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Sydney Showground and HPE Pointnext Services supporting the bright future of a leading event venue


Sydney Showground is the commercial event arm of the Royal Agricultural Society. We run over 200 events here per year, across 120,000 square meters of event space, one space of which is Giants Stadium, which we are sitting in here. Our key tenants in here are the GWS Giants in the Australian Football League and Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League. It’s a real challenge at the moment to get people off their couches and come in to stadiums. They expect a certain level of amenity, especially in terms of technology. Other stadiums across Australia are all modernizing. We couldn’t just sit back and fall by the wayside as a venue of choice. We needed to implement a Wi-Fi solution, so the patrons that are turning up can do the things that people want to do during an event. Get onto the Wi-Fi, post on Twitter, get onto their Facebook, look at their emails. In the past, we have had a lot of congestion during the Sydney Royal Easter show, which is Australia’s largest ticketed event. We have 900,000 people here over 12 days. The 4G network just can’t cope with that. Three years ago, we installed the Aruba system throughout our exhibition halls. We had a really good experience within Aruba and Pointnext through that installation and use of that system. So when the time came to do the stadium, we didn’t take it to tender, we just rolled on. The install and then configuration across the stadium was around a five-month period. Over 360 access points through the sitting ball, through all corporate areas, through back-of-house areas. We have really future-proofed the stadium in terms of what we have put in here and the capacity it has now. Since we have installed the Wi-Fi, we have also been able to roll a cashless point of sale system throughout the site. We have also installed an IPTV system, 200 screens across the stadium. Again, that wasn’t possible with the other Wi-Fi system underpinning that. The benefit of Aruba AirWave is the ability to capture the data of the patrons that are turning up, the ability for us to build profiles on those people that are coming back for repeat events, so we know what they are interested in, what sort of events they are interested in. We then market direct to those people as required. We have worked closely together with Aruba, HPE and Pointnext. It has just been seamless. It has just been really easy to work with. They understand what we are trying to achieve here at the site. The Wi-Fi has been performing exceptional. We had some feedback just last week from one of our hirers, they could not believe the speeds we were getting in the stadium. Patrons have really taken to it. It has been fantastic. I couldn’t fault it. The Future of Sydney Showground is really exciting. 2020 will be one of the host venues for the T20 World Cup. We will have the opening celebration here and then also the opening match between Australia and India. In the next 5 to 10 years we are looking at varying our site, even larger, in terms of our usable space, a convention center and a plenary hall. We see HPE Pointnext and Aruba to being a key part of that. They are really great organizations to work with, and I couldn’t recommend them all enough.

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