A VIRTUAL EASTER: THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING NEW


For BCC members it is important we can gather together at Easter. Therefore, our entire organization mobilized in order to create an online event for both young and old. This resulted in a completely new concept: BCC Online.


By Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by BCC

This year, over 10,000 members were expected to attend the BCC international Easter Conference. When the situation regarding the spread of COVID-19 made it necessary to cancel the conference, it was vital to think of a new concept. Now there will be both an online Easter Conference and Easter Camp for the youth, in collaboration with the children’s and youth associations, Activity Club and Brunstad Youth Club.

A new interactive TV studio creates a new viewing experience

In just 20 days, a new interactive TV studio was designed and built, and the entire Easter program will be broadcast from here. There will be live speakers from all corners of the world, along with prayer, songs and music, and activities that children and youth can do at home.

“We turned around and created a studio which will allow viewers to have a new experience, by using two devices at once to participate in the conference,” says Arve Solli, one of the studio’s design engineers and producer for the Easter program.

Ninety percent of the studio is built of equipment and components that BCC already has, but some extra investments had to be made in addition.

Sketches of the new TV studio currently under construction. Photo by BCC

 

Facts about the studio

  • 116 square meters of LED screen
  • The main screen is curved, with dimensions of 26×4 meters.
  • Two-device solution: viewers follow along on TV and through a mobile app
  • Viewers check in through an interactive world map
  • Live images from multiple locations
  • Features: podium, interview area, presentations on the LED-screen, and worldwide viewer interaction

The studio has many features, and viewers who log on to the broadcast are pictured in the large world map on the LED-screen. Photo by BCC

 

A great deal of creative talent brought together

Berit Hustad Nilsen. Photo by BCC

“This is the beginning of something completely new for BCC, both creatively, technically and organizationally,” says Berit H. Nilsen. She manages the daily work in the media department.

The employees have been flexible to achieve this goal, with many volunteers also involved.

“We can see this collaboration will have a huge future impact and that new opportunities are opening for us during this time. Our aim is to build a platform that can connect people from many countries through technology, and ultimately reach the entire world with the gospel.”

Becoming technically equipped to handle increased usage

The “BCC Online” concept was launched quickly, and the first supplemental broadcast was aired during the first week of the lock-down. Last weekend around 12,000 members from 50 countries tuned-in to a broadcast intended as a trial run before Easter.

“We doubled our server capacity in order to meet demand,” says Henning Nilsen, who has distribution responsibility.

“We have experienced enormous interest from users while simultaneously an increased pressure on the server as a result of everyone sitting separately and joining the broadcasts. This has created some technical challenges, but our team has made an impressive effort to solve problems as they emerge. Now our job is to secure a solid technical infrastructure, so we are equipped to manage the virtual gatherings at Easter.”

Henning Nilsen is among those who’ve worked from dawn until dusk during the past few weeks to ensure all technical details are ready for Easter. Photo by BCC

Many donations made for the project

Berit H. Nilsen is content with the fact that investments are in line with the spirit of giving in our organization: “During the Sunday meeting on the 29th of March, we posted the Vipps number (a Norwegian banking app) on the screen and held a collection for BCC Online, in order to get an impression of how this concept is being received. A staggering sum of 2.6 million Norwegian kroner was donated, with about half coming from Norwegian members and half from abroad, so there’s no doubt that this is something our members believe in and wish to support.”

The collection result is more than double of what comes in normally at regular conferences, and this was before the Easter online events even started.

 

A peek at the interactive studio under development:

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