The technical infrastructure for an event often has unimaginable dimensions: 100 semi-trailer loads of material for The Next Case
The obvious demand for it to run smoothly borders on megalomania.
Imagine 10,000 people bustling around a venue in three different halls, each as big as three football stadiums. The light should be pleasant and not tiring, the audio equipment must be melodic, not irritating. 200-480 people in each of the 28 forums should be able to communicate with each other online via a news room, simultaneously, in different languages, with picture and sound, and synchronously. Everything must be managed centrally. And it has to keep working when the 28 moderators take decentralised control in the various forums.
Such an undertaking would have been unthinkable until recently. People would have said it borders on megalomania. Only the absolute state of the art event technology has enabled a functioning dialogue plus at this level. A conceptually intelligent approach and meticulous and detailed planning are crucial for its success.
The question is central and solution for the task is crucial:
How do you manage to work with 10,000 people in a huge hall while creating sonorous and pleasant room acoustics?
For The Next Case sonication was installed via the loudspeaker for the common content and simultaneous receivers were used for the decentralised content for each employee. With the central Revox special console all signals converged and were forwarded as required to the speaker system or the simultaneous system. The banners and the carpet had an additional acoustic effect. The walls of the hall were also completely hung with black Molton. This measure created an extremely pleasant room atmosphere in which all participants felt comfortable.
Light has an enormous influence on people, light can have a pleasantly stimulating effect, but light can also be irritating and tiring. What needs to be considered for a lighting concept, and is it also possible to provide individual light spaces in large halls and guide people’s attention?
For The Next Case the development of a sophisticated lighting design concept was indispensable. The banners and ceiling were the central supports for the light. By adjusting the colours the entire area was illuminated appropriately for the current programme area. In a priorities-illumination of the ceiling, the participants experienced the actual size of the hall and also took in the other forums and people. In contrast, for the illumination of the banner and forums the room in which the participants found themselves was small and the intimacy of a forum was felt. With light animation visitors’ attention was directed back to the stage, and only with the use of light was it possible to lead the moderation and make the programme self-explanatory for the participants.
At any major event, faultless communication for organisers and employees is essential. What needs to be considered to not lose the overview with this complexity?
Communication between the organising committee and helpers are the backbone of a successful event. At The Next Case we relied on the installation of a wired and wireless intercom communication system from Riedel. Riedel does not only have the necessary material for this, it supports this sort of project with the necessary expertise to establish an efficient radio concept and a powerful event headquarters.
Today, video is highly complex, as is the technology for it, and operating it has become fully automated. Does this mean almost anyone can take videos? Is that true? And is it possible to play 30 HD video signals at the right time in the right place?
It’s not so easy: For the media server alone, you have to build your own machine room. Everything can be controlled and distributed from there. For The Next Case additional back up machines could be switched on as required. The synchronously running audio channels were fed directly into the audio network and managed from there. Each forum and the frameless LCD wall in the newsroom could thus play the right content at any time. All this together is then simple … sure!
It’s one thing if you want to say something to everyone. It’s quite another to say something to everyone at the same time. What does it take for centrally managed media control to work just as well when 28 moderators in different forums take control completely decentralised?
The solution is a customised, central show control that can control the lighting, sound, and video. The director has the main control and activates the touchscreens in the forums for the moderators as necessary. After this they only monitor it; control commands come directly from the corresponding forum. The Next Case guarantees absolute freedom in the forums for total control of all processes.
It’s not possible, it’s not! How to create redundant, flexible distribution that can be monitored for all audio, video, lighting, and control signals?
Entirely new paths must be forged for this. For The Next Case the solution was found by installing a sophisticated fibre network that distributes all the signals in the space. Riedel Mediornet was the absolute ideal product for this. Permanent monitoring, the high flexibility, and the quality were completely compelling.
How is the material from 100 semi-trailer loads built in a few days?
It is a combination of logistics and time, and unlike a fixed or tangible construction that is assembled by means of existing instructions, here the confrontation with unpredictable obstacles is omnipresent. Good management alone is not enough, experience and careful planning are the alpha and omega of a successful event construction site. This requires a sophisticated management structure and competent building management. Meticulous and detailed construction schedules and regular checks and arrangements throughout the assembly and disassembly are necessary for success.
Connecting a fixed infrastructure requires very solid knowledge. An event, however, is temporary, many contact points are movable and modules are interchangeable. How can an event be successfully networked?
At an event long test phases are not on the programme, but ideas that are continually in movement play a major role. Planning may seem to have more freedom through the necessary flexibility – but this is not so. A tight timeframe and a fixed budget require planning an elaborate IT network on which everything can be implemented and monitored: Light protocols, control commands, Internet access, and even audio signals are exchanged via a modern event network. Serious planning is imperative and calls for a flexible, high-performance system that supports the entire event. Here, too, the fibre optic network Mediornet by Riedel is the way to go.
Who doesn’t know about the frequency jungle with all its intersections, prohibitions, and commandments, shortcomings and sudden incidents and errors. It’s like Monday morning traffic: Everyone seems to be in everyone’s way. How to create fault-free wireless operation at an event?
Each frequency has to be recorded and assigned. In addition to the radios, it is primarily the wireless microphones and wireless cameras that can interfere with each other considerably if planning is poor.
There is nothing that would be more embarrassing: The most modern infrastructure and hippest of all hip hardware and software … and then zero content, no movement, nothing …! How to bring movement and excitement to a website with text, videos, and operating functions for 10,000 participants?
It is no different for technology than for the concept of content. We need reliable partners and proven systems that detect and prevent all kinds of problems in advance. At The Next Case extensive testing and constant monitoring has led to more than 6,000 devices simultaneously being viewed on the website videos specially made for the event and polls have been conducted without generating bottlenecks. Security was also guaranteed to the desired extent at all times.