When luxury West End hotel Sofitel was seeking to upgrade its meeting rooms, including access to ultra-HD 4K, there was only one technology to use – Crestron. Working closely with F1AV, the Sofitel St James has achieved five-star event facilities to match its prestigious location and luxurious accommodation.

Close to Piccadilly Circus, The Mall and Green Park, St James was originally developed in the 1660s as a residential area for the aristocracy. The hotel’s striking neoclassical building, built in 1923, is surrounded by over 150 listed properties. Behind the regal facade, guests are treated to stylish interiors, fine dining, and a myriad of services and high-tech facilities. In 2015, it was awarded Condé Nast’s ‘Best Urban Hotel’ in the UK and Ireland.
Sofitel St James offers a variety of furnished meeting rooms and event spaces, catering for everything from discreet board meetings to lavish banquets for up to 180 guests. Each meeting room contains the latest in audio-visual (AV) technology, including giant 4K touchscreens and high-resolution laser projectors for optimum image quality.

Tailored workspace

What gives the facilities the ‘wow’ factor is the ease and speed with which they can be tailored for use. Within a matter of minutes, anyone can walk into one of the rooms, set up a presentation, and share documents, video, images or audio from any mobile device, tablet or laptop. Unlike traditional facilities, there are no wires to hook up or settings to configure. Sofitel uses the Crestron AirMedia wireless presentation system, which seamlessly integrates with Crestron’s HD video distribution system, Crestron DigitalMedia, to facilitate the sharing of digital content from the user’s own device.
For business meetings, seminars or training sessions, attendees can, for example, share multiple PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents, or view internet content. Up to 32 users can connect to AirMedia at the same time, with content from up to four presenters being displayed simultaneously. This true collaboration enables fully interactive and productive meetings.
Each meeting room has a Crestron FlipTop control unit, incorporating a 5in colour touchscreen flush-mounted into
a table top. This discreet, space-saving device provides complete, intuitive control of the room including selecting presentation sources, adjusting audio and light levels, and contacting hotel staff. With built-in AC power outlets, laptops and other devices can also be charged.

Fast and fuss-free

The installation, designed by Brentford-based AV specialist F1AV, offers enormous benefits to both event organisers and the hotel. In addition to providing high-speed streaming of high-quality images, video and audio from any device, the simple set-up is efficient and stress-free for the user and reduces the need to hire a room for a lengthy set-up and take-down period.
From the hotel’s perspective, the rooms have improved flexibility in terms of use. Larger suites can be divided
or joined together without the need to move or set up equipment. Overall, greater efficiency and fast turnaround times enable the hiring potential to be maximised.

Custom decor

As a listed building, it is essential for new technology to blend seamlessly with the traditional decor. To address
this, F1AV worked with the hotel’s designers to create customised wardrobes, matching each individual event space, in which to store the equipment racks. This has the added advantage of reducing any potential noise while still providing easy access for service and maintenance.
For prospective event organisers looking for a prominent venue in central London, Sofitel St James provides versatile spaces in elegant surroundings, complete with state-of-the-art technology.