As technology becomes more integrated into business, it has also become an expectation at event venues. Whether you are hosting a corporate retreat, coordinating a product launch event, or are gathering together the best in the industry for a large-scale trade show, it is critical the venue have the connectivity you need to create an event worth remembering.
For those who are looking for high-tech venues in a range of sizes or locations, here is a list (in no particular order) of some of the best offerings across the United States.
Kansas City Convention Center – Kansas City, MO
Offering up to 800,000 of total square footage between its spaces, the Kansas City Convention Center can host anything from large exhibits to smaller meetings. The Conference Center alone can be divided into up to 19 rooms, with sound-proof dividing walls and individual temperature controls.
Spaces feature advanced sound systems and variable lighting options. High speed internet connectivity is available throughout, along with centralized taping capabilities for all involved spaces. Meeting rooms offer projection screens and data-powered A/V equipment. The Grand Ballroom is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified silver, and uses a daylighting system to automatically shift window coverings as the sun moves throughout the day.
Grand Hyatt – Seattle, WA
Featuring 25,000 square feet of event space, the Grand Hyatt Seattle has all of the high-tech equipment one could hope for in a destination. Full access to audiovisual equipment is provided, as well as access to high speed WiFi.
The 150 seat amphitheater features a single-point control system, allowing you to coordinate presentations with ease. Each of the including seats also features an Ethernet connection. This helps keep all of the audience members connected without having to worry about Wi-Fi speeds or cumbersome wiring.
All of the available spaces offer full sound controls with access to music, telephones, electrical and microphone outlets, and additional audiovisual equipment as needed. In-house audiovisual assistance is provided, allowing you to create a cutting-edge presentation without the added stress of having to figure out the equipment on your own.
Austin Convention Center – Austin, TX
For those who value technology and sustainability, the Austin Convention Center is LEED gold certified, making it full recognized as a green-built space. Conveniently located in downtown Austin, the building makes liberal use of glass to help bring the outdoors in, providing excellent views and preventing any space from feeling closed-in or disconnected.
The largest column-free exhibit space within the facility measures in at a whopping 247,052 square feet can be divided into five spaces, or used to house 1,289 10’ by 10’ booths for large trade shows and exhibits. Additional spaces are available to house smaller events, or spaces can be used in conjunction to cover a wider range of needs.
The building is gigabit-rated, and wireless Internet access is available for all hosted events. The internal infrastructure is capable of moving voice and data, including video, as a notable 1 billion bits a second. Support staff are provided, and network monitoring is provided 24/7. This allows the center to monitor issues of connectivity while the event planners focus on more pressing tasks.
OFFSITE – Downtown Manhattan, NYC, NY
If you are looking for a visually stunning space that also provides state-of-the-art technology, OFFSITE in downtown Manhattan is truly something to behold. The venue features three levels, providing natural division between different topics or tasks, and is furnished with modern décor.
The tech throughout the space is impressive, and boasts total connectivity. You have access to a full complement of A/V equipment, including the use of a fully synced multi-screened projection on five 60 to 80 inch 3D LED TVs. Digital smart boards, surround sound, iMacs and live music integration also come standard. Other standards, such as high-speed WiFi and video conferencing are also available, along with access to Halcon conference tables for a truly plug-and-play experience.
Access to three fully stocked kitchenettes is also provided, along with a dedicated on-call host to address any special requests. Additionally staff work throughout the space, but focus on being behind-the-scenes as to not disrupt activities. A selection of office supplies is also available, so you never have to worry about not being able to find a pen or paper.
Unlike some more traditional venues, OFFSITE isn’t afraid of a little color. While an industrial gray dominates most of the large surfaces, the art, furniture, and accessories lend the space a vibrant tone that is certain to keep energy levels high.
Moscone Center – San Francisco, CA
The Moscone Center provides completely turnkey audiovisual services supported by a wide inventory of the latest equipment. The sound system is integrated into the spaces, allowing all of the spaces to be coordinated collectively or separately. Digital signage can also be used to display critical information, direct traffic, or to recognize event sponsors. All of the audio and digital signage components can be accessed from a central control center, allowing changes to be made quickly when needed.
Webcasting services are available, allowing your event to be streamed live to the public. The stream can even be connected to your business website, allowing interested parties to access the feed without having to be directed to another service. On-site support can even work with your to create customized branding graphics to display with your feed.
Presentation materials can be stored on a central server, ensuring everything will be available when needed. The integrated pre-submission system even allows presenters to send the information for their presentation through a secure web portal, so they do not have to worry about forgetting any materials during their trip to the center.
Mandalay Bay Convention Center – Las Vegas, NV
No review of high-tech venues is complete without mentioning the home of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The facility has a stunning capacity, spread across multiple levels and spaces, and encompassing over 2 million usable square feet of space. The facility keeps a staff of 18 full-time Certified Meeting Professionals on staff to aid those interested in using the spaces.
The center uses various developments in green building and technology, including a large solar array to help offset the power demands of the facility, along with technology focused on conserving water and electricity. Menus for events can be comprised of 100% sustainable foods, as well as completely organic options.
The technology available in the convention center is in a continuous state of evolution, and boasts one of the highest capacity wireless LAN networks in the industry, capable of supporting up to 120,000 users concurrently. Fiber connectivity is also available, as well as broadcasting options through a satellite uplink or VyVx video streaming.
Technology is Ever-Evolving
Technology continues to grow and change, further permeating our business and personal lives. As the public’s expectations of technology expand, more venues will work to bring in the level of technology that is required to support this demand. In no time, some of the highlights listed here may become standard across the events industry, leaving us to wonder what next technological leap will come next.
Maybe, in a few years, you will be able to attend a conference through a VR headset, allowing you to walk through the venue without having to leave your home. Change is always on the horizon, and we look forward to helping you harness all that the future has to offer.
Featured Image credit: Official GDC ©2011 under a Creative Commons License
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