INTRODUCTION: ABOUT THE COMPLEX
The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center, host to the largest indoor agricultural event in America, the Pennsylvania Farm Show, is a rare facility that can house thousands of animals one week, and a craft show or car show the next. Under the guidance of the Farm Show Commission, this facility operates more than 80 events per year. In addition to its core agricultural events such as the All-American Dairy Show, the Keystone International Livestock Exposition, and the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the Complex is the perfect venue for trade shows, conferences, gatherings and activities. With 1 million square feet under roof and 60 acres of parking, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center is also one of the largest indoor sound systems in North America.
The technical staff of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center operates and maintains all the AV technology for the massive 24-acre complex in Harrisburg, PA with minimal staff. In 2019, to meet the demand for support of the event programs hosted by the facility, The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center engaged Visual Sound to consult and provide a viable solution that transforms obsolete audio and interface technology within the existing system into state of the art digital technology with reliable, simple to use and easy to reconfigure presets for upcoming events.
Remote service was also an important system requirement to allow Visual Sound to assist the limited (3) technical staff members with the occurrence of any issue during any event. This proactive service allows the Technology Services team to focus on the events at hand with 100% up time.
In consultation with the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex Technology Services Team Visual Sound presented a few manufacturer options that would have met the technology requirements. The QSC Q-SYS Ecosystem was selected to deliver a robust platform for their network, audio, paging, control and future video and webcasting requirements.
The entire system is one large audio matrix with the capability of routing any audio input to any audio output within a million square foot facility. This routing control is available through any of the wall mounted user interfaces or wireless portable iPads, making it very easy to adjust settings between and during events.
With the QSC solution deployed, it allows a fully integrated platform to build upon as new technologies emerge. A fully redundant network was implemented to allow fault tolerance for increased reliability. By using QSC branded Dell networking components the system design is fully supported by the manufacturer.
The redundant flagship processors in conjunction with the other QSC components and the selected QSC interfaces with terminal strips allowed a very simple conversion utilizing the existing analog infrastructure. Utilizing AES67 we were able to use the native audio format of Q-Sys throughout and also convert legacy production mixers to the native format.
While maintaining a sleek, modern appearance, QSC solutions deliver an intuitive, consistent user experience that enables both users and facility management to operate them as needed without any formal training. Using
the intuitive user interface running on QSC touch screens, they can adjust the audio routing and settings for any arena, meeting room or hall from the nearest interface.
The QSC platform also allows the recording of events and playback of audio files which is very beneficial to their clients.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex has deployed a transformative facility-wide modern AV technology ecosystem that enhances the audio quality and fosters communication to all attendees in their fast-paced environment. The audio system is now ready to reliably support emergency events as they arise and is a simpler, more sustainable, scalable system that will serve the needs of the facility moving forward.