US Political Conventions Go Big On Digital And Social

July 25, 2016 by Dave Haynes


Source: The Independent (UK)

The lights go up on the US Democratic National Convention in Philly today, a few days after the rival Republicans wrapped up their own national convention.

I’ll reserve comment on the politics, because as a Canadian I get to watch the very curious goings-on from the bleachers. I said to my wife one night that it was so nice to live in a land where this was somehow the lead item on the national news.

What I did notice last week and expect to see this week on the broadcast is heavy and, I though, pretty effective use of social media and big digital LED display.

The backdrop for the RNC set was a big LED wall. When someone was speaking, the content was tuned to that. The rest of the time the big display seemed – as viewed from a distant camera – to be rolling pretty briskly though what looked to be Twitter, Instagram and maybe Facebook posts on a kinetic social media visualization.

The RNC technology team used the LED ribbon boards around the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for curated Twitter messages in big block letters no one could miss. I thought it was quite effective, and added to the visual energy of the place.

There’s a lot of of moving parts in these things and it got messy one of the nights, with the backdrop going drak and some of the other displays dropping signal.

Scouring the web didn’t result in much information about what was used and how, and I’m not finding much about this week and the Democrats. I did see a company called Curalate will be harvesting the endless tweets and pix of the week, but curating the best of the bunch for digital channels away from the convention venue.

The podium for this week definitely goes big on LED (or rear projection, hard to tell). The thing has a basket-weave look and some of the panels can rotate. The venue – the Wells Fargo Center – houses NHL and NBA teams, so it’s a safe assumption the LED rings, as the building calls them, will get put to use, as well.

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