An interview with our Addis Ababa sponsors

For the 3rd time running, Congress Rental Network have sponsored the AIIC Assembly. Vincent Buck talks to CRN’s Renata Papadimitriou about how Bosch conference technology contributed to our success

Congress Rental Network sponsored the Addis Ababa Assembly

What is the CRN network and how does it work? How many partners are there? In how many countries?

CRN is a global network of congress equipment suppliers. Our purpose is to provide technical solutions for all kinds of events and to assure dedicated, exceptional service using the latest Bosch Congress Systems and peripherals. All Congress Rental Network members use state-of-the-art Bosch equipment, from simple set-ups for one language meetings to more elaborate ones for multilingual conferences with simultaneous interpretation. CRN is the only official rental network of Bosch equipment in the world, and the bond uniting Bosch and CRN is unique!

At the moment the network has 44 members in 42 countries (2 each in in France, Canada and Spain) spread over 5 continents. In fact our 44th member, a company in Peru, was added just last month. Info on members can be found on the networks page of our website.

What type of conference equipment does the Bosch CRN supply to AIIC assemblies?

CRN members are proud to have sponsored the last three AIIC assemblies: 2009 in Nice, 2012 in Buenos Aires and now in Addis Ababa. For all three CRN members provided simultaneous and general conference equipment for the main room. We’ve come to know your needs, from microphones to voting equipment with special smart cards for delegate identification. Upon request we can also provide audiovisual or other services that AIIC assemblies tend to require like video projection, lighting, backdrop set-ups and equipment for secretariat staff

Where does the equipment available at Addis Ababa come from?

Four members joined together for this meeting: Kongresstechnik / Congress Rental Austria, Sono Audiovisual of Madrid, Ubiqus from the UK, and Congress Rental South Africa.

How complex is it, logistically speaking, to organise equipment - shipping, customs, etc. - for an assembly such as this one?

Addis was quite challenging compared to the two previous assemblies, mainly because the destination itself presents difficulties. It was challenging to find suitable cargo flights to ship everything, and to then clear everything through customs within the targeted time frame (it took 2 weeks and some very generous on-site support from the local AIIC Organizing Committee ). And, as you know, local customs and language barriers present a set of challenges of their own.

Is there anything special in how AIIC use the equipment made available to them?

Definitely, and this is where our business partner — Bosch Conference Systems — comes into play. AIIC uses a custom-designed voting system that your IT experts have developed in close co-operation with the Bosch technical team. You need a flexible system that supports one or more voting cards per delegate and assigns each of those cards a voting weight that matches the delegate's total proxies, which increases the system’s complexity. Furthermore, AIIC is one of the only users of that system worldwide in a mobile set-up. 

Why does Bosch CRN sponsor AIIC?

CRN members are interested in maintaining a close, productive relationship with interpreters. Conference interpreters are the primary users of our equipment, and we want to make sure they are happy with the quality and service that our members provide. Being here with AIIC is great PR for us and a learning experience. Bosch believes that interpreters are best placed to provide valuable feedback on system performance and how user-friendly the equipment is. Like us, AIIC is global, which means that it adheres to the same standards we do – top professional service supported by the best equipment available.

Do interpreters strike you as different from other types of clients?

Interpreters are definitely not typical clients. They see beyond a meeting as a simple gathering of individuals; they require and insist on certain conditions that our members have to provide. We have to adapt and meet technical requirements up-front, otherwise problems may arise during set-up or later, affecting the end-client, and that is something we want to avoid. Being in contact with organizations such as AIIC and SCIC also helps us stay up to date with new standards and requirements, and thus provide top-notch service for all kinds of events.

AIIC wishes to thank the CRN, Bosch Conference Systems, and Renata and her team in particular for their dedication and steadfast support before and during the AIIC Assembly. 

Recommended citation format:
AIIC. "An interview with our Addis Ababa sponsors". January 21, 2015. Accessed July 10, 2020. <>.

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