Every year tens of thousands of people attend the four-day Hillsong Conference in Sydney. With crowds of up to 20,000 people, reliable communications play a vital role in maintaining the event’s
smooth running, in addition to guaranteeing the safety of all those involved.
For several years Hillsong Conference has deployed a Motorola Solutions MOTOTRBO digital two-way communications system to achieve this high standard of communications.
More than 580 digital two-way radios operate on MOTOTRBO’s Capacity Plus. Capacity Plus is a scalable, single site digital trunking solution which expands the capacity of the MOTOTRBO communication system. Radio users can quickly and efficiently share voice and data communication on the same system without purchasing frequencies.
In Sydney, the conference is held at Qudos Bank Arena in Homebush, with radios issued throughout the arena and showgrounds.
“From our most demanding or critical users in production, TV crew and paramedical services through to our stakeholders, we need to provide a seamless and reliable radio network,” says Michael Lubieniecki, systems support engineer at Hillsong Church.
The events department leads all aspects of Hillsong Conference, utilising radios as the single point of engagement with all other teams. These teams include logistics, kids and youth groups, a hosting team, security, transportation coordinators, registrations/box office, cleaners, information desks, an interpreter/translation service and radio control.
“Crystal clear communications and teams having access to a reliable radio network are paramount to allowing our conferences and events to run as smoothly as possible. Whether it’s our hosting team relaying that there are spare seats to delegates in the arena or our refresh (cleaning) team responding to a coffee spill on the main concourse, two-way radios have allowed us to react to incidents and enquiries much faster than previously which, in the end, provides our delegates with a better conference experience,” says Lubieniecki.
Critical for team collaboration
Other benefits of the system include increased productivity, health and safety management and
Reliability: “Reliability is an important factor for us. Motorola Solutions is renowned as the go-to
expert in two-way communications. We have leveraged its industry experience and quality products
to provide a fault-free, robust radio network for our major events.”
Health and safety: The communications system facilitates the radio control room’s additional
role as a point of contact for teams requiring paramedical and venue safety services. End-users contact radio base to request assistance, with radio base dispatching support personnel once details have been gathered.
Increased productivity: The radios are an important tool for all teams in completing their responsibilities, cutting down time in allocating and completing tasks. Radios provide the cleaning team with a constant flow of information about areas requiring attention. Logistics teams receive jobs via radio, and the main registration team liaises with volunteer services and other registration teams throughout the forecourt.
Faster collaboration between teams: Two-way radios keep the production teams constantly aware of each other inside and outside the main arena. If the audio has stopped working in an area, they can immediately send out a technician to the affected area. Radios also facilitate the communication of cues from side-of-stage to audio and lighting. Two-way communication allows for fast problem-resolving if there are issues with the simultaneous foreign language broadcasts – in 11 different languages plus Auslan! The information desk can get quick answers to conference questions or organise services such as transport for mobility-impaired congregation members throughout the building.
Integration: Hillsong cites integration as a major benefit with the Motorola Solutions network. The production team’s two-way radios integrate with a third party audio network for internal, arena-based communications, enabling the arena production team to communicate with external production teams.
Great accessories: The organisation uses accessories such as IMPRES 2-wire surveillance kits, which allow the user to receive messages via an earpiece. Other accessories include over-the-ear receivers with in-line microphone/push-to-talk (PTT) and remote speaker microphones with receive-only earpieces, all of which are ideal when the environment requires discreet but clear communication.
“IMPRES audio accessories are of benefit to us. In loud environments bustling with delegates and teams, we want our delegates to have the best possible experience when interacting with our volunteers and teams. Our discreet earpieces allow our teams to effectively talk to each other with clarity in loud areas and within earshot of others, without disturbing those around them with unnecessary noise.”
Durability: “Our radios need to stand up to constant use, accidental drops and outdoor exposure throughout the week, and these rugged radios meet those needs.”
Future: In a development suggested by the Motorola Rental Solutions team, Lubieniecki adds that “the transport team may utilise Motorola Solutions’ Orion Network for future events to allow our teams to communicate with bus drivers directly throughout Sydney”. As a multi-site digital trunking technology, Orion Network increases capacity and enables secure automatic site roaming over extended ranges.
Great parterships with Motorola Rental Solutions
The conference has led to a great partnership between Hillsong Church and Motorola Rental Solutions, says Lubieniecki.
“It is honestly a great experience getting to work and organise our two-way needs with our account manager and the team. Motorola Rental Solutions’ professional attitude and work ethic is exemplary and a great asset to the company. Whether it’s a last minute adjustment to the programming of radios or we need an extra 50 radios and accessories by 9am the following day, I know I can always rely on the team delivering what’s needed. As our needs constantly change, the team at Motorola Rental Solutions provides an outstanding system and service, every time, and we look forward to engaging with them for future projects.”