Report: Cross Association Technology Working Group -5th May 2016
The Cross Association Technology Working Group had its first meeting of the year at the office of UBM, Blackfriars Road, London, on Thursday May 5th. The meeting opened with a welcome to new members and guests from the Chair, Murray Dickson of the NEC, who also thanked Govind Sharma and UBM for hosting the meeting.
The first item on the agenda concerned the use of radio frequencies at events, and in particular the use of paid-for licenced frequencies of the kind used by many AV companies for radio microphones. John Robson of Aztec Event Services reported that event technology companies had experienced unlicenced users unlawfully using their protected, licenced frequencies, and causing problems. Invited guests, Steven Holt and Jaydev Patel from Ofcom, provided some background about their organisation and indicated that Ofcom was keen to engage with the industry to help solve the problem. Holt outlined Ofcom's powers of enforcement, which are considerable. Holt also revealed that Ofcom has greater resources at its disposal, and where possible will attend events where unlicenced radio frequency use is being reported and take action. Finally Holt submitted a drafted statement for circulation amongst the members to raise awareness of the problem and what to do amongst all association members. The group agreed to pass the statement on to the association directors to seek their approval to circulate to their respective memberships.
The group suggested that some text could perhaps be included in the next iteration of the eGuide, and Ofcom agreed to provide a draft statement suitable for inclusion. The Chair noted that the connectivity section of the eGuide was due for revision, and this would be a good opportunity to examine that section in light of new developments. The group agreed to include revision of the eGuide connectivity section on the agenda of the next meeting, and invited Holt and Patel to attend subject to their availability.
The next agenda item for discussion was the provision of cached data, and the group welcomed Anthony Ganjou from Meshh, a company that provides high speed content distribution using Wi-Fi as a media channel. Ganjou explained how Meshh's system can obviate internet connection problems at busy events where networks may be heavily congested. The Meshh technology allows customers to create a store of content for delivery to visitors and delegates. Paul Treacy of Olympia recounted how Meshh had enabled iOS maps for visitors to the venue without overloading the venue Wi-Fi. The group agreed that this was potentially very useful technology and asked Olympia to report at the next meeting how the system was working.
The meeting then moved to general company updates, and there was plenty of news chiefly reporting investments in and upgrades to software and infrastructure. The discussion also generated several agenda items for the next meeting, including location tracking, Windows 10 upgrading and connectivity, and these were duly noted and added to the agenda. The next meeting date was set for Thursday November 3 2016 at FIVE (Farnborough International Ltd.), the chair thanked the hosts and the guests and the meeting was closed.