Everything has to go smoothly if you are hosting a televised election debate! Hear how we worked with STV to deliver a TV ready event:
'The team at the Assembly Rooms are very professional and leave no detail unchecked.'
Could you tell us more about the recent election debate?
On 29 March 2016, in the run up to the Scottish Parliament elections, STV held a leaders debate at Assembly Rooms Edinburgh. The event was a live multi camera broadcast, which featured the leaders of Scotland’s five main parties, in front of a studio audience and was covered by journalists from across the UK.
What made the Assembly Rooms the right venue for the Live Debate?
We required a venue in a central location to make it as easy as possible for the audience to get there using public and private transport. The Assembly Rooms’ iconic location on George Street was ideal. Full accessibility was essential as the audience is drawn from all areas of society, as was the ability to offer a secure but welcoming environment for the politicians and audience. We needed a location which offered a main broadcast area for the debate, dressing rooms for the presenters and politicians, guest processing and holding areas and pre and post-event catering. The Assembly Rooms is a stunning venue and impresses everyone who attends, the grand look of the Ballroom and Music Hall was visually perfect for broadcast.
How did the Assembly Rooms assist the speakers and help facilitate the broadcast elements of the day?
The team at the Assembly Rooms are very professional and leave no detail unchecked, their ability to investigate and understand your needs is invaluable. As a broadcaster we bring in our own specialist technicians and have to balance the needs of the location audience with that of the TV audience. The technical crew at the venue understood this and worked very closely with our crew to get the best result for us, often suggesting solutions and ways to simplify the process.
Were there any external obstacles which the Assembly Rooms helped you to overcome?
Historic Edinburgh and George Street in particular is a tricky place to broadcast live from. We struggled to get a clear satellite signal from street level but by collaborating with the Assembly Rooms, we agreed to fit a temporary dish on the roof of the building. Working closely with the venue and Edinburgh City Council we were able to rig the technical equipment required and cable back to our production vehicles which were parked on George Street.
How was the event received from the participants and the public?
The event was a tremendous success and easily our best to date. The team make you feel so welcome and nothing is too much trouble; we need a good degree of flexibility when arranging these events as often you need to react to unforeseen circumstances. Throughout the process, from initial enquires to booking and delivery, we had clear points of contact and support. On the day itself a dedicated team were assigned to look after our needs, helping out with our requirements for broadcast and guiding our audience through the event. The feedback from our contractors, the political parties and the audience was excellent and we achieved all our goals.
Overall, how did you find your experience at Assembly Rooms?
We are a return customer to the Assembly Rooms as it meets the very high standards we expect. We need a venue that looks good and knows how to run a very complex event and the Assembly Rooms fits that bill perfectly. The team there approach every event with the same enthusiasm and professionalism and are a great partner to have on the project.