisco Live event) and tradeshows also use our technology to plan their events; manage registrations, content, attendees, speakers, hotels and suppliers; provide on-site mobile applications for attendees; and offer rich reporting and intelligence tools." 

    3. How have you seen events change in the last year?

    "We’ve seen several changes over the past few years. First, ongoing economic challenges have forced many companies to cut back on events – although there’s been a strong recovery in meeting spending in the last year or so. But what that means is that companies and organizations are much more focused on cost-control and getting maximum value out of each dollar that they do spend. Plus, event organizers are under greater pressure to show that their meetings are producing return on investment.

    Our solutions have been able to help a lot of companies see that value in terms of dollars and cents and then communicate those numbers back to senior management. Our solutions also give CEOs and CFOs the numbers they want to see – and also help event and purchasing managers justify their jobs.

    Another big change we’ve seen is that more organizations recognize that they have to persistently engage their customers, partners and employees in order to enhance event experiences and understand their wants and needs better. It’s no longer sufficient to blast audiences with an email with a link to agenda materials and speaker session information. Today’s participants want mobile apps they can use on their phones or tablets to interact with each other, participate in event games, be interactive in speaker sessions, and more. For their part, event organizers are using mobile applications to provide instantly updated materials – anytime during the event lifecycle – as well as interact with attendees. Plus, they’re using tools like social media to keep conversations going before, during and after an event."

    4. Where does webcasting fit into the ACTIVE Network experience?

    "Our vision is that innovative technology can enhance the experience and engagement of audiences at an event. When you look at the evolution of events, the focus was on the activity immediately before, during and after an event, resulting in a lull until the next event happened. But as the pace of technology innovation has increased, we now see events evolving into persistent, online communities which provide more value to audiences and enables an organizer to maintain engagement year round. Webcasting is an example of one of those technologies that delivers an engaging experience that is accessible 365, 24, 7 – such as a live streaming chat with a guest speaker in the community or capturing a keynote for replay at a later time."  

    5. Why was Mediasite Events a good fit?

    "Both our companies are committed to innovation and building top quality customer relationships. Plus, being able to offer our clients instant access to their event webcasts aligns with our overall mission to connect people with the things they love, want and need to do. And online access to event webcasts allows our customers to deepen their engagement with attendees – not just during the meeting, but well after it ends, too. Enhancing services and providing more resources to attendees, means our customers can deepen relationships with their attendees."

  • by Nicole Wise
    on August 21, 2012
    Who Leads the Lecture Capture Market? Frost & Sullivan Says Mediasite

    (Photo Credit: Temple University)

    Industry analyst Frost & Sullivan today announced that Mediasite by Sonic Foundry has again received the Global Market Share Leadership Award in Lecture Capture Solutions. It’s a recognition that we’ve been honored to receive six consecutive times. 

    According to their research, our company Sonic Foundry leads the market with product revenue comprising more than 17 percent of total lecture capture market revenue. 

    From Frost & Sullivan’s press release, “Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Sonic Foundry for its Continued Dominance in the Lecture Capture Solutions Market:"  

    “Sonic Foundry is dedicated to providing a highly intuitive and interactive rich media experience to content creators and viewers alike on PC, Mac or mobile device – iOS, Android and BlackBerry,” said Frost & Sullivan Global Director Mukul Krishna. “In addition to flexible playback that includes the ability to rewind, pause, slow down or fast forward to critical content, powerful search capabilities allow students to quickly pinpoint the information they need in any presentation or course catalog.” 

    Thanks to Frost & Sullivan for keeping close track of the lecture capture market, and for their recognition of our work with this award.

    For more information, read: 

    -- Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Research on Mediasite by Sonic Foundry 

    -- Frost & Sullivan’s press release: Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Sonic Foundry for its Continued Dominance in the Lecture CaptureSolutions Market

    -- Sonic Foundry’s press release: Sonic Foundry Named Global Market Leader in Lecture Capture by Frost & Sullivan for Sixth Consecutive Year 

  • by Nicole Wise
    on August 16, 2012
    Webcasting at Russell Investments: Producing Multi-Camera Shoots with One Person

    When you think about what kinds of media people watch, webcasts probably won’t be your first answer. 

    But as people watch more and more content on their laptops and mobile devices, the lines between broadcast and webcast are blurring. So in order to keep your viewers engaged and watching, webcasts have to measure up to broadcast quality, according to Scott MacGougan. 

    Scott is one of the longest users of the Mediasite webcasting platform. He oversees digital media production at Russell Investments, a global firm in Seattle, Wash., and is responsible for recording, editing and producing audio-video webcasts for both internal and external audiences. 

    Scott recently visited Sonic Foundry headquarters in Madison, Wis. via a videoconference from Seattle, and hundreds of viewers watched as he gave a behind the scenes tour at the webcasting  studio at Russell Investments, or what he calls the Russell Investments “bat cave.” 

    Scott says there’s nothing wrong with the one-camera shoot for a streaming video webcast – he uses it every now and then, too – but sometimes the high-profile nature of your speakers or viewers just calls for something more polished to keep them engaged. Sure, that requires a full production crew with camera people, a producer, director, switcher, lighting and the list goes on and on. But Scott figured out how to do it with just one person. 

    Yes, you read that correctly. Just one person. 

    I highly recommend you register (it’s always free!) and watch Scott’s webinar, “How to Produce Big Webcasts with Small Crews” on-demand here to see his secrets in action. And here’s a quick look at his key takeaways.

    Why bother using more than one camera? 

    “The basic reason is all about the viewer and their experience. You want to provide as engaging an experience as you can. As a result of using multiple cameras and keeping the thing more engaging, then the real hope is that the people will continue to pay attention. It’s just visual stimulation. We’re used to things changing as we watch TV, as we watch movies, or even as we surf the web.”

    Is there a way to do a multi-camera shoot with one person? 

    “Of course there is. The shopping list for that project is: First we’re going to need some remotely controllable cameras, something to control them with, a way to switch between them and an additional monitor so you can see all of the shots to choose which one you want. And then, of course, you need the Mediasite webcasting platform, because it really is good stuff. It just rocks.” 

    What about multi-camera shoots in an auditorium setting for big events?

    “We also use a three-camera shoot in those kinds of situations. It’s just a little bit different. We have two cameras at the back, both focused on the stage, one giving a tight shot and one giving a wide shot. And then the third camera is kind of the reverse angle for a crowd shot, Q&A, maybe even a side shot of the stage. If you have a multiple camera situation, then you can get in nice and tight with the tight shot.”

    See how to produce your own big webcasts with small crews here.