Lets address the different type of event participants and their connectivity needs.
- How many wireless devices will each attendee have? How many have smartphones? If you rent iPads for your conference needs, you may want to ask your attendee to leave their laptop at home to prevent the network from slowing down.
- How many wireless devices will be simultaneously connected? Chances are if they have a smartphone and you rent Tablet PCs, those devices will be connected to your Wi-Fi system at all times.
- What is going to be an acceptable connectivity speed? If attendees are used to lighting speed at the office and at home, they will not be satisfied with a 30-second delay every time they want to access something on the Internet. Test the system and when renting audio visual equipment, give your team plenty of time to set up and test the network.
- Is the network secure? Implement proper network security with logins and passwords for remote users.
- Is the support staff monitoring and measuring all network traffic, both internal and external, to ensure the bandwidth is large enough? This also needs to be simulated and tested well before the conference. You may want to limit the number of virtual attendees if you know in advance it will degrade your network.
- Can you put all speakers on a separate network? This is ideal because if the attendee network crashes due to overload, the speakers’ network will not be affected.
- Is the network robust? Having the right bandwidth, number of access points, and mobile technology will give the speaker maximum connectivity and flexibility with audience.
Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors
- Can you put all sponsors and exhibitors on a separate network? For the same reasons as above, try and keep the network separate from the general attendee population.
- Is the network robust and secure? Again, the worst thing that can happen to your exhibitors is to be demonstrating something on the iPad and for the system to go down! Make sure they have adequate bandwidth and access points.
- Is the support staff immediately available? If something does goes wrong, a high level of technical support is needed to fix the network on a moments notice.