Why Socially Distanced Events Need High Quality Wireless Audio
Live in-person events are back, and professional organizers are seizing every opportunity to rebuild their revenue streams after well over a year of canceled or postponed events. In turn, corporate event teams are being tasked with encouraging more people to attend as business gradually gets back to a new kind of normal.
Of course, there are still myriad obstacles to overcome in running live events, not least the need for attendees to be socially distanced. This isn’t only a government-mandated requirement in many countries — social distancing also reflects attendees’ need to feel safe and comfortable. The safety concern was overwhelmingly the biggest obstacle cited by event organizers in an industry survey last year. At 55.5 percent, it was way ahead of the nearest other obstacle cited as travel limitations at 15 percent.
Organizers have quickly adapted with expanded seating plans and new, more spacious locations. However, this brings its own unique audio challenges. Clear, intelligible sound is essential for effective communication, exchanging ideas, and sparking creativity. But how do you ensure that people sitting apart, sometimes in the farthest reaches of large venues, can hear each other clearly? And how to accommodate unusual venue layouts or scale up (or down) as needs change?
Hear and Be Heard. Everywhere.
One survey in 2021 found that 90 percent of event planners were likely to book events in non-traditional venues As organizers turn to spacious but atypical event locations to hold socially distanced events, including school gymnasiums and community halls, poor acoustics and a lack of locally available sound reinforcement can often pose challenges.
Shure has this covered, with an all-in-one solution that works in any space. The Microflex® Complete Wireless (MXCW) digital conference system integrates microphone and loudspeaker into a single conference unit, allowing every event attendee to easily contribute and hear every word at their seat, in high-quality detail — no matter the room acoustics. This is especially useful when planning for events in new spaces where local conditions are often unknown.
But that’s not all. Instead of bringing in a load of amps and speakers, which all need extra cabling, MXCW’s integrated design can also help to create a more intimate setting as audio isn’t blasting from speakers and people can listen to each other at natural speech levels.
Whether you’re setting up audio in a room with expanded seating arrangements, shifting to an unusual venue, or making late same-day changes to layout or number of attendees, the flexibility of your audio system can become crucial.
Going wireless allows event organizers to efficiently accommodate such changes, minimize the impact of temporary AV setups, and avoid tripping hazards. It works incredibly well in flexible and partitioned rooms that support different meeting sizes and formats over time.
Aesthetically, wireless systems also look neat and more professional as the venue isn’t cluttered with long cable runs. The need for cable-free setups is also prevalent in heritage buildings and venues with architectural constraints that restrict the use of wired systems and cable taping.
Overcoming Venue Limitations
Beyond acoustical and layout challenges, moving to social distancing friendly venues, which are often not designed to host events, can also be problematic in terms of access to power.
Gear that requires fewer power plugs to run can provide another logistical benefit. The MXCW Access Point Transceiver, as an example, uses a single cable for both power supply (PoE) and audio signal, while the MXCW Wireless Conference Units are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with up to 11 hours’ runtime – good enough for a full-day event. At the end of the day, or if needed throughout, the Network Charging Station can recharge 10 batteries to 100 percent in just four hours.
This level of detail makes MXCW a great wireless solution that enables organizers to deliver extraordinary event experiences, effortlessly.
Scale Up as Needed
What happens when an event needs changes? Perhaps when caps on attendees are lifted and organizers decide to move to bigger spaces once the demand for in-person events grows. Changes in venue or scale are not unusual. Organizers need the flexibility to adapt their audio setup, sometimes at short notice.
It’s easy for non-technical users to quickly set up MXCW, so organizers don’t have to draw on costly technical resources to get things up and running in a new location. This ease of setup is the result of MXCW comprising just three core components — Access Point Transceiver (APT), Conference Units, and Networked Charger.
What’s more, with one APT able to connect up to 125 conference units on a single wireless channel, a wide range of group sizes can be catered to. Expand the number of microphones in a matter of minutes with the simple addition of extra conference units. Once powered on, each unit automatically connects to the APT with no other configuration required.
Intelligibility in Any Venue
While social distancing is a challenge, it has become the new normal for physical events. As venues are getting larger and people seated further apart, it’s never been more important to ensure intelligibility and consistent sound throughout your event space.
MXCW guarantees that your message is heard. It offers a complete networked sound system with reliability and flexibility in a cable-free setup that adapts to any location or seating arrangement. This gives event organizers more choice in where to hold events and make different formats easy, with the assurance that attendees can hear and be heard, flawlessly.