If you’ve been in the Event WiFi industry for even a little while, you’re probably familiar with this concept:
Adequate Bandwidth = Rock Solid Event WiFi
We all know that the WiFi doesn’t work unless you have sufficient, and ideally, dedicated bandwidth for your event. But there can be a dark side to securing that bandwidth. So here are some helpful tips that we’ve learned:
Bandwidth is critical to the success of the event WiFi network and can break your budget unless you’re prepared. Details are critical when securing the venue for your event, and now more than ever, details are everything when designing a bandwidth and WiFi solution.
1. Negotiate Everything. As you work on securing a space for your event, you know you’ll negotiate for the optimum environment to reach attendees and tell your story. But don’t forget to negotiate for services – especially bandwidth. Services aren’t always something that are set in stone at the venue of your choice, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to fit your budget.
2. Bandwidth is an Inconsistent Service. Meaning, there is no standardized pricing. Each venue chooses how to price the bandwidth available.
3. Read The Fine Print. Some venues are transparent about how their bandwidth is provided, however, sometimes the language in the contract is confusing. This is a great time to consider contacting a third party (like Brown Pelican WiFi) to review the contract in depth and provide feedback for your negotiations. And this is important – every venue should be open to discussing bandwidth and WiFi service before you sign a contract. If the venue is being pushy, that can be a red flag.
4. Understand “Exclusive” Bandwidth. The term “exclusive” might end up meaning bandwidth at a high price with bad service. If the venue requires you to use their ‘exclusive’ bandwidth, take into consideration some of these things before signing on the dotted line.
• What does their Service Level Agreement (SLA) include?
– Does the venue guarantee highest level “Five 9s” which = 99.999% connectivity?
– Can the venue provide the WiFi and bandwidth that will meet the needs of your event – taking into account ALL areas where a high density concentration will be – like a general session of hundreds or thousands people?
– How old is the networking equipment at the venue? Are they venue using the latest technology to support the ever changing needs of events?
• If the venue’s network can’t meet your needs, can you bring in your own provider?
Are there any restrictions or buy-out infrastructure fees?
– Be very specific here! We’ve seen situations where the venue said the client could bring in their own provider, only to find out that there were so many restrictions it wasn’t possible.
– Also, will the venue “play nice” with your third party provider? We’ve also seen venues that kept everything tightly held, in spite of the client paying their buyout fee.
At the end of the day, make sure either you or your WiFi provider are in touch with the bandwidth provider, whether it is from the venue or third party, so that everyone fully understands the needs of your event. Remember, your event is your time to reach a captive audience, tell your story and share your brand – so be sure to keep them connected.
Need some help? Contact us for a consultation and free network review.
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