The Convention Industry Council (CIC) Standards Committee headed by MaryAnne Bobrow, President of Bobrow Associates, Inc., determined it doesn’t make sense to send suppliers a Wi-Fi RFP form because technology is changing at such a rapid pace. It is better to enter a discussion about attendee, speaker and exhibitor needs while taking into account current and future technological enhancements.
Here is an excerpt of what Bobrow shared in a recent CMP Today article and some observations on how meeting planners can be better prepared to give everyone at the meeting the best bandwidth available.
- How many attendees will be at your meeting?
- How many devices will each attendee bring to the meeting? Be certain to ask whether or not they have a smartphone and if it has a data plan.
- What will they be doing with their mobile devices — checking email, posting on social sites, or video surfing?
- What meeting apps are you going to use? Are the apps native or web-based?
- Are there virtual attendees at your conference? If so, how many?
The number of attendees, total devices and usage will give you a good idea on the amount of bandwidth you need.
- What applications will they be using?
- Will they be utilizing video streaming?
- Will they be collaborating with others remotely, such as for a training session?
- Will they be setting up their own private networks? If so, please note that radio signals from different networks can interfere with each other and the network you or the venue is providing for attendees.
- What are the Wi-Fi demands of your exhibitors?
- How many devices will they have accessing the Internet and what type of apps will be running on those devices?
GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION
- Will the venue’s network be shared or dedicated? Can the venue partition the network, if you require a dedicated system?Shared is exactly that, it is what the hotel or conference center has set aside for use by any guest or meeting attendee. Shared bandwidth is not very secure and depending on the number of devices on the system and its use, the Internet can be very, very slow.
Dedicated bandwidth, which can be provided to you when you rent a Wi-Fi network array, is guaranteed for your use only and is recommended when you have a large meeting and/or when information shared at the meeting is sensitive or confidential.
- How will the Wi-Fi network be managed and who will manage it? Having a skilled AV staff can set your mind at ease. If the venue doesn’t provide the necessary resources, look outside for support.
- What is the age of the venue’s Wi-Fi system and what technologies does it support? This is very important especially if attendees, speakers and exhibitors are utilizing state-of-the-art interactive technology tool rentals.
To explore a Wi-Fi booster for your next meeting, event or trade show, contact AV Event Solutions at 888.249.4903!