Digital X 2021

Digital X 2021, Cologne, September 2021

Client: Telekom Deutschland GmbH
Commissioned by: Telekom Deutschland GmbH
Date: 7th and 8th September 2021
Location: Urban Area of Cologne
Services:Audio, Video, Lighting, Staging, Rigging, Event-IT, Streaming
Project Manager: Roman Salzwedel, Frank Herbert
Special features:
  • provision of the network infrastructure for multilingual live streams and internet access on 5 stages, 3 brand houses and for the press conference with redundant internet connection via seven 1 Gbit/s fiber optic lines and 5G/LTE multichannel bonding
  • internet supply with area-wide LAN and WLAN infrastructure
  • provision of over 80 LTE and 5G access points in the city center to receive live streams and 70 Internet access points in 100 locations
  • overall commissioning and monitoring of around 60 networks of different sizes

One city, four districts, 100 locations: "Digital X" is Europe's largest digitalisation initiative. It is a cross-industry community in which Deutsche Telekom is involved along with over 300 partners. At the beginning of September 2021 it held a two-day event with a brand new format. In line with the aim of "getting out into the real world", the presentations and discussions took place simultaneously on five different stages – spread around Cologne's entire city centre.

The event's four focal issues – Inspiration, Interactive, Future and Disruptive – were also taken up at another 100 locations taking part in this Digital X including hotels, co-working spaces, design workshops and bars. Over 30,000 guests immersed themselves in the world of today's digitalisation and tomorrow's technologies: networks as vital links for businesses, different forms of collaboration, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, Cloud applications and digital education. The program was rounded of by innovations and model projects from SMEs, workshops, digital products and hands-on solutions. Guests made their own way from district to district by e-scooter, bus or rickshaw.

Like at Digital X in 2018, we were hired once again to plan and implement the technical side of the project, which for the first time was held at numerous different locations in Cologne. We ensured a successful program by providing customised concepts for lighting, audio and video for the five main stages and all the locations. For example the main stage at the Deutsche Telekom location was surrounded by a 180-square-metre LED surface and lit by 400 spotlights.

Our teams were also responsible for rigging and staging during the set-up phase as well as for livestreaming and the deployment of media equipment during the two days of the event. N&M's Event IT and ICT units set up a highly sophisticated WLAN network for attendees and exhibitors all across the Digital X, with a 5G network even being provided in some locations. At the same time we put facilities in place to allow for all presentations and discussions on every stage to be streamed in German and English – the event was broadcast in parallel on the Digital X platform – while also ensuring uninterrupted, high-quality link-ups from a number of different countries.

The concept of a decentralised version of Digital X presented us with complications in terms of personnel organisation and material logistics. We were faced with the task of planning and coordinating the entire equipment as well as our technicians for 100 individual event locations all around Cologne while also guaranteeing the live events went off without a hitch.


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