Supporting an American auction for a truly hybrid event audience
When event production company Banana Split’s American partners approached them to technically support an elite automotive auction in the UK, they knew the event would have no room for error. When that auction was then rescheduled and repurposed as one of the industry’s first truly hybrid events, targeting multiple in-person and remote audiences, the stakes rose even higher.
Gooding & Company’s “Passion of a Lifetime” auction was planned to be the American auction house’s first-ever event outside of the US. Originally scheduled for April 2020, due to Covid-19, the event was postponed to take place at Hampton Court Palace on the 5th of September 2020 – a date which coincided with the Concours of Elegance (an annual display of the rarest and most sought-after cars in the world.)
American event design and production company, Production Elements Incorporated, seized the opportunity that these circumstances created and redesigned the auction to appeal to a variety of audiences including small groups of socially-distanced invited guests; remote audiences watching the live stream, participating online and bidding telephonically; and groups of on-site spectators. Banana Split was tasked with technically delivering the hybrid auction and turned to Anna Valley for video support.
Having worked with PEI in the past and knowing what both their and the client’s expectations were, we had to pick partners that we could trust to deliver that expectation. On that basis, Anna Valley were the only people we were prepared to engage with on this project.
Jamie Simon, director and head of events, Banana Split
Banana Split provided lighting, sound and rigging for the event while Anna Valley focussed on video technology and services, supplying;
- 3 x remote hothead cameras to unobtrusively capture automotive experts and telephonic bidding.
- 2 x manned Sony FS7’s to film the auctioneer and live bidding.
- A portable production unit with live switching on a Barco S3-4K to deliver the broadcast feed.
- A Disguise D3 media server for tracking bidding and lot numbers.
- 6 x LG screens to display information about each of the auction lots to on-site audiences.
Banana Split approached the auction as a blend between a live event and a television show and Anna Valley’s experience in broadcast, and on a series of online auctions for Sotheby’s contributed to the client’s confidence in their capabilities.
“Passion of a Lifetime 2020” has been heralded as the auction of the year, setting six world auction model records, two marque records and featuring eight cars sold for over a million dollars – including the most expensive Bugatti ever sold at a public auction at $12 681 550.
“Because so much money was at stake we had to examine, question and back up everything in enormous detail and the preproduction process was really in-depth,” continues Simon. “Anna Valley were excellent in answering the questions, working through problems, identifying where there might be potential issues and overcoming them – and doing it effortlessly.”