Perfecting the pivot is essential for a busy events company today. The coronavirus pandemic set event production agency Eventage on a path of organizing advanced virtual gatherings, an ambitious course that challenged them to approach video in an entirely new way.
“Eventage didn’t want to just survive in the last year, we were determined to thrive,” says Ally Brooks, Senior Manager, Production & Systems for New Jersey-based Eventage. “We had to take on new skills very quickly to lead the way in virtual events. That meant becoming broadcasters and streamers—and being experts at it.”
Closed captioning for virtual events soon emerged as an essential offering at Eventage. The team was asked to provide captioning for a client and flew into action. “They were planning on doing a live broadcast and said, ‘We need closed captioning, how do we do that?’” Brooks recalls. “That’s what led us to EEG Video.”
Brooks and her team began researching closed captioning for streaming video and kept getting the same recommendation: EEG’s Falcon Live Streaming Caption Encoder. A cloud-hosted service, Falcon can be paired with EEG's Lexi Automatic Captioning service or a professional human captioner, using the program audio reference to generate and return closed captions into the stream in real-time.
As a fully virtual web service, Falcon takes the place of a traditional hardware encoder for direct-to-web live streaming workflows. “We were doing a very large show with 60 cues and lots of graphics flying in,” says Brooks. “Falcon was easy to set up and put into place for our live stream.”
EEG’s AI-powered Lexi is the premier cloud-hosted automatic captioning service. With its ability to deliver over 95% accuracy in English, Spanish, and French for many common media types, Lexi is optimal for improving compliance and accessibility on currently uncovered material. Lexi’s breakthrough Topic Models feature enables it to recognize topics, immerse itself in distinctive vocabulary, and observe context through the absorption of relevant web data unique to each implementation. With Topic Models and its new AI-driven Core Models feature, Lexi performs in real-time with a higher degree of accuracy than previous speech-to-text systems.
“Lexi’s accuracy was very good, and Topic Models is extremely useful,” Brooks says. “If your production has participants with unusual names, or there are uncommon industry-specific terms, entering these custom words into Topic Models works beautifully.”
Eventage benefitted early on from EEG’s dedicated Technical Support team, which works closely with users to ensure that their closed captioning works exactly as expected. EEG’s Customer Success team builds on the relationship as their users’ needs expand. “The EEG support team is extremely helpful,” Brooks states. “If I have a question, before or during an event, I know that I’ll get an answer immediately.”
As virtual gatherings continue to grow in importance and sophistication, specialists like Eventage understand they must make virtual events ADA compliant with closed captioning. “If an event is taking place onsite, we provide ramps and other accommodations for people with disabilities,” says Brooks. “Why would we do any less for virtual events? Providing closed captioning for attendees who are hard of hearing is the inclusive way to produce virtual events. With the high-quality captioning of EEG’s Lexi and Falcon, we deliver exactly what our clients expect.”