This year, another major player entered the fray with the opening of the 500-room, $224 million Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. Housing a 100,000 square foot pillar-less convention center, 50,000 square feet of meeting space, a gourmet restaurant, and an ornate entrance landscape conceived around natural wetlands, the hotel has already secured 42 major corporate events for the coming year, and expects to see a minimum of 380,000 travelers during that time.
An offshoot of the Marriott family, every hotel in the Renaissance chain is distinctively styled with an eye toward the high-end business and leisure traveler. The opening ceremonies were clearly geared to this crowd, as 400 VIPs came out to celebrate the ribbon cutting with Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson and Marriott President William Shaw. Held in the hotel’s 28,000 square-foot ballroom, the ceremonies featured gourmet food from Sam & Harry’s Steakhouse, performances by the Redmoon Theater troupe, and a sound system based on Meyer Sound’s new M’elodie ultracompact high-power curvilinear array loudspeaker.
Sound for the event was provided by Swank Audio Visuals, a West Chicago-based firm known nationwide as specialists in the world of corporate and hotel AV. Swank’s Frank Pajak mixed the event, and, as Swank Regional Technical Director Marcus Hebda explains, it’s not an easy niche to serve. “Hotel AV has its own unique set of challenges to overcome,” he observes. “Usually you’re in a ballroom or convention center with a hard ceiling, which not only presents acoustic challenges and reflective issues, but also severely limits your rigging points, further complicating things. Factor in setup time beforehand, plus the length of the show, and strike time afterward, and it inevitably amounts to a very long day.”
Two arrays of four M’elodie cabinets each covered the further reaches of the rectangular ballroom, and two more arrays of two M’elodie units pointed toward the narrower areas.
Hebda credits Meyer Sound’s self-powered design for helping simplify much of the setup and teardown process. “Running cabling is a time-intensive task — not to mention an eyesore,” Hebda says. “But the M’elodie array has put an end to the nightmare of countless audio cables and delay lines. And the speed at which the M’elodie sets up is amazing.”
Hebda had tried a number of other loudspeakers before moving to Meyer Sound products, and is very glad to have made the switch. “We’ve used several other arrays that sounded very flat and sterile in a corporate setting, but I have to say that Meyer has really hit a home run with the M’elodie. It does a great job of combining raw power and nice sound into a comparatively tiny cabinet. Plus, we no longer have to maintain a large inventory of cabinets of different sizes and throw patterns, which really helps because storage space is always one of our biggest challenges.”
Future expansion plans for the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center call for more meeting space and the addition of a performing arts center.
Renaissance Schaumburg Chicago Hotel & Convention Center: www.meet-schaumburg.com