GAITHERSBURG, MD—Operating in today’s digital world can be challenging for venues that have an outdated infrastructure.
“Asset managers and owners don’t want to spend money on renovations no one will ever see,” said Jeff Loether, president, Electro-Media Design (EMD). “However, building in the right technologies and placing the right hard and soft surfaces into the space from conception is an investment that will pay off almost immediately in customer satisfaction and repeat business.”
Hotels often tout their meeting rooms and event spaces to draw conferences and special events as it’s a critical part of the bottom line. Design plays a key role, and technology must be considered.
“You can’t fix a noisy room or dimly lit space by bringing in portable equipment or by adding more technology,” said Loether. “The room needs to be designed well from the onset and accommodate the needs of presenters and meeting planners. Some may bring in their own technology or their own audiovisual production from the outside. The hotel and conference center environments are public venues to serve the guests and that’s why the reliability, ruggedness and flexibility of the room itself are so important today.”
Electro-Media Design is staffed by a team of independent experts with decades of experience in event technology and space design, including Loether, who served as the architecture and construction manager of audiovisual design for Marriott International from 1980-1990.
“EMD’s founding principal is to be committed to providing independent advocacy to clients,” said Loether. “Electro-Media does not sell, install or service AV systems or equipment, so it’s not influenced by commissions or quotas. Because of the profound impact it has on meeting quality and guest satisfaction, EMD also teaches that the acoustics and infrastructure of the spaces are critical to successful and cost-effective designs, and so provides acoustical consulting and design services as well.”
EMD practices and teaches five quality factors that relate to systems’ value and ability to provide services in hotels and related spaces:
- Reliability: If the systems do not perform consistently, they will not be useful.
- High Performance: The systems must provide excellent intelligibility for the spoken word and legibility of displayed images.
- Flexibility: The systems must be designed to allow the hotel staff to answer “Yes” to practically any guest request and match flexible event layouts.
- Ease of Use: The systems must be intelligent enough to be easy to use by hotel staff with intuitive user interfaces.
- Cost-Effective: The systems must be composed of high-quality commercial equipment, be easy to maintain and generate a quick positive return on investment. They must pay for themselves through audiovisual rental revenue.
EMD is keenly focused on how technology, interior design and people intersect. To produce a quality experience for attendees, Loether believes lighting, acoustics, architecture and event technologies need to be conceptualized together.