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Every year, the haute couture community of New York gathers for one of city’s most anticipated events of the season—Fashion Week. Tweeting, texting, and live streaming are a key part of this stylish event. However, the venue’s steel and concrete structure barely received in-building cellular signal.

Unfortunately, even making a simple phone call was nearly impossible in the steel and concrete structure that houses fashion week, Skylight Modern.

The Problem

IMG, the production company behind New York Fashion Week (NYFW), works long days at an event like this, and poor in-building cellular service is not an option, said IMG’s VP of Creative and Production, Dominic Kaffka.

“We need to be able to send emails all the time, we are online all the time, we are having conference calls all the time, so I need to be in a building where every nook and every corner has cell reception,” said Kaffka. “It is super important for us because if we are disconnected, we cannot operate our events.”

“At the beginning of January we did some preconstruction in here and I didn’t have cell reception in a lot of corners of the building,” said Kaffka. “I couldn’t take calls; I couldn’t send emails.”

The Solution

Cellular connectivity plays a big role during NYFW, so IMG contacted WilsonPro reseller Steve Klingensmith of RCS Wireless for an indoor service solution.

“IMG contacted Wilson and myself to see what kind of solutions we could provide,” said Klingensmith. “I knew that a WilsonPro Repeater System could help them with their indoor cellular service because it’s cost-effective, can be installed quickly, and is easy to integrate into an existing communications infrastructure.”

IT Events Manager of IMG Jim O’Donnell had experience with cellular repeaters from other companies in the past, but they didn’t work as well and weren’t up to the task of providing in-building cellular coverage for this size of venue. O’Donnell wanted a product powerful enough to amplify reception to the entire building for all of the major carriers.

“We’ve been looking to boost all cell signals, not just the ones we knew about: AT&T and Verizon. We wanted to boost everyone, and this was the only one that I found that actually did boost everyone’s coverage,” said O’Donnell. “We want attendees to have at least three or four bars of cell coverage, preferably LTE, and any other solutions that I looked at just didn’t really sound attractive to me, but when I found [WilsonPro] and talked to the salesman, I was really sold on the product.”

Klingensmith explained that WilsonPro products are so attractive to large venues because they are a cost-effective solution that works. The RCS Wireless dealer also explained that the commercial repeater systems from Wilson boast technology that helps them perform better than any other cellular amplifier.

“WilsonPro just has the best technology on the market for cellular amplifiers,” Klingensmith said, “You have the automatic gain control where the amplifier will never actually shut off. It’s designed so that when it is receiving a really strong signal it will continually lower the gain.”

Klingensmith continued that this is different from other signal repeaters that are designed to shut off because they don’t self correct. He further explained that WilsonPro has this technology so a technician does not need to be on site to reset the system. He added that this saves the end user money as well.

The Results

Kaffka of IMG explained that having access to reliable voice and data were not only important for the operations of the event, but also for the attendee experience.

“Social media and cellular technology have changed Fashion Week,” said Kaffka. “We are always trying to improve our event from season to season. When we have fully booked out shows with 1000 visitors and everyone needs cell reception at the same time, it’s hard to keep everyone happy. This is why we had to increase the phone reception capabilities.”

“We want people at the shows to take pictures and post them on social media,” O’Donnell said. “We are a company that loves social media. In the past, we haven’t been able to do that because WiFi and cell signal have been spotty, so that’s why we wanted to boost the cell signal.”

Looking to enhance cellular signal in a large venue or commercial space? Reach out to the experts at WilsonPro to learn more about our indoor and outdoor solutions. Our products support the latest 5G technology.

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