National Institutes of Health
– 2002-present –
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) required assistance providing media communications services for its agencies and councils. NIH media events contain specific scientific and technical language that requires a high level of specialized skill to reproduce. NIH needed a firm that could provide a high level of accuracy to meet its Section 508 requirements at a reasonable price. NIH also required administrative support for scheduling captioners who could cover up to 30 total hours of audio a day.
NCC was able to provide NIH with a full package of services to meet their needs, ranging from remote, real-time, and onsite transcription and captioning services all the way to post production editing services. After events were recorded, NCC offered video digitization and duplication services. For maximum flexibility, NCC provided post production captioning in QuickTime, RealPlayer, Windows Media and Flash formats. To keep work organized, NCC designated a single Client Manager to handle all contract scheduling, invoicing, and customer service calls. Additionally, NCC was able to provide translation services in a variety of languages including Arabic, French, and Spanish.
At the present NIH remains one of NCC’s largest clients and we continue to provide service levels over 99 percent with regard to deadlines and start times. We maintain real time captioning accuracy rates for scientific content over 97 percent, with over 1500 hours of events a year. In addition, our track record of success with NIH has led to individual contacts for similar services with HHS, CMS, FDA, and CDC.
U.S. Department of Defense Joint Forces Headquarters Command (JFHQ)
– 2007 –
The U.S. Department of Defense Joint Forces Headquarters Command (JFHQ) was interested in designing and building a multi-purpose conference room suite that could be operated from within the room or aided by an operator located in an adjacent control room. The audiovisual and integration project was defined by several design challenges, including a low ceiling height (8’3”) and a particularly deep conference room (approximately 60’). Customized front projection systems and auxiliary LCD displays were needed to facilitate viewing for people seated at the conference room table and for participants in the rear of the conference room. The adjacent control room also needed customization and automation.
NCC’s audiovisual and voice-to-text experts surveyed the space to determine the best equipment to meet JFHQ’s conference needs. The following equipment was installed:
- Two HD-quality cameras and a Tandberg 6000 MXP video conference system for VTC capability, configured to support multiple levels of classification on both IP and ISDN;
- A Biamp AudiaFlex audio mixing system that provides distributed echo cancellation and active noise reduction to minimize ambient room noise;
- A Crestron remote control system with an 8” Wi-Fi touch panel for in-room remote control and a 12” tilt touch panel, providing complete room control for an operator located in the control room; and,
- Three LED signs to provide staff information regarding the status of the space.
NCC’s efficient work resulted in the upgrade completed in time for full operation and utilization at high level meetings in December 2007. All work was completed on time and within budget despite the condensed schedule, and JFHQ personnel reported significant improvements of their communication channels.
National Science Foundation, Office of International Science and Engineering
– 2011 –
The National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program needed assistance with logistics support for the PIRE Principal Investigators Meeting. This is an annual meeting of the 50 grantees of awarded projects. The meeting is designed to allow the grantees to share strategies and learn from each other as well as strengthen international research and education collaboration. The meeting was comprised of Principal Investigators, Co-Principal Investigators, and Administrators of the grants. This is the first time that NSF used a contractor; all this work was previously done by NSF staff.
In late 2010, NCC was contracted to provide meeting support to include the following:
- Site selection and contract negotiations;
- Secure meeting space and hotel guest rooms;
- Logistics coordination;
- Development of meeting website;
- Creation of registration database and online form;
- Development of registration fee for participants;
- Meeting promotions and communications with participants;
- Development and reproduction of meeting materials;
- Travel support for up to 15 invited guests traveling from locations throughout the United States;
- On-site meeting support and registration services; and
- Distribution of participant reimbursements.
NCC developed a timeline to track the deliverables and created a project schedule for all of the tasks involved. Prior to the event, audiovisual equipment was secured to include LCD projectors, screens, and microphones in each room. All equipment was set up, tested and operational before each meeting. The NCC team provided on-site support to include registration and logistics support beginning on Monday, 2/14/11 through Wednesday, February 2/16/11. All meeting-related tasks were completed early, where possible, or on time.
The client was very pleased with the overall outcome of the meeting. NCC negotiated with an outside audio visual provider in order to offer the client a substantial savings over the typical charges associated with using the in-house audio visual provider at a hotel. Following the meeting, participants were given an evaluation and NSF received favorable comments on the level of professionalism that was brought to the meeting by having a contractor present. It also allowed the NSF employees to concentrate on the program and have more interaction with the participant than in years past.
On September 30, 2009, the National Institutes of Health awarded NCC a contract to provide Conference and Event Planning services for their first ever Industry Day conference for small businesses. The purpose of the event was to encourage relationships between various NIH Institutes and Centers and small businesses from around the United States.
Throughout the course of planning the 2010 Industry Day conference, NCC’s Conference Planners constantly adjusted to NIH’s evolving requests. While the conference was initially planned for March 2010, NIH rescheduled the event for June in order to better fit its internal schedule. NCC was able to shift reservations, staffing schedules, and budgets in order to hold the event 3 months later.
As the June 2010 Industry Day approached, we increased the number of staff assigned to supporting the contract. Consequently, when NIH requested for NCC to create a welcome package for Industry Day guests with only 2.5 weeks left to design the collateral, engage vendors, and provide drafts of these items to NIH, we completed the task on time and within budget. The 2010 Industry Day package included tote bags, an informational book that included the conference agenda and biographies of VIP attendees, notepads, folders, and pens.
The results of NCC’s efforts included the following:
- Successful lodging and conference cost negotiations with the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center;
- Utilization of our own A/V equipment and personnel to save the government over $2,000;
- Attendance of over 700 individuals, including representatives from 400 small businesses and 150 government representatives;
- Active participation in formal networking sessions that matched NIH Project Officers and Procurement staff with small businesses; and,
- Project execution on time and within budget.
Upon successful execution of NIH’s inaugural Industry Day Event on June 8, 2010, key NIH stakeholders provided positive feedback about the event and informally requested NCC’s services for future Industry Day events.
Charlie Rose (PBS Show)
– 2006-present –
Charlie Rose required verbatim transcripts of daily interviews within 30 minutes of the interview’s end. The editors and producers of the show needed a transcript that made it easy to not only distinguish between Charlie Rose and the interviewees but also to quickly and accurately identify portions of the dialogue that needed to be edited. Segments often aired on PBS within 3 hours after completion of taping. The show’s previous transcription provider was unable to: a) produce the highly accurate transcript required in a timely manner, and b) correctly identify speakers from the remote broadcast with a measure of reliability.
NCC developed a transcription process utilizing an editor at a central location in contact with the show’s producers and transcribers in various remote locations. The editor and transcribers collaborate to develop a comprehensive lexicon to cover the show’s general interest topics and work together in real time to produce and deliver a verbatim transcript. Specific subject matter expertise includes: international and American politics, literature, art, and entertainment. Transcription accuracy and service levels (with regard to deadlines and start times) increased to 99 percent. NCC is responsible for the increased efficiency for producers in editing segments before final airing and provides Charlie Rose with reliable availability to accommodate unpredictable taping schedules.
U.S. Department of Defense, Washington Headquarters Service (WHS)
– 2008 –
The WHS required the services of a multimedia integration company to upgrade 16 conference rooms in the Pentagon Library Center by furnishing the necessary labor, materials, equipment, business approach and strategy to support the multimedia design, implementation and support project. Additional support needs included hardware and software purchase, installation, configuration and testing, integration support services, programming services, documentation, and acceptance testing. Project management included interfacing with other stakeholder and technical personnel to include the WHS ITMD, General Dynamics, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Information Technology Agency, and Defense Information Systems Agency.
Our project plan generation included all project milestones and an associated schedule. We provided the workforce to design, install, configure, test, and maintain WHS multimedia systems. NCC installed and programmed accepted software and configurations on the WHS network and was responsible for the maintenance of user manuals using configuration and change management best practices. Additionally, NCC provided status meetings, reports and system documentation, training of end users on the management software and conducted “train-the-trainer” instruction as required, and on-call troubleshooting, maintenance and repair support.
In the end, NCC upgraded all 16 conference rooms with vastly improved multimedia and video teleconference capabilities. All work was completed on time and within budget. We expanded services to support video teleconference network at WHS and improved the overall communication channels for WHS personnel.
The NIH recognizes there are daunting scientific challenges and the need for foundational work before more definitive work on the science of behavior change can be pursued. A planning meeting to prepare for a trans-NIH conference on the science of behavior change (SOBC) was proposed to ensure that larger Roadmap activities are productive and generate transformative research that meets the goals of the Roadmap development effort.
NCC was responsible for the development of the SOBC Planning Meeting Agenda in conjunction with over 15 NIH IC representatives. Additionally, NCC liaised with hotel staff regarding guest room accommodations, meeting rooms and facilities, and refreshments. We coordinated with 11 invited experts regarding travel arrangements and reimbursements and selecting local restaurants and menus for working lunch and dinner sites. In preparation for the meeting, NCC coordinated with an independent audiovisual vendor to set up microphones and sound systems in the meeting rooms. After the meeting, NCC developed a robust meeting summary to capture recommendations for larger trans-NIH conference in June 2009 and was subsequently awarded a contract to provide logistics and executive secretariat support for the June SOBC meeting, which brought together over 150 invited experts and NIH scientists for a two-day meeting on the science’s next steps.