today a conference I am running has an audio dial in. for those not in the know, this means that I've connected my sound desk to a telephone line and dialled it into a conference call so that bank workers all around the world can log in and listen to the meeting.
there is also a similar facility where people can log into a website to watch the PowerPoint slides I am sending out.
a section of this meeting had a slide show showing the department's achievements for the year, while playing the theme tune from Mission Impossible.
half way through this section, the events girl (who has spent all morning coming back and forth every 2 minutes to ask me questions like "can I dial a normal phone number on a phone?") came and said she'd just had an email from someone listening in on the conference:
HER: the people on the phones are saying they can only hear music.
ME: that's because we're playing music. there's nothing else going on.
HER: but they're saying they can't see anything on the phones.
HER: yes, they can't see anything.
ME: on the phone?
HER: they can't see anything on the phone. can you make sure it's working?
ME: I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean. do you mean they can't see the slides?
HER: I guess so. hmmm.
ME: have they logged into the slideshow website?
HER: on the phone?
ME: on their computers. they need to do that. they had an email explaining it all to them.
HER: oh. maybe they haven't done that.
ME: I expect so. could you get them to do that, if they look at what I'm broadcasting they might be able to see it.
HER: ... and then they'll be able to see?
HER: ... the presenter?
ME: the slide show.
HER: oh. so they won't see the presenter?
ME: no. we don't have cameras in this room.
HER: do you need them? can you just put it on the computer?
ME: I'm afraid not. to get a camera shot of the presenter, you need a camera.
HER: so what will they see?
ME: the slides.
HER: but they need to log in to the website for them?
ME: yes. they were all sent log-in details via email.
HER: does that not happen automatically when they dial in on their phone?
ME: no. their phones and their computers are separate pieces of equipment.
[she gets out her blackberry]
HER: oh. I've just had an email saying that some of the others can't hear anything.
ME: are they dialled in on the phone line?
[she goes away and returns a few minutes later]
HER: do they need to do that as well?
[she disappears again]
while she is away I send an email out to anyone online informing them of the correct phone number.
shortly after I start hearing loads of people dialling into the call.
HER: people can hear now.
these are the people who run your bank. these are the people who're in charge of your money and the world economy.