We helped make WAF 2021 hybrid!

The World Architecture Festival is the annual gathering of the world’s leading architects. In 2021 it was scheduled to be in Lisbon, where architects from 62 countries would exchange ideas and compete for the prestigious World Building of the Year title. WAF was an early adopter of hybrid production and organisers EMAP have been working with Silverstream TV to livestream the content for 5 years - reaching hundreds of thousands of architects all over the world.

In 2021 when WAF was forced - very late in the day - to go digital, it set an enormous challenge for the team at Silverstream. With over 600 building projects from all over the world due to be presented in Lisbon, they needed to virtually capture their presentations in a very short space of time. 

The biggest challenge was working out a timetable of when they could present in front of the team of judges. Every 20 minutes Silverstream connected to somebody else in a different part of the world, across 5 or 6 categories each day. The only way to do this was to begin presentations and judging virtually in the Far East first thing in the morning, London time, and gradually move across the world, covering America in the evening. Each architecture team’s presentation was edited and uploaded to a viewing portal - creating a unique video encyclopaedia of the world’s most important building projects.  

During the event:

The live event itself was a 3 day festival filled with content, followed by 1 day of live awards judging.  From Energy & Recycling to Leisure-Led Development, WAF had a wide variety of categories and content from a range of speakers across the world. 

The World Architecture Festival had over 3,000 registered attendees for the live event, with many watching the Festival live and others using the on demand service. People have continued to visit the platform long after the live event finished. This will continue throughout the year, as entries open for WAF 2022, so that they can learn from different projects and style of presentation.

During the four day live event, Silverstream created a TV studio in Shoreditch, where the WAF hosts presented and interviewed guests who were able to appear in-person. This was fed back to the Silverstream studios in Plymouth, where a team of transmission operators connected in the virtual speakers and added branding before streaming the output to the event’s platform, Swapcard. Delegates were able to post questions on the platform that were answered by the speakers. On day 4 the event broke into 4 live streams, where the finalists pitched again, this time live to a super-jury. This was produced by a team of 12 transmission technicians.