Smart Tech Enhances User Experience at ArenaBy Pam Evans | Posted 2016-07-01 Print
AccorHotels Arena, France's largest concert and sports arena, used advanced networking and communications to become an interactive entertainment venue.
The AccorHotels Arena, a 30-year-old Paris landmark, updated all its infrastructure, networks and communications to create a multi-purpose venue worthy of the top names in sports and entertainment. This Arena invested in proven, smart technologies with plenty of room for innovation.
As a result, its headliner artists—including Adele, Celine Dion and Justin Bieber—can produce spectacular shows that reach more than 20,000 visitors in the main hall and millions of fans worldwide via high-definition broadcasts.
Guillaume Lairloup, CIO of AccorHotels Arena, explains, "We wanted to give performers and fans even more reasons to be excited to visit the AccorHotels Arena by making the experience as engaging and interactive as possible. Achieving that goal means adapting to different technology requirements for each of our130 events each year.
"The arena must have the ability to reconfigure itself after sporting events into a concert hall. Recently, for example, one million liters of water were brought in, along with 31 huge fans to create strong winds for a world indoor wind surfing tournament. This required reconfiguring the arena based on very specific and unique requirements."
With its modular design and innovative seating, as well as extensive connectivity through fiber- optic networks, the arena can adapt quickly to handle Olympic-level events like table tennis, judo, basketball and other sports.
"For each event," Lairloup adds, "we must be resilient enough to sustain the higher capacity and faster network speeds that permit HD-quality broadcasting, high performance applications, live streaming, Internet-based fan engagement, digital advertising and IP video surveillance."
Networking Communications Core Ties Apps Together
Working closely with Orange Business Services, Avaya architects and systems integrators, AccorHotels Arena created a virtualized, flexible, unified network to support the event center's many needs. These include better security for wireless access, faster WiFi connection times and multicast support for IP video streams.
The Avaya Fabric Connect at the core of the network offers key features of Virtual IST, IP shortcuts and IP multicast to simplify and ensure a resilient and high-performance network with the ultimate fan experience. With Ruckus world-class wireless capabilities, faster connections and advanced security, new services may be added quickly as needed for concert producers or sport competitions.
Some of its features include:
- 54 VIP suites and two VIP lounges that are slightly larger than a basketball court
- A video wall in the concourse where fans can interact
- Modern broadcast infrastructures
- 240 access points with 80 in the main concert bowl to enable high-speed experiences
- 400 television screens and an upscale restaurant.
Fans can interact before, during and after a game via WiFi with video walls and smart phones. Thanks to its free WiFi, fiber network connections and interactive video walls, fans can tweet, upload pictures and stream videos. This gives fans the ability to interact via huge screens and share what they are experiencing with friends on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Periscope.
As for the future, ibeacons and smart applications can determine the preferences and behaviors of each fan, including where they go to buy drinks and food. With this information, they can reduce lines at concessions and give fans the ability for paperless tickets and order-ahead food and drinks.
The AccorHotels Arena apps and portals will permit anywhere point-of-sale transactions and insights on areas that generate the most sales. In so doing, the arena can continue to transform based on the preferences of more than 1.5 million visitors each year and the special requirements of high-profile performers and broadcast media.
With this smart technology, AccorHotels Arena can revolutionize experiences both at the venue and online.
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