Singapore casino resort Marina Bay Sands (MBS) says it is now offering what it terms a “hybrid broadcast studio” so that it can host events that combine in-person attendance with input from online delegates, in response to what it terms the “new era” of a world with Covid-19.
Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) are key components of modern large-scale casino resort businesses, but organising such gatherings has been made complicated due to the pandemic.
“Hybrid meetings will help enable the return of large-scale events in a virtual manner amid the Covid-19 situation,” said Paul Town, senior vice president of resort operations at the Marina Bay Sands complex, as quoted in a Friday press release announcing the on-site facility.
The studio has space for up to 50 people to attend in person, and is said to offer broadcast-quality live streaming, and the technology to make hologram-based presentations including images of people.
Instead of having a green-screen backdrop typical of some broadcast studios, the facility features two, 6-metre (19.7-foot) by 4-metre, right-angled LED walls, that reportedly can show high-resolution images through 360 degrees. There is also a plexiglass LED floor said to be able to display images.
According to the press release, Marina Bay Sands currently can offer three options for virtual conferences: “full virtual webcasting and live streaming events; hybrid events with in-person and online audiences; and hybrid events with holographic telepresence”.
The resort – run by a unit of United States-based casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp – had a soft launch in July for the new broadcast studio, via what it terms a collaboration with an international body called the Professional Convention Management Association.
The facility was the result of “months of collaboration and in-depth conversations with our in-house and external technical experts as well as industry peers,” said Ong Wee Min, vice president of conventions and exhibitions at the resort, as cited in Friday’s release.
The announcement said that more than 30 resort employees – working in sales and MICE events – would be given training under the Professional Convention Management Association’s “Digital Event Strategist” certification scheme.
Marina Bay Sands started on July 17, a phased reopening of its hotel, initially targeting services to locals. The hotel had been shuttered since April 7, amid the pandemic. The casino at the resort reopened on July 1, to select customers, including holders of an annual levy pass payable by either Singapore citizens or permanent residents.
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