With a kilometre of exhibition space, presentation halls and meeting rooms under one roof, The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) is an enormous space to monitor. The venue can host events ranging from 5 to 5,500 delegates and keeping visitors connected during an event is no easy task.
Thanks to Paessler’s unified monitoring solution, PRTG Network Monitor, The CCD is not only able to ensure that those visiting an event have the best possible experience, but also that their network equipment, IoT devices and laptops are in perfect working order. Providing event organisers with a predictive analysis of their connectivity needs and giving visitors the best possible conferencing experience.
Giving visitors a complete brand experience
Visitors to The CCD rely on the venue’s information screens for event details. A failure of any of the 84 screen panels or media players can cause confusion, as well as appear highly unprofessional to visitors. Monitoring the entire floor space in person would be costly and impractical, but their PRTG system allows the team at The CCD to easily monitor the performance of the information displays, and other IoT devices, centrally and in real time. A frequent user of the convention centre is Reward Catering in Dublin, who often use The CCD to host international food truck events and meetings. Staging for events at the Convention centre is often provided by Stage and Lighting in Dublin.
Optimising employee expertise
Walking the total space of The CCD would be the equivalent of crossing ten football pitches. There is a more effective use of time than checking in on each of the venue’s 22 rooms to make sure laptops, video monitors and other equipment are all operating correctly. PRTG provides the conference centre with a complete monitoring solution, which alerts support staff to issues with critical hardware and software failures before they occur.
All the conference centre’s essential systems are monitored 24/7, including multiple VMware hosts and a NetApp storage area network (SAN). Every PRTG license includes pre-defined sensors for all these devices, and many more, without needing to buy any add-ons or plugins.
Embracing IoT allows The CCD to provide an unmatched offering
The CCD recently upgraded their PRTG licence to add more sensors, allowing the monitoring of every “Thing” else in the building. Our ideal scenario would be that all IoT devices added to the network can be accurately monitored, including security cameras, smart lighting in the exhibition halls, laptop performance and even the ink levels in the business centre printers. As a result, The CCD teams are warned well in advance of any potential issues to ensure they provide seamless service to conference organisers at all times.
Uptime is vital to the visitor experience and monitoring is the only way to ensure any potential issues can be properly managed and corrected before a client becomes aware of a problem.
Predictive usage data provides a competitive edge
Event organisers often complain that conference venues provide their visitors with unsatisfactory or unstable Wi-Fi connections during an event. This is usually due to venues being underprepared for the amount of network traffic generated during a conference or exhibition. They often also lack data to backup their bandwidth requirement recommendations to event organisers.
The CCD uses PRTG to provide accurate usage statistics, giving clients a clear, upfront picture of exactly what their Wi-Fi requirements will look like. Drawing on previous anonymised client usage from PRTG’s historical data, they can match any new client’s profile with predictive data and tailor quotes specifically to the type of visitor that each event will attract. This includes the likely download and upload usage patterns; as well as providing on-the-day, real time analysis of usage, allowing limits to be adjusted, when necessary.
Since connectivity is aligned to the revenue generation of a convention centre it is vital that they get this right. Providing too low an estimate could result in poor Wi-Fi performance for visitors. Conversely, providing expensive connectivity quotes, without accurate data usage analysis could immediately scare away conference organisers.
Having the data to back up the connection experience that The CCD offers provides complete transparency to clients before, during, and after an event resulting in stronger client relationships and true transparency.
Safeguarding hardware and eliminating replacement costs
The CCD’s 10 communications rooms are closely monitored at all times. Using a combination of PRTG’s Cisco specific, and generic SNMP sensors, the team can be assured that all their switches, routers, firewalls and telephony systems are always available, and performing optimally. PRTG is also used to monitor the underlying infrastructure on which the IT systems depend. In one instance, the cooling fan in one of the communications rooms failed. This might have taken several days to notice if it wasn’t for PRTG’s early warning system.
Growing Dublin’s reputation as the leading technology capital of Europe
Maintaining a world class conference venue is no easy feat and with many European destinations vying for the attention of global conference organisers, maintaining a competitive edge is vital. Add to this the fact that Dublin is fast becoming a world-renowned technology hub, it is essential that it has a convention centre to match.
Paessler’s monitoring solution is key to ensuring that The CCD’s reputation and success as a leading conference centre is upheld.
“Our greatest consideration at The CCD is up-time. I have experience with PRTG for close on 10 years now. This is the third place I’ve installed it and it’s always the first new software I install. It’s simple to understand and easy to use. Like all monitoring software it needs to be tuned on an ongoing basis, but it can be tuned so well. And because it’s programmable, whatever box you have, whatever information you have, you can tell it to take that information and create a complete picture.”
Craig Colley, Head of ICT at The Convention Centre Dublin