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Presentation Rentals supports Bill Gates speeches

When Bill Gates recently appeared in London to promote his charitable work, Presentation Rentals were on hand to provide the necessary AV support.

UK-based Presentation Rentals (PR) supplied technical production equipment to two high profile events on the same day in London, both featuring keynote speeches by Microsoft billionaire philanthropist and global anti-poverty campaigner, Bill Gates.

The first was a live broadcast by the BBC from Deptford Green School in Lewisham, east London, complete with satellite link to a school in Uganda. Later in the day, Gates and Professor Hans Rosling spoke and took part in a live webcast from the London School of Economics (LSE) in central London addressing the 2012 Global Poverty Ambassadors and students. Gates also used this as part of the London launch of his Annual Letter.

PR was working for live event and communications agency Stretch who were event producers and for whom PR is a regular technical consultant and solutions supplier.

At Deptford Green School, the speech took place in the school’s theatre / concert / lecture hall venue. PR installed a 10K Panasonic projector for the presentation and a 10 x 7.5 ft floor mounted screen behind Gates on the stage, and set up the live Skype video link to Uganda.

To ensure Gates was well lit for the broadcast, PR brought in some Source Four profiles for key lighting, which were rigged on to the house trussing.

PR sent the video link to the BBC engineering team who were set up about 120 metres away in a classroom in another part of the school, while they fed the audio link via ISDN line to one of their studios at their west London HQ in Bush House, from where it was bounced by satellite to Uganda.

PR also installed a d&b T10 cluster PA system with a Yamaha LS9 console, a Shure radio lectern mic and a Sennheiser lapel mic for Gates.

The challenges included ensuring the audio link from Uganda had no delay, for which the six students appearing on camera at that end had to wear headphones to reduce the latency in the signal.

At LSE, where the event was staged in one of the School’s lecture theatre, PR’s role was largely as technical consultants. PR supplied a 10,000 lumen Panasonic HD projector and Analog Way Diventix2 mixer and used the in-house screen, working closely with LSE’s technical staff.

The speech and presentation graphics were run on a series of MacBook Pro laptops which were integrated into the playback system, and PR supplied a second projector to beam live tweets related to the event onto the wall. PR refocused the existing room lighting fixtures and advised on how to optimise the house sound system for the live audience and the internet stream.