CHOGM in session.
All three meetings at CHOGM used our DIGIMIC® push button microphone system with computer controls and our TourGuide radio tansmit / receiver sets.
The meetings were located in two huge air conditioned marquees in the tropical gardens of two grand hotels, Novotel Twin Waters and the Hyatt Regency at Coolum, (see below)
and additionally one ball room also at the Hyatt (which also hosted HM Queen Elizabeth's CHOGM Dinner). All this on Australia's beautiful Sunshine Coast where it also rained for 3 out of the 5 days of the meeting.
The initial meeting was for the 60 or so Heads of respective Government Departments where they planned over 5 days what their masters were to discuss. The department heads shared our Brähler ICS® DIGIMIC® microphones which were controlled by our M95 Digimic® controllers with our very reliable and versatile M95 DIGIVOTE® software. The other two meetings were for the Executive or Heads of State (formal, place names, with PM's, Presidents, Kings, Princes, Foreign Ministers and High Commissioners and their aides around one semi circle of tables (about 50 metres long and 20 metres wide) and also the retreat meetings - for leaders only.
And for the more technically minded - THE EXECUTIVE MEETING:
UK PM Tony Blair and Advisor.
The Digimic microphones were controlled with two Plasma monitors; one for the PM at the Chair and one for the Bramshaw Technician (sitting in a control booth with the Staging Connections sound techs, stenographers and others), running from an M95 and M95 software in manual control. The PM was very pleased with the monitor where he could see who wanted to speak (listed for example as, "UK - PM Tony Blair" or "Swaziland - King Mswatti" or "India- FM xxxxxx") in the exact order of pressing their request to speak buttons.This meant that the screen details displayed whether the potential speaker was a PM, President, King or Foreign Minister (FM) (non head of states can only speak after all others such as PM's and Pres's speak) and this would enable a check or confirmation of identity.
Microphone on and off was done by Bramshaw at our discretion (PM introduces, we switched on and automatically the last speaker was switched off).
Also as the M95 software supports twin screen mode on our laptop the secretariat could advise us of changes (PM Blair at a press conference so we could edit the name of his mic. while he was away).
As well as sound coming from the base of each Digimic's speaker Staging Connections 'flew' fill in speakers from the roof of the pavilion and each delegate had one of our Bramshaw 'Listen TourGuide' RF units with discreet single ear ear-shell. As some of the leaders are of senior age they thought that this was fantastic. (About half used our TourGuides).
We also gave the PM an extended microphone which meant he could sit back to speak and as he was chair this meant that he did not need to continually lean forward to address the microphone.
Our PM was also very receptive to reading instructions as to how the system worked and, amazingly, the leaders listened and understood - "press once to speak or be queued and again to be taken from the queue list."
Just in case we also had a tech with his finger permanently on the gain slide as some delegates have a unique ability to believe that mics will work regardless of how close (swallowing same) or far away (up to a metre) they may be.
This was something else.
Apart from the leaders the only personnel allowed were two technicians and there was not a controlled seating plan.
The leaders were also seated in arm chairs with only small side tables so desk mics were not possible. With just a weeks notice from the meeting it was decided by the CHOGM secretariat to use our push button tripod mounted DCS/5 Digimics. Again, the leaders could sit anywhere so until a name list could be programmed into the computer we needed a work around!
Each Digimic was numbered on its face in 75 mm letters so that until we had the name list installed the PM could only see on his personal monitor a mic number that was requesting to speak so he could look for the mic number (3 to 10 to his left, 30's straight ahead and 50's to his right).
Problem with name lists?
Not really - by this stage our technician knew the names and countries of half the leaders so as they sat down we already had a blank name list for a new session in the M95 Software.
We also had open on our technicians screen the last session name list so as the leaders sat down we simply cut and pasted and within 3 speakers speeches (av. speaking time each 10 minutes) we had the whole name list redone.
PM Howard telling us that this was the first conference that he had attended where he could hear, and more importantly, understand, every word spoken and that the control of the mics was wonderful.
Next time we will try and convince the Customer to use the Brähler ICS® CONGRESS DATA SYSTEM-200® with Chip-Card. In short this simply means that as a delegate takes a seat it is simply a matter of inserting a chip card (just like a credit card) with the Leader's name on it into our CDS unit and instantly the unit is programmed to display the leaders name. Likewise if a leader changes seat it is simply a matter of changing their chip card with them.
We feel that the whole job was another huge success for:
the Brähler Network
Staging Connections &
our customer, The Australian Government.
"...you told me and I forgot, you showed me and I saw, you involved me and I remembered."
be sure. BRAMSHAW®