American Express Open Business Lounge

A Convention Center Open Lounge Case Study

When American Express set out to create state-of-the-art, Business Lounges in three of the top convention centers in the US, Level 3 Audiovisual was quickly selected to assist with the design and integration of the audiovisual and digital signage technology that would play a key role in delivering the cutting edge experience. The lounges, serving Open Business Card Members, are strategically placed in the Javits Convention Center in New York City, McCormick Place in Chicago, and the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Open Business Lounge concept allows guests an opportunity to take a break from their busy schedules, offering refreshments, free WiFi, computer and printer access, as well as seating for productive meetings or just pure relaxation.

With these prominent convention centers boasting a combined average of over ten million visitors per year, eye catching digital signage displays were a high priority for each location. Level 3 Audiovisual suggested utilizing video wall technology to create uniquely shaped digital canvases for delivering the Open Lounge branding and advertising content. With thoughtful consideration and coordination, the design team landed on three video wall layout configurations for each of the lounges. Utilizing Samsung Ultra-Thin Bezel Video Wall displays and pull out wall mounts, Level 3 Audiovisual was able to deliver seamless and bright, high definition display walls to set the Open Business Lounge brand apart from its surroundings.

Custom content development for the Open Business Lounges is handled by the premier brand specialists – Momentum Worldwide. With all creative content development happening out of their New York office, the content delivery network utilized for the lounges had to support enterprise grade remote access and content management for all locations from a single interface. The ability to develop, mock-up, preview and deliver content to any of the digital signage enabled displays, or video walls, in any of the lounges easily, and quickly, was paramount in enabling the creative teams to focus on building a cohesive and consistent look and feel for the Open Business Brand.

The digital signage and content management platform was a critical decision given the unique set of requirements. Custom video wall graphics, HD video clips, the ability to integrate social media and live data, as well as an easy to use enterprise content delivery system all in one product proved to be a challenge. After bench testing and mocking up several products, Level 3 Audiovisual ultimately chose BrightSign as the digital signage vendor. Utilizing HD enabled solid state players capable of custom video wall content synchronization utilizing the BrightAuthor software, fit the bill perfectly. BrightSign also had BSN (Bright Sign Network) a cloud subscription based content management and delivery system that would work perfectly. The BrightSign hardware, software, and hosted content delivery network, combined together to deliver the perfect digital content platform for American Express Open Business Lounges.

Each lounge has several thoughtfully placed commercial displays capable of broadcasting custom signage content or satellite TV. The lounge features a large format display with a computer input to allow for collaborative ad-hoc business meetings for card carrying members. High Definition clarity and video routing flexibility to send any source to any display allows for quickly configuring the system per the needs of the members.

Audio is distributed throughout the spaces utilizing high quality, ceiling recessed loudspeakers, zoned to allow for careful audio level customization. Background music is provided for ambiance during normal operating hours, but the audio controls quickly allow a satellite TV channel or computer source to be heard during a meeting or important televised event. Additionally, a wireless handheld microphone is available for announcements or to support large meetings.

All of the systems are easily controlled by a wireless iPad featuring a custom GUI (graphical user interface) that can be utilized anywhere in the lounge. The interface shows all display locations and audio zones on the floor plan of each individual lounge, enabling a user to quickly orient where they are in the system, and make desired changes. System snapshot presets allow a user to configure all displays and audio zones to a “typical” configuration and then save it as a system wide preset. This allows a user to quickly setup the entire system to a known configuration without having to access each individual display and audio zone.

Cutting edge technology, ultimate flexibility, and an amazing user experience ensured that the American Express Open Lounges delivered on their vision of a business oasis.

Cutting edge technology, ultimate flexibility, and an amazing user experience ensured that the American Express Open Lounges delivered on their vision of a business oasis.

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