The seventh annual China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) is the first major international economic and trade event held both virtually and in-person by China since the COVID-19 outbreak. Hosted in Beijing in early September, a total of 18,000 enterprises and institutions from 148 countries and regions and about 100,000 people registered for the fair.
The combination of a virtual and a physical audience, as well as the presence of well-respected Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, required a seamless and reliable communications system. Beijing-based PDQ was tasked with designing the system for CIFTIS’ broadcast and live production communication solutions, selecting Clear-Com®’s HelixNet® Digital Network and FreeSpeak II® Digital Wireless Intercom as the foundation. PDQ was founded in China in 2009 and has been primarily focused on live events—event planning, stage design and gear rentals. In 2018, they began adopting Clear-Com products and developed a team specifically dedicated to building customized intercom solutions. In prior years, PDQ partnered with individual exhibitors at CIFTIS for their booth needs, but 2020 marks the first year as a direct partner with the show organizers.
“They told us they needed reliable, safe and quality communications and stressed the system must be deployed easily and quickly for all involved groups, so we immediately suggested Clear-Com,” said PQD’s Project Leader. “The President would be delivering remarks,” he continued, “so it was very important to us that everything went smoothly.”
There were two primary uses for the comms system, the first of which was for the worldwide broadcast of the Summit Ceremony on the evening of September 4th. Many government officials were invited to attend the Summit, which would take place onsite, at the National Convention Center. The production team and the operations team relied on FreeSpeak II operating in the 2.4 GHz band to communicate and execute their tasks. “Many workers who used the system commented on how efficient and seamless it was,” the Project Lead commented. “It’s a big stress relief for the technical teams when the comms system disappears, and they just feel like they’re conversing with one another.”
The second application of Clear-Com gear was in what the Fair used as their media room, located in the Asia Financial Center about 1.2 km from the convention center. FreeSpeak II and HelixNet were deployed to connect multiple zones of communication including the main control room, operation monitor room, satellite vans, public signal and recording room, studio room, media zone and more. “HelixNet and FreeSpeak II ensured the communication between these zones 24 hours a day for the duration of the show, from September 4th to September 9th without any major problems or interruptions,” the Project Lead explained. “That’s really exciting for us!”
Although the Fair marks a step in the return to in-person events, there were many safety precautions that were strictly enforced. Everyone entering the venue had their temperature checked using thermal infrared temperature technology, masks were required at all times, and traffic was limited to ensure social distancing was possible. Any equipment was disinfected using ultraviolet light after each use, all public areas were disinfected every two hours, and the entire convention center was disinfected at the close of each day.
COVID-19 has a great impact on live shows and on the rental market. China has observed a significant decline in new cases since the initial outbreak of COVID-19 and have thus began to ease back into larger events and hybrid events like CIFTIS. Companies like PQD, who specialize in intercom design, can offer safe comms solutions for the reintegration of live events.