Have you ever stressed about WiFi at your event? Read this!

Requiring high speed Internet at events is pretty standard these days, and yet finding venues that can deliver on your requirements is not a given (especially in Australia). Events have evolved over the past few years and the demand for providing high speed connectivity to your delegates, speakers and your production team has reached an all-time high. 

Live streaming and event apps require constant high-speed Internet, but how can you plan ahead and ensure you’re not going to “drop out” mid event? 

We recently met with the guys from Beyond Network Solutions, a company that specialises in providing WiFi and networking solutions for events, to find out what you can do to troubleshoot your event’s WiFi demands and guarantee a stress-free event. 

1. Why is the venue’s Internet supply sometimes not enough?

There are many reasons why a venue’s Internet connection is not enough. 
It can be that the overall speed that the venue is providing simply isn’t enough to cater for every one of your guests to connect to at the same time and do as they please (including simple things like checking emails or streaming Spotify).
Another reason is hardware limitations. Connecting more than 10-20 people to a standard modem provided by an ISP is not designed to route Internet traffic quickly to a lot of connected devices at the same time. This can make the whole system slow to a halt. 
Finally, it could be security. Unfortunately, a lot of the Internet security features in venues are not set up correctly. This can mean that other people may be able to gain access to your devices at your event – it’s not a risk worth taking! 
This is why we bring in our own systems to meet the demands of the event as well as bring the additional benefits of security and separating the usage of the guests from staff and presenters.

2. How easy is it to “add” additional WiFi services to a standalone event?

We’ve created systems and kits that are easily deployable. These kits are the size of a small briefcase and are set up to simply plug and play. They’re great if you need a quick and easy system to connect your core staff and presenters to, or if you’re at a music festival for your ticketing staff or artist compound to get connected quickly.
For the larger events we install hardware, run cables and getting everyone connected as fast as possible. We do all our programming and testing before we come on site which saves a lot of time.

3. How does having a dedicated network help your event?

It’s important to have the right resources at your event, especially when you’re depending on it for live streaming, ticketing, or perhaps your event is an information session based around a new online application, or you’re in a remote location and need it for WiFi calling.
A dedicated network isn’t just about having the fastest Internet connection, but also the right technology to allow as many people as possible to simultaneously connect. 
If this is a large event, we’ll come and do a venue inspection to see what the building is made out of, what areas are people going to need to be connected, where are we going to be set up, and the best place for cable routes without looking messy.
From there we’ll see how many people need to be connected to the Internet and other resources such as live streaming, ticketing booths/kiosks, production team and staff. We’ll then separate each group by placing them in their own virtual network, meaning that guests can’t interfere with production and live streaming or we can avoid someone trying to access the ticketing and payment system to steal everyone’s data. This is crucial not only to help secure the network, but helps with the traffic of the overall network.

4. What security implications should event organisers consider when producing live streaming events?

There’s nothing more secure than a physical cable running from the source of the internet directly into the individual’s system that is operating the live stream. We’ll physically run the cable to them and make sure they’re getting the speed and consistency they require to host a carefree online broadcast of your event.
Failing to run a physical cable to your broadcast team and making them depend on WiFi means other users who are connected to that same WiFi network can slow down the overall experience. This can lead to a lower quality stream or the internet cutting out. It’s also best to be as physically close as possible to the WiFi access point, as being too far away from it lowers your signal strength. This is why we always run a cable. 

5. What other services can you offer to event organisers?

We can offer a variety of services to event organisers, for example we are able to set up a centralised local file server to send and receive content around your event or online. Centralized local servers make it very easy to send media outlets information fast and securely. 
We also like to consider ourselves quite website savvy and can create event specific websites. Event specific websites allow patrons to access crucial on-the-day information about your event such as maps and run sheets. Therefore, this not only significantly improves your printing budget but makes your event more environmentally friendly.
Along with the above, we’re certified Google partners for G-suite and Microsoft Office 365, we can set up IP Telecommunications, this being office phones or host websites for thousands of people to access. These services don’t just carry out for events specifically, but we are also able to come to your office and assist with setting up your business’ technological needs. 

6. Why is WiFi and networking best left to an external supplier, not the venue’s IT team or AV company?

WiFi and networking are best left to an external supplier for the same reason you would hire an AV company to look after the sound or your video projection, they’re specialists in their role. Beyond Network Solutions is exactly that for your event WiFi and networking solutions. 
As cliché as it sounds, we’re passionate about what we do and we’re in events for the same reason that our clients are in it. We’re here to provide a friendly and dedicated service to your event. 

Final note…

It’s inexcusable these days to have poor WiFi, slow apps or drop outs during your live streaming at events, so be prepared and plan ahead! 
While many larger convention centres do have state-of-the-art capabilities, more and more event organisers want to host their events in unique and quirky venues. While they might be deterred from this due to WiFi issues, they shouldn’t be. It’s not a huge expense to get in an external supplier to create the network and IT solutions to cope.
By engaging with a company like Beyond Network Solutions you can rest easy knowing that your event is going to be well-connected. 
To learn more about how Beyond Network Solutions can help you provide seamless WiFi networks at your next important event visit their website: https://www.beyondnetworksolutions.com.au