Covid vaccines are on the horizon, but most observers agree that virtual and hybrid formats will dominate the association-meeting landscape through the winter and spring, and play a key role in content delivery even after the pandemic subsides. Convention centers are adapting by building out turnkey studios where organizations can livestream events or pre-record presentations in a professional environment.
Convention-center broadcast studios began popping up this past summer and fall. We reported here on new spaces at America’s Center in St. Louis; the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.; Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center; New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Center; Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center; Baltimore Convention Center; ExCeL London; and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The trend continues with five other recent announcements:
• The David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh opened The Confluence (left) on November 20. The customizable event studio works in conjunction with the facility’s partner companies: Three Rivers Entertainment, which has experience executing virtual, hybrid, and recorded productions; and showNets, the center’s dedicated telecommunications provider.
• Visit Salt Lake announced the selection of Cornerstone and Modern Expo & Events to design, build, and equip its new Visit Salt Lake Broadcast Center. The VSL Broadcast Center will be located in the Visitors’ Center of the Salt Palace Convention Center and is scheduled to be ready in the first quarter of 2021.
• Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center is also preparing a new digital broadcast studio to open in early 2021. The OCCC Executive Studio, which will be located in the West Building, will include the equipment needed for virtual and hybrid meeting production, including a room with a stage and classroom-style seating to accommodate physically distanced attendees.
• In late November, Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center in Vienna, Austria, announced the opening of a 2,045-square-foot broadcast studio in the Congress Center. Highlights include 4K-camera technology, a curved LED screen, and a control room for producing virtual or hybrid events.
• In October, the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau and Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center introduced Long Beach Live, a digital-first approach to the LBCEC campus that encourages virtual and hybrid conventions and events. Recent upgrades include increased bandwidth capabilities, new lighting, remote-controlled robotic cameras, and added production and editing space. All sales and service staff at the Long Beach CVB have received their Digital Event Strategist certification from the Professional Convention Management Association.