A strong, reliable WiFi network for your event is no longer an option, it's a necessity for successful meetings & conferences. Slow speeds and spotty connectivities are the equivalent of a dirty hotel room and poor food quality in today's meetings. Many venues provide WiFi for meetings but how much bandwidth do you really need and how much you should be paying?
Well, that all depends. You have to take into account the number of guests you anticipate, as well as, the type of demand you'll have. For example, a group of 300 persons that needs to be able to access email and search over WiFi is dramatically different than a group of 300 persons that will need email and search in addition to the ability to live stream and download content quickly.
Shared vs. Dedicated Networks
Normally you can choose between a shared connection or a dedicated connection provided by the “in-house" provider at a hotel or venue. When buying internet services, make sure you understand what you are getting. The difference can make or break your event!
What is the difference?
The difference comes down to how the bandwidth is allocated, and which one is best for you depends on your needs and budget. There's a big difference between 25 Mbps shared and 25 Mbps dedicated. What's the difference?
When you order a shared network, you will be sharing with everyone that participates in your event. Demand can create an unstable network during peak demand times and the bandwidth is "up to" so it's not guaranteed that you'll have a 25 mbps shared connection- you share the internet with the whole group.
That may be just fine if other users are only sending emails or visiting websites, you’ll have plenty of bandwidth. But if you have users in your group that are downloading or uploading content or live streaming from social media, it will result in slowing down your connection greatly, and that hurts your event and your brand.
A dedicated network is a reliable connection that's committed to you entirely. You can request a dedicated hard-wired connection or request a partition of the available WiFi network, this way you'll be prepared for the demand that your attendees, presenters, and exhibitors will bring to your event. It's often appropriate to request a dedicated network for event staff and audiovisual production firm for live streaming and a shared connection for your attendees.
Now that you're armed with some useful information and a calculation, you are ready for a successful