The last few weeks of October were very memorable for us here at Stada Media. After weeks of filming, editing and solid preparation, we successfully pulled off a live stream of the Wakefield BID Awards!
The Wakefield BID Awards was a really exciting challenge for our team to show off their broad skillsets and experience in video production and live streaming.
We’ve produced many live streams before, but this one was even more special to us: it was our chance to spread the word about our services to even more local businesses. It was also set in the stunning Wakefield Cathedral, steps away from the Stada Media office, and we couldn’t have pictured a better location.
What is Wakefield BID?
Wakefield BID is a non-profit organisation working to make Wakefield ‘lively and well-promoted, smart and attractive, welcoming and accessible, and a great place to do business’. To achieve this, they have invested £1.5 million into the city in their initial 5-year cycle. As part of this mission, they decided to host the very first Wakefield BID Awards.
What are the Wakefield BID Awards?
The Wakefield BID Awards celebrates Wakefield businesses with 10 different award categories, including Best New Business and the Community Award. We were lucky enough to be one of the principal partners of the event alongside many prominent Wakefield businesses, including Rhubarb Radio, The Ridings and Trinity Walk!
It was an amazing opportunity to come together after the pandemic and celebrate the region’s thriving businesses. What they have all achieved is truly remarkable, and it didn’t matter if they were winners or not – each business had something to celebrate!
It was also an amazing location to film in, with grand, sweeping ceilings and lots of beautiful architecture.
Preparation before the event
Along with live streaming the Wakefield BID Awards, Wakefield BID also asked us to produce videos of the nominees to be played on the big screen before the awards were presented.
We successfully filmed 29 businesses throughout Wakefield, allocating a group of businesses to each shoot day. We captured engaging interviews as well as cutaway footage of each business.
Next was the editing – this was a part of the project that had one of the biggest payoffs. We put in many hours to edit the nominee videos to the highest quality we could so they would look great on the night!
The reception for our nominee videos was great at the event. We’re super proud of our Videographer Josh Raikes and Creative Producer Joe Ralph for putting so much hard work into these to ensure they were of the highest quality.
Live streaming logistics
Another huge aspect of logistical planning for the Wakefield BID Awards project was working out how to live stream the event in the location we were given. As the awards were being held at Wakefield Cathedral, there were some things we weren’t allowed to do. For example, taping wires to the cathedral floor – a big no-no. In addition, there were places we weren’t allowed to go due to fragile ornaments and features of the cathedral. But this certainly didn’t stop us from delivering an amazing show! In fact, it made us even more determined to create WOW for the client.
First on the agenda for this project was drawing up the running order of the live stream. This required us to know the event schedule down the last second – when it started, when the first award would be presented, when the food would be served, etcetera.
We produced a detailed plan for the Wakefield BID Awards live stream, including a pre-show and the main show itself. Yes – we did just say pre-show!
We also used a floor plan of the cathedral to strategise where our cameras were going to go.
Finally, another big part of the logistical planning was ensuring we achieved a good internet connection throughout the cathedral. Our tech guru Saxon was right on it and, using our experience and know-how, we found the solution.
Live streaming kit
We also needed to work out what filming kit we would need for such a big operation like the Wakefield BID Awards. In the end, we opted for 6 cameras – a mix of stationary and roaming – and tripods.
Furthermore, other live streaming equipment included computer monitors and controls to select cameras to cut to. We’ve had years of experience in operating this equipment, and we couldn’t wait to get stuck into the stream to prove it.
The entire team also had walkie talkies to communicate with each other; however, we mainly restricted comms to Joe, our Creative Producer, delivering instructions to the crew during the live stream and stating which camera he would be cutting to next.
Setting up for the live stream
With a big operation like this, there are so many things to think about to ensure it’s a success. This includes kit, health and safety, organisation and generally planning the smoothest way to get in and out of the location.
We utilised the whole team to help us out with setting up our live streaming station behind the scenes, as well as our cameras in the main hall. It’s true what they say – many hands make light work!
Furthermore, we ensured health and safety, for example by sticking long strips of neon tape down tripod legs so they could easily be seen in dim light.
In addition, once we’d received our hired equipment, we needed to check every item to make sure it worked properly. This was essential for a smooth-running live streamed event.
Overall, every element of preparation for the Wakefield BID Awards needed to be timed and executed carefully in line with the rest of the project schedule. Overall, a mighty task, but one the team delivered spectacularly on.
Packing down after the live stream
Of course, at the end of the Wakefield BID Awards, we couldn’t just up and leave! We had to pack away and clear the chapel area ready for an early service the next morning.
Again, the whole team chipped in and helped to transport all the kit and supplies back to the office – a monumental effort from all involved.
Lights, camera… aaaand we’re live!
Live stream preshow
Before the main event, we wanted to create even more interest and excitement for the Wakefield BID Awards by hosting a preshow exclusively for our live stream viewers. This would start an hour before the event, allowing people to settle down and get ready for the awards with some preshow entertainment.
Of course, for a preshow, we would need a presenter – and who better to take up that post than our very own CEO, Danny Lacey?
Danny helped us deliver a truly engaging preshow by interviewing nominees of the Wakefield BID Awards, entertaining guests with a magician and introducing our very own video production showreels. In addition, he also took viewers backstage to ‘Stada HQ’, where our live streaming station was set up in a chapel in the corner of the cathedral. Here Danny introduced the brains behind the operation – our Creative Producer Joe Ralph and our Head of Animation & Technology Saxon Rix – before telling the viewers a little more about Stada Media.
It was a perfect opening to the show and got everyone even more excited for the main event that was to come.
For the preshow we used camera 1, operated by our Videographer Josh Raikes, which followed Danny around the venue.
The main show
For the Wakefield BID Awards main show, we had 6 cameras in total positioned in various locations throughout the cathedral. These included:
- 2 roaming cameras to capture audience reactions
- 2 stationary cameras by the stage to capture speeches and presenters
- 1 stationary camera at the back of the room to capture a wide shot of the hall and stage
- 1 fixed, unmanned camera at the back of the room to capture an alternative wide shot
We switched between these cameras throughout the live stream, giving the live stream viewers a great variety of perspectives.
Furthermore, we had our friends at DSM Productions dealing with the stage setup and sound, so we knew we were in safe hands.
The main show included speeches, award presentations and VTs showing the nominee videos we had created prior to the event. It was amazing to see the Wakefield BID Awards event flow smoothly and our work blown up on the big screen to the delight of the audience.
Booklets about Wakefield BID were placed on tables, and within these booklets we were lucky enough to have our very own feature. This page told the reader all about what we do and featured a QR code to scan if they wanted to find out more. The benefits of this event were endless!
After the event, much of the team went and enjoyed some well-deserved free drinks at the afterparty at Now Serving in Wakefield. Cheers to that.
The Wakefield BID Awards was certainly a project to remember. We utilised all of our past experience in live streaming events to pull off a truly spectactular show that the client was extremely pleased with.
If you haven’t yet, you can watch the entire stream below, and check out our socials for more photos from the event! (We go by @stadamedia on Instagram and Twitter and ‘Stada Media’ on Facebook and LinkedIn.)