The Etherlive team are now in the last stages of planning in preparation for the Event Production Show at Olympia on 2 – 3 February. We are on stand 620, on the right hand side of the main isle not far from the entrance. As usual the team will be ready to answer questions, discuss services and demonstrate equipment. With a Royal Wedding this year and the Olympics next year it is important to get services booked early – we are already seeing a knock on impact from these events, for example lead times are increasing for telecommunication services and this will get worse during the year.

Alongside our normal array of solutions for connectivity, communications, monitoring and interactive technology we will also be demonstrating three new services:

Crew Accreditation System – A contact-less RFID card (or wristband) system which makes managing crews simpler. The system uses a PC or touchscreen terminal to manage crew as they book out keys, radios, plant equipment and doubles as a crew catering system replacing those pesky paper vouchers. Multiple terminals can be used over the site such as in the catering tent and production offices. All the data is easy to manage allowing production to forecast catering requirements and track items quickly.

Event Production Show 2011

Dynamic Secure Wi-Fi – There has been a lot of press recently about the security of wireless networks and even though we already have a very secure system we will launching an even better solution. What’s great about it is that it’s easier for the user but more secure as every user has their own unique encryption key. Aimed at events when privacy is critical it will reside alongside our existing range of wireless services so that you can decide what level is appropriate for your event.

Communications Tower Light – Not completely new as it is in its second year of use by Etherlive but this palletised, environmentally tower light was a great success during the 2010 season so we have been improving it further. Supporting Wi-Fi and cabled networking, public address and CCTV from one unit, it is perfect for quickly deploying technology services in areas with no power. The 2011 unit now has multiple camera options with a new higher zoom and motion tracking enabled camera added to the range; and if you need high density outdoor wireless there are options for up to 750 simultaneous Wi-Fi connections off of one unit.

Take a moment to register here if you plan to come along to the show to speed up getting in and of course if you want to set-up a specific time to meet you can  get in contact beforehand.

We hope to see you at the show!

As with any venue, show grounds have had to evolve to survive the ebb and flow of the economy over the last few years; the international recession coupled with increasing financial pressure on farming has meant that show grounds have had to diversify into a broader range of events and compete with indoor venues.

But while show grounds can compete in many areas, they have, until now been slow to adopt new forms of technology; that is providing the infrastructure for event directors and the attendees themselves to get connected.

Show grounds are more traditionally associated with large annual county shows and temporary events which come and go.  Typically each event implements its own technology; ranging from phone lines and PA, through to CCTV and payment terminals.   But as these venues are expanding and competing with the likes of Earl’s Court and the NEC, a permanent technology infrastructure will become a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’.

Event Directors now expect to be able to access e-mail, communicate with their teams and take advantage of marketing opportunities such as interactive content; in fact Wi-Fi connectivity is now seen as a standard requirement. 

Tom McInerney, Events Director at Etherlive offers a few pointers on how to get started.

 Top tips for show grounds getting connected

  1. Whatever the event, the chances are you’ll need to provide phone lines to the organisers – the number may vary from event to event.  Be aware that it can take up to four weeks for your telecoms provider to install a line assuming they offer a temporary service.  For a permanent installation, you can always opt for Voice over IP (VoIP) lines which can be easily deployed to meet demand with no added cost whilst delivering the same quality. Many also offer free national calls.
  2. Your communications technologies are all reliant on the power supply – if your power source fails, you have a problem.  So when you’re planning your power requirements for organiser areas, opt for an uninterruptable supply, or arrange a back-up generator to ensure operations continue in emergencies.
  3. An increasing number of show grounds are installing permanent Wi-Fi.  But don’t make the assumption that a small network installed within the main site office  will be enough to provide everyone with the right connectivity and support. Check the capacity of the network prior to each event and establish what would happen if you need technical support.
  4. It sounds obvious, but check that each event organiser has laptops that are set up to use the latest standards (802.11n is the most modern), meaning they will be able to enjoy faster speeds and get better signal strength.  Don’t be afraid of using wire if you need to.  Better that, than no internet access. 
  5. In our experience, the onsite teams at events get bombarded with questions which come up time and time again – opening times, parking details etc.  If you have a telephone exchange on site, why not set up an automated attendant system for your client to reduce the volume of calls to key staff.
  6. Ensure you have a method of secure one to one communication which doesn’t rely on mobile phone networks (which may become too busy).  Radio networks are great for most communications on site, but what if the organisers need to transfer private or sensitive information, like the description of a missing child, for example?  It makes sense to have a secure line dedicated to staff in case of instances like this.
  7. Make the most of the infrastructure you have to add value to services for event organises. CCTV, for example, can now be used for far more than surveillance.  Many cameras can automatically detect and track motion and combined with infrared lights which can ‘see in the dark’.  As well as pure security aspects, deployment of cameras can assist in monitoring crowd flow, entrance traffic management and even providing a more flexible webcam option for linking into websites!
  8. Audience interaction is becoming more popular especially using mobile devices which can be used to view running orders, find your way around or purchase directly from exhibitors’ websites. Consider supplying a Wi-Fi network where attendees will get the best experience.

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens
T. 01454 629 741

Showground to Extend Connectivity Services with Etherlive

The Malvern Showground, the home of the Three Counties Agricultural Society, is extending its onsite IT services for customers who exhibit and hire the facilities with help from Etherlive. 

Malvern has rolled out a permanent Wi-Fi infrastructure for a number of IT services across the site to improve communications for events. The implementation, now in its third phase, includes a significant infrastructure for Wi-Fi internet, VoIP telephone lines, CCTV cameras, PDQ machines, and site wide access to the Three Counties electronic scoring system.

According to Nick Vincent, CEO at the Malvern Showground, the installation represents a first for this kind of venue.  He comments, “Showgrounds have long been in the shadows of large indoor venues when it comes to providing the very latest in connectivity and IT services for their customers – offering access to e-mail, secure phone lines and wireless payment systems are no longer ‘nice to haves’ for showgrounds, they’re necessities. 

“Showgrounds are now waking up to the need for technology – and this recent investment demonstrates our commitment to providing permanent, reliable connectivity.  The team at Etherlive has supported us fully throughout the process with its expertise and practical advice.”

Tom McInerney, Events Director at Etherlive adds, “We have been working with the Malvern Showground since 2008 to establish the needs of its customers and the right technologies to support them.  The final stage of this installation will enable Malvern to differentiate itself from competing showgrounds, and offer event organisers the same level of connectivity and communications that they would expect from any first class venue.”


About Etherlive
A successful event depends on great performances. From WOMAD and The Green Man Festival to Southampton Boat Show and the Three Counties Show, we are the ones that make IT work. Etherlive sits behind the scenes delivering reliable Wi-Fi internet, telephony, laptops, PDQs and interactive messaging. Whether in a field or a building, we make connectivity simple.

The Three Counties Agricultural Society is a registered charity working for rural industry, the environment and countryside life.
Committed to supporting farmers, growers and horticulturists in the region and developing understanding between urban and rural communities, it actively cultivates partnerships with the local and regional business community. Its work is firmly rooted in education at all levels, and it is quickly emerging as a facilitator and enabler of a variety of curriculum-based projects and effective teacher training placements.

The Malvern Showground home enjoys a panoramic backdrop in the shape of the famous Malvern Hills in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. It is a nationally recognized venue and welcomes more than a million visitors each and every year. Its own events include the national Malvern Spring Gardening Show (May), its flagship agricultural event, the Three Counties Show (June) and the Malvern Autumn Show (September).

For more information and a full diary of events, please go to: