How the Vancouver Convention Centre expanded its use of Voyage Control
from event coordination to navigating the COVID-19 pandemic
Every year, the Convention Centre collaborates with hundreds of local and international clients to host events of all type and scale, from large trade shows and conferences to intimate banquets and weddings.
In order to make these processes efficient, both logistically and sustainably, it requires a firm understanding of everything that’s taking place at the facility on a daily basis – from move-in, to execution, and to move-out.
What is Voyage Control?
Voyage Control is a logistics scheduling and resource management platform that allows organizations to coordinate various operational movements, elements and processes.
Our team identified that Voyage Control could be used to effectively coordinate and manage clients using the facility’s loading docks for their move-in or move-out.
After a successful trial run determining that Voyage Control integration could make event processes more efficient through greater scheduling control, the tool was used for its first event, Fan Expo Vancouver, in 2017.
Voyage Control is now part of the Convention Centre’s suite of services offered to all clients with over 100 staff trained to use it. Clients that opt to implement Voyage Control receive a customized product tailored to their specific event and its logistics.
In addition to the value provided to our team at the Convention Centre, Voyage Control provides clients hosting events at the facility with similar efficiency and green benefit, as well as critical feedback to improve their executions in the future.
By integrating Voyage Control into their event process, clients not only have greater control over the scheduling and planning of their events, they gain access to a wealth of information around logistics trends and patterns that will allow them to improve their processes in the future while reducing unnecessary costs.
How it Works
Clients opting to use Voyage Control are put through a booking ‘journey’ that allows them to input their move in times, vehicle size, etc. The system will then determine what is possible and most efficient for their event process.
To coordinate the planning and execution of this operation safely, our team needed a means to manage who was coming to the facility, when, and how they could operate safely while inside.
With the advent of COVID-19 resulting in a sudden pause to event activity, the Vancouver Convention Centre found itself in a unique and unprecedented new role.
As part of its efforts to combat the pandemic, the province tasked the Convention Centre with converting part of its Exhibition Halls into an Alternate Care Site (ACS), which would provide additional hospital space for the region if needed
Given its effectiveness coordinating event logistics, including crews, equipment and materials, it was clear that Voyage Control could also serve the organization during this unprecedented undertaking.
Voyage Control provided a means of managing incoming personnel from across a variety of organizations, formalizing arrival and departure times to ensure safety measures could be implemented effectively. At any time, our team could identify who was in the building, for how long and their location, helping to administer proper distancing and room capacities. Voyage Control could also easily support contact tracing efforts if required.
This new way of using Voyage Control was so effective, it soon expanded to serve as our primary personnel access control system for the pandemic and supported the safe execution of other business activity such as industry exams, film shoots and more.
Voyage Control will be an integral part of operations as the Convention Centre looks towards the resumption of safe events.
Through the comprehensive coordination of supplier and exhibitor arrival times, the facility has been able to better mitigate congregations and bottlenecks at all points of the event process. These learnings from the pandemic period will carry over and allow for improved management of on-site personnel going forward.
The comprehensive capabilities, adaptability and easy-to-use nature of Voyage Control has allowed our team to find immense value and benefits, for both clients and the facility, and we look forward to building on that into the future.