What is in this article?:
- WI-FI PART ONE: Know Your Event's Bandwidth Needs
- Nine Ways to Determine Connectivity Needs
- (INFOGRAPHIC) Quick-Start Guide: Get Your Connectivity
Two pieces of data put you ahead of the game: your peak bandwidth usage and your peak number of wireless devices connected. But at this point, not many planners have these numbers handy. So before your next event, ask if the venue can share them with you in the post-con. It’ll make your job easier going forward.
Here’s why: The first data point, peak bandwidth usage, is the minimum bandwidth you’ll need to ensure attendees and presenters can do what they need to do, whether checking e-mail (not a lot of bandwidth), interacting with your(a little more bandwidth), or streaming video (a lot of bandwidth).
The second data point, peak devices connected, tells you how much wireless coverage you need. The venue may have a ton of bandwidth, but thousands of Wi-Fi users in the same place at the same time will only get to that bandwidth if the venue is well set up to spread the Wi-Fi signal around.
As Sam Stanton of redbutton.tv explains it, “There are two important factors. One is how large is the connection from the facility to the Web; i.e., the bandwidth in and out of the building. The second is how clean and strong is the signal throughout the venue. Here’s a way to look at this: You can be given 1,000 Ferraris (lots of bandwidth) but if you have only a one-lane road (limited connectivity) it will turn into a Ferrari parking lot. You want the Ferraris, but you also need an Autobahn (professional grade network) for them to drive on.”
So until you have your own usage history, here are nine considerations that will help you work with the venue to get what you need.