17 New technology installed at Sandy Park Getting the right message across has never been so important, and Sandy Park, home of Exeter Chiefs Rugby Union Club, has invested in installing new state-of-the-art facilities for those heading to the venue for meetings, conferences and exhibitions. Working with main Exeter Chiefs sponsor, swcomms, the extensive makeover has further cemented Sandy Park, Exeter and Devon as a leading destination for business tourism. As part of the recent technical upgrade, the venue’s biggest room, the Exeter Suite, has been fitted with a high definition camera, allowing speakers or other activities to be displayed across the screens both in the Exeter Suite and throughout the building. In addition, the screens in Sandy Park’s Exeter, Estuary, County and Chiefs suites have all been upgraded to new Panasonic Solid Shine laser projectors with 4m x 2.25m screens, with new plasma TV screens also installed into each of the rooms, ensuring presentations and videos stand-out. A new 1m x 2m monitor has been fitted into the reception area of Sandy Park, allowing clear and flexible displays to welcome customers to the venue. Investment has also been made in software to allow wireless streaming (Apple TV), plus software to make sure videos, presentations and images can all be presented seamlessly, even if they are separate files. www.conference-news.co.uk Technology The rise (and fall) of the machines… - By Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer, RefTech I was amused to read that a hotel in Japan has ‘sacked’ its robot staff because they just weren’t any good. A few industry commentators have implied that robots could soon be used at events to replace staff, but it’s worth noting how different our industry is because of the ephemeral nature of what we do and the resulting need to have everything perfect in a small-time window. A hotel wishing to implement robots could do it gradually, learn from each week’s activity and hopefully improve things as they go. They wouldn’t have to implement everything in a day so that it could work flawlessly for the next three days like an event organiser would. Equally, event staff have to react quickly to situations occurring on the day; they can take a member of staff off registration and move them to another area of the event if needed. You couldn’t do that with a robot that was programmed to do just one function. Moss from The IT Crowd got it right; when he met a bomb disposal robot in the street, his first instinct was to treat it like a pet asking “Can we keep him, Roy - only if he doesn’t belong to anyone?” Fun pets they may be, but they aren’t yet equipped to be fully working members of your team.