McWaters A/V Customer Experience Center


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McWaters A/V Customer Experience Center

Columbia, SC

Project Scope
V.I.A. by Steelcase with integrated monitor shroudmedia:scape Lounge by SteelcaseVertical Intelligent Architecture (V.I.A.) by Steelcase with integrated monitor shroud

McWaters A/V Customer Experience Center
Columbia, SC

Service-Lines: Audio-Visual/Technology

Products Used: Steelcase, Inc., Brightsign, Crestron

McWaters' main office in Columbia, S.C. serves as an office space for its Columbia staff, as a free collaboration space for clients, and as a showroom for customers.

FrameOne Benching by SteelcaseBrody Privacy Lounge by SteelcaseVerb Tables by Steelcase and Node Chairs by Steelcase

Project Scope

McWaters has always been committed to providing a space where people can experience design solutions and products in a working environment. With the launch of our new A/V service line, the need to integrate some of the newest display and collaborative technology into our space was necessary. 

Having regular access to these types of products helps the sales team understand how the technology works and helps our customers visualize creative solutions to their problems. It also means that when our customers come to our Customer Experience Centers in Columbia, Savannah, or Augusta, they're able to experience the products and get a better idea of what is going to work in their space.

Internally, we also needed a way to increase collaboration and communication between our teams in Columbia, Savannah, or Augusta. 

Room Wizard from SteelcaseBrody by SteelcaseChargespot


Enhanced internal communication and collaboration

  • Teleconferencing: We have offices in four cities and two states, so we would lose a lot of time and money to travel if we were to physically come together for every meeting. Each location has a conference room with two large monitors.  When we need to meet with co-workers from other locations, we can teleconference on one screen and share content on the other. To accomplish this, we use media: scape by Steelcase, but we can also demonstrate it with popular web-based conferencing services, such as WebEx and GoToMeeting.
  • Sharing content: Internally, we have monthly budget meetings at our Columbia office where we review detailed spreadsheets. It’s important for everyone in the room to be able to read the content. We chose to go with a projector and a 120” large screen that drops from the ceiling. This solution was more cost effective than an LCD monitor of comparable size. There are a lot of misconceptions about projectors being outdated equipment, so having such a large one in our office also meant we could show customer’s first-hand the clarity of the image on the screen. The projector and screen are controlled with an intuitive Crestron control system that automatically turns on the equipment when needed.  
  • Internal meetings: Our employees have a lot of impromptu meetings where they might need to share screens from multiple devices. We added the media:scape by Steelcase to our office with these types of meetings in mind. In our Customer Experience Center we utilize the customizable media:scape technology in many ways. In our conference room, media:scape is built into our conference table, in our training room we utilized a mobile media:scape unit and in our open work environment our staff can access this technology in a media:scape lounge.
  • Staying on schedule: Since a lot of those meetings are impromptu, there is a challenge with scheduling the use of meeting space. To address that challenge, we installed Room Wizard by Steelcase, outside of each collaboration area. Room Wizard allows our employees to schedule a meeting by using the touch screen device for that space or through Microsoft Outlook calendars synced with the Room Wizard technology. The device glows green when a space is available or red when in use.
  • Private space: In addition to the need for enhanced collaboration tools, our employees also have the need for private meeting space. The new V.I.A conference space provides an alternative meeting space to the traditional conference room. The soft seating lounge and stand-or- sit options allows our employees and customers to experience a more collaborative and relaxed meeting space. The V.I.A by Steelcase fully supports the latest technology by seamlessly integrating Crestron room controls and a 4K digital touch panel for presentations. AirMedia allows for a wireless connection. The true acoustic privacy created by the V.I.A system makes these spaces the ideal locations for focused, productive work in a private setting.

Enhanced external communication

The installation of a video wall made of high resolution LCD display tiles, allows us to communicate with guests and employees as soon as they walk in our door. We paired this display with a Creston control pad so we could change the message and content on the fly.

We might use it to display information about a new product or to welcome a group who's coming to use our Customer Experience Center. This display has almost limitless capabilities in terms of what types of content you're showing, and how often it changes. Having this dynamic display in our office helps demonstrate how we can help our customers utilize the latest technology to enhance their external communication.  

Supporting an open office

The technologies we used in McWaters help support our open office environment, but the trade-off with an open office is the noise. In order to help our team focus and reduce noise pollution, we installed QT Pro by Steelcase as a sound masking solution. This speaker system is spread throughout the office and functions on zones. When a zone is turned on, it creates white noise, a sound similar to an air vent. That noise helps muffle conversations and mask other sounds.

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