East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), responsible for powering more than 520,000 homes and businesses in 87 Kentucky counties, is owned by 16 electric distribution co-ops located in central and eastern Kentucky.
Each of the 16 parties is involved in monthly decision-making meetings, comprised of 45 or more participants. Hosted in an EKPC multipurpose boardroom, the meeting facility became a growing concern, as it quickly proved to be inefficient due to an A/V configuration that included just six microphones suspended from the ceiling.
To help alleviate the issues, EKPC partnered with dBA Acoustics, a consulting and design services firm, to create a new conferencing environment that would offer audio clarity through an intelligent wireless solution.
With a layout featuring a large U-shaped table, when designing the new conferencing system, it was crucial to have at least one gooseneck base transmitter per two board members. A solution that could be turned on and off by individual members was also requested to limit interruptions and prevent excess ambient noise from drowning out the speaker.
Shure Microflex wireless systems were selected to address these requirements. MXW8 gooseneck base transmitters, with a simple push-to-talk feature, were installed for accurate sound reproduction and to remedy the sound delivery issues associated with the limiting ceiling microphones.
EKPC facilities supervisor Troy Varner states, “Shure Microflex Wireless was exactly what we needed. It is extremely user-friendly and the bi-directional wireless capabilities ensure we can monitor and control all settings in real-time. Additionally, with the premium technology all meeting attendees can be clearly heard, while the table top goosenecks make it easy for members to participate in the conversation.”
Each transmitter offers bi-directional wireless capabilities, enabling return channel audio and real-time remote control and monitoring of all settings. This functionality enables the EKPC team to always have access to transmitter battery status for long meetings or back-to-back sessions.
Outside of solving A/V issues for monthly board meetings, Microflex wireless has had a positive impact on EKPC training presentations, smaller meetings, and the annual meeting, which also occur in the corporate boardroom. For these occasions, the room relies on four compact Microflex wireless hybrid bodypack rransmitters that connect to earworn or lavalier Shure microphones for presenters.
Additionally, the room has three podiums that are equipped with Microflex Wireless handheld transmitters. For added convenience, all EKPC’s selected Microflex wireless transmitters fit into the system’s networked charging station that brings batteries to 50 percent in one hour, with smart charging that safeguards against battery damage.
“We stream training sessions to other facilities and also record all board meetings, so high-quality audio was our biggest concern. We needed a system that would work in a boardroom setting but could also support presentations at a podium and training sessions, where the presenter is mobile. Shure Microflex wireless fits the bill, and our past events have been flawless thanks to the audio technology,” says Varner.