All members of the Hessian Greens (GRÜNEN) were invited to participate in the state general assembly on January 23rd and 24th, 2021 – to debate and vote on state lists. To meet the challenges of the Corona problem, satis&fy, as an event service provider, set up a comprehensive hybrid event. The focal points were a digital streaming and voting platform and Messe Frankfurt.
Under normal circumstances, general meetings or state party conferences take place as face-to-face events at a suitable location of their choice. Classic event technology is required, votes taken either by counting raised hands or with the use of ballot boxes. But special times require special solutions. Hence, the hybrid event that took place during the fourth weekend of January 2021.
satis&fy has been providing its services to The Greens (GRÜNEN)in Hessen for over 10 years. This year, due to the unique circumstances, the task was to design and carry out an event that, on the one hand, would be as contactless as possible and, on the other hand, would meet all the requirements of internal party elections and state electoral law. As the Hessian electoral law ultimately mandates a ballot box election, this took place at Messe Frankfurt on the second day of the meeting, with a significantly reduced event size and duration. This was made possible thanks to the primarily digital design of the first day – and it was extensive.
Mastered digital and logistical challenges
The pre-nomination of the candidates took place on 23.01. While the 50 candidates and the presidium were on site at Messe Frankfurt, the other party members took part in the event digitally. They were able to speak up, ask questions and vote on the pre-nominations. A special little challenge: all members of the Hessian Green Party (GRÜNEN)are entitled to vote, so all members were invited. However, the number of participants could not be precisely determined in advance. Digital technology and voting logistics therefore had to be designed for the largest possible number of party members. A suitable platform was set up by satis&fy partner Go Control, four cameras broadcast the candidates’ speeches: indoors for up to 1.700 members at peak times, questions could be asked in real time using an in-house tool from satis&fy. More than 16 hours of streaming, up to three ballots were necessary to reach the quorum, satis&fy worked in two shifts. At around 1:30 a.m., the lists for the final ballot box on Sunday were fixed. To ensure that Saturday went smoothly on the digital stage, trial votes were held in advance, during which the members could become acquainted with the technology. On the day itself there was room in the middle of the stage in the event hall for the presidium – flanked by two platforms for the candidates: indoors. The particularly homogeneous stage lighting was optimized for streaming in terms of color temperature. The sound was broadcast in the hall and fed into the streaming platform. In the background: the control room with preview monitors for the live switch and for checking that the processes were selected. Among other things, the party presidium could see how many members were online and had already voted. Everything had to be in view.
January 24th started with the online accreditation of party members. The hall opened early to comply with the hygiene concept including medical evacuation and rapid tests. Due to the sophisticated electoral logistics the day before and the successful pre-nominations, the event lasted only 1.5 hours. As planned, there was only one vote and short speeches by the top candidates: indoors. The length of stay in the hall was thus minimized. The speeches could be followed via Facebook stream.
Data protection-compliant event
To be on the safe side in terms of data protection, the streaming and voting platform strictly followed the GDPR and the requirements of the BSI. The digital data was securely transmitted via a data centre in Frankfurt. Therefore, the servers were in Germany. The voting took place in secret without any tracking – SSL and password-encrypted. A total of two different live switches were set up so that members abroad could also be heard. The digital infrastructure also allowed spontaneous requests to be heard.
satis&fy had already successfully organized a state members’ digital meeting for The Greens (GRÜNEN) in October 2020 – at the in-house live streaming studio of the Karben-based event service provider.
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