How the Bridge Awards 2020 Celebrated Technology Success
Was this all just a weird champagne dream that involved a Steinway, a crazy Norwegian in a pink suit, and two Australians dressed as Koalas and drinking Fosters?
Thinking about what’s important
The OED adds new words to the dictionary every year (which causes much consternation for proponents of ‘prescriptive’ language). They also have a competition to pick the Word of the Year – a new entry that particularly sums up a development that has occurred over the previous year, and represents how the social, political or technological landscape is moving on.
This year their work is certainly going to be cut out – a huge number of words and phrases have fallen into our lexicon as we seek to navigate our way through calamity after crisis after catastrophe.
One of the stock phrases that has entered our collective vocabulary is the concept of ‘the new normal’. It’s the idea that recent events have been so impactful that they aren’t just a temporary rift, but have created a paradigm shift in how we choose to do things from now on.
And ‘choose’ is the key word there. Because even though the new normal will be shaped by circumstances, it’s also about how we decide to react to things.
So this caused a little bit of introspection within the Bridge offices. What is important to us? What do we want to preserve of our pre-COVID selves? What do recent circumstances give us the opportunity to change?
The conclusion we reached?
Even though these are challenging and often sombre times, what it most important to us is our connection to people, our sense of fun, and our celebration of success. In fact, perhaps it’s important to maintain these elements not despite the presence of difficult times, but precisely because of them.
And this meant that whilst some businesses are choosing to cancel ‘extraneous’ activities and batten down the hatches, we wanted our ‘new normal’ to mean business as usual when it comes to the celebration of our fantastic business partners.
This could mean only one thing. The show must go on! With our usual sense of flare and style, we set about producing the Bridge Awards 2020…
The Bridge Awards: some potted highlights
First and foremost, if you haven’t seen it – we encourage you to check it out here. (Be warned though, it’s kind of a ‘glass of wine in the evening’ type of thing).
But we understand that you are busy people, so if you are seeking the potted highlights, then we can certainly recommend:
- Tim channeling his inner Jurassic Park (7.45)
- The somewhat unusual way that Techtel received their award (45.36)
- Aksel’s inability to handle his big bottle of Bolli appropriately (55.44) (which is by no means the first or only incident of exploding champagne within the hour).
- Aksel’s incredible piano finale (53.46)
- Pretty much any moment with Philip answering his red phone to the tune of Thomas the Tank (We shan’t make any jokes about the Fat Controller… Nor for that matter jokes about how Philip was really the perfect choice for being the person who has to talk to an imaginary voice on the end of the phone…). It all gets particularly silly when technology gets away from all three of our intrepid presenters at around the 20.20 mark.
The technical bit
Last year you may remember that our BridgEvent wasn’t only about having a big celebration, it was also about demonstrating how Bridge monitoring solutions can be integrated into Outside Broadcast (OB) operations – focusing on how our products are just as applicable in production environments as they are along the full broadcast chain. This becomes even more relevant this year as we have introduced ISM (Integrated Services Monitoring) – an all-embracing suite of tools, designed to deliver invaluable insights into the performance of content production, contribution and distribution networks across every layer of the broadcast process.
The awards gave us the opportunity to put our ISM through its paces, with the help of an Appear TV based-orientated setup (see last month’s blog for some details of the spec of that setup). And in addition, key to this all was of course the venue at the Rainbow Recording Studio and the incredible mixer to manage the production (though of course it isn’t the size of the mixer that matters, it’s the talent of the editor, obviously…). and our amazing friends at NEP Norway who kindly gave us the run of their Scandinavian OB van (0.20).
The human bit
It is safe to say that there is much silliness during our hour-long broadcast. And this is important to us, because silliness is human, and the human touch is absolutely key to how we approach the business world.
At the heart of this is the wonderful Aksel, who was compere for our amazing show last year (and who will also be helping bring some pizzazz to our Webinars over the upcoming weeks).
We love Aksel because he really embodies everything that we find important at Bridge: incredible talent (check out his piano segment at 1.17), an immense sense of fun, and a, er… somewhat unique style and way of doing things. We’ve also got Tim looking very suave (and giving good argument that his talents are wasted at Bridge and he ought to go and make his fortune in voiceovers). And then of course Philip looking very dapper (demonstrating that he absolutely found his calling as a chat show host…).
But the point about our Bridge Awards is not us mucking around in the studio (fun though that is). What’s most important is the people we are celebrating – the Business Partners we work with, who themselves work tirelessly in the way that they innovate with our products, promote them, and raise our profile in the world of broadcast.
Not to spoil it for you (really, go watch the video!) but our winners were Canal Câble, VP Media Solutions, Burst Video, Tema Ltd, Techex, Techtel and SHM Broadcast in categories such as ‘Innovator’, ‘Service Excellence’, ‘Technology Project Implementation’ and ´Business Partner of the year´.
But, since they’ve already received a lot of recognition in the Awards ceremony itself and the subsequent social media we put out, we’d like to take the chance to say a little word about the nominees as well. It may sound like a cliché – but clichés exist because of the truth that lies at the heart of them: it was really difficult to pick a winner in each category, and in many ways a frustrating process too because we have so much gratitude for every one of our BPs.
And it’s for this reason that whilst we had immense fun doing our first virtual awards show, in reality we can’t wait to get back to the classic days of champagne, good food and personal connection. Because the best thing about our ‘real world’ awards shows is that they give us the opportunity to have personal contact with every member of the Bridge ecosystem (and hopefully spoil them a little to express our gratitude).
Regardless though, we have been pleased to be able to continue on with the BridgEvent in some form, because it allows both us and business partners to show that even in difficult times, it’s ‘business as usual’. Our BPs have proudly announced their wins on social media, and it has resulted in a lot of celebration and interaction from their customers and stakeholders – just going to show that we all still love the opportunity to share and celebrate in the success of our friends and acquaintances.
To sum up
Yes, this year’s BridgEvent looked significantly different to our production last year – but the core values of togetherness and fun still remain at the heart of it. As our wonderful Aksel phrases it, ‘it’s the same sh… thing, but a different wrapping’ (4.23). In essence: still all of the incredible technical wizardry, still all of the Aksel-related antics and certainly an ongoing and deep appreciation of our business partners – just in a ‘new normal’-style format.