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5 Things to Consider When Providing Wi-Fi at Events

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Wifi. We all love it, we all hate it. Free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi is no longer optional when it comes to events, conventions and conferences. More often than not, the very Marketing Activations themselves require Wi-Fi or high-speed internet connectivity and from my experience, they’re typically under-powered in terms of bandwidth and speed.

How many times have you been at an event and the Wi-Fi is so completely jammed with usage that you’d rather dial into your 28.8 modem than use your phone or laptop’s wifi connection? For me, more times than I care to count. Thinking beyond the marketers demand and perspective, how about the users? Attendee’s view Wi-Fi as an expectation.

Audi Trolls the Competition with its Wifi at NYC Auto Show

The ubiquitous nature of technology creates opportunities for Event Planners which can allow for more buzz to generate following events for example with the ability to share photos and videos or share on social media channels. It’s really a win-win opportunity for marketers and party planners to provide quality Wi-Fi as opposed to viewing it as an added luxury for attendees.

On the downside for event planners, it does add an additional level of planning and execution to supply an event with a proper Wi-Fi Connection. However difficult it may be to execute, it’s most likely going to improve the quality of the experience for attendee’s, brand ambassadors as well as the event or experience itself.

1.) Large Events Require High-Speed and High-Bandwidth. This can get expensive, but it’s worth it.

Some event planners think that Wi-Fi is a human right, a utility which should be provided by the event space like water or breathable oxygen. While this might work for a smaller event, it’s not going to work for a group of a hundred thousand people, or even ten thousand. Make sure you have the proper infrastructure in place in order to supply the people what they need!

2.) Wi-Fi Costs Vary from Location to Location

Typically these costs are associated with the scale of the event itself. Events requiring a high level of connectivity require heavier infrastructure which lends itself to higher costs from a technical IT staff as well as the equipment and connections necessary to supply service to the event.

Different companies, service availability, staff availability as well as locations will most likely differentiate the Wi-Fi cost at your next event.

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3.) Think about how your Event’s Attendee’s are using the Internet

How many devices on average are being used by your attendees? Do they need their phones, their laptops, and their tablets, or just their phones? Will they be downloading anything, or will they be simply communicating, for example if a technology company holds a conference to train developers on a particular language or piece of software, they’re likely going to need to download content from the internet, and when you’re talking about 10,000 individuals downloading large files simultaneously, you’re going to need some serious bandwidth.

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4.) Think about session duration. How long will attendees will be using the Wifi at your Event? Plan accordingly.

All weekend? Just for a few hours? These variables will dictate the costs and consumption of data being consumed at your next event or production. If you want to provide a premium experience digitally, make sure you’re ready to stream in pure, fire. Plan on specifying to the provider exactly how long you will need high-speed connectivity to be as efficient with costs as possible. Plan for scalability, if you were expecting less and receive more attention than planned, be prepared for unexpected usage rates.

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5.) Do some research when it comes to selecting the mobile wifi provider.

Make sure you’ve got a partner to work with, not simply a vendor. If you need on-site support, you need someone to make sure that everything is tested in a venue ahead of time and ready to go at the time of the event. You can’t take any chances.

If you have questions about mobile internet services for your next event or want to discuss how we can help you build your next experiential project, contact us today.

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5 Things to Consider When Providing Wi-Fi at Events was first posted on April 29, 2016 at 4:35 pm.
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