If you’re anything like me, you know that your phone, computer and tablet all have something mysterious inside that connects to a magical internet world where you can find information, watch videos, send messages and more. You know there are terms tossed around like Internet Speed, Bandwidth and Wi-Fi and you know you want a lot of all of it. You also know that this can become an issue at your events. Here are some basic things you need to know.
Internet Speed: When you are given a number like 5Mbps, this does not indicate speed, but instead indicates bandwidth. 5Mbps means you can receive up to 5 megabits of data per second.
Bandwidth: If bandwidth were a highway, with each lane representing 1 Mpbs and each car representing the data – 5Mpbs of data would take 5 seconds if all the cars were using the same lane. But if each car had it’s own lane, therefore we are not on a 5 lane highway, it would only take 1 second for all cars to get through. (Thank you to the PlugThingsIn website for this info, you can learn even more here.)
WiFi: According to Webopedia, WiFi is a “popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed internet and network connections.”
All of this is good to know, but it does not help you at all when you are smack dab in the middle of a venue filled with frustrated people who cannot connect. These days, it may behoove you to talk bandwidth with the venue, and to also make it a part of your contract.
I found a great article that speaks directly to this challenge on PCMAConvene. While the article is fabulous and very helpful, there is one bit of information that may have you scratching your head. The article suggests that you should know your bandwidth needs ahead of time. In case you think the venue will be helpful with this information, the article warns that they more than likely they will not. What’s a meeting planner to do?
Well, as I mentioned above, I know that my phone, computer and tablets all have something mysterious inside that connects to a magical internet world where I can find information, watch videos, send messages and more. So I found this handy attendee bandwidth estimator. And just in case you need it, here is one for your home use.
By the way, we all love our WiFi, but get ready to love LiFi, meeting planners!