Graduations during covid crisis
The current regulations dictate social distancing and smaller gatherings, but some events like graduations are intended to celebrate with whole families, recognizing the accomplishments of the students together. These necessary restrictions have been a challenge for graduation planners and audio visual companies like us alike. However, we’ve redesigned several graduations this year with new regulations in mind: instead of having the ceremony in a gym or auditorium, we’re moving to football fields so attendees can space out safely. Students are kept off field, or in an end zone and our PA now faces them. Students are limited to a very small guest list. A stage is set up with limited school officials, and from the sidelines an announcer calls families in order to keep the flow moving. Music can be played, names read and one student at a time can process and receive their diploma and have a photo. There are fewer handshakes and hugs, but each student gets his or her moment in the spotlight.
Another area high school has decided to have their graduation ceremonies this year in several different, separate locations with no more than 250 people in any one space. We provided live streaming services so that families who cannot attend in person can still experience it live with their students. The stream can be viewed at home anywhere in the country.
Another solution is to stream to separate locations on a campus: the main ceremony takes place on an open field with just students and essential faculty spread out while families are in auditoriums, field houses, gyms and classrooms. Arts Centers that can hold 500 people are being spaced out for 50-75 attendees watching a screen which displays a broadcast of the event from across campus.
Even those who can’t attend in person can enjoy the festivities. We assemble the shots and the audio and send it out to the internet for everyone at home. The link to the stream can be secured to avoid unwanted access, and it can be embedded on to the client’s website for easy access. The entire live stream production can be shared by the entire audience, even though they are not physically together. Besides graduations, this same procedure can be done for just about any event where someone needs to address a crowd – meetings, presentations and religious services are just a few examples.