Congress in session

The conference and congress landscape has been rapidly evolving with AV and IT convergence as well as smart devices coming to the fore. Hurrairah bin Sohail looks at how some of the major players are shaping up to greet the future.

What is the difference between conference and congress? With regards to the end user the latter entails a more rigid agenda and perhaps the need for an expanded feature suite including elements like polling option, voting systems and maybe even translation services. On the flipside, it is interesting to note that manufacturers do not seem to differentiate their products along the lines of conference or congress. “We consider them [conference and congress] to be the same thing. However, we do have different product categories that are catered for different markets,” said Daniel Quek, senior manager for regional marketing conferencing and public address at Bosch.

While Asia is most definitely a unique market in its own right it shares similarities with other regions. According to Remi-Brice Magne, business development manager for Asia Pacific at Televic, “You have common trends. There is AV and IT convergence, more interactivity for the delegates. We see this in Europe and we this in Asia as well. There is no reason for it to be different.”

However, it is important to note the Asian congress market is not a carbon copy of the one found in Europe or North America.

“If you go deeper on a technical level there are differences, for example microphone length. It appears that in Asia we generally sell longer microphones. Some options, such as camera tracking, are also clearly preferred,” explained Remi-Brice. “Simply put, people like to see the delegate that is talking. They feel that it is important. So generally, not all the time of course, quite often within the proposal [for congress] there is a request for the possibility of camera tracking. We have integrated our products with an environment controller and we have this camera control.”

He also shed some light on some further differences with regards to installations, “I would say that most of the products we do in Asia are tabletops. We do some flush mounts but that is only for certain countries. But overall for Asia it is more tabletops.”

For congress, the delegate station is still important in Asia. Bosch’s new DCN multimedia serves as a good example. It shipped in November of last year and has already been employed in a few high profile installations around Asia and Europe. Daniel Quek explained the thought process behind the design of the DCN multimedia: “We have been seeing a lot of technology convergence and the trend is towards IP based systems. We are seeing a demand for multimedia applications and media sharing in the conference environment. When Bosch introduced the DCN multimedia in the middle of last year, we sought to bring together IP technology and open standards into one integrated device.”

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