Since the start of 2020, tradeshows have been limited in their ability to carry on in their usual large-scale live event format, and in many cases, hybrid formats have been adopted. For Automechanika DIGITAL PLUS and Hypermotion 2021 in Frankfurt, live events and technology companies Gahrens + Battermann and Freaksound implemented a communications solution to enable both live and virtual elements of the shows. Clear-Com®’s HelixNet® Digital Network Partyline, LQ® Series of IP Interfaces, Agent-IC® Mobile App, and the new Station-IC™ Virtual Desktop Client assisted with event management and live streaming at the events.
The first independent shows of their kind in Germany, Automechanika and Hypermotion brought together numerous players from the automotive, transport and logistics industries to discuss the future of the mobility industry as the world trends toward digitalization and decarbonization. After an 18-month closure, the Messe Frankfurt was finally able to welcome in-person guests in September of 2021.
Clear-Com’s HelixNet Digital Network Partyline was integrated with several LQ devices and deployed at the Messe to connect four event halls and five stages via an existing IP backbone, as well as to connect intercom users who were remoting into the main event site.
More than 50 intercom endpoints consisting of 4-channel HRM-4X remote user stations and HXII-BP 2-channel beltpacks were established throughout the production area, in addition to analog input and outputs that were designated for camera control units used in the live broadcast of the show.
“HelixNet offers me the possibility to connect the panels via standard 3-pin XLR cable or via IP. The low bandwidth required greatly simplifies the operation of HelixNet together with other networks on the same backbone,” explained Hannes Gremm, the intercom technician responsible for the event.
Networking LQ devices with HelixNet provided additional analog audio paths along with the IP capabilities for Agent-IC mobile apps and the new Station-IC virtual desktop client, a scalable intercom virtual client that runs on Windows and MacOS.
“I downloaded Station-IC on my programming laptop, so I could listen in on all channels and detect any problems before they became too acute,” said Hannes. “I downloaded Agent-IC on my phone, so I could access any channels while I was away from my seat. Both solutions gave me great confidence during setup as well as during the show. “
“The HelixNet system was easy to implement and more cost-effective than a large matrix-based system would have been. The functions and capabilities provided by the system simplified management of the event and made for a successful hybrid show,” Hannes concluded.
“Freaksound is a reliable, knowledgeable partner when it comes to Clear-Com intercom solutions. Freaksound’s understanding of Clear-Com’s broad product portfolio allows them to handle a diverse set of requirements without any problems,” reports Jan Saueressig, Brand Manager at Clear-Com’s German Partner, Audio-Technica. “Especially in the current times, easy-to-use communication solutions are crucial for the success of hybrid events. Clear-Com is clearly setting new standards here.”
Approximately 10,000 visitors from 70 countries attended the simultaneous shows, with 53% attending in-person in Frankfurt and 47% tuning in virtually around the world.