Groovy Gecko has delivered a ground-breaking first for Scottish Parliament with Virtual Leaders’ Question Time. Scottish Parliament’s long-standing relationship with Groovy Gecko ensured a quick solution to the vital continuation of democratic proceedings during lockdown.
The Leaders’ Questions have been held virtually for the first time in Scottish history. At a time when everyone including government officials and ministers are stuck at home, there was an urgent need to find a solution that ensured an open and transparent democracy could continue.
Party leaders and members of Parliament were required to join First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, during Virtual Leaders’ Question Time to discuss the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. With a total of six remote contributors required to attend each time, live streaming specialists, Groovy Gecko, rose to the task on more than one occasion.
Groovy Gecko has worked with Scottish Parliament for three years providing the streaming technology and production workflow integration for traditional sittings. With the government propelled into seeking a more advanced process, this established relationship ensured there was a solution to the problem and enabled important democratic proceedings to continue.
Initially, Groovy Gecko coordinated the connection of each participant, before combining them visually into a gallery view and streaming live onto the Scottish Parliament website for public viewing. Now that virtual and hybrid meetings are the ‘new normal’, Groovy Gecko ensured minimal input was needed from each virtual participant by managing all feeds remotely.
Craig Moehl, Managing Director at Groovy Gecko commented, “Scottish Parliament, like many other organisations, had never been in a situation like this before. Within two days, Groovy Gecko had consulted and provided an integrated solution, resulting in an efficient, secure, scalable and cost-efficient workflow.
It was essential that the technical solution was simple for the remote participants to use as they were of varying technical ability. Equally important, was the implementation of a simple administrative workflow to ensure little additional administration overhead.”
The nature of the Leaders’ Questions format, and having multiple speakers, did present some challenges.
Moehl added, “This was a complex stream as we looked to keep the participants in sync visually as well as ensuring stable and high-quality audio; whilst acknowledging variable internet connections from each speaker’s location. As the stream needed to be socially inclusive as well, we also ensured British Sign Language editions were available to stream for each event.”
Encouraged by the technical successes and the demand for the service, Scottish Parliament has steadily increased their participants from 6 to 15 and beyond for a variety of different types of debates, forums and meetings.
You can watch the Scottish Parliament Leaders’ Virtual Questions stream, soon with the ability to clip and share sections of interest, an adaptation of Groovy Gecko’s GG Clipper tool, as part of their REALM tool suite.