Background

Organised by Imago Techmedia, IP EXPO is now the biggest IT infrastructure and cloud event in the UK.  IP EXPO Europe 2017 took place at ExCeL and was co-located with two other shows, Cyber Security Expo and MACHINA Summit.AI.

IP EXPO Europe 2017 was the biggest show yet, attracting 15,593 visitors to the event, a 1% increase on 2016. Aztec has been involved in this large show since 2011.To give an idea of the scale, for the 2017 event, three articulated lorries full of equipment were required to transport the equipment to ExCeL. This was a 35% increase on equipment Aztec had provided in 2016. In addition, 29 technicians per day were used for the installation and 30 were on site throughout the show to address any issues and manage the theatres and all the other services we were providing.

The challenge

IP EXPO Europe’s objective was to grow the number of European and UK delegates. Their strategy was to deliver relevant, contentious and interesting topics through a new international keynote conference and associated seminars. Although this was not a new event for Aztec, the scale and complexity of the 2017 event was set to be a challenge.

At the planning stage Aztec began to realise the complexity of the task, simply due to the volume and variety of equipment that would be used. This included; audio visual services to all 21 seminar theatres including the keynote area, live video streaming, 6.1m wide front projection screen with 14k widescreen HD projector, digital signage, silent seminars, AV services to more than 150 exhibitors and a total of 180 wall mounted screens. This would need 30 technicians per day all under Aztec’s management.

The highlight of the IP Expo Europe event was to be the keynote speaker Prof. Brian Cox OBE, the world renowned physicist. Imago advised Aztec that registration to attend this presentation had already exceeded the capacity of the theatre.  To cope with this exceptional demand, the organisers decided to stream the speech live to another 20 theatre areas at the show. Using its video streaming system, Aztec ensured that the maximum number of delegates could enjoy this important presentation.

To deliver the best experience of the keynote speech, the speaker needed to be visible to all delegates, irrespective of their position in the room.  After evaluating the lighting conditions within the venue, Aztec decided the best solution would be use front projection using one of its high power HD projectors to feed a 6.1metre wide screen.  Combined with a carefully positioned sound system, Aztec’s technicians ensured everybody could hear and see everything.

The remaining 20 theatres were smaller and required a smaller projection screen to create the same effect. The lack of space clearly meant that in order to achieve the best image quality, rear projection would be the best solution.  Although there was the issue of some theatres being placed on the show floor, creating a noise pollution issue, this was not a problem for the Aztec team. They simply installed their Silent Seminar solution, providing perfect audio quality to attendees – this utilised over 120 headsets.

However, the sheer number of theatres required a sophisticated way to disseminate information to attendees. Aztec used their EventIgnite platform to display the theatre agenda and centrally control all the information being shown on the 22 screens. This bespoke software was able to combine the agenda with high-impact sponsored adverts to drive attendees to exhibitor stands. In total an impressive 11,040 adverts were displayed across the two full two days of the show.

The large number of theatres and speakers also meant that managing the organiser’s presentations and distributing them to the correct laptop, in the correct room, was going to be a demanding task. In response to this challenge, Aztec installed a file server to automate this service and allowed speakers to add last minute changes to their presentation in the ‘Speaker Ready room’.

Result

‘Impressive’

All of these elements combined meant the show was an outstanding success on all levels. IP EXPO Europe was a large show in terms of equipment installed and services provided to the organiser. Its smooth running was much appreciated by the event organisers:

Mindy Crosby, Head of Operations at Imago Techmedia sang the praises of Aztec after the show, saying “Aztec mobilised an army of technicians to deliver superb AV services right across the show. I was impressed by how well they managed a very complex project, proving they have the capacity and bandwidth to service the most demanding events”

Furthermore, Aztec has proved once again that they can rise to the challenge and manage any event, be it big, small or huge!

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