The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a seven-acre public garden in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Its mission is to explore, explain, and celebrate the world of plants through design, programming, and exhibits. The not-for-profit organization has a commitment to education, culture, innovation, and ecology. Its dedication is evidenced by its community activities, perfectly kept gardens, and interesting, welcoming exhibits. The display of color and fullness is expertly tended and visitors can see what’s in bloom at any given time of year. The gardens are open year-round with a showcase of timely plants and flowers, as well as presentations and information about horticultural subjects.
The Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens offers several conference rooms and large event rooms to the community. The original AV control system included two projectors, two screens, a matrix switcher, a DSP for microphones, four sets of shades, three sets of lights, and a touch-pad control in each room.
When the room systems began to turn on and off at random and trigger the central system, officials thought it would be a good time to upgrade the facility’s audio/video technology. They enlisted the help of local installer and reseller Embark. The team was tasked with reprogramming the entire system.
Embark recommended the Kramer control solution. According to Gerson Carrillo, Embark technical sales engineer, Kramer made sense because it was flexible and expandable, and allowed Embark and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden to modify or update as needed. “We also created our own interface for the Botanical Gardens to which they were able to make changes, like including a locking mechanism for password protection,” he says. The Kramer KT-107 touch panel control unit highlighted the installation, making it easy for presenters to choose any one of a number of video sources by simply tapping the screen.
Signals are switched by the Kramer VP-778 Presentation Matrix Switcher/Scaler, controlled via Ethernet connection to the SL-240C 16-port Master Room Controller. The TP-580R HDMI receiver of HDBaseT from the matrix switcher. All other devices are also controlled via Ethernet and the projector screen via relays.
Timing of the install had to be done in a few days because the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden welcomes visitors every day of the week and couldn’t close the conference area. David Regan, assistant director of retail and guest experience at the Botanical Gardens, says, “Initially the controller presented some challenges. Embark was helpful to continue working with us to resolve programming and technical glitches. Now the controller works effortlessly.
The new system was installed at the Des Moines Botanical Gardens – it was cost-effective, innovative, and on time. The system was up and running within two days and has been working fine, according to Carrillo. “This is just phase one,” he says.
“Our success is determined by meeting the needs of our guests with the touch of a button,” says Regan. “We were not delivering a great experience due to aging equipment that worked only when it wanted to. Now our guests can trust that their AV needs will be met and lead to successful meetings and events.”
Embark considered Kramer solutions for this project for financial reasons, but Kramer also provided a new way to think about control. “The Botanical Garden is a landmark in the Des Moines community,” says Carrillo. “It has a strong educational program and offers presentations to schools and adult clinics. They need to have new, high-tech components.”