We all know apps, online registration, and other technology have revolutionized how attendees and organizers experience events, but has also lead to change in infrastructure for event organizers to consider. In this week's blog, we take a look at the 'invisible' new tech needs for events.
Anyone who has been to an event recently knows that technology has drastically changed the way we interact and experience events. Mobile apps and online services are great, but most people don't see the infrastructure that goes behind them. However, its something that event organizers now need to understand and keep in mind when planning their events. We take a look at a few of the tech underpinnings that are becoming essential at events.
The most obvious new must-have at events is Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition to being needed for event organizers to run the event, attendees now expect it to stay connected. However, providing Wi-Fi is not as easy as it might seem. Most venues run antiquated systems that can't handle the connections or load needed to provide a stable and effective service. Event organizers should plan and try the folliowing:
1) Plan Properly - Wi-Fi is like planning for any event resource, you first have to know what you need. You can calculate how much bandwidth you need by adding together the number of attendees, organizer use, and expected usage. From there, its easy to find a service that will work for you.
2) Separate Yourself - The worst thing for event organizers is to lose connection during check in or important sessions. That is why we always recommend build a private network just for them. That will ensure that you have a connection when you need it.
3) Make Sure It Works Where You Want It To - Just because a hotel or venue has Wi-Fi, it doesn't mean it will work where needed. While booking your venue, walk the halls and classrooms and make sure it works where your attendees will be.
Power, Power, Everywhere
It used to be that attendees only carried a notepad and an event guide. Now, its common to carry a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other energy hogging devices around your event. Due to the proliferation of devices, its now common to see masses huddled around energy ports, trying to keep their iPhones alive for the rest of the day. For organizers to truly leverage technology, its time to give attendees a way to charge up. At educational events, its becoming more common to have power outlets at every table and many events are now offering sponsorships for standalone charging stations throughout their event. Its something event organizers should definitely plan for.
Cell Strength Matters
Wi-Fi is becoming essential, but cell signal is still the standard for connectivity. With more and more functions on their devices, attendees expect a strong cell signal all the time. Our suggestion is the walk to the venue before signing a contract and make sure no matter where you are in the world, the top couple of carriers get strong signal.