For the first time, a state members’ meeting (LMV) of the Hessian Greens was hosted digitally. This took place on October 24 in the livestreaming studio at the Karben event service provider satis&fy. More than 700 members followed the event for over seven hours.
Already on Friday, there was busy hustle and bustle at the Dögelmühle, the company’s headquarters. 14 employees of satis&fy set up two temporary studios for the LMV and built up a large broadcasting control room in the warehouse. “The office of the GRÜNEN in Wiesbaden approached us about six months ago with the task of conceptualizing a fully-digitized state members’ event,” reports satis&fy project manager Niklas Hommel. They came up with an event concept that met with approval. Bärbel Hartmann, managing director of the Hessian GREENS: “For us, it was crucial that we could implement the event regionally in Hesse and as climate-neutral as possible. These requirements are well met here in Karben. The premises, the technical equipment and the rental furniture are stored on site. This means that there are no transport journeys. The energy supply here is already at 100% green electricity and the catering was also organized regionally by satis&fy.”
Technicians for sound, graphics, image mixing and live streaming ensured that everything ran smoothly and without a hitch. All kinds of questions had to be clarified in advance, “for example, how members can ask questions of the Executive Board and how the live feeds take place,” says Hommel, explaining one of the many challenges of virtual meetings. “In a face-to-face meeting, the member simply stands up and is asked to speak by a show of hands. In a digital solution, this option must be mapped through the conferencing tool used.” In the case of the Green Party, he said, they worked with the web platform from Go.Control also based in Karben, and adapted it to the party’s needs. In this way, members in front of their home screens were able to raise objections or questions about the items on the agenda via a video chat with staff on site. After the content of the questions had been checked, the control room switched them live to the studio one after the other. A total of 30 live connections were thus realized over the course of the day. The Karben technical crew also had to prepare the various legally compliant votes on the main motions submitted to the Executive Committee, which proved to be similarly complex.
Two in-house studio settings were set up for the LVM virtual alternative. In the larger studio, the presidium met, and in the smaller one, the actors spoke in front of a camera backdrop. A total of three live cameras and a camera crane with face tracking function were used to create the most varied images possible. To guide everyone safely through the digital LVM, a dress rehearsal was held the night before. “We showed the speakers the correct and safe handling in front of the camera,” says the Karben project manager. The result was impressive: The digital event not only went off without a hitch, but was lively, human and likeable. For Sigrid Erfurth, chairwoman of BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN Hessen, it was altogether “an exciting, eventful day in which we tried to bring technology and politics together and shape our motions in a new framework. Even though, for statutory reasons alone, we generally have to organize state members’ meetings in analog format, we are very pleased, given the special circumstances, to have found an adequate alternative in the digital space this time. We would like to thank our long-standing partner satis&fy for their cooperation and professional support in the run-up to and on the day of the event itself.”
For Niklas Hommel, the implementation showed that party conventions “can definitely be transferred to the virtual stage. With voting, live Q&As and the fading in of members, a relationship can be built with the virtual audience and the spatial distance can be reduced.”
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