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On the Road to Recovery: OCCC, DLCC & MCCNO

by H.K. Wilson

OCCC Launches New Innovative Virtual Executive Studio

OCCC new studioThe Orange County Convention Center announced the launch of its new state-of-the-art digital broadcast center for hybrid conventions and tradeshows, the OCCC Executive Studio.

Conventions and tradeshows of every size can access digital equipment solutions to produce innovative and scalable hybrid events. Developed in partnership with LMG, the OCCC’s on-site preferred audiovisual partners since 1998, the OCCC Executive Studio will allow customers to execute their event remotely, while connecting to their audiences, speakers and presenters through extraordinary audiovisual experiences.

“The OCCC is excited to provide a variety of custom and unique virtual solutions for our clients,” says OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “Our expertise in leading safe conventions, combined with our customer service excellence and innovative technology offerings, makes the OCCC Executive Studio an ideal venue for hybrid events.”

From extensive conferences to board meetings, the OCCC Executive Studio options will allow clients to host their event remotely using flexible and interactive tools that integrates both new and familiar technologies. With an in-depth knowledge of the facility and a state-of-the-art equipment inventory, the OCCC can connect organizers with LMG, preferred audiovisual partner of the OCCC, to broadcast an array of educational and breakout sessions, alongside other virtual needs.

The OCCC Executive Studio will be based out of the Lecture Hall in the West Building of the Center and features classroom-style seating to accommodate a physically distanced audience, while providing a customizable canvas for lighting, AV and digital solutions. This offering includes a fully equipped studio that combines the benefits of the venue’s space and the audiovisual company’s virtual solutions. The studio will be available for booking starting early 2021.

Meeting planners will also have the option of using the Linda W. Chapin Theatre, which has a 97,000-watt audio system, extensive in-house lighting offerings and a full proscenium stage with fly system. The cutting-edge Destination Lounge, in the North-South Building, is also available for use as a virtual studio and provides a technology-focused sophisticated environment—perfect for any forward-thinking virtual meeting.

For more info or to book the OCCC Executive Studio, visit www.occc.net.

DLCC Launches The Confluence, An Event Studio

DLCCExecutives of Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center announced the availability of The Confluence, an Event Studio that will provide the opportunity for organizations to live stream, pre-record presentations and host hybrid events. The studio is another example of the all-encompassing benefits that the Center is able to offer meeting and event planners now dealing with COVID-19 concerns of its members and attendees and temporary budget restrictions.

“While hybrid meetings are not new in our industry, the demand for them has increased dramatically due to this pandemic forcing meeting and event planners to make adjustments to their events to continue to address the needs of their members and attendees who will not be ready to travel anytime soon,” says DLCC General Manager Tim Muldoon. “The Confluence offers a professional setting and the latest technology to present webinars, panel discussions, training, summits and keynotes.”

And it can be customized—even relocated—to meet the meeting or event planners’ needs, says Kelli Donahoe, CMP, DLCC director of sales and marketing. “While The Confluence presently has a permanent location in the Center, we understand that planners may want the studio closer to the exhibit hall or another area, so we can relocate the technology/equipment quite easily,” she added.

That flexibility stems from a combination of onsite partnerships with Three Rivers Entertainment, which has years of experience executing high quality virtual, hybrid and recorded productions; and showNets, the Center’s exclusive telecommunications provider that offers a fully redundant dual circuit that can burst well above planners’ needs. “If that may sound sophisticated that’s because it is,” said Donahoe, “but no worries because a tech will be available for the duration of the event, and a dedicated network engineer will manage and monitor the network and stream in real-time to ensure that everything is functioning properly.”

While Pittsburghers and frequent visitors to the region will understand that the name—The Confluence—was chosen in part to recognize the location of the city at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, where they meet to form the Ohio River, Muldoon said it also was chosen to recognize the importance of meetings, conventions and events. “Our industry has long understood the importance of meetings, conventions and events —opportunities for people to come together at one point or location to share ideas and discuss new solutions. So, we are doing everything we can at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to ensure people can still come together whether in person or virtually during this time period,” he says.

In addition to The Confluence, Muldoon said the Center offers so many more attributes that can help meeting planners reimagine their meetings with the confidence that their health and safety are the highest priorities. The facility holds the highest rating for LEED® Platinum Certification in the U.S., which demonstrates  the Center’s environmental commitment to the City of Pittsburgh. It also provides more than 1.5 million feet of meeting and exhibit space, which, due to the column-free exhibit halls, allows an abundance of spacing for meeting planners’ preferences.

The building’s design provides an even more unique benefit to meeting and event attendees. With sloping roofs, it can boast of a natural air ventilation system, which pulls cool air from the outside without using any mechanical equipment—just dampers and thermostats. This allows natural outside air to be circulated throughout the large event halls. The kinds of air management systems utilized at the Center are the kinds of systems that can provide the most air turnover and the greatest kind of air management possible to help respond to challenges like COVID-19.

With the additional mechanical air systems that serve the meeting rooms, outside air also is constantly circulated through the meeting spaces, helping to make attendees feel more confident and comfortable. And these are standard positions—this is the way the building was designed from day one. It is extremely capable of creating a safe environment, as it has for the last 20 years. Additionally, the Center will continue to strive to meet and exceed county, state and CDC guidelines.

Muldoon added that The Confluence can be a perfect solution for local and regional organizations that are not able to meet. “We have already had the studio used by a Pittsburgh organization for a meeting, and it went flawless,” said Muldoon.

For more info about The Confluence or the health and safety processes and guidelines in place at the DLCC, contact Angie Jasper, CMP, MBA, senior national sales manager, at (412) 335-0523 or at ajasper@pittsburghcc.com.

MCCNO Showcases Re-Opening Measures

MCCNO pix 1 The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has been hard at work preparing to reopen for meetings since shutting down in response to the pandemic.  The Center demonstrated to local and state officials in November how well prepared they are by showcasing how future meetings and events will be executed, making the health and safety of staff and visitors the top priority.

The MCCNO was one of the first venues to receive the GBAC STARTM accreditation, and early in the pandemic engaged a preeminent industrial hygienist team to help establish new protocols. The Center has instituted Post-Cleaning Verification (PCV) and incorporated the latest technology, among other protocols, and was at the forefront of establishing the standards for hosting live events.

mccno pix 2 PVC demo“This has obviously been a year of unprecedented events that have greatly impacted our operations,” says Michael J. Sawaya, president and general manager of the MCCNO. “With our new safety and health protocols in place, along with GBAC Star Accreditation, we feel confident about welcoming guests back into our facilities when allowed. These standards will keep our visitors and our team members safe and healthy, so all of us can go back to doing what we do best—showcasing the best that New Orleans has to offer.”

Local and state officials, including the City’s Director of Public Health Dr. Jennifer Avegno and State Fire Marshal Butch Brownimccno pix 3ng, were walked through stations that demonstrated room set ups and exhibit booths featuring social distancing, and reviewed the health, safety and sanitation protocols the Center has established to host live events when allowed. Both Avegno and Browning are critical in reviewing plans to host live events.

“I was impressed with the level of research that went into these proposed measures, specifically, the national recommendations on sanitation and training for their personnel to manage the variety of events they could host, “ says State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning, “I commend the Convention Center for reaching out for feedback and guidance, showing a true commitment to personal responsibility for the safety and well-being of everyone that steps in their facility.”

For more info, visit mccno.com.

Upcoming stories in this series will feature companies and individuals who have pivoted or created new products to survive these difficult and challenging times. Please email us at newsdesk@exhibitcitynews.com for inclusion in future stories in this series.

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