On Saturday, September 15, 2018, Total Webcasting streamed the 61st German-American Steuben Parade in New York City, reaching an audience that stretched across the world. While the webcast was obviously very popular here in the United States and in Germany, thousands of viewers tuned in from over 500 different cities, including locations in Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, Norway, even places as diverse as Thailand, Libya, and the Maldives!
This was the fourth consecutive German-American Steuben Parade that we webcasted, and it was remarkably successful. Unlike many of our typical webcasts, the parade requires more than one technician onsite. When police shut down Fifth Avenue to vehicular traffic, there is a small window of time before the parade commences when our technicians can safely run cabling across the street, which is much more easily accomplished with a small team. Furthermore, during the parade, one technician operates the TW MediacartTM while a second controls and maneuvers a camera boom, used to capture sweeping shots of the passing floats, musicians, classic German automobiles, and other folks marching in the parade.
At last year’s parade, a gentleman approached us during the webcast with a request. His friend in Germany was watching the webcast, and he wanted to surprise her by appearing onscreen. Our technicians worked together to capture the man on camera for a few seconds during a lull between passing floats. The gentleman returned a few minutes later, gushing about how his friend, halfway around the globe in Germany, had seen him “on TV” and how happy it had made them both.
The same gentleman attended this year’s parade, and once again approached our technicians about getting a tiny bit of screentime. This year, however, he had a companion in tow, the very friend who had seen him on last year’s webcast. They had other acquaintances back in Germany, they said, and hoped to send a little greeting via the webcast. We obliged them.
This uplifting little tale demonstrates the power and reach of webcasting. Our work can bring people together, even if they’re currently standing on opposite sides of the planet. For the worldwide audience of the 61st German-American Steuben Parade, and for our freund (friend), webcasting makes the world smaller, rendering great distances irrelevant.
Interested in seeing the parade—the people in traditional German attire, lively floats, talented performances, classic Volkswagens, and all the other sights—for yourself? You can view it here anytime!