Event planning can be a strenuous responsibility – especially when you need to choose the right WiFi hotspot for your event. Last year, 205 million people attended trade shows, conventions, and exhibitions. They spent billions of dollars, shared millions of stories, and influenced legions with social shares. The organizers behind these events benefited significantly because they gave their guests unbridled access to the one resource they needed the most; the internet.
Simply put, the world runs on WiFi. Without it, debit cards won’t swipe, guest can’t register, and social media sharing comes to a halt. Giving your guests access to a reliable wireless network is the single most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your event.
By now you’ve likely considered your options. Perhaps the venue offers a WiFi package or a temporary WiFi hotspot rental, but you’re not sure how to tell if it’s right for you. Maybe you’re looking to shop and compare before committing to one method or another. Whatever the case, we’re here to help you make an informed decision.
Planning your WiFi deployment begins with the scouting of your location. Location is crucial to your WiFi success. So investing the time to find a venue compatible with your needs is a sound decision. Here are a few key points to consider when location scouting:
- Is the venue in a rural area? If so, how’s the signal strength?
- Is the venue in a basement or behind a lot of building materials?
- Will your event be held outdoors?
- How your carrier’s signal?
Knowing the answers to these questions will ensure that your location doesn’t work against you. Rural and outdoor areas tend to have poor signal strength while, building materials such as wood, sheetrock, and cinder block diminish cellular and WiFi signals which will cause network dead zones.
Deploying WiFi Hotspot for Events
If you’re weighing your options between the WiFi network provided by the venue and deploying WiFi hotspots for your event; here’s some food for thought. As demand rises venues are forced to keep up; spending millions of dollars on WiFi infrastructure, network management, and system upgrades. The cost is then passed on to event organizers. And, that’s no small pass-through charge, at some major convention centers, the cost of simple WiFi can exceed $80,000.
In addition to the exorbitantly high cost, you’re paying a flat fee for access to WiFi. Whether you use a little or a lot, you pay the same price. Lastly, for mid-sized to large events hosting 100 or more people, on-site technical support may be necessary. Unfortunately, very few venues offer tech support, which could become a major issue if the network should fail.
An Affordable Alternative to In-house WiFi
A mobile hotspot is a wireless router and access point connecting people to the internet via single or multiple carrier networks. With just one of these devices, you can connect up to one hundred people surfing at speeds upwards of 100 Mbps. If you need to connect more than one hundred guests, you simply deploy additional access points for added coverage.
While you have options, deploying WiFi hotspots for your event gives you the most control over your WiFi expenses. Paying only for what you’ve used, mobile hotspots provide the data you need and nothing else.
For events requiring relatively few connections; a laptop, a POS device, and a printer, for example, Made By WiFi’s power user 4g kit is perfect. A single carrier broadband WiFi hotspot touting 4G speeds and a whole lot of power.
For a temporary WiFi hotspot rental with a lot more octane, the Showtime 4G kit is event ready. This temporary WiFi hotspot rental unit is perfect for events requiring 100 connections or less. Reaching speeds of up to 100Mbs in the most ideal conditions, The Showtime kit is powered by sims cards from all four major carriers, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T. If you need it now, Made By WiFi will same day deliver your hotspot and even set up it up for you.
For events hosting 100 guest or more, the standalone Showtime 4G kit may not be enough to fit your needs. Made By WiFi recommends pairing the unit with multiple access points to maximize your coverage area. Temporary WiFi hotspot rentals allow you to combine kits for superior coverage and reliability.
Sizing up an Event
Some events are ideal for temporary WiFi hotspot rental while others require a more robust solution. Below are a couple of examples where WiFi hotspots worked great and somewhere they didn’t.
Event 1 – 5-day corporate meeting in high rise residential apartment building.
Kit – Showtime 4G Kit featuring 1 access point
Results – The Showtime 4G kit worked perfectly for this event’s needs. There were over 20 simultaneously connected devices and while the kit did not hit its max potential of 120mb download speed, at least 60mb were accessible at all times. The meeting location was about 1000 square feet, which was perfect for a single Ruckus Wireless access point. Setup and breakdown of the kit took less than 10 minutes and WiFi access was available shortly after. Though there were only 20 devices using the network, large amounts of data were transferred, nearly hitting the 120GB allowance.
Event 2 – 3-day corporate event in an indoor event space in a highly populated area
Kit – Showtime 4G Kit featuring 4 access point
Results – The Showtime 4G was not able to perform up to the production team’s requirements. Though it was only expected to support a couple dozen device, the kit was not able to draw much bandwidth as carrier signals were very weak in the area and nearby cellular towers were at peak capacity due to the event space being in a highly transient area.
While only a few devices were connected to the Showtime kit, they were barely able to access the internet and the kit was not able to meet client expectations. In this instance, a dedicated internet connection would have been ideal.
Now that you have a good idea of what equipment you will need, visit our event wifi solutions page to discover our best 4G kit for your event. When you’ve found what you need, request a quote to learn more about Made By WiFi and to receive a no-obligation quote.
It is said that the first complaint out of an event-goers mouth will be about the WiFi It’s your job as an event producer to give your guests a connection so seamless and so fast that they won’t be able to complain. Attendees expect to be connected at high speeds. When you come through, they show their gratitude by promoting your brand via social media. They talk about you to their peers, and more importantly, they buy what you’re selling. Trust your next event to mobile WiFi hotspots and Made By WiFi.