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Case Study: COP28 - Dubai

In the rapidly evolving landscape of virtual communication, the integration of hybrid and streaming technologies has become paramount for organisations seeking to enhance their meeting experiences and lower their carbon footprint.

COP28, the largest climate summit in history (at time of writing), was a pivotal global event that brought together almost 86,000 national leaders, civil servants, industry stakeholders and scientific experts to address the pressing environmental challenges and advance international cooperation on climate change.

Taking place in Dubai, COP28 represented a critical juncture in the ongoing efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. With a focus on fostering dialogue, collaboration and action between the 86,000 participants, COP28 served as a global platform for countries to negotiate and implement policies to drive meaningful progress towards a low-carbon, resilient world.

As the world looked towards Dubai for meaningful outcomes and ambitious commitments to shape the future of our planet, Blue Elephant was tasked with delivering hybrid and streaming services for the 60 negotiation spaces of the inner Blue Zone of the COP28 site; ensuring that the 2,089 virtual delegates could seamlessly participate in the meetings and that the tens of thousands of viewers around the world could follow each of the many daily discussions, without interruption, in their own native tongue.

Following on from their work as both hardware & engineering partner for COP26 in Glasgow, Blue Elephant played a crucial role in ensuring seamless and engaging interactions for both on-site and remote participants, pushing technological boundaries in terms of both scale and complexity to achieve groundbreaking outcomes and setting a new standard for truly global hybrid event execution.

The Challenge

The Blue Zone at COP28 was an area within the conference venue where official negotiations and meetings took place amongst top government delegates, representatives of international organisations and other key stakeholders. Restricted solely to accredited participants, the Blue Zone served as the primary space for discussing and negotiating climate agreements and policies, where key decisions were made regarding global climate action and commitments.

Blue Elephant delivered the hybrid and streaming solution for all 60 meeting rooms within this classified zone, ensuring the smooth running of up to 500 meetings per day using a system capable of hosting up to 400 concurrent streams at any one time, beamed all across the globe in real-time and in multiple languages to facilitate the negotiations and to ensure seamless participation in the discussions - whether the delegate was in-room or taking part remotely. To achieve this Blue Elephant took streams from numerous translators in these negotiation spaces and embedded these into the individual calls and streams; with each of these meetings being centrally operated and archived remotely from Blue Elephant's on-site Digital Operations Centre.

The Technology

Topping the COP27 summit by some 35,000 attendees, across the vast 438-hectare Expo City site, a total of 83,884 in-person and 2,089 virtual delegates, representing nations from the four corners of the globe, came together to shape international climate policy under the attentive gaze of the 103,515 unique viewers watching the streams in real-time.

By creating cutting-edge software solutions and leveraging their expertise in hybrid event production, Blue Elephant facilitated hundreds of simultaneous, impactful and inclusive hybrid meetings that transcended geographical boundaries. Engineered, coded and built back at Elephant House, Blue Elephant's UK Headquarters just outside of London, 4 shipping containers and untold flight cases packed with state-of-the-art hybrid hardware traveled some 2,972 nautical miles to Dubai in the months running up to the international summit.

These self-contained and highly-mobile racks, switches, nodes and servers were designed to effectively be plug-and-play on arrival; with only a few peripheral devices to be used alongside. Each flight case packed an eye-watering amount of processing power as well as Blue Elephant's custom, pre-loaded software to ensure that each component integrated securely and seamlessly within the wider network.

One of the many standout features of this unique set-up was its powerful software-defined engine, which allowed Blue Elephant's Lead Engineers to fine-tune and evolve individual processes as the project's demands changed.

The successful execution of the hybrid and streaming services at COP28 in Dubai by Blue Elephant marked a significant milestone in the realm of global climate summits. With a focus on fostering dialogue, collaboration and action among the 86,000 participants, COP28 served as a pivotal platform for countries to negotiate and implement policies aimed at driving meaningful progress towards a low-carbon, resilient world.

Blue Elephant's innovative approach to delivering seamless and engaging interactions for both on-site and remote participants not only pushed technological boundaries but also set a new standard for hybrid international event execution. By leveraging cutting-edge software solutions and their in-house expertise in hybrid event production, Blue Elephant demonstrated the power of technology in advancing international cooperation on climate change and shaping the future of our planet.


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