Musical equipment provider Sweetwater Sound recently implemented a Sennheiser Tourguide system to facilitate corporate tours of its 100+ acre campus in Fort Wayne, USA, which includes a new, 300,000 sqft, LEED Platinum certified facility.
“It all started when people started talking about the campus and saying, ‘Wow, this is amazing. Can I bring some people back and show them around?’”, explained Michael Ross, senior vice president - marketing and corporate communications of Sweetwater Sound. “So we formalised the tours, and the word spread in a very grassroots fashion.”
Over the last several years the company’s tours have become longer and more comprehensive in scope while catering to much larger groups. “It became very cumbersome to conduct highly detailed tours to a group of more than a handful of people,” said Ross. “So we needed to ensure that our tourguides were able to communicate clearly without having to raise their voices or becoming distracted over side-conversations. The challenge was clear, and there was only one really great solution: Sennheiser Tourguide.”
Initially, Sweetwater approached the challenge just as one of its customers might: by comparing features, speaking to peers and inquiring with sales engineers. “When we have an audio need, we conduct our due diligence just like anybody else. But in going with Sennheiser Tourguide, there were a couple of key factors,” Ross recalled. “First, we sell an incredible amount of Sennheiser wireless to our customers on our own recommendation because we believe in it so much. Second, we have a great relationship with the folks at Sennheiser, and we knew they would be able to serve our needs at this level.”
Sweetwater initially settled on a Tourguide 2020-D system that included 20 stethophone receivers and a bodypack transmitter. Based on the strong performance of the first system, they promptly purchased a second 2020-D system so they could conduct two simultaneous tours — each at different intervals and on different frequencies.
According to Ross, since integrating the Sennheiser Tourguide solution, feedback among executive management, tour participants and tourguides themselves has been resoundingly positive: “First, these units are patron-friendly. Every single person who has been handed a Tourguide unit has had an easy user experience — it is so intuitive. Second, tour participants love the fact that when there are other people around them that might be distracting, they can still have a perfectly clear audio experience, and adjust the volume if they so choose.” Ross also commented that since the Tourguide system has been in operation, it has operated ‘perfectly and reliably, with no dropouts or failures’.
The Sweetwater tours are an increasingly important element in the company’s overall brand presence: “When we started our tours, we were doing a couple per week — now we are doing several tours each day,” concluded Ross.