Accor Launches Hotel Office Concept

August 8th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Emphasising its Accor Allsafe cleanliness and prevention protocol (in partnership with Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspection and certification) and faced with continual low demand for hotel rooms, Accor, Europe’s largest hotel group has launched a Hotel Office concept allowing workers to make daytime bookings and use the rooms for work.

James Wheatcroft, VP Marketing Accor Northern Europe, said “With millions of people adapting to new ways of working we have been inspired to support this trend by offering a unique office experience, blending the need for quiet dedicated working spaces with all the convenience and amenities of a hotel. The Hotel Office is the home office only better, it ensures people can optimise their remote working experience, offering a professional workspace with room to relax in privacy.”

The offer is available at 250 hotels across the UK and a further 70 across Europe, with more expected to be added in Europe over the next few weeks.

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USD 5M Series A @KrispHQ Funding Round

August 7th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Krisp’s smart noise suppression technology, which emerged from UC Berkeley’s Skydeck accelerator a few years ago has just raised USD 5M in a series A funding round.

Krisp applies a machine learning system to audio in real time that has been trained on what is and isn’t the human voice. What isn’t a voice gets carefully removed even during speech, and what remains sounds clearer. There’s a very small latency – they claim 15 milliseconds and there’s a modest computational overhead, meaning it can work on practically any sort of device.

Storm Ventures, Sierra Ventures, TechNexus and Hive Ventures all took part in the funding.

Michael Godin Joins @rpVisuals

August 7th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Michael Godin has joined rp Visual Solutions in the role of Consultant Extension in the Northeast United States.

Michael will be the primary interface for the AV Consultant community and a resource to consultants designing architecturally integrated visual structures and optically engineered screens.

He is originally from Massachusetts where he has spent over 15 years in the A/V community, most recently with AdTech Systems, LLC.

JCDecaux Australia Brings Real Red Nose Day Heroes To Life

August 7th, 2020

Tristan Cotterill

JCDecaux has partnered with charity Red Nose Day to ask Australians to get silly for a serious cause, by wearing a red nose and taking part in the ‘Faces of Red Nose Day’. For the first time, JCDecaux will feature the real life heroes of Red Nose Day across its large format digital Out-of-Home network from August 7, 2020, with a countdown to Red Nose Day on Friday August 14, 2020.

Red Nose Australia General Manager Fundraising & Marketing, Amy Johnston, said “Red Nose Day on 14 August is our major fundraising event and we are delighted that JCDecaux will feature the real life heroes from our campaign developed by Upstride across its billboards to help raise awareness and donations. In Australia, nine children still die suddenly and unexpectedly every day. That’s more than 3,000 babies and young children every year – more than double the national road toll. People’s support on Red Nose Day helps save little lives, and to us that makes them a hero,”

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D. Sriram Joins @MovingWalls Advisory Board

August 7th, 2020

Tristan Cotterill

Moving Walls has appointed D.Sriram, the current Chairman of Ebiquity China and a well known #AdTECH, marketing and media consultant to its advisory board.

Sriram is an advertising and media veteran with over 30 years in the industry across Asia. He ran Starcom Mediavest Group Asia for seven years and spent the latter half of his career in greater China leading Aegis Group China. Interestingly he was also a part of eBUS, China’s first and only cloud-based advertising delivery system before it was sold to IMD, he later joined Vpon as COO, a leading ad-network and DSP player in North Asia.

Srikanth Ramachandran, founder and CEO of Moving Walls told us “Moving Walls has established a global leadership position in delivering outcome driven marketing campaigns by measuring audiences in the real world and integrating it with the digital world. This has translated into a presence across multiple markets in South Asia, Middle East and Africa. As we enter North Asia, home to three of the largest top 10 OOH media markets globally, we are pleased to announce the appointment of D.Sriram onto our Advisory Board.

Managed by a board of industry experts, Moving Walls patented location-based media measurement platform is used to power planning and buying tools that help advertisers optimise their media spends on outdoor advertising.

Bryan Hinkley Joins Electrosonic

August 7th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Former AVI-SPL executive VP and general manager, Bryan Hinckley has joined the Electrosonic Group as global vice president for immersive experiences.

We understand that he will be responsible for the growth of large projects that make use of immersive technologies and storytelling for Electrosonic on global scale.

Locky Dock w/ Phantom Billboards & @Quividi

August 6th, 2020

Tristan Cotterill

Right now, Locky Dock are rolling out an Electric Bike Network across the main urban centres in New Zealand. They have the support of Mercury, NZTA Waka Kotahi, Phantom Billstickers and city and regional councils around the country.

As a result, new digital advertising screens have popped up around Christchurch. We understand that Wellington and Auckland will soon be added. The units are likely to provide a wealth of analytics for both advertisers and councils, whilst also providing free charging and locking stations for electric bikes.

The Locky Docks, from electric bike retailer Big Street Bikers combines a smart city locking and charging system for e-bikes with the addition of a double-sided advertising screen.

Cleve Cameron, founding director of Big Street Bikers said “We’ll have metrics that are incredibly useful for retailers and planners, as well as the advertisers.”

The screen includes a camera and technology from Quividi. Phantom Billstickers is handling the advertising on the screens. It is hoped that the advertising on one side of the screen will subsidise the initiative, enabling the locking and charging stations to be offered free to users. The other side of the screen provides wayfinding and advertising for key supporter Mercury Energy.

Ten screens are already in place around Christchurch, with Wellington and Auckland expected to be up and running within six months.

During the first month of operation, 580,000 people, slightly more male, slightly more on the young side, walked past the Christchurch Locky Dock sites according to the Quividi data.

Big Layoffs At @AVIXA

August 6th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

On the afternoon of Tuesday August 4, 2020 employees at AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, were formally told that many of them were being let go.

If rumours are to be believed, the layoffs are across the board. One source told us that up to 40% of the workforce may have been fired, including some people who have been with the association for 15-20 years.

This is incredibly sad for everyone involved and our hearts go out to those who have lost their jobs.

In a letter to members, the industry association says that it had completed a strategic realignment, balancing the needs of members, the needs of its business and the needs of the team.

We quote “Unfortunately, this focus has resulted in a number of job positions being eliminated; and while we respect the privacy of our employees and the sensitivity of this matter, we also felt it important to share with our member community the impact of these changes. The greatest honour we can pay to their legacy is to carry their good work forward.”

It continues “While difficult to act on, these changes must position AVIXA to support our industry in 2021 and beyond. If we’ve learned any lessons in 2020, one of them is that we cannot clearly anticipate all futures. We don’t know when trade shows will come back. And we don’t know what they will look like when they do; but we do know that this industry will continue to grow in importance and vitality.”

Last week Heidi Voorhees AVIXA’s COO was also let go. It was clear then that layoffs were going to happen.

These are extremely tough times for the event industry and this just piles on the woe for those in the AV industry involved in that.

Canadian Travel & Activity Levels @COMMBCA Report

August 6th, 2020

Tristan Cotterill

Here is COMMB’s second report on travel and activity levels to destinations by week, including Retail & Rec, Transit and Workplaces (offices). COMMB sourced mobility data from mapping software and mobile device data for this report.

Data, tracking consumer movements, shows increased activity since the beginning of June, with numbers leveling off in July. With most provinces in phase 3 of re-opening businesses and travel behaviour patterns close to pre-pandemic norms, data is reflecting a return to normalcy.

Visitation to Retail and Recreational venues across the 5 provinces was up 15 percentage points to -10%, since June 1st. Quebec increased 20-percentage points to -8% below baseline followed by Ontario up 13 points to -19%, British Columbia up 13 points to -12% and Alberta up 9 points to -11%, for the same time period. Nova Scotia is back to normal activity at +1 above norms.

Additional mobile device ID data, captured from a sample of polygoned resto-bar venues, shows a similar trend. Alberta (80 venues sampled) showed an increase of 12% in traffic to resto-bar locations and British Columbia (94 venues samples) showed an increase of 3% from mid-June to mid-July (June 15-21 to July 6-12), when comparing 2019 to 2020.

Workplaces had the least amount of variation with the 5-province average up 3-percentage points to -31, since June 1st. Nova Scotia was up 7-percentage points to -26% below baselines, Ontario up 6 points to -33%, Alberta up 4 points to -29% and British Columbia up 2 points to -31%. Quebec went down 3 points to -34% below baseline numbers.

Additional mobile device ID data, captured from a sample of polygoned resto-bar venues, shows a similar trend. Alberta (80 venues sampled) showed an increase of 12% in traffic to resto-bar locations and British Columbia (94 venues samples) showed an increase of 3% from mid-June to mid-July (June 15-21 to July 6-12), when comparing 2019 to 2020.

Workplaces had the least amount of variation with the 5-province average up 3-percentage points to -31, since June 1, 2020. Nova Scotia was up 7-percentage points to -26% below baselines, Ontario up 6 points to -33%, Alberta up 4 points to -29% and British Columbia up 2 points to -31%. Quebec went down 3 points to -34% below baseline numbers.

Data over a five week period starting January 3rd to February 6th was used as a baseline to calculate the % difference by week, for the three graphs above. The sample used in this data is based on devices with opted in location history settings on their devices.

NEN Partners w/ @VengoLabs

August 5th, 2020

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Nearly 90% of Americans say they shop for groceries differently because of #Covid19, with 44% spending more money on each grocery store visit.

We are told, that’s why Vengo has announced the launch of its Digital-out-of-Home media platform for retail marketers and advertisers, partnering with National Entertainment Network (NEN), the premier national entertainment kiosk provider in the US, as its first platform partner.

As part of the agreement, Vengo will integrate display screens running its digital media platform with NEN gaming devices, giving brands another way to deliver their messages to consumers at the point of sale across a network of thousands of grocery and retail stores and restaurants. This partnership serves as the initial expansion of Vengo’s media platform beyond its own network of over 1400 interactive kiosks, with upcoming extensions to many new devices, screens and kiosks to drive place-based advertising — connecting brands with consumers on-the-go around the world.

NEN President Jim Sevalt said “NEN is excited to be launching this program with Vengo and leveraging its DOOH Network. NEN operates more than 45,000 gaming and vending machines nationwide across 15,000 retail, grocery and restaurant locations, and is continuously innovating new ways to engage consumers. The addition of a media network is a natural extension.”

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