Issue 27



7 July 2016

Wilson & Gilkes Shroud at MCEC 1_rs

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is expansive and is only getting bigger. It’s the kind of space that’d instantly dwarf a petite screen. Here, digital signage has to be big to make an impression. So when Paul Rumble, Senior Manager Technology Services at MCEC, was seeking a digital signage option to direct foot traffic through the exhibition and convention halls’ shared foyer, he went big — 80 inches big.

MCEC purchased two colossal 80-inch NEC commercial panels. To accompany them, Rumble approached Gilkon to construct custom enclosures (or shrouds) for both displays, having first seen Gilkon’s offerings at the Integrate 2015 expo.

The Gilkon monolith is an impressive thing to behold. Like a well-matched photo frame, it’s designed to lend digital signage a commanding presence as well as structural stability. MCEC purchased two of them to house the NEC panels, both of which stand tall and proud in the entranceways of MCEC.

It’s not just the aesthetics that makes the giant enclosure what it is. Portability was a key requirement for MCEC’s needs — something Gilkon’s shrouds hadn’t featured previously. Though it posed a challenge making such a sizeable rig relocatable with anything less than a forklift, Gilkon built castors into the shroud that allow them to be easily and strategically placed wherever the most foot traffic will be concentrated. Power and Ethernet connections appear at spaced outlets all along the foyer to avoid long and ugly cable runs. Content is controlled centrally from MCEC’s digital signage software.

Paul Rumble: “Events here are layered over the top of each other. Peak business days mean we’ll have traffic that’s going to be centralised in one part of the building or the other. So we had to be agile enough to be able to cater for that. The fact that we’ve got two to cover this concourse means we can move them as we need to.”

Wilson & Gilkes Shroud at MCEC 2_rs

Adding portability wasn’t the only first for Gilkon. These were also the largest shrouds the company had made, with the next size down being 70-inch.

The displays have another important purpose in addition to pointing people in the right direction. “Recently we had one exhibition company that hired the whole convention centre, and they were able to utilise them to brand their events,” says Rumble. “The other thing we can do, because it’s all tied in with the signage system is, when there are no events in the venue, we can advertise our internal offerings like our new Shed café.”

Dale Arnull from Wilson & Gilkes’ AV Projects department says, “All the shrouds we make are custom. What made this one different was that it had to be mobile, and it had to be bigger than what we’ve made before. Our history of metal fabrication goes back a long way. We’re true innovators when it comes to producing quality products for the audiovisual industry.”

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