Mitel is a global business communications company powering more than two billion business connections with cloud, enterprise, and next-gen collaboration applications. The Mitel Global Kickoff (Mitel GKO) is an annual event held for the benefit of all Mitel employees, educating them on the next steps to success as a company. Mitel’s second large-scale annual event is the NEXT Seminar, a similar event to the GKO, directed at business partners. The events were held to educate audiences about Mitel’s vision and strategy for the coming year. Attendees at both events dove virtually into execution plans and product roadmaps, saw the latest demos in technology, had questions answered by program experts, and capitalized on opportunities to network across the board.
Working with Creative Group Inc, Mitel had used Pixl Studios in 2021 for their broadcasts and received excellent feedback. In 2022, they wanted to push the technology boundaries. Pixl’s dedicated state-of-the-art xR studio in Central London was the perfect geographical location for a global broadcast across several time zones.
Pixl began production in November 2021, with the two events booked back two back: GKO in mid-February and NEXT in the end of February. Pixl turned around the intended concept design in three weeks to encompass remote presenters, display presentation material, and cater for a single host and up to five presenters at one time. From ideation to implementation, the eight individual broadcast environments had to then be ingested in Disguise VX4 servers in the Pixl studio for presenters to see where they are in the xR world and interact with objects and live content.
Using xR live, Pixl had to rehearse every move and shot, ensuring the host and presenters were comfortable with their position and camera movement. With over 20 hours of broadcasts in total over the 13 rehearsal days, this needed to be managed very carefully.
Pixl also faced facilitation of four different XR stages to ensure continuity and branding and craft a fully immersive viewer experience. Faced with rendering five remote textures and two Renderstream layers in real time, resources needed to be carefully balanced to ensure the highest quality was achieved and maintained to deliver this event.
Pixl’s team worked with The Content Studio and Mitel staff to implement common themes and colors complementing each XR stage. Using Disguise RX media servers, sources that were sent into Unreal Engine were translated into a uniform texture on the XR stage, and all textures and reflections were able to be rendered live.
Needing another RX server, Pixl looked to their ETP network and collaborated with BrainHub, the technical team powering ETP, who shipped over extra resources in time to begin the calibration process. The team streamlined the preparation workflow from there, reframing, cropping, and composing content with other technology, prior to sending live inputs to the server.
To account for the importance of the calibration process, Pixl spent five days ensuring the color, spatial, and delay calibrations were spot on. Observing the LED with a sharp eye and staying consistent in the calibration process each day ensured the perfectly balanced image for the client’s viewers.
The feedback Mitel received was excellent. This event enabled them to tell the story about the business and its future roadmap in a way that would not be achievable with standard virtual communications.
The high quality xR sets and branding created realistic sets which, with the use of remote textures, made them extremely flexible. Calibration stayed extremely accurate throughout the event and the transition from LED wall to the set extension was seamless. The colors and spatial mapping were consistent and immaculate in overall cohesion. The end picture was very well received by the client and their viewers alike.
Ultimately, building a strong relationship and good communication with the client led to a clear understanding of intention and goals. Pixl rose to the challenge and delivered two smooth, efficient, and well-received events. The top technological equipment was leveraged to provide the best experience possible for Mitel and their event viewers.
Mitel do wish to get back to live events, as the benefits for face-to-face networking are hard to replicate, but this series of broadcasts proved that one can successfully produce engaging communications using state-of-the-art technology. The next step will be incorporating this into a Live/Virtual hybrid event in 2023.