Corporate event planners have a lot to juggle and making sure there is reliable internet should be at the top of the priority list.
There are so many factors to consider when event planners decide where to hold their meeting or event, like the cost and room layout and dimensions, furniture, lighting, and sound, food and beverage capabilities, and more. However, the one thing that often gets overlooked is bandwidth requirements — as many planners assume that venues have that covered.
Meeting planners agree that their dependency on internet at a venue has increased and will continue to increase in the next five years. According to IACC’s latest Meeting Room of the Future Report, approximately 44 percent of meeting planners would not even consider shortlisting a venue that did not have the guaranteed capacity to support the needs of their event. An even larger majority, 56 percent, indicated that affordable or free high-speed wireless internet will be the most critical technology needed for meetings in the next five years.
These numbers indicate that all venues should have a strong and secure internet connection as part of their standard offering. However, several factors can still affect the quality and reliability of the connection, so here are some important factors to consider at the planning stages of your next meeting or event.
Congestion on the line
Just imagine your client paying a fortune to have a keynote speaker deliver a session at their conference and the speaker can’t even play a 30-second video part of their presentation without buffering. That’s usually down to congestion, as delegates may be live streaming the speaker or tweeting about the session in real time, meaning too many users sapping the bandwidth of a system that can’t cope with the demand. Volume and frequency of Wi-Fi traffic, as well as estimating how many devices each delegate will use during the event, is a key consideration at the planning stage.
If you’re unsure of your bandwidth and internet speed needs during your next, simply use IACC’s Broadband Estimator Tool to gauge an accurate reading of internet performance at your venue of interest. The test takes less than two minutes to complete.
Keep it private
Keep in mind that free access is not necessarily better when it comes to Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi is sometimes shared between all guests and public areas. If you need a dedicated connection for your meeting to ensure no interruptions, a private, dedicated internet service behind a firewall will ensure your meeting is secure and isn’t interrupted by competing demands from other venue guests.
Having reliable internet access at meetings of all sizes is more important than ever. Attendees expect to be able to connect a variety of devices ranging from mobile phones to tablets to laptops through a venue’s Wi-Fi. Speakers may have additional needs such as web demos, video streaming, crowd polling or video conferencing. How well a venue’s broadband service is able to meet these demands depends on a number of factors, beyond just the obvious ones such as speed or price.