The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (BNCC) recently wrapped up a complete technology upgrade, made possible through support from the County of Erie and Empire State Development.

The center received a total re-cabling of all public spaces in the building and the addition of a high-density wireless network covering the building’s 110,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

 

The upgrades have increased high-speed internet bandwidth by a factor of ten, allowing exhibitors and guests instant and unimpeded access to any applications they require.

 

Highlights include:

  • 100 MB of bandwidth
  • More than 240 data ports throughout the building
  • 70 wireless access points
  • The ability to accommodate up to 7,000 devices
  • Installation of 11 digital signage boards throughout the facility
  • Free WiFi zone in the lobby

 

The improvements, which cost $500,000, were completed in time for Buffalo to welcome the Higher Education Web Professionals Conference to Buffalo from Oct. 5 to 9. This group of 750 highly tech-savvy attendees from across North America had a history of overloading the internet bandwidth of meeting sites in previous host cities, but the BNCC met and exceeded their needs.

 

The BNCC contracted with Windstream for the installation and Escapewire for project management assistance and support.

 

“Technology needs for conventions are higher than ever,” said BNCC Director Paul Murphy. “Thanks to the support of the County of Erie and Empire State Development, the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center has been able to upgrade our technology infrastructure to remain competitive with other venues and build on our reputation for superior service.”

 

“The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center’s infrastructure and technology enhancements enable both retention of existing business and expansion into targeted markets,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council has targeted tourism in this region as a priority, which is why the state is pleased to support projects like this that draw additional conventions and visitors to the Greater Buffalo/Niagara region.”

 

Added Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz,“Today’s meetings and conventions demand access to high-speed Internet and unfettered access to computer apps and programs. It was quite apparent the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center was lagging behind its competitors. However, with these improvements, Erie County is better positioned to attract more convention business while ensuring that the technological infrastructure necessary to support that business is in place.”
“The technology upgrades to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center were a key factor in the success of our conference,” said Mark Greenfield, director of the University of Buffalo Office of Web Services and conference chair of the 2013 Annual Higher Education Web Professionals Conference. “Our attendees are all technologically adept and social media savvy, which puts a high demand on Internet connectivity. Despite being the largest conference we’ve ever held, the 2013 conference in Buffalo was the first conference we’ve had where the technology met this demand. In addition, our attendees were impressed with the great hospitality at the convention center and the efforts of Visit Buffalo Niagara to make them welcome.”