Austria Center Vienna unveils the polySTAGE

The name, a portmanteau of the ancient Greek ‘poly’ (‘many’) and ‘stage’ reflects the multitude of staging possibilities it offers.

Austria’s largest congress centre has just added another international-class attraction: comprising 52 individually controllable LED elements, the polySTAGE opens the door to spectacular and transformative stage-setting possibilities. The new system can be used to transform the entrance hall from an exhibition area to a walk-in art exhibition or interactive stage in virtually no time at all.

“Arriving at a congress is often like entering a different world. The new polySTAGE not only creates a unique wow effect, but also has countless possible uses for trade conventions and corporate customers. We are very pleased to present an absolute world first in Vienna, which is also destined to cause a sensation on the international event and congress market,” says Susanne Baumann-Söllner, Director of the Austria Center Vienna.

A creative stage for every event

polySTAGE is the collective name given to the 52 individual LED panels which together create a total of around 174m2 of video display in the heart of the entrance hall. Arranged in two circles, panels are suspended by motor-driven belts allowing them to be moved individually on a vertical plane from ceiling to floor. A giant LED banner surface on the gallery balustrade and two LED side walls complete the polySTAGE.

The ensemble is complemented by a spatial sound system, which creates an immersive auditory experience. A one-of-a-kind on the world stage, the polySTAGE system was developed by Media Apparat, which has already realised numerous international projects at the point where art, design and technology converge. A Viennese company, it has repeatedly featured in the BEA World Top 10 Event Agency ranking. Managing Director of Media Apparat, Andreas Göltl: “The scale and versatility of the polySTAGE is unparalleled anywhere in the world, offering event organisers an unprecedented branding and communications experience. Our goal was to design a flexible installation for multiple settings that would perfectly reflect the variety of different event formats.

Custom staging options

The spectrum of possible applications for the polySTAGE is virtually unlimited. From its starting position, the installation morphs into a flowing wave movement, with the content displayed on the screens appearing untouched by the kinetic flow or just playfully absorbing it. For other settings, the LED panels can be used to create static spaces for registration areas and exhibition booths, or for art exhibitions that seemingly float in the air. They can also serve as an interactive stage for hybrid panel discussions, which bring together on-site speakers and outside participants in the same space. Karsten Elsner, head of event technology at the Austria Center Vienna, is looking forward to exploring the various scenarios: “The 52 panels, which are filled with content and driven via the media servers, are taking us into completely new territory. Installation of this world first definitely represents a highlight for our technicians – the initial feedback from customers, partners and employees has also been overwhelmingly positive.”

A new experiential dimension for events

The international congress market was very quick to recover in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and occupancy rates have already returned to pre-crisis levels. However, participants’ expectations have clearly evolved. Baumann-Söllner: “Scientific lectures alone are not enough to justify long trips; most of them are already available online as streams anyway. However, the countless new contacts and the incomparable congress ambience are decisive factors for in-person attendance. Events are increasingly becoming occasions that also have a strong emotional impact. And now with polySTAGE, event organisers have the opportunity to provide their attendees with an event experience unlike any other.”

Technical specifications:

52 LED panels (each 3-4m2 in size)
60 electric motors
174m2 (inner and outer ring)
Speed 0.2m/second
+ 71m2 LED banner
+ 2 x 65m2 LED side walls
Total 310m2 LED display
Total 107 million pixels
Over 200 people were involved in the development and installation of the polySTAGE

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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