March 2021 saw Gravity Media engaged by Turningpoint Solutions, the broadcast producer of the Australian Labor Party’s 2021 Special Platform Conference. Gravity Media facilitated the event with a turnkey fly away solution on location.
The Australian Labor Party’s 2021 Special Platform Conference was Australia’s first truly national and local party conference, with live links across the country, live online voting and the introduction of evening sessions packed with a rich combination of real stories, passionate speeches, and great entertainment.
Gone were the fixed platforms and dusty rooms. On came an energetic and modern format that combined real democracy with genuine local engagement. It allowed a real and immediate connection between political leaders, activists and the general public linked with the theme “On your side”.
Highlights included a barnstorming speech from Anthony Albanese as well as live dance from the NT dance company, music from Jimmy Barnes and up and coming singer Gordi, all hosted by TV presenter Samantha Lane. The conference linked to UK Labour leader Keir Starmer and to former ALP leaders with a strong message of solidarity.
It was the first time an event of this kind has been held in Australia and in its’ use of tech and interactivity was the first of its kind in the world.
The event was driven by the Australian Labor Party’s National Secretary, Paul Erickson, and his team in the ALP National Secretariat. They brought in Peter Pecotić from Turning Point Solutions and Mark Lucas and Dom Minghella from London based campaigners Lucas/Minghella to build the format and deliver the event.
This bold approach produced results, reaching more than two hundred thousand people, and attracted huge social media interaction, with impressions across Twitter, Instagram and TikTok numbering in the millions.
- Increase in Australian Labor’s reach on Facebook: 60%.
- Live tweeting impressions: 1.5 million compared to 100k the previous week.
- Instagram likes: up 300% compared with the last conference.
- Number of people experiencing the conference as a first-hand event: 200,000 – 100 times the attendance of the last conference.
Paul Erickson said, “Labor has held more than 60 National Conferences over our 130 year history, but none of them have been anything like this. Our Online Special Platform Conference demonstrated how Labor is ready to change and adapt for a new era, while maintaining our passionately held values. Labor has a mission to be on the side of every Australian and to offer them a better future, and this unique event allowed us to engage people in every state and territory in a conversation about what sort of country we want Australia to be after COVID. The Conference showed that we are a forward-looking party with a renewed energy and determination.”
Peter Pecotic said, “It’s such an honour to develop and deliver such a ground-breaking event. I’ve always believed that we must constantly innovate and try new things. This was the perfect opportunity to take Labor values, which I believe in deeply, and project them in a new format. I look forward to developing this new approach even further with other unions and progressive parties around the world”
Mark Lucas said, “We are proud to be part of something truly new and innovative. Future elections will be won by parties who are prepared to genuinely and honestly engage with the electorate and the ALP is doing just that”
Peter had previously worked on successful online events for the NSW Party and for the Eden Monaro By election along with political and corporate campaigns over the last 20 years. Mark Luas has worked on over 20 national election campaigns around the word including 3 successive wins for Tony Blair, and Dom Minghella has written for major TV programmes as well as political campaigns.
Peter brought in leading TV Director Todd Decker who had the task of linking the speeches, contributions from local members, international links, music and performances into one seamless show. In turn they brought in Gravity media who were given the task of live linking to 150 delegates in every corner of the country. Pecotić, on reccomendation from industry colleague Gane Djukić, brought in Lumi Global to manage the live real time voting system.
Campaign Edge, led by Dee Madigan produced a series of compelling videos that took the event to a new level.
Labor Party CTO Dennis Perry and Kim Richardson of Viewdale IT ensured the IT platforms were well integrated and secure. They developed a user experience that had the least tech savvy delegate able to easily and securely register, speak to conference, access all relevant information and vote. Perry also ensured complimenting the venue IT infrastructure to handle the amount of data traffic necessary to achieve this online conference.
A short film of the making of the event can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/542325608