How Association Planners Can Keep Their Internet Costs in Check
Oct 05, 2011 by DeDe Mulligan
With the proliferation of mobile technology available to meeting attendees, it is no longerbudget a question of IF you provide Internet to your attendees but how good it is and what it is going to cost. The dilemma is if your association is going to rent tablet PCs to engage your attendees and keep your conference competitive, how do you go about doing all of this — without raising registration fees or adding Internet charges onto the attendee’s hotel bill?

Here are some well thought out ideas to get you pointed in the right direction:

SURVEY

Try and find out as much as possible about your attendees, the venue, and meeting applications they will be using. Here are some good questions to get you started:
  • How many mobile devices does the attendee currently use? (Remember, smartphones will also take a toll on your Wi-Fi access)
  • How much time per day and what apps do they use on the Internet?
  • Will the attendees be accessing the mobile technology from the meeting room, hotel room, exhibit hall — or all three?
  • Given your selection of meeting applications, how much bandwidth will your group need and how much will the venue provide?
  •  If your meeting was technology based before, look at the history. However, history is not always a deciding factor because mobile technology is growing by leaps and bounds. A meeting a year ago might not have the same requirements as one today.
RFP

It is important to find out as much about Internet pricing right up front. These are some things you can ask for in the proposal:
  • Ask for a flat rate. Most venues will want to charge you a certain rate for the meeting space, exhibit hall, and guest rooms. Try and negotiate one flat rate to be attached to the master bill at the end of the conference. This will keep your costs in check. Ask for that rate to include your IT and AV onsite support.  
  • Request for guest room Internet fees be waived. Attendee Internet fees can run between $10 to $15 per day! If the event is very large and held at a convention center, ask the hotels to work with the conference services manager to receive a percentage of the convention’s flat fee.
  • Rent Wi-Fi Network Arrays.  Since the bandwidth and technical support at most venues is limited, hiring an event rental services to provide you with Wi-Fi network arrays can make the network very robust. A California meeting equipment organization, such as AV Event Solutions, can set up, monitor, test, manage, and provide technical support for a network array. 
SPONSORSHIPS

Association management can seek a sponsor or multiple sponsors to cover the Internet costs and Wi-Fi Network arrays, in order to defray the costs.

AV Event Solutions, an key supplier of Wi-Fi Network Arrays and other AV equipment, is ready to help you and your association in sorting out all your Internet options. Give AV Event Solutions a call today to learn how they can help you keep your Internet costs in check.

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