Designing Entertainment Spaces in an Evolving Technology Landscape

  • An engaged and participative audience is central to the success of entertainment facilities. What captivated people a decade ago—primarily presentational content—has now shifted dramatically as technology enables interaction and ability for the crowd to direct the performance. We used to be content to be passive participants—like watching a show on television, but the digital world has given us the desire to comment, hack, hyperlink, and customize.
  • To accomplish this bi-directional activity, AVL consultants now need to have very strong network skillsets. Someone on the team has to shepherd the interconnectedness. (Note that all new major sports facilities are on a converged network with all technologies running on the same backbone). It’s no longer about choosing the right gear to create an experience. The teams that can leverage the efficiencies of convergence to allow shared control between performer and audience are the ones that have the most impact.

While the audio, video, data, control, and lighting systems are more complex than what was required for their presentational predecessors, the design goal is to make spaces intuitive so that participants are not aware of the complexity that supports them. One thing is for sure, the digital world has given us the power to participate. As users of these spaces, we are no longer content to sit on the sidelines.

Craig Janssen, LEED AP, is managing director of Idibri.