Location 2: East Sydney Private Hospital
Duration: 2 Days
PAX: 100 Delegates
The Brief for Fat Grafting Asia:
On the surface, the Fat Grafting Asia Conference looks like a fairly straight forward, 2 day conference in a hotel. The usual screen, projector and sound system with four radio hand held microphones and one lapel (lavaliere) microphone. The challenge, however lies in the technical details. The second day of this conference required a video feed from a series of live surgical procedures taking place across Crown Street at the Eastern Sydney Private Hospital to be shown to the audience in the Sydney Boulevarde Hotel!
This brand new hospital features state-of-the art facilities, not only from a surgical point of view but also included the latest Karl Storz high definition overhead camera system and digital recording equipment. The client also wanted our camera man in the room, shooting footage of the procedure as directed by them and then to have both video feeds switched on demand and beamed to the projector in the hotel across the road. Of course we also had to send audio from the surgeon and questions from the audience in the hotel sent back to the surgeon! Finally, everything had to be recorded for later editing by the client.
Unfortunately, we can’t just start drilling holes in the walls of the hotel and hospital and start stringing our own cables across Crown Street! We had to come up with a cost effective method to make this work. A high end solution would be to use professional outside broadcast equipment but the cost would just be too prohibitive. The alternative we explored was to use specialised Video Conference hardware and transfer using the Internet as the backbone, but as we explored the idea further we found that both the hotel internet service provider (ISP) and the hospital network administrators had security protocols in place that blocked certain features that the Video Conference hardware needed to work. This was not a fault with either network. It is just that Video Conference requires a different set of security protocols that were difficult to achieve given the 2 day nature of the event.
In the lead up to Fat Grafting Asia our Technical Producer investigated a number of options to achieve the goals required to deliver the event. We visited both the hotel and the Hospital and engaged in a number of conversations with technical representatives from both locations. Rachel Somerville ( Events Manager from the Sydney Boulevarde Hotel), Nicholas Edwards (General Manager of East Sydney Private Hospital) and Nicole Fuchs (OR1 Business Manager, Karl Storz) were all incredibly generous with their time and knowledge. Each of them helped us to piece together all the information we needed to create a solution for the client.
So with their help we found our solution. Rather than connecting over the internet, we decided to create our own, local wi-fi network and, after investigation, decided to invest in a system of long-range wi-fi antenna to ‘bridge the gap’ across Crown Street. This seemingly simple set of devices are an amazing piece of technology. Not everyone realises, but most wi-fi ‘hotspot’ systems are generally limited to a 35 metre radius. When greater coverage is required, you generally use multiple ‘hot-spot’ devices and physically cable them together.
Our new long-range wi-fi bridge can extend a normal wi-fi network across great distances – potentially even kilometres! The great advantage is that we were not sharing bandwidth with anyone – the full wi-fi range was available for our video stream resulting in the best possible quality and clarity of vision and audio.
The live feed from surgery was a complete success. We were able to switch between our shoulder-mount camera and the fixed, overhead surgical camera and both were transmitted successfully to the hotel. We also had two-way communication between the audience in the hotel and the surgeons in the hospital. Delegates were able to ask questions and interact with the surgeons in real time and the procedures took place.
But don’t just take our word for it – this is what the organiser of Fat Grafting Asia had to say after the event.
“Words fail me to express my gratitude but I still need to say a BIG ‘THANK YOU’ for making our recent Fat Grafting Australia Summit a success, this weekend would not have been successful without your support and assistance for the last 3 months. We have received very positive feedback from the delegates and the credit goes out to your team as well.”
If you are planning an event similar to Fat Grafting Asia, or if you are facing technical challenges and want to explore creative options then contact us or call us on 1300 852 552!