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ICC TOPS (article first published : 2000-12-1)

ICC Durban's latest coup is the phenomenal outcome of the 12,700 delegate XIII International AIDS Conference which the international organisers described as "the most successful" AIDS conference ever staged. Held every two years, the conference is rated by the international conventions industry as being in the top 3% in terms of size and prestige.

According to a survey conducted, 94% of delegates said that they would return to Durban on holiday or for another conference. The survey not only reflected the "phenomenal organisation of the International Convention Centre", but the ability of the whole city to "look after the visitors very well."

During the day to day running of the conference, record turnaround times were achieved largely due to ICC's operable wall system which hangs on tracks and can be easily moved into a number of different configurations. Every day, the 6,000 seater Plenary Hall was broken down and configured into six meeting rooms with totally different set-ups within 45 minutes.

It was an extremely high-tech project and the equipment used was state-of-the-art. These included 27 projectors worth R1 million each and the largest number of screens ever seen in SA. The screens would have taken up two rugby fields, with the smallest being 6 x 4 metres.

A complicated task was the setting up of videos showing the happenings at ICC at several other venues, with a choice of three different presentations to choose from at any one time. There had to be a live camera in each venue and footage was sent via SABC links.The venues were the Durban Exhibition Centre, the Durban Hilton, two venues at the Playhouse, the City Hall, the Royal Hotel and the Old Mutual building.




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