November 2014 archive

- 06 Nov 2014

What event organisers need to know about venue Wi-Fi connectivity

It is pretty evident that demands placed on Wi‐Fi technology are increasing dramatically and this is of significant importance within the Events industry. We as an industry are experiencing a great amount of commentary based on problems arising when networks have not been specifically designed or are powerful enough to serve large numbers of modern laptops, smartphones and other devices.


The jury still seems to be out as to whether we on the venue side recognise this and are making the necessary efforts to cope. I am confident to say that we at One Great George Street have this covered! We work with Etherlive who provide our extensive internet facilities.

We have worked with Etherlive since 2012 when they provided all communications out of our building to the rest of the world when we housed the Media Centre during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and as such are a front runner in the industry.

However it is not just the venues that need to be in the know, event organisers need to be informed about what their events will require as high density and complex live event environments generally require advanced planning on both parts.

Etherlive recently hosted a breakfast seminar about how the internet is being used and how far people’s skills are progressing as the technologies continue to spiral forward.  The event took place here at One Great George Street and was geared towards event organisers as well as venues.

I was lucky enough to attend the event as did our in-house audio visual team from Eclipse Presentations.  The most important issue that came out of the discussions were the growing gaps in people’s knowledge and skills on both the client’s side and the supplier’s. To help this here are some pointers on what you need to know in order to organise an event;

  • How vital is it to utilise Wi-Fi connectivity for your event 

When using the Internet via Wi-Fi or hard-wired it is important that you ensure you have a reliable connection with enough bandwidth for your needs. As event organisers move forward with using technology at their conferences and do away with printed materials, unless the Wi-Fi at your chosen venue is dependable, you run the risks of a disaster on the day.

  • Include sufficient budget provision for Wi-Fi in your planning

This is usually an afterthought and not budgeted for or worse still not asked for sufficiently well enough in advance. Imagine organising everything, contracting and committing to expenditure to find that your venue is unable to supply what is needed or the only way is to bring in an outside supplier which costs an unexpected sum, throwing out your budget and cutting into your profit.

  • Keep informed

Consider advances in technology and what your delegates and clients will want and expect.  For example we are working on a large conference later this year whereby everyone will have a tablet with on-line access to the event details and delegates will be able to locate one another and network by using their tablets within the building. These are just some of the fantastic advances in Wi-Fi technology but I cannot stress enough how reliant it is on a robust and sufficiently powerful Wi-Fi system at the venue.

  • Do you have a mobile app for your event

Will the event be using a mobile app and if so what size is it?  Do users need to upload the app before the event or on-site and are there updates or downloads during the event

  • When should Wi-Fi use be planned?

Early planning is strongly recommended and encouraged by venues, many of whom offer discounts for early orders. This allows any potential issues to be discussed and worked through rather than encountering problems during the event.

We’ve come up with the following questions that you need to ask your venues….oh and just for interest we’ve included our answers!

Thank you to Etherlive and Eclipse Presentations for our continued partnership.  It is really positive that they are as involved in the educational process as much as the venues and our clients.