Cleveland’s International Exposition Center, also known as the I-X Center, has been home to car shows, food and beer expos, an indoor amusement park and many other attractions.
But perhaps the biggest buzz that’s ever come from the ninth-largest convention center in the world was the result of a recent facelift highlighted by 22 NanoLumens indoor LED displays, ranging from 30-foot-by-17-foot flat screens to 8-foot-by-8-foot wrap screens across its total 2.2 million square feet.
Seven of the 22 displays are permanent, while the other 15 can be moved around the I-X Center as needed.
The I-X Center had outdoor displays but wanted to add indoor displays to make the experience more user-friendly for its 1.5 million annual visitors, says Richard Threadgill, director of business development at SoundCom Systems in Cleveland, the integrator brought in by NanoLumens for the installation.
“It took some time to sort through the logistics,” says Threadgill, pointing to mounting, rigging and the cabling infrastructures as issues he had to consider as part of the job.
The work was staged over several months, says Threadgill, and the displays came from Atlanta. SoundCom also had to make sure the display system was easy for convention center staff to use, since most of the staff isn’t necessarily technically-savvy, he says.
“They were going from almost nothing to everything overnight,” says Threadgill.
Threadgill noticed there were “several thoughts” on how to handle distribution throughout the venue, but it helped that the massive I-X Center “is so flexible” and is essentially “a huge open structure” with more than 1 million square feet of contiguous open space.
SoundCom centralized the content sources and delivered fiber to dozens of locations as needed to spread messages around the I-X Center. In addition to news about the myriad events at the center itself, the displays will include information about some of the attractions nearby as well, says Threadgill.
One unexpected complication came when a box truck backed into one of the displays and smashed it, meaning it had to be replaced. That made a compressed schedule a bit tighter, but SoundCom was still able to complete the task on time.
SoundCom has already fielded a half-dozen inquiries about doing something similar at other convention centers, says Threadgill, and officials at the center are nothing short of thrilled with their new displays.
“This investment furthers our mission to consistently improve the I-X Center experience for all show attendees and producers,” said Brad Gentille, president of the I-X Center.
Here’s a look at the final results of the modernization of the I-X Center: