TOA voice alarm products formed an integral part of a new paging, evacuation and BGM system installed at the expo
The system includes six TOA SX-2100 input modules and six SX-2100 output modules

Voice alarm products from TOA are at the heart of a new paging, evacuation and BGM system installed at one of Europe's most prestigious conference and exhibition venues, the Brussels Expo.

Built for the World Expo of 1958 and still retaining all the glamour, elegance and modernity of that era, the 12 halls of the Brussels Expo play host to a string of major exhibitions and events every year, among them the industry show Batibouw, the farming event Agribex, and the ICT technology forum.

In 2008, the management of Brussels Expo approached Prévost System Integration (PSI) to design, supply and install a state-of-the-art PA/VA and BGM system to replace the antiquated equipment that had previously been in use.

Walter Geerts, Director at PSI, takes up the story: "The first phase of the project comprised renewing all the central equipment racks, for which we offered a system based around TOA's SX-2100. In total there are six SX-2100 input modules and six SX-2100 output modules, together with a series of VX amplifiers. Some 26 TOA RM-200 paging microphones are placed around the Expo's various halls and patio areas and connected to the central racks. All centralised and local inputs (56 in total) can be directed independently to a different exhibition hall."

With the new equipment in place, the project entered a second phase, as Geerts explains: "As well as upgrading the hardware to a more flexible and failsafe system, the client then asked us to provide a graphical user interface. Their requirement was simple: an easy-to-use controller that would allow all hall reservations and other relevant data to be entered into the system, without impacting on security issues and logs.

"Since our colleagues at TOA France have extensive experience in this field, we invited the management of Brussels Expo to visit some of their reference projects in France, and they returned convinced that TOA could provide them with a custom-made system that met their requirements.

"What the user sees on their screen is a graphical representation of the Expo space, with each hall representing a separate zone within the system. Tasks such as adjusting individual zone sound levels, changing the scheduling according to a weekly calendar, and selecting microphone priorities are a simple matter of clicking on the relevant hall and calling up the relevant parameter from a drop down menu."

The result is a sound system which meets all current standards, which can easily be extended in the future, and which can even be prepared and programmed for upcoming events remotely via a VPN connection.

Brett Downing, Sales & Marketing Director, TOA Europe, adds: "Exhibition spaces such as the Brussels Expo place unique demands on paging, evacuation and BGM systems, since usage of the various halls changes dramatically from one week to the next. As the numbers of people occupying the different spaces goes up and down, the sound levels required to address them rise and fall accordingly."

"For these sorts of applications, the flexibility of our systems really comes into its own. At Brussels Expo, we've provided the added advantage of a custom-designed user interface that allows the end user to change configurations easily, with little or no technical knowledge."

"We are delighted to be associated with such a prestigious installation and believe that the Brussels Expo will become a landmark project for compliance, flexibility, and ease of use in the European paging and evacuation industry."