Internet connectivity is an essential part of most modern events. Whatever the size or purpose of your event, you will require a reliable internet connection for a number of your activities including: webcasting, VPN access and teleconferencing. It’s always best to arrange a wired connection for these as WiFi packet loss can disrupt connections you are relying on for your presentations. Your delegates will also need access to their email, cloud-based services, browsing the web, social media activity and many more activities all of which can be accessed via WiFi.
So, you need to make sure that you have an adequate connectivity solution for your event’s specific needs. These are a few of the things you should consider:
First things first, you need to make sure that an internet connectivity is available at your venue. Many event planners will automatically assume that a network will be available to them but it is worth checking.
Don’t forget about network coverage. Make sure you have access to Wi-Fi or a form of internet connection in all the right areas where it is needed, such as the main space where the activities will be held; it’s no use having the strongest Wi-Fi connection out in the corridor of your venue. Remember to take into account the location of your venue too. Venues situated in more rural areas may suffer from poor, unreliable broadband and could limit your options later down the line.
When organising an event, you need ask yourself whether the internet connection will be able to support both the users who will be in attendance and your own requirements, be it for teleconferencing or presentations. To ensure that your event runs smoothly and your attendees have a positive experience, a fast and reliable internet connection is crucial.
Most venues will have internet access but you need to make sure that it is good enough for your event needs. It is important to check the Wi-Fi frequency you will receive in the venue. 5 GHz is the new standard for Wi-Fi. However, many venues will still use the original 2.4GHz frequency which often provides a weak signal and is prone to congestion and interference. Some venues with more modern networks may even offer dual band technology, which uses both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This essentially provides you with two Wi-Fi networks and therefore offers a more reliable Wi-Fi experience for users. So before choosing a venue to host your event, consider these conditions and which network will be best for you.
It is also worth noting that the speed of the connection you require will depend on the number of users there will be at the venue. It is safe to assume that each of your attendees will probably have at least one, perhaps more, Wi-Fi enabled device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop with them and will expect to be able to connect to the internet. High Wi-Fi usage can result in a bad connection as there are a lot of users draining the venue’s bandwidth and the network need to be able to cope with the demand.
You’ve made sure that your venue has provided a dedicated, fast, reliable internet connection sufficient to manage your event needs and now you’re ready to go, right? Not yet. The main factor many event planners fail to consider is data allowance. Ask your chosen venue early on about any connection restrictions that may be in place. It may be that connectivity is only free for a certain amount of time, or becomes chargeable when a higher bandwidth connection is required.
Confirm with the venue whether data will be unlimited or capped and cost out any upgrade prior to signing contracts. If you exceed your data allowance, you may end up with a loss of connection half way through your event or a costly bill at the end of it. If you do have a cap on your data usage allowance then make sure you have all the right checks in place and monitor consistently to ensure that you do not exceed the usage available.
When planning your next event it is worth bearing these factors in mind to ensure that your available network is sufficient to help your event run smoothly, keep your attendees satisfied and save yourself from generating any high, unwanted costs.