During the UK Presidency of the European Union the Prime Minister called an Informal Meeting for 32 EU Heads of State in September 2005. The meeting took place at Hampton Court Palace, with the media facilities 5 miles down the road at Sandown Park Race course. With just three weeks notice Feltech were called upon by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to stage a Host Broadcast operation of a similar scale to that of the G8 Summit at Gleneagles.
With such a short time frame to plan and stage this large event Feltech brought back together the successful G8 Summit team, capitalising on their established working chemistry, from senior management to technicians.
Hampton Court Palace is a grand listed building which created some challenges for the use of high tech equipment. The distance to the Media Centre presented its own problems for live coverage.
After much discussion a plan came together to provide live coverage inside the Palace using wireless radio Cameras, to prevent the running of cables into the building. The cameras where linked back to the Pool Channel OB vehicle, parked off the site, providing the live coverage into Feltech’s Master Control Room and distribution around the Media Centre at Sandown Park.
For security reasons the press had very limited access with few opportunities for their own cameras. This made it vital that Feltech had undertaken all the planning and liaison necessary to ensure that the Host Broadcast channel was able to provide as much high quality coverage as possible.
It was decided that journalists would be allowed to do live pieces to camera from ‘Standup’ positions provided by Feltech at the West Front of the Palace without compromising security, with the use of multiple uplink trucks, parked beside the river next to the Palace. Signals could be beamed directly by satellite around the world, or sent to BT Tower via fibre optic cables hastily installed a few days before the event.