- by Seth Burstein
- Dec 18, 2019
- temporary wifi
The availability of reliable WiFi at events is a crucial factor in ensuring attendee satisfaction. It’s important to choose the right temporary WiFi rental solution in order to help participants get the hassle-free Internet connectivity they’ve come to expect from well-organized events.
When it comes to setting up temporary WiFi for events, here are some important guidelines you should follow.
Know Your WiFi Requirements
The first and most important step in setting up temporary high-speed Internet is getting familiar with your eventgoers and their needs. Find out who’ll be using your event WiFi, how many devices they’ll be bringing with them, and what they’ll be using the Internet for. Here are some aspects you need to consider:
Knowing your audience size is crucial for determining the type of WiFi best suited to your event. Even an educated estimate is useful, so check your list of attendees and consider the number of devices they’re likely to bring.
For example, if 500 people will be attending your event, and it’s likely that the average person will bring around two devices (for example, a phone and a laptop) that will require Internet connectivity, you’ll need to arrange for a WiFi solution that can support approximately 1,000 devices.
These calculations are important because if you choose a random number of devices to furnish with Internet, you may end up investing in a temporary hotspot solution that falls short of your requirements.
Once you know the approximate number of devices at your event, the next step is to figure out how much bandwidth you’ll need. One way to approach this is to make a list of the different ways in which attendees and organizers will be using your event WiFi.
For example, will there be live video streaming at the event? Will your event encourage audience interaction, polling, or quizzing? Will there be retail booths at the event that require the use of online payment facilities? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’ll need to arrange for a reliable WiFi solution and you will need to match the bandwidth requirements with the expected use of the network.
If you’re certain that attendees will only engage in moderate web browsing and basic activities like checking emails, on the other hand, then your bandwidth requirements won’t be as intensive as in the scenarios above.
The WiFi usage at your event may not be uniform throughout the venue, with different attendees having different Internet requirements. Attendees may be using the WiFi intermittently for personal reasons (checking emails or keeping up with social media notifications, for example), while exhibitors may need stronger WiFi connectivity for their marketing activities, such as running videos and slideshows, enabling online payments, getting visitors to sign up for their newsletters or download their apps, and so on.
Knowing in advance who will be relying heavily on the WiFi from the very start of the event and who will only require it every so often will help you better meet the WiFi needs for everyone in attendance.
Make the Right Choices
Once you have your requirements mapped out, it’s time to choose a temporary WiFi solution for your event. There are three key points to remember when making your final choice:
- Choose your WiFi solution well in advance.
Organizing an event involves quite a few moving parts – venue, guests, attendees, budget – all clamoring for your attention. With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to postpone selecting the right WiFi solution in favor of something else. But put it off for too long and you may find yourself making a hurried decision without taking into account all the factors necessary to provide an amazing network experience.
If the WiFi solution you opt for has lower bandwidth than the amount you end up needing, you’re guaranteed to face plenty of problems. Users will struggle to connect to the Internet, media applications may not work, and event attendees will have an overall frustrating experience.
To help prevent this from happening, you need to avoid choosing your WiFi solution at the very last moment and ensure you ask the right questions of your provider. Instead of waiting until the last minute, try to choose it as soon as possible by taking into account all of your requirements as well as the pros and cons of the available options.
- Create different networks (or VLANs) to prioritize certain user groups over others.
If you know that different groups of eventgoers will be using your WiFi for different purposes, it’s recommended to prioritize some groups over others by creating separate networks for each groups. In industry speak, this is called creating separate virtual local area networks, or VLANs.
No matter how much you plan and prepare, there’s no telling when the WiFi will start struggling to meet your requirements. In order to prevent everyone at the venue from suffering as a result of poor Internet speeds, you might prioritize important traffic, such as exhibitor live streams and speaker presentations, and give WiFi connectivity to those who really need it when they need it most.
If you’re offering WiFi connectivity to event attendees, it will be in everyone’s best interest if the connection is easily accessible. If you’re going to offer a WiFi splash page, make sure it has a straightforward login process and enhances the WiFi experience, as opposed to detracting from it.
In addition to an easy log-in process, it’s smart to consider investing in specialized software and security features that can provide a flawless connection for any device, including mobile phones and other gadgets.
Tips for Setting Up the Perfect WiFi Connection
Once you have a handle on all of the above, here are some key tips to help you bypass easily avoidable mistakes and ensure a successful event.
To get the most out of your temporary WiFi for events, it’s always a good idea to think back on what, if anything, went wrong during past events – or if this is your first event, you might look up publicly available data on similar events. Check audience size, WiFi usage, and devices used, and analyze the trends. This will help you determine what changes, if any, you should make for future events.
For example, if the audience size or WiFi usage at your last event was more than anticipated, be sure to take that into account for your upcoming event. You can also send surveys to past attendees and exhibitors to find out if they ran into any problems with the WiFi that weren’t brought to your attention at the time of your event. Revisit what went well and what didn’t, and plan your next steps accordingly.
Always plan well in advance. Last minute attendee estimations or vendor selection are prone to issues, so to ensure that your temporary WiFi for large events works the way you need it to, you’ll need to plan ahead. This will also give you time to make any necessary changes to evade unforeseen complications.
Whenever possible, start planning months before the actual event date, and regardless of who’s organizing the Internet connection, give them adequate time to deploy temporary WiFi for the event that will work for you and for your attendees.
- Choose the right WiFi vendor.
Last but not the least, make sure to seek out the right WiFi vendor for your needs. Professional network vendors can conduct a site survey and offer suggestions as to the kind of network and equipment you’ll need as well as the most effective access point layout for your event. The right vendor can also provide easy installation, captive portal customization, and on-site support during the event.
All that said, here’s another tip: consider Trade Show Internet for temporary WiFi solutions at events. We’ve deployed high-performance Internet at thousands of events and have established many of the industry’s best practices along the way. Take a look at our solutions for Event WiFi and our Event IT Solution to see what we have to offer. For a successful installation that covers all of your needs at your next event, let’s get in touch.