Almost 4,000 delegates from over 120 countries attended the latest World Congress of Accountants (WCOA), held in Rome’s Renzo Piano-designed Auditorium Parco della Musica in November.
In just over 10 years, the biggest multifunctional complex in Europe (pictured below right) – and one of the 10 largest in the world – has not only become the number-one cultural structure in Europe and second only to New York’s Lincoln Center at world level (as far as the number of events staged is concerned) but also hosts more than 300 high-profile business events every year.
Commissioned to provide the network interconnecting all the rooms with audio, video, data and intercom facilities, as well as simultaneous translation, video projection and control equipment and lighting, Planet Service is the largest and most important rental company in the Republic of San Marino (the second-smallest republic in the world and third-smallest independent state in Europe). With a portfolio of corporate clients including Ferrari, Herbalife and Pfizer, Planet Service also provides AV facilities for live events and consultation, design and installation of multimedia systems in theme parks, spas, and more.
The areas hosting attendees were the Santa Cecilia, Sinopoli and Petrassi Halls, the Theatre Studio and the Chorus Room. The press room was also connected, enabling the media to follow proceedings in the various locations. Used by the organisers for announcements and publicity, AV systems connected to the network were also installed in the entrance foyers. The impressive system was controlled from a main control room, installed backstage in the Santa Cecilia auditorium.
The company’s 32-strong team on site was led by Alessandro Giangi (production and technical manager), Alessandro Saudelli (network designer/manager and sound chief) and Andrea Borelli (network designer/manager and video chief). (Pictured, L–R, below right.) Other members included five FOH engineers (who manned the venue’s resident Midas XL8 [pictured bottom], two Digidesign D-Show, DiGiCo SD8 and Yamaha LS9 consoles) and three microphone technicians.
Since time was at a premium at the event, prior to going to Rome Saudelli, Borelli, Federico Boscherini and Riedel specialist Alessandro Bertoni cabled, configured and tested the entire system for four days in Planet Service’s warehouse.
"In order to [be able to] rapidly change the routing of a quantity of signals only finalised at the venue, traditional systems would have required twice the amount of set-up time and a very complex infrastructure,” says Bertoni. “We therefore decided to transport all the signals involved via a fibre-optic ring connecting a real-time MediorNet audio, video and data and communication network. The versatility of this redundant infrastructure was decisive since, as well as doing everything Planet Service required, it was also used to integrate the broadcast service company’s set-up.”
The intercom system was controlled by a Performer matrix 32+16 mainframe with two Cat-5 client cards and an analogue client card, connected with a series of hardwired control panels (six DCP-5108, three RCP-1112, a DCP-1116 and an RCP-1028E/O) and an Acrobat CC-8 main frame and used with 12 WB-2 wireless digital beltpack/headset stations. Six Acrobat CA-6 cell antennas were installed.
Saudelli adds: “The two main intercom matrices were in the main control room, along with one of the MediorNet Compact PRO frames (the other frames were at the Sinopoli, Petrassi, Studio Theatre and Chorus Room FOH platforms, as well as in the press room). Each of the network’s seven MediorNet Compact PRO frames was fitted with an SDI 4IN 4OUT card and a WDM QuadCon module. Four Riedel RockNet 302 output modules were also integrated in the network.
“The fibre-optic ring connecting all the frames and ensuring 100 per cent redundancy was assembled with nine reels of Riedel PURE-CS-Q-300 ruggerised fibre cable.”
Bosch simultaneous translation facilities were connected to the MediorNet network in the main auditorium and, from there, with the Sinopoli and Petrassi rooms, with a total of twenty IR transmitters and 1100 IR headset receivers providing Italian, English and Chinese translations.
“Satisfaction was expressed all round by our clients after the event,” says Alessandro Giangi. “Although we use Riedel products regularly, this was our first outing with MediorNet, so winning this challenge with flying colours will without doubt open up new horizons for our work. I’m going abroad soon for a bid for tenders for another large event, and the Rome congress will be the perfect visiting card!”