What’s the issue with the WiFi?

When picking a venue it is imperative to check whether they have the connectivity options to support your event. It can be embarrassing if your carefully thought out presentation, or pitch, comes to an abrupt stop due to connectivity issues. This is also a niggling issue at concerts and trade expos where connectivity is required at lounges, food counters, merchandise stalls to facilitate payments and online transactions.

Before finalizing on your venue make sure you consider these pointers!

High speed connectivity or snail mail: Measuring connectivity

Make sure you aren’t on the receiving end of a snail mail connection. There are two ways to measure if a venue is internet ready ‘connectivity’ and ‘bandwidth’ and the connectivity packages are priced using these parameters.

‘Connectivity’ effectively measures the number of wireless access points at a venue. The ‘commercial grade’ routers that are used at large venues often advertise up to 100+ connections at each access point but it effectively works out to half that number.

Another parameter is ‘bandwidth’ which is the maximum data transfer rate of a network or Internet connection.

There are two types of bandwidth on offer at event venues ‘Shared bandwidth’ which is finite amount of bandwidth shared among any number of attendees. A large number of users on the bandwidth leads to less available per individual user. Shared bandwidth is useful for casual web access for attendees.

‘Dedicated bandwidth’ is bandwidth that is set aside and guaranteed for your use. The event planners have more access over technology and control who has access. This type of system ensures that critical or bandwidth intensive systems have uninterrupted connectivity. However these services are a lot more expensive. These services can be used in case of V.I.P delegates, presenters, livestream and other integral functions.

People are getting ‘content hungry’ , account for this

Delegates at your event or conference likely have at least two devices that are connected to the internet sometimes upto three or four. Keep this in mind when you are picking the connectivity package for your event. If your event is a tech based event or expo then apply a multiplier of x2 or x3 to your guest list to get effective connectivity needs.

With up to 3 devices per attendee users are increasingly content hungry

Will you be livestreaming?

Nowadays every event worth it’s salt is livestreaming to the online audience. However even large scale events such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes or even Television series such as True Detective that chose to go live have faced issues with live streaming. These issues almost always are due to technical issues on the vendors end and a lack of planning. Make sure you account for a constant use of up to 10 mb of bandwidth if you are live streaming your conference and tie up with a reliable Content Delivery Network if it’s a large scale event.

Cut out the white noise

Can you purchase additional bandwidth?

Ask the venue officials if they can make arrangements to purchase additional or dedicated bandwidth. Also inquire if they allow third party suppliers to come in an install additional capacity to support your event.

A little bit more bandwidth never hurt

Originally published at blog.planica.in on March 16, 2016.