Part 3: Keep hydrated – reduce plastic waste

In our article about carpets, it already became clear that the event industry, like most industries, should focus heavily on waste management, in order to reduce filling up landfill sites with perfectly re-useable materials. At ACS we are not only looking at what we can do on a corporate level to reduce waste, but also on an individual level.

When building large temporary conference rooms, it involves a lot of extremely hard-working people. Men and women who work long days to build the beautiful and comfortable halls visitors will eventually get to enjoy. During this hard work it is important that everyone stays hydrated. Traditionally, this is done by using a lot of single-use plastic bottles. It is hard to estimate exactly how many are used because of a large number of variables. However, anyone who has ever witnessed the building-up phase of a congress has probably noticed the large piles of plastic bottles ending up in the trash after a single-use. What is known is that every year up to 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean where it will never be fully broken down. It will deteriorate into smaller pieces, but will then enter into the food chain. These numbers are staggering to say the least. Single-use water bottles are a part of this enormous mountain of waste. This is especially unfortunate, considering that tap water in Europe is of extraordinary high-quality and therefore branded bottled water does not need to be consumed.

This is exactly the philosophy of the bottle company Dopper. According to their research, every minute 1 million single-use plastic bottles are sold worldwide! Dopper is fighting this accumulating problem by  challenging any excuse to keep buying these highly polluting single-use plastic bottles. According to estimates every Dopper bottle prevents 40 single-use plastic bottles a year from entering our ocean. The Dopper bottles are certified as fully circular, so no new plastic has  been used in their production. They are actively investing in education programs that make people aware of the magnitude of the problem. Dopper also invests in clean tap water projects in Nepal. Lastly, Dopper is a certified B Corp, which is one of the highest standards a company can have in terms of doing ethical business.

In order to stimulate using only reusable bottles, ACS has recently purchased a Dopper bottle for all of its employees. This is just one of the many ways ACS contributes to the many complex solutions that shifting our society to a more sustainable place requires.

Part 2: LED there be light

The original light bulb was not a light source. It was in fact a heating element that also emitted some light.

This was actually a frequently referred to joke, because light sources were so inefficient, they generated more heat than light. Traditional incandescent light bulbs only transferred 20% of the energy used into light. The other 80% of the electricity was lost as heat. Luckily, we have come a long way since these first light sources and related initial efficiency numbers. These days, Light Emitting Diodes or LED use about 85% less electricity than conventional bulbs. Hopefully this immediately illustrates why choosing your light source is an important part of any sustainability strategy. Until recently however, LED applications were fairly limited in terms of light color and direction, but the range of possibilities are rapidly becoming the new standard.

Huge energy savings are not the only reason why LED should be the light source of choice for private and business applications. LED light sources have significantly longer expected life spans – in other words less replacements are needed, which saves the energy of both production and end of life processing. In reality LED is one of the best sustainability investments any individual or businesses can make, both in terms of kgs of C02 saved in production emissions and the energy needed to illuminate them.

You might think; switching to solar panels or another sustainable energy source has a much bigger impact than switching to LED. This is true in relation to the significantly higher amount of investments made in this sector, but also means considerably more costs are needed to implement. Concluding that LED is clearly the sustainability ROI winner. However, to truly become more sustainable the initial step is to find ways to reduce energy use, rather than looking for ways to make more energy in sustainable ways.

ACS helps clients with this by providing more efficient light sources, which require less electricity. This also means that clients need to buy less energy due to the energy efficient equipment we install. Get in touch to see how we can help you make your next event more sustainable.

Part 1: The magic of carpet

At ACS, we pride ourselves in providing a high quality service, and we are now challenging ourselves to raise the bar on a sustainability level as well. As one can imagine, making events more sustainable needs to be addressed on many different layers. Today we want to shed some more light on what can literally be considered as the foundation of every event: carpets.

Carpets are as important as they are usually overlooked at events. However, make no mistake, without them, congresses would be perceived as a lot less comfortable. Shortly summarized they contribute in the following areas of the created ambiance:

  • Looks; they make any empty congress center a lot more welcoming, instead of the bare concrete floors that are the usual standard.
  • Acoustics; carpets play an important role in eliminating echo and reducing the white noise created by a volume of visitors to an event.
  • Feel; walking on carpet is usually a lot more comfortable for visitors who are usually on their feet for a large percentage of the day. Especially when several kilometers need to be covered per day at the event.

One might wonder what all of this has to do with sustainability? The answer is simple. There are two ways AV companies in general lay carpet. One way consists of sol called ‘roll out‘ carpets. Though these carpets are relatively easy to install, they are in general single use. Since most congresses extend to several thousands of square meters the amount of waste caused by this single use technique is substantial.

The other carpet technique, and the one ACS prefers, is working with carpet tiles. Though the installation of these tiles takes a bit longer than the rolling carpet, the reusable proportions make this a much more sustainable alternative. The carpet tiles ACS usually installs are supplied by JMT. Each tile is usually used between 20-50 times before they are completely worn down. After each use they are carefully brushed and cleaned, they are then sent off to their next event. Even when they can no longer be reused these carpets are recycled by the initial supplier. So again; the amount of material saved from landfills by using these carpet tiles should not be overlooked. The next time you host or attend an event, it is worth considering what you’ll be standing on!

News

Delving deeper into audio visual technology – Part 3

We have been delving a little deeper into audio visual technology, through a number of interview sessions with our technical specialists. We wanted to know what questions or problems our technicians encounter in their daily work. If needed we are happy to add some theory to these answers, because sometimes it is necessary to have a little more background information to understand why a certain solution has been chosen.

We kick off the series with an interview with one of our audio technology specialists.

 

Topic: Audio Technology

Audio Part 3

At events, we see more attention being given to video, lighting and decoration. The most basic instrument available to us in terms of technology is sound, but this is often neglected. And yet good sound quality is essential to the success of an event. Even if you have a TEDx level speaker, if the presenter can’t be clearly heard by the audience in the back rows, the presentation is worthless. We asked our technicians what it takes to make a meeting or conference a success in terms of considering the influence of the room’s acoustics when it comes to speech transmission.

    1. How are speakers used in a room?

If we look at the set-up of speaker systems, we often see that several speakers are installed, either grouped or distributed along the length of the room. There are two reasons for this:
1.           Proportional distribution of sound throughout the room.
2.           Reducing the effects of sound delay.

Re 1. Proportional distribution:
For an optimal experience, we cover the entire room with a sound that is as even as possible. In doing so, we ensure that the intelligibility is of a high quality everywhere at a volume that is pleasant for all participants. If the sound is not optimally spread, this can lead to a lack of understanding of the speaker, which often results in listener fatigue and irritation. This applies in particular to listeners whose native language is not the spoken language.

Re 2. Reducing the effects of sound delay:
The time between the departure of the sound at the source and its arrival at the receiver is the delay time. With larger distances between source and receiver, the time between sending and receiving increases, which can lead to a situation in which rooms have to use several loudspeakers in order to get a covering sound. In this case, delay is applied, which is actually a (time) correction to compensate for the difference in distance without an audible side effect.

     2. Can you give an example of how delay is applied in a hall?

A hall is divided in 3 zones to cover the sound. At the front, near the stage is zone 1, the middle zone 2 and at the back of the hall zone 3. All 3 zones have a set of speakers to cover the whole room.
If no delay is applied, the sound from zone 1 leaks through to zone 2.  Because the distance from the reproducers /speakers to the receiver in zone 2 is longer than that of the speakers in zone 1, the sound arrives delayed. This is not only disturbing but also confusing for the receiver.
To ensure that the sound in all 3 zones arrives simultaneously, a delay of a few milliseconds is applied, just enough to not hear any disturbing ‘doubling’ of the sound.

     3. What is also often mentioned in connection with audio is the word frequency. What is it exactly?

If sound is seen as a wave, then a frequency is the time between the waves. The time between the waves determines the different pitches in sound, expressed in vibrations per second: Hertz.
One Hertz therefore corresponds to one vibration per second.  However, when sound engineers talk about frequencies, we usually refer to the extremes, a low sound, e.g. the hum of an engine/bass or high sounds such as (horror!) the dentist’s drill. Everything in between high and low is called the mid. Although the frequency range varies in minimum and maximum for each person, human speech falls almost entirely into the ‘mid’ spectrum.
Frequencies in a sound wave can easily be visualized by looking at the vibrations of the cone of a speaker. At low frequencies the cone will vibrate less often but make larger movements and at high frequencies the vibrations are faster and the movements smaller.

Do you have any specific questions about sound?
Just ask us and we will answer them in our next post. For advice you can always reach us by email or phone.

News

Interview -Vincenzo Fornoni (Manager Sustainability)

From time to time, we will interview an ACS employee. This way we trust to give you a better insight into our people. In this issue our Project Manager for Sustainability Vincenzo Fornoni is interviewed. In this interview he shares his vision of sustainability for ACS and the Meeting Industry.

 

 

Age: born in 1993

Job title: Project Manager Sustainability

Number of years working for ACS: since February 2022

     1. How did your interest in sustainability begin?

One of my earliest memories about this subject was a conversation I had with my father, when I was about six years old. I suggested to him, that we should just place a bunch of refrigerators together and open their doors to cool down the planet. That’s when I realized that climate change and global warming is a real threat and the way that we live is endangering our own habitat.

I felt duty bound at a fairly young age that if I am going to contribute anything in my life, in terms of a job, it should be doing something to solve this enormous problem. As I grew older, I learned how entrepreneurs and commercial industries pretty much shape the societies that we live in. So, I chose my bachelor’s study in organizational innovation and entrepreneurship, which is basically business administration 2.0. I wanted to become an active player and come up with an idea that supports my bigger ideology; to not jeopardize our quality of living through the amount of pollution we create.

     2. What relevant experience do you bring to ACS?

Not only do I bring a fresh pair of eyes to assess the challenges facing ACS and the Meeting Industry, but as a Sustainability Consultant, I have learned that sustainability is just another word for efficiency. By becoming more efficient, it is possible to create a huge positive impact. So I am currently evaluating ways to increase the efficiency of ACS’s transportation movements, and how we can do more by using less resources, as well as lowering our use of fossil resources. I also bring a huge amount of enthusiasm to my role. If you want change, you need to engage with people, and I believe enthusiasm is contagious and essential to getting a team on board to affect change.

     3. Why do you think it’s important for ACS and the meeting industry to work more sustainably?

I believe we all have a responsibility in addressing climate change and sustainability. Not just ACS, but the event industry as a whole. We must all step up and take responsibility in becoming more aware and more efficient, especially in terms of waste management and energy consumption

     4. Have you identified some ways to implement some quick wins?

We are currently reviewing a concept called “glocalization”, which means thinking globally, and acting locally. We’re looking at how to effectively make use of as many local resources as possible, both in terms of material and people. I believe this really is the way forward; to minimize the amount of transportation used; with people on planes, and moving truckloads of basic equipment. This is actually where the entire meeting industry can win, as this is by far one of the biggest aspects of its ecological footprint.

     5. Are there any aspects that can be rolled out both nationally and internationally?

The corona pandemic and subsequent lockdowns forced everyone in the meeting industry to think outside the box, and from this hybrid events have emerged, where at least some part, if not all, of the program became virtual. At first people were happy that they could finally cut so many travel hours and work from home. But then we saw that the in-person experiences were very much missed. So, it is clear the industry is not yet ready to go fully digital, but ACS offers many more forms of hybrid solutions which significantly reduce the need to travel.

We are also reviewing the use of transportation which runs on sustainable fuels; such as electric trucks. But at this point in time, this is only possible for national implementation, as sadly technological innovation cannot yet offer long-distance options from Amsterdam to locations outside the Netherlands.

     6. Do you plan to implement some sort of measurement within the organization?

I’m a strong believer in data driven decision making, and a baseline measurement is really important for any type of industry. Once our strategy to reduce our footprint is clearly defined, together with the cost benefit analysis of working with local suppliers, we can see what the trade-off is and use the pollution factor as an added dimension to our decision making process.

7.  How do you see suppliers and customers playing a role with regard to sustainability?

There is an accelerating trend that sees both suppliers and customers having increasingly high demands in terms of the services and products they use. The event industry is no different and is only just starting to embrace more sustainable solutions and services. This offers ACS the opportunity to lead the way in integrating sustainable solutions into their existing high-quality services.

8. What else can you share, so people can really get to know you?

I am passionate about making a positive impact on this planet of ours. The pandemic showed us how quickly ecosystems can recover if you just leave them alone, even for a couple of months. Which I believe is a message of hope – but there is no time to waste – we just need to take steps to create the change that we want to see in the world.

News

Delving deeper into audio visual technology – Part 2

Echo

We have been delving a little deeper into audio visual technology, through a number of interview sessions with our technical specialists. We wanted to know what questions or problems our technicians encounter in their daily work. If needed we are happy to add some theory to these answers, because sometimes it is necessary to have a little more background information to understand why a certain solution has been chosen.

We kick off the series with an interview with one of our audio technology specialists.

 

Topic: Audio Technology

Audio Part 2

At events, we see more attention being given to video, lighting and decoration. The most basic instrument available to us in terms of technology is sound, but this is often neglected. And yet good sound quality is essential to the success of an event. Even if you have a TEDx level speaker, if the presenter can’t be clearly heard by the audience in the back rows, the presentation is worthless. We asked our technicians what it takes to make a meeting or conference a success in terms of considering the influence of the room’s acoustics when it comes to speech transmission.

    1. You are talking about reverberation. Most people are more familiar with the word echo. Is there a difference?

Yes, reverb and echo are not the same. The difference lies in the time it takes for the sound to reach the source. Reverberation returns to the source within 0.1 seconds; anything more than 0.1 seconds is called an echo.

     2. When talking about sound in rooms, the word acoustics is often used. What are acoustics?

Acoustics are the influence that a room has on the sound and reverberation of sound. When people say “this room has poor acoustics”, they mean that the characteristics of the room are not ideal for the use they have in mind. This can apply to a stadium, for example, but also to a church, a lecture hall or a room in a hotel where meetings are held. It should be noted that there is a big difference in acoustic performance depending on the use. A concert hall is perfectly suited to the reproduction of unamplified instruments, but without modifications it is not suited to rock concerts. Pop stages and discotheques, on the other hand, are designed for maximum sound absorption and are therefore not suitable for classical reproduction.

     3. How can you adjust the acoustics of a room?

Treating or manipulating/editing the acoustics of a room can be done in different ways:
– Physical: adjusting or re-configuring and manipulating the room e.g. by adding damping or reflective materials, lowering a ceiling or moving the position of stage and/or loudspeakers.
– Artificially, by means of equipment that can edit the sound. By using signal filters that are set in the sound mixing desk, adjustments are made at a frequency level. The frequency (wavelength of the sound) that has acoustically undesirable effects can be filtered out very precisely in order to achieve good reproduction.

     4. As an AV company, can you make physical adjustments to the client’s room?

This is possible, depending on the specific situation, solutions can be applied everywhere.
ACS is a specialist in building temporary congress halls in exhibition halls and therefore has a far-reaching influence on the physical properties of these spaces. The position of the stage, loudspeakers, hanging soundproof curtains, laying down carpet and placing upholstered fabrics, ensure that reflections can be reduced.

     5. How can you make sure that the voice is audible to everyone in a room?

The audio technician has several resources at his disposal with which he converts, amplifies and refines vocal sounds.
The most important tools are the mixing desk, the equalizer and the amplifier.
– After the microphone, the mixing desk is the first stage where the sound is processed. This is where the first amplification and refinement is made, specifically for each source (= the origin of the signal).
– Then, in the mixer, all sources are mixed into 1 signal, the master signal. This signal then passes through an equalizer that adjusts the signal specifically for this room.
– Finally, the signal passes through an amplifier, where the volume can be adjusted for each speaker (group).

Do you have any specific questions about sound?
Just ask us and we will answer them in our next post. For advice you can always reach us by email or phone.

News

Delving deeper into audio visual technology – Part 1

We have been delving a little deeper into audio visual technology, through a number of interview sessions with our technical specialists. We wanted to know what questions or problems our technicians encounter in their daily work. If needed we are happy to add some theory to these answers, because sometimes it is necessary to have a little more background information to understand why a certain solution has been chosen.

We kick off the series with an interview with one of our audio technology specialists.

 

Topic: Audio Technology

Audio Part 1

At events, we see more attention being given to video, lighting and decoration. The most basic instrument available to us in terms of technology is sound, but this is often neglected. And yet good sound quality is essential to the success of an event. Even if you have a TEDx level speaker, if the presenter can’t be clearly heard by the audience in the back rows, the presentation is worthless. We asked our technicians what it takes to make a meeting or conference a success in terms of considering the influence of the room’s acoustics when it comes to speech transmission.

    1. Let’s start at the beginning: a technician does not talk about sound, but about audio. What does audio mean?

The word audio comes from Latin and literally means “I hear”.  In everyday language, audio is used for everything that concerns the conversion of sound into an electrical signal. This can be either in analogue or digital form. For example; the conversion of sound into an electrical signal is possible via a microphone that converts the sound wave into an electrical signal via a membrane. This signal is then processed through a sound mixing desk, amplifier and finally made audible by loudspeakers.

     2. How do you determine which audio equipment is needed at a location?

It is very important that we first look at the space where the event is taking place. If we don’t know the space yet, we always plan a site visit first. We look at the dimensions of the room and what materials have been used for the decoration and the furniture.  Of course, it is essential to know what is going to happen during the event, and this is the first question that needs to be asked. Will there be a musical performance, singing or just presentations? How many loudspeakers are involved, how many participants are expected? Will there be questions from the audience etc. Speech uses far fewer frequencies than a musical performance, for example. This is all important to plan what equipment we will need for the event.

     3. Why does an audio engineer often clap his hands when entering a room?

With this simple action, the technician gets an idea of what the reverberation of the room is like. When a sound wave comes into contact with smooth and hard objects, part of it is reflected. Part of the sound is absorbed particularly with soft materials such as curtains and carpets. The sound that remains “hangs” in the room as a reflection, and this is called reverberation. So by clapping their hands, the technician already gets a sense of how sound behaves in the room in question.

     4. Are there also more advanced ways to check how the sound behaves in a room?

To be able to give the customer the best possible advice, we always make an “audio shoot” for the larger halls where we will be working. Different programs are available to accurately calculate how to distribute the audio to the selected loudspeakers in the halls. As we know the objectives for a conference are different from those of a pop concert. The most important thing is that everyone in the room has (as much as possible) the same experience during the event, no matter where you are in the room. During the construction of an event, after the loudspeakers have been installed, an analyzer is used to check whether the objective has been achieved and, if necessary, to make adjustments. During the measurement, we also check whether the various loudspeakers are in time and can add a delay.

This is the first part about audio. There will be a sequel to this text soon.

Do you have any specific questions about sound?
Just ask us and we will answer them in our next post. For advice you can always reach us by email or phone.

News

RAI, ACS and AIPC join forces for Annual Conference – Digital

In today’s challenging environment, AIPC is committed to bringing their community and the greater meetings industry together to share experiences and insights and together shape the future of convention center management in a post-COVID world.

As the different regions of the world are at different stages of pandemic battle efforts, they recognized that bringing the entire AIPC community physically together will be challenging this year.

Therefore, AIPC will organize a hybrid version of the Annual Conference (AC) in 2021 – AC:D (Annual Conference: Digital) will take place on 9th and 12 of July live from a studio at RAI Amsterdam; and AC:L (Annual Conference: Live) will take place on-site in Lausanne, Switzerland on 13th and 14th of July. They believe that given their operating circumstances, this arrangement will offer the best possible experience to AC participants, in a format which is best fit for purpose and convenience.

The AC:D – which will run on Friday July 9th and Monday July 12th – will offer 2 x 20 hours of content and debate designed based on time-zone blocks for Asia, Europe and Americas and recorded for future consumption. This will allow participants to enjoy a full conference programme, wherever they are based. Short and inspiring lectures on the topics listed above will be combined with roundtables and workshops, enabling interaction and networking. Sessions will also be recorded and made available to the participants.

For the delivery of the Digital Annual Conference, AIPC has joined forces with ACS audiovisual solutions and RAI Amsterdam.

ACS audiovisual solutions has been a longstanding business partner of AIPC and has always been involved in the Annual Congresses as a provider of audiovisual services. For this edition, ACS will provide a very different service: the production of the Digital AIPC Annual Conference, which comes very close to the production of a TV-show.

Jarno de Boer, Business Development Manager ACS: “Because of Covid many of our clients had to make a sudden switch from live to online. We at ACS recognized the challenges that venues and organisers encounter in this process and developed a pallet of digital services that enables them to create powerful online and hybrid events. We are happy that we can support the AC:D version of the annual conference of AIPC and are sure that it will give participants the opportunity to make the most out of it!

Next to a professional production team, AIPC also required a high-tech studio. Being a longstanding member and supporter of AIPC, RAI Amsterdam kindly offered the use of its brand-new studio, providing the perfect setting for delivering upon the high ambitions.

Maurits van der Sluis, COO RAI Amsterdam explains: “In July 2012 we welcomed 180 CEO’s, Directors and Marketing Managers of at least 150 convention centres from around the world at RAI Amsterdam during the AIPC Annual Conference. I am happy that with this new technology we are able to connect and interact with each other during the event this year, on the 9th and 12th of July, but I can’t wait to see all my colleagues live again in 2022”.

By joining forces, we believe we will be able to deliver a unique and engaging experience to participants across the globe and we look forward to welcoming you.

Organizing an event succesfully?

Are you looking for an audiovisual partner who can take all your worries off your hands? Contact one of our specialists directly.

News

ACS remains the preferred supplier of RAI Amsterdam

Thursday April 15th 2021, a contract was signed between RAI Amsterdam and ACS audiovisual solutions that will prolong their partnership for the coming years.

More than 40 years ago, ACS started as the (technical) department of RAI Amsterdam. After a management buy-out in 2004, ACS continued the partnership with the RAI as preferred supplier for all audio visual and event related IT services.

For this special moment, the temporal studio, which ACS facilitates, in the Amsterdam RAI was used. This studio has been built to facilitate live presentations, interviews and panel discussions for online events in the RAI. ACS is also one of the partners of “The Stage is Yours”, a plug-and-play concept in Hall 2 of the RAI, whereby 1,100 people can come together for a fully corona-proof event or conference.

“With ACS audiovisual solutions, we can offer high-quality audio visual support and temporary conference room construction to our customers. In addition to the audio visual facilities, there are of course the digital solutions, which have grown enormously during the last year and where the knowledge and support of ACS is very important to us. We look forward to continuing our collaboration”.

Maurits van der Sluis
COO RAI Amsterdam

“ACS is proud of the many years of cooperation with the RAI Amsterdam and we are pleased that we can continue this partnership. A number of special events has already been set for our future collaboration: large international conferences, for which ACS annually travels in Europe, will take place in the RAI. These conferences represent an enormous boost for Amsterdam, and the conference and hospitality industry”.

Jessica Ylstra
Manager Director ACS


Fotography: Jan Buteijn


For more information
ACS audiovisual solutions
Anneke Postma, Manager Marketing & Communication
a.postma@acsaudiovisual.com
tel. +31 20 6069340
www.acsaudiovisual.com

Organizing an event succesfully?

Are you looking for an audiovisual partner who can take all your worries off your hands? Contact one of our specialists directly.

News

Rotterdam Ahoy signs contract with ACS audiovisual solutions

On the 24th March, Jolanda Jansen of Rotterdam Ahoy and Jessica Ylstra of ACS audiovisual solutions signed a contract, making ACS the preferred supplier for rental of AV facilities in all the larger conference rooms of the brand-new Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre (RACC).

ACS has been preferred supplier for audiovisual solutions to the former Congress and Meeting Center of the Ahoy in Rotterdam. The continuation of the partnership with the new Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Center (RACC) is therefore the confirmation of our successful cooperation and synergy from past years.

Jolanda Jansen, General Manager of Rotterdam Ahoy said, “During an extensive market consultation and tendering process, ACS has convinced us on all fronts. In the past they proved to be a reliable and proactive partner and they are recognized worldwide for their expertise in the field of audiovisual solutions for large congresses. We are happy that we can depend on their knowledge, expertise and innovative solutions in the future and that they will continue to support and give peace of mind to our customers during their events”.

Jessica Ylstra, Managing Director of ACS audiovisual solutions commented, “ACS has a lot of experience in handling large national and international congresses and has an extensive network that we will certainly use to acquire new events and clients on behalf of the RACC. We are very pleased with the longstanding collaboration with the Ahoy, where we are given space to collaborate and offer the best solutions for the clients”.

The International RACC features 35 rooms, beautiful foyers and exhibition spaces. This makes it very flexible for a broad variety of congresses and conventions; from large International conferences to smaller business meetings. In 2020 the RMT stage also opened its doors, a unique space within the new construction. It is not only a state-of-the-art concert hall with a capacity of more than 7,800 seats, but the area can also be expanded into the largest theater hall/auditorium of the Netherlands. Boasting more than 2,800 seats and an XL seated version with 4,000 seats.

 

For more information
ACS audiovisual solutions
Anneke Postma, Manager Marketing & Communication
a.postma@acsaudiovisual.com
tel. +31 20 6069340
www.acsaudiovisual.com

management_Ahoy-ACS_in front of building

Organizing an event succesfully?

Are you looking for an audiovisual partner who can take all your worries off your hands? Contact one of our specialists directly.

News

AV combined with monumental spaces – An interview with Heirloom (operator of 3rd place winner National Meeting Award: Paushuize, Utrecht)

In the week of April 6, the winners of the National Meeting Award (the independent award for the best meeting and event location in the Netherlands) were announced. Two of our partner locations won prizes in the “Large” category! The Carlton President Hotel (# 2) and Paushuize (# 3), both located in Utrecht, were successful in quality, hospitality and entrepreneurship. In connection with the tightened corona measures the presentation of course took place in a private online meeting.

ACS took the opportunity and spoke with Heirloom, responsible for the implementation of meetings in Paushuize, about how we, as an audiovisual supplier, best combine our technology with their monumental space.

The employees responsible for marketing within both organisations, Jurrien and Elize, were each given the opportunity to ask a number of questions to the other.

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Jurrien van de Wiel (Marketing & Communications, ACS)

 

The jury of the National Meeting Award said the following about Paushuize Utrecht:

“A monumental building with lots of daylight. The location has classic and high-end style furnished rooms, offers a lot of diversity and has been beautifully restored. The contact is warm and customer-friendly.”

 

  1. Jurrien: What do you think makes Paushuize such a unique meetings and event location?

Elize: Paushuize is a 16th-century city palace, built for the only pope the Netherlands ever had. The building has 16 spaces, spread over four floors. Each floor has a different appearance, so there is always a space that is suitable for the meeting. Paushuize is located in the heart of the historic centre of Utrecht, with a view of the Dom Tower. Since the renovation in 2011, Paushuize has been one of the most sustainable monuments in the Netherlands. Our product and service is of the highest level at all our locations. Personal attention and customisation are the keywords, we want to ensure that every guest feels at home.

 

2. Jurrien: What role does AV play in that story?

Elize: A form of AV support is required for almost all meetings, be it an extensive presentation with image and sound at a large conference, or background music at a dinner. We would like to relieve our guests of this bother; we like to think along with them, regarding their wishes and how to best implement them.

 

3. Jurrien: What is the importance of good AV for your customers?

Elize: A meeting consists of many different aspects that determine its success. The location, service and personal care are very important for this. But that can all be undone if the sound is not right, the presentation falters or the screen is not clearly visible. Good AV is an absolute precondition for a successful meeting.

 

4. Jurrien: Your umbrella organisation Heirloom has a total of three locations; all monumental buildings, where we also work a lot in the Geertekerk. Are there things that an audiovisual supplier should pay extra attention to in a monumental building?

Elize: For Paushuize (but also for the Geertekerk and Huize Molenaar, our other locations), only very limited equipment can be integrated in the rooms, as this would greatly disturb the monumental appearance. This means that we make extensive use of mobile setups. We always look at how the space can be used optimally and how we can do this best. This is often a challenge because a monument is more vulnerable than contemporary locations. For example, you cannot lay rails for a camera on a wooden, monumental floor.

 

5. Jurrien: How do you think ACS handles this?

Elize: Our permanent contact person of your organisation, Jaap, is always on the same wavelength with us, is honest about the possibilities and looks at alternatives. The ACS employees who work in our properties are always careful and ensure that our guests feel well supported during their meeting.

 

 

Elize Aal (Marketing & Event Planner, heirloom)

 

1. Elize: What is the biggest challenge for ACS according to a monumental building?

Jurrien: Monumental buildings are often in special locations. As an AV supplier, this brings additional challenges when it comes to, for example, loading and unloading equipment and noise standards. Technology in monumental spaces therefore always requires customisation. Think of power outlets that are different, rigging points that are missing, so everything has to be airborne with truss, as cables running across the floor cannot be taped.

 

2. Elize: How do you prepare for an event in a monumental building? Is that different from an assignment in a new building or warehouse?

Jurrien: Basically no different from normal. It is important that we know in advance which preconditions we must take into account, so that we can give extra instructions to our staff prior to the event. Especially when it comes to caution that is required at the location concerned.

 

3. Elize: What is the most rememberable production that you have provided in a monumental building?

Jurrien: Our production for an international investment company in the Gashouder, Amsterdam last year really stands out in that aspect. It was also the biggest production ever in terms of turnover for our National Branches. Showcase>

 

4. Elize: What tips do you give our and other meeting locations for the future?

Jurrien: Keep innovating, keep training your staff in the field of AV. The only way that you as location can give the customer the best advice is if you are aware what is available in the market. Make use of the free sales and operations training that ACS has to offer to its partners.

We advise you to stick to your core values ​​as much as possible. It is no coincidence that the jury has awarded you third place in the category of large meeting and event locations.

 

5. Elize: What will your work look like in 5 years? (what’s the biggest difference from now?)

Jurrien: ACS expects developments in online services to accelerate due to the corona crisis. Although live events will never disappear completely, digital solutions will be used more and more widely in five years’ time. This means that by that time we will increasingly advise and facilitate our customers in a different way. And that of course has an effect on all departments within the organisation, from investment to marketing.

 

In this uncertain period, we know one thing for sure: we hope to work with Heirloom and its various locations for a long time to come. Our wish is to increasingly introduce and facilitate customers at its locations in the future. And this award will only make it easier for us. Congratulations again, also to the other winners and nominees!

Organizing an event succesfully?

Are you looking for an audiovisual partner who can take all your worries off your hands? Contact one of our specialists directly.

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Interview – Simon Stoel (Technical Coordinator)

From time to time, we will interview an ACS employee. This way we trust to give you a better insight into our people. We ask them both work-related and personal questions. In this issue our Technical Coordinator Simon Stoel is interviewed.

 

Age: 25

Job title: Technical Coordinator

Number of years working for ACS: 5 years

     1. What did you do before you started working at ACS?

Before I started working for ACS, I successfully completed my study in AV and Event Technology at the Media College in Amsterdam. During that period I completed two internships at ACS, each six months long. Following those, I started working as a technician at ACS and in three years I have grown to my current position as Technical Coordinator.

     2. Which three qualities make you a good Technical Coordinator?

As a Technical Coordinator you work a lot with people and that is exactly what I like to do. In addition to this I am calm, helpful and can think on my feet. This comes in handy when I have to plan jobs beforehand and manage them on location. I know how to keep a cool head in the event of setbacks and I am able to anticipate last minute changes.

     3. What is the main reason you came to work for ACS?

During my studies I enjoyed my time as an intern at ACS. During this period I found out that ACS is a fun organisation with great colleagues and assignments within the conference and events market. The varied work of large and small jobs in combination of working with freelancers and permanent colleagues, really appealed to me. In addition, it was the colleagues themselves who recommended me to work at ACS, which is of course a great compliment for someone who had just completed his studies.

     4. What does an average working day look like for you?

Let’s be clear that my days during this COVID-19 situation look very different, but normally I spend 30% of my time in the office and 70% on location. In the office I am mainly participating in preparing the production. This involves making and monitoring different schedules, like looking at which equipment is suitable and what is available.

On location I am usually the manager of the crew. I ensure a clear division of tasks and that everyone preforms them. The rest of my work depends on the size of the assignment. For small assignments I am a working foreman and I help with the construction myself. For larger jobs, I need that time for contact with the customer and the location.

     5. Where do you get the most satisfaction at work?

When an event has been successful and the customer is happy. It gives extra satisfaction if your own ideas at the start of the process eventually become reality. Especially when the job is done with nice people and without any problems.

     6. What is the most challenging project you have faced at ACS so far? And how did you approach this?

Although every project is challenging, my most challenging job was at Hotel Okura Amsterdam two years ago. At that time I had just grown into the position of Technical Coordinator. It was one of my first assignments as a manager of the crew, while at the same time it was the biggest job of the National Branches in terms of turnover.

It was a customer who wanted everything to be clear and specified. Coordinating with people from different countries sometimes made this difficult. Also challenging was the fact that several changes of rooms and walls had to take place during the event. As a result, many standard setups were not possible to implement. This happened in the evening, which meant that there was a lot of changes in the technical personnel.

Fortunately everything went well and the customer was very satisfied. For that reason I often think back to this challenging and successful event.

     7. What is your best experience at ACS so far?

There are plenty of great memories to think back on when working within such a close team, but the best moments are after a job, when you go out for a bite to eat with colleagues and talk about things that are not related to work .

     8. Why would you recommend working at ACS?

ACS is an excellent learning opportunity. Because of the varied work, the courses that are offered and the possibilities to grow into positions with more responsibility, I learn every day. You will work in a very close team full of people who are always ready to help each other. Fun is a certainty.

     9. What makes you very happy outside working hours?

In my spare time I enjoy doing things together with friends and family. I enjoy ballroom dancing which I have been doing for more than ten years.

     10. What else do people really need to know about you?

I have been passionate about photography since childhood. Nowadays I do too little with it, but I really enjoy doing it. I still take my big camera with me when I travel. However, my interest in photography has ensured that I have come into contact with the AV world. During the open day of the Media College in Amsterdam, where I actually went to look for a Photography education, my interest in AV was awakened. Before that, I didn’t even know that there was a separate market and study for it. For example, no one in my family works in this industry. Funny how things can turn out.

News

Interview – Michiel Langedijk (International Floormanager)

From time to time, we will interview an ACS employee. This way we trust to give you a better insight into our people. We ask them both work-related and personal questions. This time it was our Floormanager Michiel Langedijk’s turn.

 

Age: 37

Job title: Floormanager

Number of years working for ACS: > 7 years

     1. What did you do before you started working at ACS?

Before this I worked as a self-employed person/freelancer in the event industry. In addition to providing technical services, I produced various video productions. I really liked the variety, one week I was at a festival and the other week I was editing in a room.

     2. Which three qualities make you a good Floormanager?

That is a difficult question to answer. I feel my colleagues and the freelancers are in better position to judge that. They can undoubtedly best indicate in which area I am still able to grow.

In general, I think a good Floormanager is someone that is a good leader in various aspects. They must be able to keep an overview of the project, provide the right information to the people within the team and be decisive when making decisions.

     3. What is the main reason you came to work for ACS?

It was a career opportunity for me working with professional colleagues, the high-end equipment that ACS has at its disposal and being able to grow in a healthy company. ACS has a large warehouse, and offers you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills during quiet periods. At the same time you have to (sometimes under pressure) deliver in practice. I think If you can accomplish both those aspects together with talented and passionate colleagues, you are in a privileged job.

     4. What does an average working day look like for you?

Again a difficult question, because my work consists for 50% of office work and 50% on location / production. In the office my main tasks are carrying out technical inspections and creating numerous schedules for personnel and production. With production planning you think about which discipline should take place and in which order. I think of logistical processes such as when the carpet must be placed, and when the chairs can be delivered. On location it mainly depends on the size of the production.

Finally, I am also active in the works council and I coach various colleagues with their personal development within the organisation. In short, no two days are the same and that really appeals to me in this position.

     5. Where do you get the most satisfaction at work?

The great thing about our work is that every production is a new challenge. We approach every assignment as a first chance. Even when we repeat a previous setup, there are always things that we can optimise. This way we keep ourselves sharp. This is what I feel that gives me the most satisfaction.

     6. What is the most challenging project you have faced at ACS so far? And how did you approach this?

Satisfaction, for me, is not always in the final product, but more often than in the process prior to it. After all, my work must ensure that everything runs smoothly. Nevertheless, with a tight and realistic production schedule, there are always unforeseen challenges lurking. So, as a floor manager, it is up to me to keep an overview, as well as to monitor the planning, all this while making time schedule adjustments.

An example where such a self-devised strategy went smoothly for me was at ECTRIMS 2019. Here, we had to set up a room for 4,000 people with 19 projectors in one and half days. The challenge was mainly in the limited construction time. Proper preparation was therefore crucial and together with colleagues from the pre-production planning, we were able to prepare the video schedule down to the last detail, allowing for less time to be spend on this onsite.

On-site we subdivided our crew into four teams and our decision was to let them work in shifts. All this resulted in a good production that was delivered on time. A great achievement for the entire team!

     7. What is your best memory of ACS so far?

Our work is sometimes hectic and stressful. There is nothing better than relaxing together after a job. This can go on late and be fun, nevertheless, of course only when the work schedule allows for it?

     8. Why would you recommend working at ACS?

In addition to working in an incredibly fun industry, the freedom and development opportunities within ACS are very attractive.

     9. What makes you very happy outside working hours?

Besides visiting friends and family, I like to play outside and kite-surf. That is the ultimate down time for me.

     10. What else do people really need to know about you?

That I suffered from stammering as a child. This even happens to me sometimes to this day, especially when I am very enthusiastic, nervous or a little tired.

News

The EADV signs multi-year agreement with ACS audiovisual solutions

 

Amsterdam, October 22, 2019

 

The 28th annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) took place from 9 – 13 October 2019 at IFEMA, in Madrid. This edition represented the first congress part of a recently signed multi-year agreement between the EADV and ACS audiovisual solutions for the construction of temporary lecture rooms and the supply of audio visual facilities during their congresses.

The EADV is the leading community to further the knowledge of health professionals in the specific medical field of dermatology and venereology. The 28th EADV annual congress has been a great success, attracting over 12,700 participants from all over the World.

 

 

“We are very happy that we have chosen ACS as our preferred supplier. Not only for the building of temporary lecture rooms and audio visual facilities, but also for the construction and furnishing of the lounges, e-poster area and the business rooms. The congress in Madrid was very well received both by the delegates and the industry. They especially appreciated the quality of the temporary session rooms ACS has built. In the coming years we want to enhance the congress experience to the benefit of all our stakeholders, and feel very confident that we can do this together with ACS as our trusted partner”.

Martine de Sutter
CEO of the EADV

 

 

“We are honored that we can add the EADV to the list of most respected associations with whom we travel through Europe to support their annual events. We are proud to support them with our experience and innovative approach”.

Jessica Ylstra
CEO of ACS

 

 

 

In Madrid, ACS was responsible for the building and furnishing of 6 temporary lecture rooms, the overflow areas and the e-poster area. In addition to that they built the business rooms, the patient village and the EADV Resource Center and provided furniture for exhibitors upon request. ACS also supplied the audio and visual facilities in all session rooms throughout the venue..

 

For more information
ACS audiovisual solutions
Anneke Postma, Manager Marketing & Communication
a.postma@acsaudiovisual.com
tel. +31 20 6069340
www.acsaudiovisual.com

Organizing an event succesfully?

Are you looking for an audiovisual partner who can take all your worries off your hands? Contact one of our specialists directly.

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ACS takes care of her planet!

We all drink quite an amount of water each day. On average, an adult needs 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day to function properly. This is equal to 6 to 8 glasses per day.

Especially on hot days on the job, we lose a lot of moisture. That needs to be replenished. ACS offers water on the job. Until now usually in small bottles. Assuming everyone finishes the bottles, this would add up to about 6 bottles per person. This is hardly ever the case, which results in:

  • Wasting fresh water/money
  • Contribution to the shortage of the planet’s potable water supply
  • Responsibility for large amounts of plastic waste

Sufficient water intake is important, but so is taking care of our planet!

Fortunately, we don’t have to explain that to our employees. Now, at the request of one of our technicians, we have replaced the plastic water bottles during conferences for a sustainable, reusable designed drinking bottle!

It is good to hear that a company like ACS, that is committed tot sustainability, employs people who care about the preservation of our planet. After all, the first step to a better world starts with yourself! And we are happy to help them into a green, more sustainable direction. Together we take care of our planet!

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Interview – Erik Takes

From time to time, we will interview an ACS employee. This way we trust to give you a better picture of our people. We ask them both work-related and personal questions. Our Manager National Branches, Erik Takes, had the honour to kick off.

 

Age: 45

Job title: Manager National Branches

Number of years working for ACS: > 10 years

     1. What relevant (work) experience did you bring to ACS?

My background is quite diverse; after completing my secondary school, I successfully finished the Commercial Economics course at the HES Amsterdam. Parallel to this, I had the opportunity to follow training courses in England to be trained as a lighting designer. After the training I started working at the ABN AMRO Bank in commerce. In combination with that, I used days off to contribute to international audiovisual projects, with focus on lighting. After a few years I made the switch to ACS to turn my greatest hobby into my full-time job.

     2. Which three qualities make you a good manager?

I find it difficult and uncomfortable to comment on that… perhaps you should ask my colleagues. I know one thing for sure: you have to do this work with heart and soul and force yourself to be aware of all available techniques. We are granted assignments for very diverse clients with strongly varying wishes and requirements. In my opinion, it is essential that you can describe functional setups in a clear way, as well as being technically capable of having a conversation on indepth level.

 

     3. What is the main reason that you came to work for ACS?

Working at a full-scale service audiovisual company of a substantial size (84 FTE) which offers appealing customers suits me perfectly. There are no limits to the solutions that we can creatively conceive, design, develop and implement. The seamless connection with customer’s demand and the flawless realisation of productions, regardless of size and changing locations, is and remains a wonderful challenge.

     4. What does an average working day look like for you?

I start the day by waking our children and I usually bring my son to school, while my wife looks after our two daughters. From there, directly to the office.

I spend the first hour of the day dealing with current developments, requests and questions from colleagues. From the moment that the day is operational and any ad hoc requests are dealt with, there is time for other work. Then I start with making and reviewing quotes, necessary consultation at an individual and group level, agreements with existing and potential customers. Depending on the period in the year, cyclical tasks are also added such as determining investments, identifying new technical developments, performance and assessment interviews, updating sales plans, etc. The end of the regular working day is all about processing of during the day received non-urgent e-mail.

Two times a week, on average, I stay in the office in the evening to make time for zooming in on complex productions, working out reports and watching developments via LinkedIn. Then I return home to make sure that a new day brings with it a number of new puzzles that I would like to work on!

     5. What would you (still) like to achieve with you department?

What I would like to achieve is that the range of possible solutions for productions is not only known, but is also presented to our customers in an understandable way. Within ACS, we increasingly use visualizations based on the ideas discussed with the customer to support the quotation.

    

  6. What is the most challenging project that you have faced at ACS so far? And how did you approach this?

There are countless examples. I will describe two short ones that stand out for me for a variety of reasons:

Example 1

At the end of the second day, during a three-day conference, the customer requested us to turn the room 180 degrees. Normally with a set-up consisting of a large stage, full background in design and a large directing set-up, this is not something we can fix right away.

When we asked the customer about the reason for this change and inquired them about the feasibility in practical and financial terms, they were adament it needed to be done regardless the consequences . Since they had no satisfying answer on the origin of this remarkable request, I carefully inquired about the circumstances just afterwards in a smaller setting. Slightly timidly, our contact person from the organisation office said that the CEO would have an important role to play during the third conference day and that he had to go to the toilet frequently for medical reasons. The (nearest) toilets were in the back of the room. Not only was the distance larger, but the visitors would also notice the frequency of his restroom breaks. I carefully opted whether the placement of the Rolls Royce under the Dixie toilets backstage would be an acceptable solution? After forty-five minutes, we got definitive approval, and a lot of time, money and ad-hoc personnel energy were saved.

Lesson learned: keep asking questions, sometimes at a different time in a different setting.

Example 2

On Wednesday morning we received a request for quotation, in which all information was provided except for the data for construction, operational period and reduction. In such cases we immediately make a call to retrive the vital missing information. This time the planned build-up turned out to be exactly two days later. The build-up would take a maximum of half a day and it was for an operational period of four days. This would have been daily practice if it wasn’t a uncommon production with a quantity of equipment of more than 100 m3, fourteen technicians for construction and five operational technicians. We quickly scrambled  and formed a team of colleagues consisting of experts in their respective field, and sent the quotation three hours later. Less than two hours later we received the confirmation. Thanks to flawless cooperation between our different offices it was possible to assign staff on short notice to perform as an operational team. Product specialists in the field of sound, lighting, projection, translation immediately planned the necessary equipment, made technical drawings and finally the construction started 36 hours later.

At that moment you realise that the available equipment, knowledge, experience and mentality makes something possible that many would have thought impossible.

Interesting detail: the customer was a renowed manufacturer of professional audiovisual equipment, that entrusted ACS with the complete presentation of their new product line in such a short period of time!

     7. What is your best memory of ACS so far?

The best memory and daily practice is one that says something about our team mentality; the team is so close that even after completing their own work for the day, there is communication between colleagues regarding operations at other locations. As soon as help, support or additional equipment is needed in any way, everyone is ready day and night without exception. That drive, collegiality and loyalty is unique and fills me with great pride.

     8. Why would you recommend working at ACS?

If you want to work in an organisation with short lines of communication, like to delve into technical solutions, get energy from conversations with customers, are enthusiastic and realize that the products are packed in flight cases, however all the necessary knowledge and expertise is packed in the minds of colleagues, then you may just consider to contact me.

     9. What makes you very happy outside working hours?

Meeting friends, sailing, dining out, beach, sun and my family!

     10. What else do people really need to know about you?

I would have liked to become a commercial pilot and I think that, to compensate for the fact that I will never be allowed to fly a commercial plane, I decided to know as much as possible about it. By the way, a commercial aircraft is also the ultimate customised product, whereby several factors determine the final implementation and equipment! You cannot order a plane from a catalog and that, in my opinion, also applies to audiovisual techniques and setups!