CMMA ATL MeetUP – Mercedes Benz Stadium Tour
The Atlanta MeetUP at the Mercedes Benz Stadium (MBS) was a tremendous success.
The CMMA group enjoyed a tour of the stadium, including the locker rooms of the two Atlanta teams (Falcons and United), the owner’s suite and club area, a romp over the field, a description of the fan friendly concession pricing, and an overview of many of the stadium’s unique features, such as the Stadium’s retractable roof, which opens like a camera lens and the 360-degree Halo display. The screen measures 58 ft. high and 1,075 ft. around, for a total of 61,900 sq. ft. It is currently the largest LED video display in North American sports.
In addition, the stadium features more than 2,000 digital screens, 1,800 wireless access points, and an impressive video over IP network with nearly 4,000 miles of fiber and state-of-the-art routing/switching control center. The tour was highlighted by an exclusive visit to the control room, hosted by Atlanta Falcons video engineer Ben Dolinky. Ben described the equipment and systems built, and staff resources needed, to support the in-stadium fan experience and interface with the production trucks for network/external broadcasts. MBS is a media phenomenon….and was an inspirational catalyst for the presentations and discussion on Media in Public Spaces and Common Areas that followed.
Nick Anderson, Product Manager for Production and Post at DigitalGlue (which sponsored the tour of the Mercedes Benz Stadium), provided an overview of the company’s products and services and how they can help meet CMMA member organizations’ media challenges. A panel of CMMA members then provided insight about how their companies leverage digital signage (DS), including successes and lessons learned. Briefly:
Kim Cloutman described how Norfolk Southern continues to enhance and expand its DS network, featuring corporate and employee communications.
Jeff Rethmel, Rollins Inc., explained that DS for employee communications and guest information has not met expectations. However, he stated that the direction of communications to mobile devices may be the solution best suited for Rollins, of which many of its employees are field service technicians.
Marv Mitchell then discussed how Mayo Clinic’s initial DS network was removed from common areas, because, it too did not meet expectations. However, it has since been replaced with DS screens in both employee and guest areas, which are successfully meeting the needs of the targeted audiences: In the employee areas to provide statistics and performance data relevant to departments; and status updates and next steps for patient care/treatment for family and friends in the guest areas.
A key take-a-way from the session is that media managers are not only responsible for the implementation of tools to create, deliver and display content, but also, we must provide relevant and timely content to targeted audiences. Further, we must track the success and value of systems and content and modify accordingly.
Future ATL MeetUP topics will include AI, IoT, and the use of media for corporate communications.