The meetings and events business is coming back, but not in the same way. Groups are gathering, but a hotel ballroom that accommodates large groups may now have capacity restrictions due to brand safety standards and social distancing guidelines. Instead of turning away business, Mills James is enabling hotels and conference facilities to host large groups safely by leveraging streaming and broadcast technologies. By setting up a Broadcast Control Studio in a vacant hotel space and spreading attendees across multiple venues, the hospitality audiovisual services company can stream live presentations from room to room, room to businesses, or room to metaverse.
“For hotels and resorts with meeting rooms and large convention spaces, ‘business as usual’ may remain ‘unusual business’ for the foreseeable future . . . and that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said John Watts, Mills James VP of Hospitality. “Operators need to be thinking outside the box and looking for fresh ways to communicate with their employees, clients, and prospects everywhere. By leveraging broadcast technologies, hoteliers can easily create new revenue streams and expand on their Business Center services just by adding a Broadcast Control Studio in house. As long as the hotel or facility has a a reliable Internet infrastructure and enough room to accommodate a few technicians and broadcast control equipment, Mills James can create a communication command center that orchestrates profitable virtual events.”
Watts explained that Mills James can stream presentations from Ballroom A into Ballrooms B and C (or other spaces) and enable attendees in the auxiliary rooms to ask questions of the presenting speaker or panelists as if they were in the same room — and get responses in real time.
“We can also send a live feed of the virtual event to one of four Broadcast Control Studios at Mills James corporate headquarters, and that content will then be streamed to people attending the event virtually from their homes or offices,” he said. “Because Mills James is one of the largest production companies in the country, with expertise in hospitality audiovisual services, broadcast television, video production, and live and virtual event production, we can do things a hotel’s basic AV provider cannot do. All that is required is turning vacant space into a Broadcast Control Room. For hotels already using Mills James as their onsite AV provider, this is a no brainer.”
Broadcast Hub for Local Businesses
Mills James is on a mission to redefine hospitality audiovisual services. The company sees hospitality AV as primed for innovation and reinvention. Watts said the company’s hospitality division is working with hotels to transform unused spaces into revenue generators and put properties on the map as the local broadcast hub for businesses.
“Rather than marketing a hotel to local businesses as only a food-and-beverage event space, why not position the hotel also as a broadcast hub for local businesses? Watts said. “Neighboring companies may not be holding as many in person meetings at your hotel as they once were, but they still need to communicate with their employees, board of directors, customers, and prospects. Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube are okay to connect and share messaging, but oftentimes these lower-tier approaches are poorly executed and fraught with a host of technical issues and interruptions. How great would it be if the hotel served as a local broadcast hub? Clients could come to the hotel to professionally broadcast their corporate messaging, lead training for newly onboarded employees, or even do newsfeeds with national television broadcasters. It’s these types of powerful production capabilities that Mills James is bringing to the table, and as a boutique AV provider for hotels, we have the expertise and technology to do it affordably.”
Since 1995, Mills James has delivered on-site AV for boutique conference centers and high-end hotels. The company’s Hospitality Audiovisual Services Department operates in tandem with its event group to produce meetings of all sizes and is recognized for its technical innovation and unparalleled audience engagement. Unlike typical hotel AV providers, Mills James is comprised of creative directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, designers, set builders, and streaming engineers. It produces virtual events with broadcast television energy, and today, Mills James’ skilled team of broadcast technicians can turn vacant hotel spaces into control studios capable of driving revenues and new customers to any hotel looking to innovate.