Two recent and high-profile event-based wireless network failures have reminded us again of the extreme need for effective connectivity planning.
The event and meetings industry is on an upward curve when it comes to understanding why network connectivity is central to all planning but perhaps lagging a little on the effective implementation of this core strategic focus.
The two events in question were the launch of the Nokia Lumia smartphone in New York and the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam.
BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones mentioned during his Radio 4 news piece about the Nokia launch that the wireless network had failed, with 400 journalists in the launch hall.
A few days later Martin Bryant managing editor of The Next Web tweeted: “Connectivity problems in the IBC Connected World hall. So much competition for bandwidth that even a Bluetooth keyboard doesn’t work.”
It is more than a little unsettling that events focussing on networked technologies and devices can fail to deliver the core provision of fast, stable connectivity.
We have made the case many times on MMP that event and meetings planners should be asking the right Meeting Design questions on function and usage, which hone in on:
Understanding network usage according to the venue location and attendee demand
* Knowing how to segment bandwidth usage and services accordingly
* Knowing that one size does not fit all
* Providing the level of network service and support according to the attendee demand
* Understanding that attendees do not have the same network demands and expectations
* Placing high touch and mission critical attendees on a separate and secure network
* Having a back-up line in place to cope with unexpected demand
We also produced a best-practice checklist, which you can download here
The pressure on events professionals to provide seamless connectivity for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors is growing all the time. Mobile wireless is now an expected service. With the right technology and right planning, event professionals can turn the planning effort into valuable return on investment.