4 Ways to Get Great WiFi From Your Event Venue
Congratulations! You’ve booked your venue. Your upcoming event is going to be the talk of the town. People are coming from all over the country to hear what you have to say, learn what they can learn, and network like there’s no tomorrow.
Before you start to order lunches, swag and flowers, make sure your venue has the right kind of bandwidth and WiFi for your specific needs. If your event depends on good WiFi, put it on the top of your checklist!
What is bandwidth, and how do I know what I need, you ask? Bandwidth is the connectivity to the Internet that’s installed at the venue. Most bandwidth comes from microwave or fiber channels. It can be a few megabits per second (Mbps) or many gigabits per second (Gbps). How much you need is based on how many users there are, what those users will be doing, and the footprint to be covered. Don’t forget to take into account production, live streaming, product demos, press, registration, general web surfing and more. You’ve probably heard the old “don’t use a garden hose to put out a house fire”, and the same goes for bandwidth.Try out our Bandwidth Calculator to determine the right amount.
Now, throw the number you calculated at your venue and see if they’re able to provide the bandwidth to run your show. You may need to bring in a 3rd party bandwidth provider to get a temporary circuit in place for your event since many venues have a limited amount of bandwidth.
2. The WiFi network
Once you’ve ironed out the bandwidth details, you still need a network to disperse all that bandwidth. Before you can really know what the network looks like, ask yourself some questions:
• Do I leave the the network open for everyone at the event to use, or do I need to carve out encrypted chunks (SSIDs) for certain users?
• Does the event venue have the right kind of infrastructure (routers, switches, controllers, access points) in place to distribute this bandwidth properly?
• Will the venue provide an engineer or technician to monitor the network during the event?
• What kind of equipment do I need – what I have at my house or carrier grade equipment?
• What happens if WiFi goes down?
3. Ask your event venue if they can accommodate your bandwidth and WiFi needs
This should be done when you’re first considering the venue. You can negotiate bandwidth and WiFi network costs at the very beginning so you have time to react if the venue can’t support your event WiFi. This means bringing in a WiFi provider to either replace or supplement the on site network.
4. Hire a WiFi provider anyway!
Even if the venue provides WiFi, to fully ensure that your event goes smoothly hire a WiFi provider – at least to consult – that specializes in events. A qualified partner can help with several aspects of the event WiFi including:
• Determining the best bandwidth options
• Deploying a network infrastructure (if there isn’t one in place)
• Providing additional equipment to achieve optimal network performance
• Actively managing your network throughout the duration of your event
• Rate limiting the network based on users’ activity and needs
• Troubleshooting immediately if WiFi goes down
Make WiFi connectivity a top priority in your event venue decisions.
Need some help with your event WiFi?
If you have questions about any of the information above, our experienced team at Brown Pelican WiFi is happy to help. Fill out the form below for a complimentary quote, email us, or call us (415) 580-7936.