WTO Ministerial Conference Communicates Through Meyer Sound
As an organization, one of the goals of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is to promote open dialogue among nations, so accuracy of communication is essential. With over 5,000 delegates from 148 countries in attendance, the WTO's Sixth Ministerial Conference, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in the city of Wan Chai, presented a formidable challenge to achieving this goal. Knowing they needed a sound system with superior intelligibility and total reliability the conference organizers met their needs by choosing a system of Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers.
Successfully staging a WTO event requires a total commitment from the local government. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China – Electrical & Mechanical Services Department was the agency entrusted with meeting that challenge. For the design and deployment of audio for the conference, it selected Max Production Ltd., a full service production company based in Tai Wai, Hong Kong. Managing/Technical Director Sammy Mok personally took on the design assignment, using Meyer Sound's MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program as his primary tool in creating a design that would not be intrusive, yet would fully cover the center's Grand Hall.
The Grand Hall is nearly square at its base — 64 meters long by 61 meters wide — with an arched ceiling reaching roughly 20 meters at its highest point. "We calculated the coverage in MAPP Online," notes Mok. "It is a very helpful tool for us, but it is also helpful to our client. For the WTO conference, the client had concerns about whether so few loudspeakers would be enough for this venue. With MAPP, we could show him the exact sound pressure level, so he knew everything would be fine."
The MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeaker proved to be the product best suited to the room. The system design called for two arrays of six speakers each hanging from MG-3D/M multipurpose grids. The four boxes at the top of each array provided primary room coverage, while the bottom two cabinets were used for downfill. Mok says that flying the arrays was simple and quick. "Because we used the QuickFly rigging system, it was easy to install the MILOs," he reports. "With a crew of four, we finished the setup within two hours."
Coverage for the front of the room came from six UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers placed across the lip of the stage for frontfill. A pair of 650-P high-power subwoofers, one groundstacked on either side of the stage, completed the sonic picture.
The final piece of the puzzle was the LD-3 compensating line driver, which performed the system drive functions. Amongst many other capabilities, the LD-3 can compensate for high-frequency attenuation caused by air absorption and atmospheric conditions, as well as for the low-frequency buildup inherent in line arrays. "We always use the LD-3," says Mok. "It guarantees the line array will sound good in all conditions. At the WTO, it provided us with separate control of the downfill level, which was very important."
The WTO Ministerial Conference is an all-business affair, putting a premium on intelligibility of the spoken word. According to Mok, the event's participants declared themselves "very satisfied" with the sound quality of the system, words he was happy to hear clearly.