Case Study

University of Bedfordshire

University of Bedfordshire Virtual Graduation

Client: University Of Bedfordshire
Date: July 2020
Services: Livestreaming - Video Production


  • Technical production for all University’s graduations
  • Annual ceremonies across 3 campuses (Luton, Milton Keynes and Bedford) and 5 venues on various dates with multiple timeslots for each school/department
  • Innovative ‘virtual graduation’ solution designed, proposed and implemented from June 2020, continued throughout 2021 (30+ virtual ceremonies covered this year)
  • ‘Hybrid graduation’ solution in consideration to increase accessibility and inclusivity for students unable to attend in-person
  • Provision of full experienced team to work alongside University
  • Full AV equipment provision – hardware and software
  • Testing and full set-up including rigging, audio, display, lighting and cameras
  • Filming of ceremonies for live streaming


First Sight Media were tasked with equipping the space with suitable AV equipment to ensure line-of-sight across the venue and clear, crisp audio. Additionally, we were to film the ceremonies for live streaming and DVD production for sale to graduates and their guests.

For the purpose of this case study, we have chosen to focus on our provision at the Putteridge Bury Campus for Summer ceremonies.


The University’s Putteridge Bury Campus lacks a large, indoor conference space but features many acres of open gardens. We worked with the University, and a 40 x 20m Marquee was erected in the grounds to house the graduations for up to 600 graduates and their guests.

An additional 12 x 50m marquee was erected for the post-ceremony reception.

Rigging: We needed to ensure we covered every inch of the marquee effectively in order to capture all aspects of the event and facilitate the AV specifications required. We installed a 12m truss with electric hoists to hang audio, lighting and screen equipment from.

Audio: Clear quality sound from the 4 microphones on stage and the procession and video music throughout the ceremonies was essential. We deployed a high-end PA system with 18 speakers and digital mixing desk, with many mics ‘flown’ from the rigging alongside the high-level screens to ensure the best result.

Display: To ensure clear line-of-sight throughout the space we deployed 6 x 55” screens hung from the truss and structure of the marquee. These hung approximately 4 metres from the ground and were supplemented by 2 x 75” screens at ground level.

Lighting: For consistency for both day-time and evening ceremonies we added a wash of LED lighting to the stage and ‘dressed’ the space with LED uplighters in University colours.

We also provided emergency lighting for both the main and reception Marque and dressed the reception space with uplighters too.

Cameras: To ensure the audience could see their graduate’s special moment in such a large space, we used live camera relay employing a three full high-definition camera shoot. Fed back to our vision mixing unit, two cameras were operated to ensure we could capture all the action and provided movement and artistic shots to add interest.


“We’ve partnered with First Sight Media for several years for our graduation ceremony filming, AV, and webcasts. They have always been helpful with clear, frank, advice before delivery, helping to scope and sort a plan. They’ve been adaptable with the multiple venues and differing requirements of each set-up and are brilliant at assisting with on the day problem-solving – even when not AV related. They take away the stress of the AV side of things and allow us to knit the rest together.”

Eleanor Stillwell, Graduations Manager, University of Bedfordshire


The live streaming element used First Sight Media’s dedicated servers to ensure a smooth and reliable stream throughout the week, our webcasting technician monitored the stream and supported viewers by responding promptly to questions.

To enable graduates to purchase a lasting memory of their special day, we also used our captured footage to produce DVDs, Blu-rays and USBs made available to take home on the day or despatched shortly thereafter. We successfully provided a complete sales stand to enable purchase on the day.

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