Sometimes, success creates its own challenges. For the North Suburban YMCA in Northbrook, Illinois, a booming turnout for its 2016 annual fundraising dinner in a cavernous banquet space meant that guests had a difficult time hearing presentations, announcements, and auction calls. The venue’s in-house system, while well-suited for background music, could not deliver the clarity of sound needed to reach an audience of hundreds of guests in a 27,800 square foot facility. Event organizers were determined to do better for the 2017 gala.
“The live auction is one of the most crucial elements of our Strong Kids Fundraising Dinner,” noted Howard Schultz, NSYMCA President and CEO. “We have wonderful donated items for sale in the auction that bring in a significant portion of our fundraising totals. If guests can’t hear well, it’s impossible to engage them in the auction and our fundraising suffers as a result.”
Fortunately, the YMCA had a local hero with expert advice and the right equipment to meet the challenge. Northbrook-based AmpliVox Sound Systems partnered with the Y to supply specialized portable units that would cover each of the venue spaces. AmpliVox technicians designed connected coverage zones that included powerful yet unobtrusive units.
In the main event area, with towering 20 foot high ceilings and seating for almost 500 guests, AmpliVox placed two SW915 Digital Audio Travel Partner units at the front of the house projecting toward the audience. These 250-watt comprehensive PA systems were augmented by S1297 Wireless Powered Dual Speakers positioned at the rear of the room, as well as an SC800 Titan Wireless Powered Companion Speaker projecting toward a smaller seating area behind the main presentation stage. Wireless AmpliVox microphones were used by the event’s emcee and auctioneer, allowing them to move freely through the audience.
AmpliVox design specialists also used the venue’s open mezzanine space as an opportunity to enhance sound coverage. An S1297 placed on this upper level provided coverage for the busy bar and lobby spaces below it, keeping guests engaged with the event from all areas of the venue.
When the plan was put to the test at the March 9 gala, AmpliVox products exceeded expectations. Over 475 attendees were connected, engaged, and enthusiastic thanks to the clarity of sound provided throughout the event. The live auction raised more than $225,000, funds that will enable families in need to participate in Y camps, swim lessons, and other life-changing programs.
“We were happy to answer the call when the Y asked for our assistance,” noted Don Roth, AmpliVox CEO. “This venue posed challenges for our team, but we were confident that we had the right equipment to fulfill the mission. With careful planning and top-quality systems, we can provide comprehensive sound coverage for any situation.”