Last month, we were tasked with creating the Microsoft Media Center for the Iowa Caucus at Capital Square in Des Moines. This national political and media-driven event serves as the official start to the 2016 presidential race.
In order to create the press filing room, we had to juggle two requirements: We knew the space not only had to serve the needs of up to 2,000 press people on the ground (with functional needs such as Wi-Fi, power, individual workspaces, etc.) but also had to look great on television for viewers at home.
Here are 3 tips to execute a media-heavy event flawlessly:
1. Set Up Around the Clock
There’s never enough time in the day, and we had only five days to transform Des Moines’ Capital Square into the Microsoft Media Center. To make that happen, we brought in miles of cable, along with a sophisticated telephone and power infrastructure to facilitate the connectivity requirements for media use in the center. Everyone worked around the clock to make sure everything was ready for media load-in day. The Des Moines Register even featured a time-lapse video capturing the building of the Microsoft Media room.
2. Keep Calm and Power On
One of the most essential items in a pressroom is electricity. But nowadays, reporters have more than just one electronic device that needs power – they have an iPhone, computer, camera and tablet, at the minimum. Instead of loading up the room with traditional power strips that took away precious desk space, we bought powramids that allowed reporters to charge their devices in a compact area. Each powramid had 6 outlets, and no reporter needed to dig under a desk to try to find juice for their devices – it was right on the table waiting for them. We also made sure to have trained staff on site 24 hours a day to handle any IT, power or Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
In addition to IT and power, the Microsoft Media Center needed to house four network anchor positions, 54 stand-up locations, and more than 350 media workspaces in a way that was organized and hazard-free.
To achieve this, we used a half-mile of carpet, five miles of cable, 800 linear feet of drape and 1,000 linear feet of HMS wall that clearly segregated one space from the next. By the time we were done, 500 media organizations had enough room carved out for them in a tight space to do their jobs.
Ron Nicynski is Hargrove’s senior director of events strategy and development, XMP. Hargrove is a nationally renowned general contractor for trade shows, events and exhibits. Hargrove helps corporations, associations and organizations bring their vision to life with face-to-face experiences. For more information visit: hargroveinc.