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Massachusetts Convention Center Authority to Deploy Real-Time Mobile Turn-by-Turn Navigation Inside the BCEC
The Board of the (MCCA) recently voted to approve the installation of a full-building, real-time location services system at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Using “ActivLocator,” a geolocation technology from industry leader, Sherpa Solutions, the MCCA will provide turn-by-turn navigation inside the BCEC, providing digital wayfinding for visitors looking for meeting rooms, exhibit halls, exhibit booths and even MCCA offices from wherever the visitor may be in the facility.
Sherpa’s system relies on Bluetooth low energy beacon transmitters, 270 of which will be installed throughout the BCEC. Meeting attendees can access turn by turn walking directions provided by a mobile app, including the exhibit hall floor. Once the navigation’s mobile app has been downloaded, no cellular or wireless connection is needed for the directions to work on a user’s mobile device.
”At the MCCA, we have never been reserved about our mission to remain the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world,” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA. “We are thinking about technology that meeting attendees will be asking for not just in 2015, but five and 10 years from now. Real time location services are just one of the technology initiatives we are focused on right now to better serve our customers and their attendees.”
“Turn-by-turn navigation is just the beginning of what Sherpa’s technology will allow us to accomplish,” said Steve Snyder, CIO/CTO for the MCCA. “It will be a tremendous value-add for our customers because we will be able to map their entire show floors, booth by booth, and customize information such as shuttle drop-off and pickup locations. And we can use it internally to map our administrative offices, monitor the safety of the facility and much more.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the team at the MCCA, as we are clearly driven by the same vision,” said Jacques Racine, founder of Sherpa RTLS Solutions, Inc. “ActivLocator is one more tool the MCCA will leverage to make their client’s events even more successful.”
Installation of the Sherpa system is expected to be complete in March 2015.
This announcement comes on the heels of the MCCA recently announcing a wireless infrastructure overhaul at the BCEC. The MCCA is transitioning from a traditional “coverage” wireless system, which focuses on signal strength over a wide area, to an advanced “high-density” system. The new system will increase the BCEC’s wireless capacity, sending focused beams of wireless connectivity. More powerful access points enable more users to connect per access point, resulting in significantly improved signal strength.
About the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority owns and oversees the operations of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA and the Boston Common Parking Garage. The BCEC and Hynes have earned a rare gold standard from the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), making Boston only the fourth city in North America and the 12th worldwide to have been awarded this top standard, the highest certification level a convention facility can achieve under strict AIPC guidelines.
In 2014, the MCCA hosted 241 events at the BCEC and Hynes with 845,000 attendees, generating 630,000 hotel room nights and $590 million in economic impact. The MCCA is currently in the midst of its Top 5 campaign to launch Boston into the top five convention destinations in North America. For more information, go to www.massconvention.com.
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