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Santa Clara University Entrusts Riverview Systems Group With School-Wide Systems Integration And Live Event Support

Nearly thirty years ago Riverview Systems Group (Riverview) began providing a mix of systems integration and live event support services to Santa Clara University (SCU), the Jesuit University in Silicon Valley, a relationship that continues to this day.

Now many university faculty members have integrated technology to enhance teaching and learning, incorporating active learning methodologies in the classroom. According to a 2015 report released by IDC Government Insights, technology investment in the United States is at all-time highs with higher education institutions spending $6.6 billion, and California leading the way with approximately $2.3 billion in 2015.

Riverview started working with the University in 1989 providing audio-visual services for its commencement ceremonies. Over the years as technology has continued to evolve at an almost frenetic pace and institutions of higher learning continue to innovate in how they educate the students, Riverview has become a steady, trusted and strategic campus-wide systems integration resource. The company works closely with the Academic Technology Department providing state-of-the-art AV technology that has touched nearly every area of the campus — from the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asis, to outfitting numerous classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, large facilities such as its prestigious Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center and Orradre Library, performance spaces, sports venues and the business school.

While Riverview is well known for its award-winning live event staging services, a core part of their business is its Systems Integration Department, providing extensive support for businesses and institutions just like SCU. Over the years, Riverview professionals have designed and installed hundreds of complex audio-visual systems for universities, theme parks, Fortune 500 tech firms, startups, churches, museums and specialty venues. Accounting for their long-term success is Riverview’s proven methodology, refined over the course of countless installation and systems integration projects, emphasizing client communication and a workflow that ensures projects are completed on schedule and budget. Key services include:

  • Remote Learning Integration
  • Audio Reinforcement Systems
  • Large and Small Projection Systems Installation
  • BYOD Collaborative Workgroup Systems
  • Multi-Screen Interactive Classrooms
  • Conference Room Systems
  • AV Touch-panel Control & Automation
  • HD Web Conference Integration Systems

From the very start, Riverview worked closely with Nancy Cutler, Santa Clara University’s Deputy CIO for Academic Technology and Co-Director, Collaborative for Faculty Innovation, to support university-wide technology initiatives and a wide range of campus technology resources and services, including academic technology initiatives, learning space development, computing and technology support, media production, graphics, web application development, technology training and the campus cable TV system.

Cutler also notes that working with Riverview has been key to converting the entire campus media systems from analog to digital while maintaining upgrade cycles that keep their spaces compatible with current technologies – all of which has been critical to their instructional spaces and its support of an ever-growing range of teaching and learning activities.

“We consider Riverview more of a partner than a vendor as they work with us to meet the needs of our campus community,” Nancy Cutler says. “They have supported us on both the technical and design side and provided us excellent customer service.”

Alameda Hall at SCU

As for the most challenging projects where Riverview’s experience and talent shone particularly bright and exceeded the university’s vision, Cutler points to the Harrington Learning Commons in 2008; the Paul Locatelli Student Activity Center in 2011; Graham Commons in 2012; Guadalupe Hall in 2015; and Alameda Hall in 2016.

“We value our three decades of collaboration with the Santa Clara University technology administrative team,” Evan Williams, Riverview’s CEO and Co-Founder, says. “As the adoption of handheld devices continues to proliferate and digital technology now permeates everyday life, Riverview stands ready as a resource to help them navigate the technology needs of the college classroom and campus infrastructure of the future.”

Todd Vrzal and Steve Soto, Riverview’s longstanding System Integration Directors, oversee the day-to-day SCU technology integration and on-site technical support.

“As technology has advanced throughout the years and the University continues its expansion plans, our systems integration team continues to recommend, access, install and manage equipment installation such as cameras, speakers, flat panel displays, audio control systems and more,” Vrzal says. “Our goal is always standardizing functionality throughout the campus – in classrooms and on-campus events to help SCU meet its goal to provide students a cutting-edge education.”

Soto adds, “Over the years, as Riverview has taken on greater responsibility for campus technical infrastructure, we’ve stayed in close contact with the client via frequent onsite visits to the campus to ensure the technology is functioning properly and troubleshooting potential issues before they become problems.”

Among the many high profile systems integration projects Riverview has provided to SCU include the following:

The Learning Commons:

The cornerstone of Riverview’s systems integration work at SCU is most clearly demonstrated in the Learning Commons.

The four-story, nearly 200,000 square foot, 47 room building, the SCU Library, which features 26, six and eight-person collaborative rooms, was updated in two phases. Riverview provided services first in 2008 involving the integration of some 68 high-end computers, media stations, assistive technology stations and reference materials; a digital media lab and faculty development lab; video conferencing rooms; three training rooms for library and technology instruction that double as drop-in labs when free; and two video editing suites.

The 2008 installation included 57” NEC flat-panel LCD screens, Panasonic projectors and multiple video and computer sources allowing students to share files and work on projects. In the St. Clare Room, the signature reading room and event space, Riverview installed the then cutting-edge Panasonic 1080p large venue projector in an application where projector and screen are completely hidden until a touchscreen lowers them (as if in a James Bond film) — complete with inputs for connecting Blu-ray players, computers and even linking other classrooms. The AMX touchscreen allowed presenters to control everything from lighting to the wall-mounted cameras, while web streaming capabilities (based on MPEG-4 encoding) let students watch classroom activity in real-time or stream it at their convenience.

In 2013, following an eight-month SCU data gathering process that included student focus-groups and a student survey in which over 2,300 responses were received, the university decided to consolidate and relocate service points, and Riverview was brought in to handle the massive tech upgrade the project represented.

“We replaced all of the control systems, the monitors in many of the collaborative spaces and made some of the taping rooms (rooms where students can watch required viewing material or easily record themselves and copy onto a USB drive for later viewing) more user-friendly,” Soto says.  

Then again, in 2016, Riverview upgraded the existing projection in the St. Clare Room to a Panasonic PT-RZ970 10,000 lumen HD laser projector. They also outfitted the room with 60 state-of-the-art Televic microphone systems so everyone can be heard easily eliminating the potential for feedback while keeping the overall sound low in the room for confidential gatherings.

Riverview’s systems integration work on the SCU Library was awarded the Pro AV Magazine’s 2008 Spotlight Award.

The High Tech Locker Rooms:

Locker Room Upgrade at SCU

In its effort to ensure its athletic programs match its academic excellence, Riverview has also been tasked to help SCU renovate locker rooms with state-of-the-art technology. After SCU’s soccer team was awarded a grant to build a new facility for the men’s and women’s soccer teams, which included not only the locker rooms but also the coaches office and lounge areas, Riverview responded by installing a “halo” (circular row) of 5 – 46” NEC LED Monitors where players can watch programs of their choice as they prepare for practice and games. There is also a main 80” monitor, complete with an Extron’s Annotation Technology coupled with Apple TV and iPad telestrator apps for writing notes or illustrating the game strategy.

The facility is Wi-Fi/Bluetooth enabled allowing athletes to capture a great moment on their mobile device that can be screened on any of the monitors in the locker room.

Riverview was also involved in the recent tech upgrade of the SCU men’s and women’s basketball teams’ locker room facilities, which also feature Live Name Plates (24” monitors) above each locker so player’s names and highlight reels can be looped.

The High Tech Classroom:

This summer alone, Riverview outfitted 40-plus SCU classrooms and facilities with new Panasonic laser projectors, Extron touch panel control systems, Extron DSP processors, and amplifiers. Some classrooms also received new Sony HD cameras and Shure ceiling microphone systems so students can review classroom activities on laptops, tablets or smartphones.

“With the control systems’ standardization in place, now students and teachers in many classrooms can access technology in the same way,” Vrzal says. “Teachers can use the control panel to access flat screen monitors, video conferencing, audio reinforcement, promote collaborative learning and share information on their computers as desired.”

Soto added that Riverview has adopted plug and play technology that lets students plug in their device and display content hassle-free. “Every conference room or collaborative space should be easy for anyone to use and cater to the needs of every user; whether it’s plugging in a laptop or sharing information on a tablet wirelessly. We can customize collaborative spaces to specific requirements.”

The High Tech Campus:

Riverview’s technical footprint can also be seen around the SCU campus in a myriad of ways. Namely:

Mission Santa Clara de Asís

The historic Mission Santa Clara is a consecrated Roman Catholic Church situated on the SCU campus. First established in 1777, the Franciscan Order handed the Mission over to the Jesuits in 1851 who then started Santa Clara College, the first institution of higher education in California. Systems integration work on the Mission Santa Clara de Asis began in 1995 when Riverview implemented an analog audio routing system that was far ahead of its time. Today that spirit of innovation is apparent in their more recent work that features several separate audio zones that digitally route the speakers to different areas of the church depending on the event, including the front of the church, the right or left sides and in-the-round.

Commencement Ceremonies:

From the beginning of their work together, Riverview has continually provided live event design services to the university in support of its undergraduate, graduate, and school of law commencement ceremonies. Held annually outdoors, Riverview provides the design, staging and onsite technical expertise for this important rite of passage, including the use of large screen LED walls, lighting, audio and the ability to easily live stream via Facebook Live and on the university’s website. As with many of today’s campuses around the country, SCU attracts noteworthy speakers including 

SCU Commencement Ceremony

this year’s commencement speakers, Juan Felipe Herrera, 21st Poet Laureate of the United States and Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense. The caliber of speakers the school attracts each year reinforces the need for audiovisual reliability.  

Psychology Observation Rooms:

For psychology students, Riverview outfitted one observation room and three counseling spaces with advanced video and audio recording technology and USB interfaces so students can monitor counseling sessions and even walk away with a recording of sessions for later use. 

The St. Joseph’s Hall/President’s Board Room:

Today, St. Josephs Hall, built in 1911, is where the college president and administrative staff hold regular meetings and conference calls. Riverview most recently installed a 16-channel Shure Axient wireless microphone system to make sure all participants can be heard and content easily recorded and archived.

Music and Dance Facility:

In the SCU Music and Dance Facility (MDF) rehearsal and recital hall, Riverview designed and installed theatre grade lighting, sound and projection to maintain a state-of-the-art performance stage. This recent effort represents the third time Riverview has upgraded this key performance art venue.

Locatelli Student Activity Center:

Named after the former president of Santa Clara University, Fr. Paul L. Locatelli, this multi-purpose space is used for large-scale student events like banquets, dances, concerts, performances, cultural shows and exhibits. Riverview installed a 12,000 Lumen Projection System; 7.1 Meyer Sound Surround System; an Extron Touch Panel Control; laptop, mobile device, and BluRay playback systems; HD lecture and event video capture system; LED theatrical multi-zoned lighting system; 32 Channel Midas mixing console with stage snake Integration for live music performances.


Riverview Systems Group Shines at AAOS 2017 with Zimmer Biomet

Team Blue was once again back at the annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS Members) meeting in San Diego, providing creative/tech support for our long-time client Zimmer Biomet. The show — the most important industry event attended by orthopedic surgeons and allied health professionals — was held March 14 through March 18, and marks our 19th year at the AAOS as a direct vendor to Zimmer (as of 2016, Zimmer Biomet), working with the company’s Convention Services division. The overall Zimmer Biomet exhibitor show footprint booth this year was over 29,400 sq. feet, featuring a 2nd floor with an additional 5,500 square feet, housing a dozen private conference rooms. The load-in alone took nearly 10 days with a crew of 20 RSG team members and an additional 60 locals to bring it all together.

4k Blended Theater for Zimmer Biomet at AAOS 2017

“Our team began working on the project in April 2016, just after we finished the 2016 AAOS show with Zimmer Biomet, helping to choose appropriate booth space within the convention center, in terms of rigging capacities and the profile that the space choice gives Zimmer Biomet within the overall exhibitor show footprint,” Evan Williams Riverview’s CEO says. “We then worked very closely with Catalyst Exhibits to take the evolving design, theme, and focus, and suggest solutions for how best to achieve the marketing vision. We are allowed a great deal of leeway as we come up with creative technical solutions, along with content design partner, Varipix.” Williams explained that due to Zimmer Biomet’s new ‘Signature Solutions’ initiative, which became the thematic focus for 2017, an immersive theater experience was suggested by the Event Marketing Group at Zimmer Biomet. Working with other key creative partners Stage Rigging, Inc., Catalyst Exhibits, Inc., TRU Service Group, and Varipix, Riverview helped facilitate an immersive theater, featuring an ultra high-res video presentation on a 40’ blended wide cinema screen set in a private theater within the booth space with 4K resolution. “It ended up being the only blended widescreen, that I know of, ever presented on a trade show floor at a double-wide 4K resolution,” Williams noted. Another focal point this year was a 10’ x 55’ wide LED “Billboard” centered in the booth space allowing for overall branding, schedules of Zimmer Biomet events outside the booth and testimonials to significant surgical luminaries who had recently passed.

LED Billboard for Zimmer Biomet at AAOS 2017

Equally impressive was the booth’s interactive and virtual components. From an interactive standpoint, Riverview designed and implemented a custom digital audio matrix system that gave tour guides and vignette presenters control over where their microphones were fed, in specific areas, for multiple small-group tours running simultaneously. The virtual booth experience had much to do with new mobile apps, for both iOS and Android platforms that were shown to attendees via tablets, as well as VR goggles and headphones. The Zimmer Biomet apps provided information about the future of interactive physical therapies that patients can interact with at home, as well as seamless transmittal of results to health care providers, etc. Riverview was tasked with the technical set-up of the various demonstration areas, including large touch screens that mirrored the VR experience. “The Zimmer Biomet exhibitor presence at AAOS has been massive for 19 years and the evolution of technology and automation continue to provide exciting technical and creative challenges,” adds Williams. “Through our collaborative effort with Zimmer Biomet and committed partners, our approach to the booth allowed us to create new and more sophisticated lighting, audio and video exhibit pieces to successfully deliver a unified design and inspired attendee experience.” For a look at the massive technology firepower required for a show of this magnitude, check out the gear list below! Riverview Systems Group: Zimmer Biomet Exhibit Booth Tech Facts: 
  • (10) 53’ Tractor Trailers – AV, Lighting, Rigging
  • (181) 1/2 ton and 1-Ton Chain Motors
  • 3314’ of Light and Medium duty truss
  • Total Rig Weight approx. 105000 lbs.
  • (701) Automated and Conventional Lighting Fixtures
  • (58) Kinetic Lighting LED Tubes 
  • (3) GrandMA 2 Lighting Control Consoles
  • 20000 Lighting Control Channels
  •  (284) 3.4mil LED Tiles
  •  (6) Christie Boxer 4K, 30000-lumen Projectors
  •  (4) Synchromesh 4-Channel DDR w/Turbine BU
  •  (3) Barco E2/S3 Switching Package
  •  (48) Flat Screen Displays, 32” to 75”
  •  (1) Custom 38 x 10 Cinema Projection Screen
  •  (1) Yamaha QL-5/RIO/Dante Audio Control System
  •  (1) Meyer 5.1 Theatre Surround System
  •  (1) Custom 12 x 6 Digital Audio Matrix Presenter Package
  • (10) Shure Axient Wireless Systems w/Custom Antenna Distribution
  • (4) Meyer MM-4 Speaker Systems

Spring 2016 Event Production Trends

You hear it all the time, content is king.  No surprise there, but more often this year than ever before content is driving production design, rather than the other way around.  Clients demand wide aspect ratios and display technologies to fit with their content desires and formats, and we as content providers have to muster the design acumen and technologies to make it happen. So what are the current trends for the live event production industry? Here are a few that we’re seeing. LED technology:  As LED light sources get brighter and more consistent, it won’t be long before our lighting inventory, both automated and conventional, will all be LED-based.  ETC [RE1] just released their retrofit LED engine for the Source 4 Ellipsoidal spotlight, the industry standard in conventional profile fixtures, and while it’s not as bright as we would all like it to be, yet, it’s a welcome solution to convert our vast inventory of Source 4’s to LED technology sooner than later.  I expect that by 2018 sometime, our entire lighting inventory, numbering some 800 units, will all be LED driven. Event Execution: For clients, great concepts are one thing but executing is quite another. More and more, we are welcoming clients to the Riverview fold who have been referred to us by their colleagues because of our reputation for extreme execution and event satisfaction.  Regularly we will get a call or an email from someone we don’t know who wants to talk about their client’s needs and how we can help them be successful. High fiber media diet: Up until recently, the use of fiber technology to distribute signal paths has been primarily used in the IT and video disciplines, and often for permanent installation and systems integration solutions.  In the last year or two at most, it has become an almost ubiquitous technology for distributing high resolution video signals long distances to projectors and LED walls, as well as transmitting hundreds of pristine audio channels via the Dante protocol and enabled hardware. Now in 2016 we see regular use of fiber networks to distribute production lighting system protocols across a whole venue to support multiple universes of DMX, RDM, and Artnet protocols.  All of the disciplines using fast, efficient light pipe networks, and we now provide it all. These are just some of the trends we are seeing, but there are certainly more that have the potential to drive our business in new and exciting ways in 2016, such as increased use of mobile apps that tie into events, multi-channel live streaming to global audiences and increasingly more conceptual/creative service demands. We are also encouraged by the Inc. Magazine research that includes dozens of exhibition and event industry suppliers in its list of the fastest growing privately owned companies in the country in 2015, signaling overall steady growth in the industry. It will be interesting to watch as these trends unfold as the year progresses. What trends are you seeing?

Riverview ‘Ignites’ Stryker Neurovascular National Sales Conference

Riverview Systems Group, the award-winning, full-service provider of engaging and innovative live events, is pleased to announce its continued partnership with Stryker Neurovascular, the medical technology provider, mounting its 2016 National Sales Conference, January 25-27 in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Riverview provided a full-range of services including production design, concept/theme development, creative direction, scenic and lighting design and management, original video content and technology expertise for the complex event. The Riverview-created event theme will also be used throughout 2016 at conferences in Stryker’s other global territories. The sales conference marks the eighth consecutive year Riverview has collaborated with Stryker on its all-important annual event and is a follow-up to last year’s Global Sales Conference in Prague.
The Riverview crew mounted several pre-rigging tests to pre-flight the design concept.

Above: Riverview crew mount a rigging test to pre-flight the design concept.

Evan Williams, CEO of Riverview Systems Group, notes that with the recent launch of its new Creative Services division, the company is taking on an expanded role for this year’s event to offer Stryker end-to-end production capabilities that spotlight its range of creative design services, technical ingenuity, artistic integrity and “big picture” capabilities. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Stryker who trust us to produce content across all mediums, make the right equipment choices, provide talented personnel and execute flawlessly,” says Williams. “In addition to handling the technical design strategy of the complex staging, we are developing the overall theme of the conference, producing a series of video segments seen throughout the event, as well as crafting an array of digital content ranging from a mobile app to digital signage and assorted print material.” Immersive Setting The main event stage features a sleek, immersive set design featuring a primary wide screen that delivers the bulk of Riverview-designed visual content, surrounded by a series of six smaller screens with accompanying LED elements and mirrors placed at 45-degree angles. The design adds a sense of texture, color and motion to the stage, while also serving as an additional way to deliver branded graphics, images and text. “Creatively, we approached the project almost like an ad campaign, in which we already laid out the concept of ‘The Fire Within’ at the 2015 global conference, and now we’re building on the idea with this year’s theme, ‘Ignite’,” explains Franco Berardi, Riverview Systems Group, Director of Design Services. “We’ve designed a beautiful mixed media, immersive set design not typically seen in a sales conference environment,” Berardi adds. “The LEDs and mirror units provide a unique sense of depth to the stage set that seemingly curves around the audience, for a truly immersive experience.” Video Captures “Moments”  Under the creative direction of Johnathan Regnier, Riverview Systems Group’s Senior Creative Manager, the company produced several video content packages seen throughout the conference that tie-in conceptually to the “Ignite” theme. This includes a series of “Woman On The Street” interviews with Stryker executives and conference attendees and the opening video montage to the conference that captures the special moments in one’s life where they feel ‘ignited’ – first steps, first time riding a bike, college graduation, first job, first sales win, etc. “The video content is all about looking inside yourself and discovering that fire within and letting that be your motivator,” Regnier says. “What we’re doing is continuing the conversation we started last year: now that you’ve discovered that fire within, let’s ignite it, let’s get to work. Our hope is that attendees come away feeling inspired and ready to achieve great things in 2016.” According to Jane Axelson, Senior Manager, Global Meetings & Events, Stryker NV, Riverview took the “The Fire Within” theme idea, which came from Stryker’s division president, and ran with it. “The Riverview team are the most professional, trustworthy and fun people to work with and we rely and trust them with all the elements of our meetings,” she says. “For the 2016 National Sales Meeting, Riverview was involved in every facet from opening video concepts and development, adding logo development, creative branding, full creative theme, logo design, video elements and more. They also came up with the “Ignite” theme to drive home last year’s “The Fire Within” message forward. The feedback I’ve received from the US National Sales Meeting was that ‘Ignite’ was our best sales meeting ever.” About Riverview Systems Group  Since 1987, Silicon Valley-based Riverview Systems Group, Inc., has been providing the world’s leading brands with the technical and production design expertise to successfully produce engaging and innovative live events The award-winning, full-service provider of audio-visual resources specializes in the rental, sale, design, installation and implementation of lighting, sound and video systems for corporate, retail, museum and educational markets. Recognizing that creative delivery of digital media is the new frontier of event staging today, Riverview offers a comprehensive array of technical and creative services, as well as an extensive inventory of state-of-the-art, well-maintained equipment including cutting-edge wide-screen projection, media server delivery, and LED display technology. Riverview works hand-in-hand with clients to share their expertise and accommodate any sized production to deliver extraordinary brand experiences. All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners. Click Here for the full press release. Media Contacts  Vicky Gray-Clark Ambient PR vicky@ambientpr.com / 408-318-1980 Ray Ecke Right World Media ray@rightwordmedia.com / 973-726-3797