For further information contact:

Mark Hook / Becky Martin-Jones
www.ascentpr.co.uk
etherlive@ascentpr.co.ukT. 01454 629 741

Free Wi-Fi at WOMAD

21 July 2010 – Festival-goers will have free access to Wi-Fi internet at the annual World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) festival in July,  thanks to event specialists Etherlive.

Etherlive has enabled WOMAD to lead the way with introducing mobile technology to improve people’s festival experience. Free internet access will allow visitors to download a range of content and apps that have been made available by the event organisers.

Chris Smith, Festival Director, at WOMAD says, “We are constantly looking for ways to improve the festival experience for people and free internet access does that. It allows people to stream Radio WOMAD, keep up with the latest events on Twitter and Facebook and means that smart phone applications can operate well on the festival site.

“We are also offering a free WOMAD iPhone app which is available for download and offers features such as line ups and timings, maps to help you find your way around and the ability to buy music from featured artists.”

ENDS

About Etherlive
A successful event depends on great performances. From WOMAD and The Green Man Festival to the 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.

http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

For further information contact:

Becky Martin-Jones / Mark Hook
www.ascentpr.co.uk
etherlive@ascentpr.co.ukT. 01454 629 741

Rock and wristbands beat paper at WOMAD festival

10 July 2010 – This month, Etherlive will be working with WOMAD festival organisers to provide the infrastructure for a pioneering pilot scheme that replaces paper-based crew meal tickets with electronic cards.

Based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, each crew member at this year’s WOMAD festival will be provided with a smart card, which allows them to collect food from the canteen once their card has been placed on a special reader.

Chris Green, managing director at Etherlive says, “The WOMAD crew were previously given paper tickets to claim their meals. The problem with this was that they would get lost or ruined, were hard to track and were open to duplication.

“The implementation of RFID cards for crew members will help to combat these problems by enabling WOMAD organisers to know exactly how many staff have claimed meals and who they are. The system will also help WOMAD to better manage their costs.”

RFID technology has yet to be successfully deployed in volume at festivals and represents a first for this year’s WOMAD event.

Chris Smith, festival director, at WOMAD adds, “A lack of reliable technology has stalled the success of RFID at festivals, but Etherlive’s commitment to providing permanent, reliable connectivity will supply the basis for success at this year’s WOMAD event.

 “WOMAD is an exciting test case for the deployment of RFID at festivals, and I believe it could soon be rolled out in other ways. This is the first step in the journey towards cashless events where festival-goers use their wristbands to pay for their drinks, goods and food.”

ENDS

About Etherlive
A successful event depends on great performances. From WOMAD and The Green Man Festival to the 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.

https://etherlive.co.uk

Good Wi-Fi delivery can be critical

At the recent launch of the iPhone 4 Steve Jobs, Chairman and CEO of Apple, was forced to ask the audience containing the world’s tech press, to turn off their Wi-Fi devices because the demonstration he was giving on stage kept failing. Later it was suggested after having a peek and visit GetFeatured website, that some 500 Wi-Fi networks were operating in the room, overloading the network.

Tom McInerney, from event technology company Etherlive, gives some tips on how to stop this happening at your next big event to make the network meets attendee requirements.

  1. In our experience any large press pool will require significant amounts of bandwidth and wireless connectivity. Importantly they will require download and more significantly high upload speeds so information can be posted quickly. Many want to post pictures immediately, live blog or video stream the event to their audience and expect a wireless network to be fast and available.
  2.  Asses the quality of any existing Wi-Fi network on site. Is it going to support the number of attendees at the event who may want access concurrently? You need to think about who is going to support it on the day, and how you can ensure your organisers and demonstrations get the internet speeds they require. Many permanent networks are designed for a specific purpose which is probably not hundreds of people in one room at one time, many also only operate to older wireless standards (such as 802.11b) which cannot provide as much access as newer faster protocols (802.11n). So to make sure you have the coverage you need, think about deploying a network specifically for the event which has onsite support and can provide multiple bandwidth controlled networks, for example ‘Organiser’ and ‘Event Press’.
  3.  Press who attended the Apple event where either not provided with a shared network or have learnt to distrust the in house service and instead opt to setup their own (typically linked to the cellular network repeated locally) Due to the amount of channels to play with in the 2.4Ghz spectrum setting up their own wireless hotspot only causes more issues for everyone else. Imagine everyone in the room with a set of speakers trying to broadcast their own radio station…eventually you can’t hear anything. So setting up a high quality centrally managed wireless network, which everyone can share (one broadcast), is a much better idea – but it will need to work first time otherwise attendees will find an alternative.
  4.  Several products are available on the market which can scan the relevant wireless spectrum to confirm how noisy it is. At least if you can see too much is going on in real time you can act (perhaps changing demos) instead of having to ask the audience.
  5.  The 5Ghz radio spectrum has a lot more channels available than 2.4Ghz and is therefore less congested. The most modern laptops can use 5Ghz networks and should be actively encouraged to use that instead of 2.4Ghz. Several technologies exist that can encourage devices that have 5Ghz radios to join that network instead of the 2.4Ghz.

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
www.ascentpr.co.uk
etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk
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.”

ENDS

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.

http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

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: http://www.threecounties.co.uk

The news is out, after spending the last 18 months working closely on a number of events Etherlive and Venue IT are merging to deliver an exciting range of technology services across the broad events industry. For existing customers the relationship and services provided remains the same, but now with access to an enhanced range of offerings, delivering more efficiency and industry leading innovation.

Full press release follows:

Technical expertise and events experience join forces

As the events and festival season get underway, Venue IT, the provider of telecommunications services to the events industry, is set to join forces with Etherlive.  Merging into a single business unit, the two companies will work together to offer a range of communications services and consultancy to the events industry.

Chris Green, Managing Director at Etherlive comments, “With our strong technology background and Venue IT’s events history and experience, we’re a great fit.  Having worked successfully together for a year and a half on a number of projects, the most logical step was to join forces and work as one.  We’re excited about the prospects ahead and look forward to delivering solutions that enhance the experience of organisers, exhibitors and visitors at all sorts of events across the UK.”

Mike Lang, of Venue IT adds, “This relationship offers our loyal clients the best of both worlds; they will continue to deal with the same people offering the same high level of personal service, and will benefit from increased resources with a new found capacity to deliver not only a range of services from its existing portfolio, but more importantly new and exciting complimentary services – exactly what you need for a successful event.”

Founded in 2004, Venue IT provides telecommunication solutions to some of the most prestigious outdoor national and international events held in the UK.  Among its customers, Venue IT boasts names such as Southampton Boat Show, CLA Gamefair, Red Bull X Fighters, World Triathlon Games, Frieze Art Fair and Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Wiltshire-based and in business since 2007, Etherlive is a specialist event IT company that designs, implements and supports both temporary and permanent IT solutions for events. Etherlive supports organisers, promoters and venue managers as they deal with the challenges of security, communications and monitoring across large and complex sites.

Etherlive’s customer base includes one-off short duration corporate events, specialist permanent installations and annual large scale temporary events.  Customers include WOMAD, the Green Man Festival, Get Loaded in the Park, Silverstone, the Three Counties Showground, and corporate clients such as Nokia, Amazon, Littlewoods, Intel and the BBC.

Initially, the company will maintain both the ‘Etherlive’ and the ‘Venue IT’ brands.  The company will operate from the Etherlive headquarters in Wiltshire.

ENDS

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.

https://etherlive.co.uk

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens

www.ascentpr.co.uk

t. 01454 629 741

etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

To music lovers, the festival season may seem like a lifetime away, but organisers are very much in the thick of it; securing acts and commissioning suppliers. 

While headlines are dominated by the glamour of the line-up, behind the scenes, there is a hubbub of activity by a myriad of experts and suppliers, to make sure that the show runs smoothly. 

One element of this is the technology – the means to ensure organisers, stewards, and punters can communicate and receive information on site.  They need phones, broadband connectivity, CCTV, payment terminals, connected ticketing systems, interactive content – and these things need to work.

Tom McInerney, Event Director at Etherlive, highlights some of the tricks of the trade to help festival organisers get their technology organised.

  • From boutique festivals to a national event, the chances are you’ll need phone lines as part of your licence.  Be aware that it can take up to four weeks for your telecoms provider to install a line assuming they offer a temporary service.  An alternative option would be satellite connectivity, which can be deployed at a couple of days notice.
  • When you’re planning the number of phone lines you need, it’s not a disaster if you don’t get it spot on; or if you leave it until the last minute to do.  You can always opt for Voice over IP (VoIP) lines which can be easily deployed to meet demand with no extra cost whilst delivering the same quality. Many also offer free national calls.
  • 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.
  • An increasing number of venues have existing Wi-Fi networks in place for organisers and punters. Don’t make the assumption this network will be enough to provide everyone with the right connectivity and support. Check the capacity of the network and what would happen if you need technical support.
  • It sounds obvious, but before you install Wi-fi, check that the laptops your staff have are set up to use the latest standards (802.11n is the most modern), which means 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.  Check with your technology provider that they’re bringing the correct kit for your needs.
  • In our experience, the onsite team at a festival gets bombarded with questions during the event 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 to reduce the volume of calls to your key staff.
  • 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 you 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.
    • Other examples where you may use onsite phones would include passing payment details between departments, for example takings totals. Some events may require a dedicated incoming line for local residents who wish to contact the event (perhaps a noise issue, or parking problem) and having a dedicated line in the organiser’s office can help keep residents on side with the festival.
    • Generally events will have lines for artist liaison, organiser compound, gates, hospitality, sponsors and more depending on the number of staff present. What’s nice about VoIP telephone systems is that wherever there isnetwork connectivity phones can be installed or removed in minutes. In addition hunt groups can be created or managed and automated answer systems can be arranged quickly.
    • ELT (Emergency Liaison Teams) should have dedicated BT lines whilst others may use voice over IP (VoIP) which do not require an individual BT cable to operate, costing significantly less to operate with free national calls..
  • Does your licence require keeping within noise levels at agreed locations? If so, it is possible to monitor multiple remote units from a central location – and have an audit trail of readings should they be required. A secure wireless connection is setup between the on-site network and the remote sound meter. A special network unit is installed with the sound meter at the remote location providing connectivity and power (which can include battery or uninterruptable secured mains) whilst the sound meter takes readings from the local environment. The network connection allows the sound monitors to be remotely viewed from a laptop anywhere with range of the network onsite.
  • In the same vein, CCTV can now be used for far more than surveillance – it can fulfil a much grander role in your on site security without the requirement of cabling between each camera.  For starters, the latest developments in the CCTV world include ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) which automatically logs number plates which pass by cameras; with the latest digital cameras all video is stored on a hard disc making later retrieval and viewing straightforward.  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! 
  • Audience interaction is becoming more popular especially using mobile devices which can be used to view running orders, purchase artist albums and even find tents. Consider supplying a Wi-Fi network where attendees will get the best experience.

Event Production Show  –  Etherlive  – Stand 614

For further information contact:

Helen Stevens
www.ascentpr.co.uk
T
. 01454 629741
etherlive@ascentpr.co.uk

Ecolite tower reduces hassle of festival communications

Lights, Connectivity, Action!

02 February 2010 – Festival directors will be able to reduce the hassle and cost associated with on-site communications, following the launch of the Ecolite-P Plus; a mobile communications tower which combines lighting, connectivity, surveillance, and PA services.

Traditionally, event organisers have hired in these services as separate units, a time intensive and costly exercise. 

Tom McInerney, Sales Director with Etherlive, the company bringing Ecolite to the events market, explains, “The Ecolite concept comes from the construction industry – taking temporary light, sound and communications onto exposed and sometimes remote sites. Working with ACE Plant, we’ve adapted the tower to suit the needs of festival communications; combining services that would otherwise have been hired as separate pieces of kit – each needing its own power supply and stand.” 

The Ecolite-P Plus, developed by Etherlive in partnership with Ace Plant, also includes many features which will help site managers reduce their environmental footprint, alongside advanced CCTV capabilities such as auto number plate recognition.

The Ecolite unit packs away into a single pallet size, which makes it convenient to transport.  Once in situ, the Ecolite tower can only be moved by a fork-lift truck, which helps to minimise the risk of theft. 

Alan White, Managing Director at Ace Plant adds, “The beauty of the Ecolite-P Plus is that, once deployed, it can be left to run on-site for up to seven days with its own power generator. This gives festival organisers one less thing to worry about”

Visitors attending the Event Production Show will be able to take a look at the Ecolite-P Plus by visiting Etherlive on stand 614.

ENDS

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

http://events.www.etherlive.co.uk

About Ace Plant
Ace Plant is the trading style of Adams Cundell Engineers Ltd.

The company was formed in 1973 by David Adams and Frank Cundell. Initially the company was based at Firs Farm, Old Stratford and in 1974 Ace Plant purchased its first tractor, a 1968 Ford 4000. This original tractor is still owned by us and was recently been restored for display at our 25th anniversary party.

Since those early days we have expanded our range of services considerably and this policy of continued improvement and expansion necessitated a move in 1981 to new purpose built premises in Cosgrove Road, Old Stratford.

www.aceplant.co.uk