On September 16th 2010, Pope Benedict XVI began a four day visit to England and Scotland, arriving in Edinburgh, where he was received by Her Majesty The Queen.
During his visit he celebrated a public Mass in Glasgow, a Prayer Vigil at Hyde Park in London and Mass at Cofton Park in Birmingham.
Feltech’s event team were proud to be appointed to provide Media and Broadcast Services to the Papal Visit by The Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Feltech’s extensive event services supported the world’s press at every stage of their journey, as they followed Pope Benedict’s hectic schedule.
From Event Management and Online Accreditation, through to Media Centres across the country and Satellite delivery of live programming, Feltech provided a successful turn key solution to ensure all the necessary resources, technology and facilities were available.
Peter Fell, Managing Director at Feltech, said: “We are accustomed to hosting large international events, having been involved in a number of high profile political summits, it is essential to have a proven track record when the world’s attention is focused on you – Feltech were the natural choice to provide event services to the Papal visit”.
Working in association with the Host Broadcasters BBC, Sky and ITN, Feltech distributed the live International Pool Feed to broadcasters through a series of media centres, and out to the world’s press via satellite.
Feltech’s usual measured and thorough approach to organising multi-location media centres meant that the world’s press were given the perfect environment for successful reporting.
Two main Media Centres in London and Edinburgh featured provision for 200 press to work, complete with editing, radio and interview facilities and an extensive high speed data and telecommunications infrastructure. Feltech also provided smaller facilities for written press at the Bellahouston Mass in Glasgow, the Outdoor Vigil in Hyde Park and at Cofton Park for the beautification of Cardinal Newman.
Complex event planning was undertaken in advance of the visit to establish 4 wire communications, satellite and fibre links between the technical hubs, MCRs and outside broadcast trucks at all 6 main venues around the UK.
Once in place this network allowed for live stand up interviews to be simulcast from different locations for inclusion in live news programmes, as well as constant access to live footage from the venues for the media.
With over a thousand media accredited for the Feltech facilities this was the largest modern day multi site broadcast event the UK has ever seen.
The Feltech Media Centres were designed to provide a high level of service to the world’s media community, with provision for many formats and broadcast systems both analogue and digital. Press unable to provide their own recording or editing systems were also supported with on site film crews, technicians and edit suites equipped with the latest recording technology, microphones and post production facilities. Each journalist’s workstation included desks and chairs, complete with high speed internet connection, power point for laptops, phone chargers and ancillary lighting.
To complement the media centres Feltech provided ‘live’ stand up broadcast camera platforms remotely linked to a fully supported Master Control room (MCR) capable of distributing coverage and programming live via satellite. With on-demand IT support services Feltech’s team of engineers ensured the press were constantly able to call on technical support to help meet tight deadlines.
In addition, Feltech’s bespoke live broadcast message system was available 24 hours a day across all the locations throughout the Papal Visit, ensuring clear communication simultaneously at all sites around the country. Multiple plasma tv screens throughout the media centres featured live satellite images from the Host Broadcast pool feed, including aerial footage, Vatican and UK time and an embedded news message banner to keep the press up to date with the event schedule.
In order to avoid using the potentially over stretched cellular network for communications, Feltech established a multi-site trunk radio system across all Papal visit venues. This system enabled the team to stay in touch with all crew across the country securely, reliably and in a cost efficient manner.
To complete the picture as the Pope’s jet left the stand at Birmingham Airport after a live link address with the Prime Minister, the press and the invited dignitaries on Feltech’s covered “stand up” position had a grandstand view of the final part of the visit.