This is not Riedel’s first Winter Games. Can you tell us about your previous engagements?
Marc Schneider: We are proud of our track record supporting large-scale multi-sport events, including local, regional, continental and global Games. We have provided everything from wired and wireless digital intercom systems such as Artist, Performer and Bolero; to audio-, video-, data-, and signal-distribution networks such as MediorNet and RockNet.
We have also provided CCTV accreditation and general IT solutions. Among the stakeholders are local event organisers, production companies, host and right-holding broadcasters, international press, timing and A/V suppliers, and many more. These customers value Riedel’s vast experience with large-scale events and our ability to deliver outstanding solutions within their time frames and budgets.
What is your receipt for success in supporting large events?
Schneider: With events that have many moving parts, it is critical to maintain good working relationships with key decision-makers. We also never underestimate the advance work that is necessary to support a global project. Factors such as unfamiliar event formats, complex purchasing procedures, and compliance with local governance, rules and regulations mean that each project requires an individual approach. And always, you are only as good as your last project; this industry is unforgiving if there is a failure.
Can you tell us more about the major challenges of supporting these events, especially regarding the fact that you often have to go into unknown territory?
Schneider: After 30 years of experience, adapting to the unknown — including different cultures and mentalities — has become an integral part of our approach. We are deeply motivated by curiosity and a commitment to excellence, which makes these projects incredibly rewarding. Of course, every region presents unique obstacles, but doing our homework in the ramp-up to the event is crucial for avoiding major surprises when we start on-site delivery.
We have also learnt to be flexible and adapt our services based on lessons learnt from previous outings. For the 2018 Games, for instance, we are adopting a new delivery model that makes us less dependent on others to finish their installations and gives our teams more time to get the work done on schedule.
The 2018 Winter Games will be the most digital ever, with huge quantities of content to be delivered online. Will this affect your workflows?
Schneider: Embracing new solutions and technologies and adapting with the industry is in our DNA. A case in point, Riedel was a pioneer in moving from analogue to digital, and today there is barely any analogue kit left in our inventory. We are absolutely ready with the right technologies to support the world of digital media production and distribution, both today and tomorrow. Of course, working with humans still requires an “analogue approach” to providing guidance and delivering safety and support to athletes, spectators, media representatives, federations, and every other member of the team.
What new technologies, if any, will you use for the 2018 Games?
Schneider: When approaching one of the largest multi-sport events in the world, it is important to balance the risks of implementing new products and services against their potential benefits. At this year’s Games, we will be using some of our newest products, such as Bolero, MediorNet Multiviewer, and Smart Panels. All of these have been field-proven for reliability and are in current use in broadcast, event production, motorsports, theatre, enterprise, industrial and government applications around the globe. That said, we will also be secretly testing some exciting new innovations in South Korea in non-critical areas — things we will be revealing at next year’s trade shows.