With the plethora of technological choices available today, as well as, the constant churning of new offerings, is it any wonder that attendees and exhibitors alike yearn for the "shiny new penny"? While renting technology for technology's sake is not a good idea, the important thing is to understand what your meeting participants want to use and how they will use said technology.

Once the technology needs are established, if you don't have enough bandwidth to support the apps, your meeting is virtually dead in the water. Your attendees are going to be extremely dissatisfied and probably won't come back to your conference, given a choice. So, pay attention to what needs to happen in order to serve your audience best. 

"All of this great technology that people talk about is predicated on having a live Internet connection and the proper bandwidth, and in 95% of venues that doesn't exist today. We often found that hotels treat meetings like a wedding with a projector," Christopher J. Kelly, President & Co-Founder of Convene Conference Centers, told Meetings Focus.  

Active Steps to Prepare for WiFi

  1. Survey your attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and the media about their Internet needs. 

    It is very important to know the following: 

    * What type of devices are they bringing?
    * What apps are they going to run? 
    * What apps are you going use at the conference? 
    * If they are an exhibitor, are they planning on setting up their own MiFi system? 
    * What bandwidth speed is acceptable to all parties? 

    All of these responses are important when determining your true bandwidth needs. 

  2. Negotiate your contract early in the planning process. 

    This may be hard to do if your event is several years out, but start early with the plan and then update or change accordingly. For example, if your conference is 3 years away, gather what you know today and then every 6 months adjust your Wi-Fi plan. 

    What should you be on the look out for? The three things that will probably change your event's WiFi needs over the next couple of years are:

    * Wearable technology such as Google Glass and Samsung SmartWatch
    * Faster WiFi such as LiFi and Google Fiber and 
    * Smarter, higher definition displays such as Touch Screens and
    4K Displays

    Don't assume these Internet solutions will be generally available when your event occurs. Constant monitoring of concrete solutions is what is needed; try and make your contract as fluid as possible. 

  3. Make sure the venue and company you deal with have the proper experience and can recommend fit for purpose event WiFi solutions. 

    If the venue doesn't have enough WiFi capacity, perhaps a WiFi network array is the right addition to your meeting. The important thing is to work with a suppler that is knowledgeable about the proper bandwidth and routers. That supplier should know how to accent the bandwidth that is already in-house and the experience to provide fast, secure and robust Internet service to all attendees. 


To explore a Wi-Fi booster for your next meeting, event or trade show, contact SmartSource Rentals at 800.888.8686