AV Awards nomination for ESC’s event sound

ESC's audio project is an AV Awards finalist for Events and Entertainment Project of the Year.

The Sound Agency’s work with the European Society of Cardiology  – which included audio branding and event sound installations – is a finalist at the 2019 AV Awards. The project has been nominated for the prestigious “Events and Entertainment Project of the Year”. We’re delighted to receive more recognition for this work, which now has a total of four award nominations in 2019.

The AV Awards

The AV Awards recognises outstanding achievements of individuals, companies, projects and technology across the AV, events and production sectors. It’s also the only event to be judged independently by end-users of AV technology. The AV Awards have been running for over 20 years. And as the audio technology industry grows, so too has the AV Awards, which has seen a 45% increase in entries over the last three years. Winners will be announced at Battersea Evolution, London in September.

ESC event sound

ESC’s project was nominated by the AV Awards for its unique combination of creative design, scientific consideration and installation technology.

Creative: The Sound Agency visited ESC’s Nice headquarters to lay the foundations for a new sonic logo alongside the brand. When complete, this sound became the central DNA of a new audio identity: its rhythm replicates a human heartbeat, while its melody and harmonies are clear, strong and uplifting – just like ESC’s visual brand.

The next task was to design a set of auditory experiences, all derived from this sonic logo. Three of the sounds were generative soundscapes, playing at ambient levels to create pleasing background sound. An uplifting branded soundscape welcomed delegates; a subtle, slower soundscape played in auditoria between events to encourage human connection; and a nature-based soundscape supported relaxation in open areas.

The other two custom sounds were pieces of branded music, each prominently featuring the sonic logo: a three-minute call to action piece played just before sessions to signify that the start was imminent and build anticipation, and inspiring walk-on music accompanied speakers onto the stage.

Scientific: While ESC’s sonic logo unifies the assets, its soundscapes and music vary in purpose. Based on our technical audit of the event space, we defined five key zonal goals: rest and relaxation, human connection, warm welcome, anticipatory excitement and confident announcement.

Each event sound asset was designed with reference to scientific literature to help achieve these goals. For example, the “nature” soundscape (intended for rest and relaxation), uses birdsong, which is the natural sound most commonly associated with perceived stress recovery and mental attention (Ratcliffe, Gatersleben & Sowden, 2013) and may help evoke the restorative benefits of natural surroundings (Cox et al., 2017). Its tempo is slow, which has been shown to modulate stress and decrease blood pressure and heart rate – an apt benefit, given ESC’s cardiovascular mission (Bernardi, Porta & Sleight, 2006).

Technical: Of the five event sounds, three are generative soundscapes, delivered via The Sound Agency’s proprietary Ambifier™ system. Generative sound is composed live through computer algorithms and can emulate musical styles or non-music. It benefits attendees and brands by providing ambient, branded background sound that never repeats.

The Messe München covers a vast 200,000 square metres of exhibition space, with 18 exhibition halls and over 414,000 square metres of open space – the largest outdoor area of any exhibition centre in Germany. Our technical site audit defined over 40 zones, considered the venue’s pre-installed system, sourced additional units and worked with four separate PA providers. To deliver the generative soundscapes, we installed 12 Ambifier players and programmed a web AmbifierServer™ manage the site’s fault diagnosis, content and scheduling. Two members of The Sound Agency’s team were on-site throughout the event to monitor levels and communicate with the brand team.

Event sound and audio branding

The Sound Agency specialises in creating branded identities and installations for physical spaces – such as events. Contact us to learn more about how sound can differentiate your event and improve your delegate experience.

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