Last week I shared information about how to stay safe while on public WiFi. As much as we love WiFi, it is also a point of contention with us meeting planners. We all know one thing for sure – our attendees want and need WiFi. Those that come to our events are expecting strong connections, not only to fellow attendees, but also to the internet. Rarely is someone disconnecting while away on business. Here are some resources and ideas that can help to ease your WiFi negotiations.
Terminology: If you are talking WiFi and someone starts using terms like dedicated bandwidth, bandwidth management and wireless density, you may wish to refer to this resource from APEX to familiarize yourself with these foreign words and concepts.
Venue Pricing: Purchasing an unknown is not comfy; and at times it’s really difficult to understand just what you are getting when you purchase WiFi. What one person calls great WiFi, may not be so to another, it’s difficult to measure. Instead, aim to describe the types of users that will attend your event. Will they be using the internet in a general way for web browsing and social media? Or will they need to download and upload video and /or participate in a workshop requiring everyone to bring a laptop and connect? This type of information will help the venue to better understand your needs and quote appropriately.
Bring Your Own: There are now services available that can provide temporary WiFi setups for events. Check out businesses like Rockstar Network Systems or Brown Pelican WiFi. Also, services such as these can provide WiFi for outdoor events.
Call 636-678-7661: Hey, that’s my phone number! I have negotiated WiFi, on behalf of my clients, every which way you can imagine. Over the years, I’ve developed a keen sense for understanding a meeting’s WiFi needs and the prices that make the most sense for my clients (sometimes even scoring FREE WiFi). Keep in mind that I also have many eyes and ears out there (over 1200 HelmsBriscoe agents) that are willing to share information with me about various venues and their WiFi capabilities and pricing.
May your WiFi be lightning fast and your bandwidth be broad, meeting planner!