ETL Replay: Robust internet for outdoor events


This footage has been kindly captured by our friends at First Sight Media –

Speaking on the Festival and Future stage at last year’s Event Tech Live was Craig Mathie, managing director at Bournemouth 7s, and Tom McInerney, co-founder and director at Etherlive Ltd. Bournemouth 7s is a music and sports festival that takes place on the last May bank holiday and Etherlive Ltd provides IT services to the events industry.

With an extra 218 million mobile users in Europe between 2017-2018, WiFi demands are ever-increasing. Events benefit from providing WiFi in regard to customer satisfaction, marketing and event interactions.

Social media is an excellent tool to promote an event. Attendees can tag, like and ‘check-in’ to an event, offering organisers an abundance of free advertisement. WiFi allows attendees to do this easily, without eating into their own data. 


Alternatively, a lack of WiFi can lead to attendees becoming frustrated, creating negative experiences that are then connected with the event.

Additionally, more and more services require WiFi connectivity. Craig listed services such as scanners, PDQ machines and EPOS systems as some used at Bournemouth 7s. Without a lot of these services, festivals and large events would not be able to cope with, or cater for, large crowds.

Describing outdoor WiFi connectivity as relatively simple, Tom explained that the difficulties it faces mainly include interference and organisers not understanding their own requirements. He also stated that it can be fairly inexpensive to deploy, providing that it is managed correctly. 

Members of the audience posed questions regarding the logistics of incorporating WiFi, back-up plans and event operations. Craig and Tom drew on their personal experiences and technical knowledge to explain how WiFi works at large outdoor events and the benefits of having it.

Event Tech Live returns on 6th-7th November 2019 at the Old Truman Brewery. It is the only free-to-attend show dedicated to event technology in Europe. To register for updates, please see here.

You can find more information about Event Tech Live at

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: