Asia-Pacific convention venues harness modern technology to create stellar event experiences. We discover cutting-edge navigation systems, advanced communication support, and sniff out what else is on the horizon
Adelaide Convention Centre
Technology Prowess: Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) has indicated that with its investment of more than A$15 million (US$10.5 million) into technology over the past three years, it is now one of the world’s most modern and technologically advanced meetings and events venues, with significant redevelopment in Audiovisual Technology.
Key upgrades have been made to the venue’s audio, lighting, visual and signal distribution systems to enhance events as immersive experiences. This includes larger HD screens to a cutting-edge X80 Spyder image processor, the first-of-its-kind to be fitted to an Australian venue, and LED lighting.
An expert in-house technology planning team is also on hand to customise solutions for individual clients. This team continuously monitors industry trends and new technologies to ensure the venue remains at the forefront of the industry. The ACC has also invested heavily in its tech team over the past year, growing its staff by about 20 per cent, and employing a dedicated technology innovation & planning manager.
Spacial flexibility is another significant feature. The combination of hinged seating, operable walls and the world’s largest rotating drums (two revolving auditoriums) enable the venue’s main Plenary Hall to be arranged into more than 15 different configurations.
Technology Prowess: As a revitalised building, ICC Sydney has prioritised investments to provide technologically enhanced meetings, supported by a dedicated on-site technology team. A Digital Media Suite provides sophisticated production opportunities from content creation, still and full motion graphics and visual displays, to video and audio recording and editing.
The centre also boasts a high density wireless network designed to support transient user patterns, allowing for the creation of event experiences that meet inspired imagination. There’s also a Speaker Preparation Centre which provides optimal technical facilities for event preparation and a hub where speakers can familiarise themselves with the venue’s meeting room ICT infrastructure.
Digital infrastructure comes complete with a comprehensive cybersecurity management platform, plus dedicated bandwidth options to scale from a single user connection to group packages with unlimited data use and personalised support for attendees. The high-speed connectivity supports thousands of simultaneous users. As an example, the recent Sibos event had 7,000 concurrent Wi-Fi users – all with 100 per cent up time connectivity and the exhibition featured multiple interactive zones with live activations, which included custom audiovisual setups that catered for each individual stage.
There’s also complimentary high-speed public Wi-Fi with 980 access points throughout the venue. – Adelaine Ng
Technology prowess: Pacifico Yokohama in Nishi-ku, Yokohama, is consistently named as the best business events facility in Japan.
The convention centre has placed the highest priority on delivering a cutting-edge communication environment that includes easy-access Wi-Fi and a high-speed communications network. This will be extended into the adjacent Pacifico Yokohama North wing when it opens in the spring of 2020. The latest addition to the facility will cover approximately 47,000m² and include the largest multipurpose hall in Japan, with capacity for 6,000 people. Other levels on the new six-floor facility will have 42 conference and meeting rooms.
For users, Pacifico has the most modern video and visual equipment available, as well as digital signage. The security of delegates is a high priority, with an advanced surveillance system monitoring the entire area and IC card keys in use throughout the facility. Pacifico is also proud of its green credentials and has LED lighting and a system that recycles fully 93 per cent of the industrial waste generated at the site.
On the horizon: Pacifico is planning to increase the high-speed communications capabilities within its facilities, including seamless links with Pacifico Yokohama North, but is also committed to limiting its environmental footprint through reducing material costs and efficient use of energy, including through a co-generation system that recycles and makes effective use of waste heat.
Osaka International Business Center
Technology prowess: With nearly 73,000m² of exhibition space, Osaka International Business Center (INTEX Osaka) is the third-largest facility of its kind in Japan and has been selected to host a two-day summit in late June that is the culmination of the first Group of 20 nations’ meetings to be held in Japan.
The latest addition to the exhibition centre’s facilities is the VIP Finder, a support solution created with the business events sector in mind that provides access control, navigation within a facility, improved accuracy of business matching and evaluation reporting throughout the duration of the event. Based on the Genavis positioning platform, VIP Finder takes its location cues from numerous positioning sensors located throughout the venue, giving it an accuracy within a couple of dozen centimetres. One of the features of the system is in-house navigation that allows individuals to find each other on a plan of the exhibition centre and meet each other.
The system also enables users to search for other visitors’ locations and, using mapping technology, will guide a user to the location of another individual. It increases efficiency and reduces the time it takes to locate other people, while also providing extensive feedback to organisers in the form of heat maps that identify where visitors to an event spent the most time, bar charts that show how long visitors spent in specific areas of the event, and visual diagrams of the relationships between different areas of the event based on the movement of delegates.
On the horizon: In cooperation with the Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau, INTEX Osaka will launch the Osaka Free Wi-Fi service for foreign visitors who are not signed up for Japanese Wi-Fi providers in August. The unlimited and free internet access service will be available at approximately 5,000 locations throughout the city, including major stations, while a “lite” version will limit access to four hours a day. – Julian Ryall
COEX Convention & Exhibition Center
Technology prowess: With connectivity now a must for events, Coex in Seoul offers free public Wi-Fi for visitors and event attendees. For events that require a more sophisticated high-tech touch, the venue also houses a dedicated in-house technology service provider.
Last year, Coex worked with the Korea Tourism Organization to shoot and launch a virtual reality (VR) simulation of the centre and its surroundings, enabling planners to remotely view and tour specific event spaces in Coex. The VR tour explores all four exhibition halls and 55 meeting rooms, the entire internal layout of the centre, as well as its surrounding cluster facilities, such as Coex’s hotels.
Also enhanced last year were 15 meeting rooms in the Conference Room North section, which were fitted with features such as programmable digital information displays, fingerprint scanning door locks for registered event organisers and door cameras that allow clients to view if the room is occupied.
And, as part of its green initiative to promote sustainable practices, Coex has installed charging stations for electric vehicles on its rooftop parking lot. – Pamela Chow