To follow is a Q&A with Stéphanie Fortin, Executive Director – International Business Development at Skyfold.
Q: As an exhibitor at our upcoming Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific event in Singapore, can you please give us an overview of the products that you offer the sports venue market?
A: Skyfold is an acoustic retractable wall system that stores in the ceiling when not in use. This electric system is deployed by a turnkey/push button operation and is fully automatic; it does not require manual operation. Skyfold products can be used in just about any location that requires quick and easy space division. It does not take up valuable floor space for storage pockets and does not require wall or floor tracks.
Q: Presumably this system has quite a wide range of applications and uses in a stadium or arena? For example, in luxury suites and restaurant areas?
A: Skyfold products can be used in sports venue facilities for a wide range of applications from crowd and foot traffic control in pedestrian walkways to highly acoustic walls in the media and newsroom areas, to flexible space management for luxury suites and banqueting areas.
Q: What are the main benefits for a venue in using your retractable wall systems? Presumably they open up more ways for a venue to make more revenue?!
A: The main benefit is quick and effortless space division, with minimum maintenance costs. Initially Skyfold walls are incorporated in the project by the architects for flexible space management in the sports venues. A large space can be easily configured to smaller spaces in few minutes. The clients and facilities operators use this to their advantage too, when they have functional requirements like crowd control or revenue generating options like converting the media room to an auditorium or conference rooms for corporate events.
Q: Many venues are now looking at increasing their business in the off-season through hosting conferences, meetings and even weddings, I guess the scope for hosting these kind of events is influenced by maximising the usage of available space in the facility so again we presume your system can help with this?
A: You are on the spot with that comment. We have noticed an increasing trend in this, where the clients and architects have been requesting us for solutions to provide options for multiuse facilities that can be very quickly configured for various events. Skyfold walls retract into the ceiling cavity leaving literally no clue to the end users that there was a wall a few minutes ago, no unsightly wall or floor tracks either. Several finish options to match the interiors also help to provide a backdrop to any event. Floor space – which is automatically calculated as seating space, is maximised since there is no requirement of storage pockets.
Even renting the space during a sports off-season, for example corporate parties for the Holiday Season or New Year, would mean only a few days of brisk revenue. This unusual business time can also be used to a maximum by multiple events during the day. Since Skyfold requires between 1 to 5 minutes of set up time, it is only the banquet space that can be quickly set up by staff.
Q: Is it just the venue and suite managers you normally work with or do you also look to work with architects on the very start of new build or retrofit projects?
A: We start working very early on a project, usually during concept or preliminary design stage. We work with the architects to assist with their concept designs to the clients, and understand their requirements of space flexibility. Our design team also works with the structural consultants for their requirements of load and later with the interior designers for their finish options.
Skyfold walls are also very well suited for retrofit projects because they are light weight walls with only a dead load to consider. Venue managers and facilities managers involved with refurbishment or retrofitting of the stadium facilities contact us for solutions to create luxury and VIP suites from existing space or configure a large space into multi use facilities for corporate meetings or parties.
Q: Skyfold are well known for working on many successful projects in many markets around North America, have you also worked on many overseas projects?
A: We have more than 4,000 projects in 50 countries. Of course Skyfold is very popular in North America, but increasingly growing markets include the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Apart from stadium facilities, Skyfold applications range from huge convention centres to smaller corporate offices, and hospitality and healthcare facilities to universities around the globe.
Q: As an exhibitor at our Stadia & Arena event in Singapore, have you identified Asia Pacific as a region offering significant growth and opportunities for the company?
A: The Asia Pacific rim is already one of our key markets for the hospitality industry. Our presence here is generating interest in other areas like sports facilities, corporate offices and educational facilities. We are now keen to develop growth in these areas in this region as we have tremendous experience with excellent references working with leading international architects.
Executive Director, International Business Development
T +1 (819) 580-1677
Make sure to visit the Skyfold stand F01 at next week’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific event being held at the Singapore Sports Hub from September 24-26. To register for a delegate pass, go to: http://registration.saevents.uk.com/default.aspx
Skyfold also features in the latest issue of PanStadia & Arena Management, in the feature entitled “Creating the Ultimate Luxury Suite” that begins on p106. View the digital edition online at: http://flickread.com/edition/html/index.php?pdf=5408714bf414c&w=1000&h=1414&p=140#5408714bf414c2