London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organisers Use Panasonic HD Video Conferencing to Stay in Touch at London HQ
High Definition Visual Communication AV equipment (HDVC) Provided by Panasonic System Communications Company Europe helps enable LOCOG’s
Technology Team to Communicate Quickly and Easily The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) are responsible for preparing and staging the 2012 Games. Organising the Games is a huge challenge. With 26 Olympic Sports and 20 Paralympic Sports, it is the equivalent of staging 46 World Championships simultaneously. LOCOG will organise these across 36 competition venues, with 14,700 athletes, 21,000 media and broadcasters, and 10.8 million ticket-holders.
LOCOG’s task is therefore simply colossal, requiring undertakings across multiple locations, workgroups and events and, with such a vast array of people, projects and with the countdown timer always ticking, making the most of limited time available has
continually proven to be an essential factor in the successful staging of past Olympic and Paralympic Games and equally in the build up to the London 2012 Games.
With less than 100 days to go now until the Games begin, many people in LOCOG are beginning to co-locate with their venue teams and spend more time offsite and at venues. Finding ways to allow staff to stay connected with colleagues in different
functional areas and office locations is therefore critical to the smooth running of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as in any large modern business.
For staff working in larger organisations it’s nearly always the norm and the greatest temptation to send ‘yet another email’, instant message or to pick up the phone to communicate, especially where those staff are either in geographically dispersed
locations or in the case of staff in large buildings. With widely accepted scientific research suggesting that between 60 and 70 percent of all meaning in communication is derived from nonverbal behaviour1, whilst electronic communication is often fast and
efficient, for certain correspondence nothing can challenge the communicational effectiveness of the traditional face to face meeting.
Panasonic HD videoconferencing equipment is helping to make this possible, offering LOCOG staff an easy and comfortable way to hold meetings across remote locations.
Successfully installed and trialled in LOCOG’s technology HQ, the equipment is already contributing to an overall solution, which is being delivered in collaboration with fellow London 2012 technology partners, helping to enable coordinated planning and critical communication between the teams responsible for delivering this complex and high profile project.
It has also been announced that the equipment will play an important role during Games time operations as both HDVC systems trialled at LOCOG HQ will be redeployed to other venues during the Games themselves. As the official AV equipment Partner of the Olympic Games, Panasonic already had a good experience of trialling the equipment during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.
John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of Vancouver 2010 gave his comments about the benefits of the technology at the time; “I think for the purpose of interaction over very long distances this is a very big improvement on what we’ve been used to. I think
quite often why people have not chosen to use this technology is because it has never been all that effective and crisp and clear. This is. I think you’ll find that companies will look at this and say, ‘This is a better way to do business than getting on airplanes and travelling for days and so on.’ So, I think the future has arrived and that’s good, really good”. So for Vancouver 2010, part of what was learned by Panasonic is that it isn’t just about connecting people via video conference equipment, but doing it in a way that allows true expression and even emotion to be clearly seen, regardless of vast distances or other hysical separation.
The HD Video Conference equipment used at the Vancouver 2010 Games, which combined HD cameras with some sixteen plasma displays, enabled a new type of communication and a connection of the Chef de mission meetings between the two
Villages on a day-to-day basis. Junji Sato, HDVC Engineer at Panasonic System Networks explained the same system used in Vancouver also had potential for use in wider applications such as education; “We hope that the advantages of the HD Video
Conference System such as the high resolution images and clear audio will be used to conduct remote lectures to bring together classrooms that are located far away from one another. In the office environment, we hope that it may be used to keep the business hubs connected at all times, so that anyone can use it anytime they want”.
Through its use in the Vancouver 2010 Games and now in preparations for the London 2012 Games it has became apparent that it isn’t just visual connectivity that is enhanced and that through using HD Visual systems, organisations can also reduce
time and costs spent on travel, and CO2 emissions. What’s more, Panasonic HDVC Case Study equipment can also actively contribute to an environmentally conscious operation and with Panasonic having the goal of becoming the leading eco electronics manufacturer by 2018, the technology is yet another way of helping the company and its partners take steps to achieve its eco goals.
So many critical elements of the successful staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are dependent on tested, reliable technology that just needs to work and, one of the interesting things is when it works best, the millions of people all around the
globe watching the Games won’t even know its there at all.