By Gary Exall, director, NOBA
Gary Exall is the director of NOBA Event Wi-Fi, one of the first event-specific IT companies in the UK to service the demand for high-quality event Wi-Fi, live streaming and bespoke software solutions in the live event sector.
The UK Government recently launched a competition for event venues across the UK to apply for funding to improve their broadband infrastructure for international events. The £250,000 will be split between a variety of event venues across the country that can host over 400 delegates and will be used to support the improvement of onsite broadband facilities.
We take our hats off to the Government for supporting the events industry and essentially using public money to attract more events and more sophisticated events to the country. We’ve put together three reasons why reliable Wi-Fi at events is essential for the future of the UK events industry.
A good Wi-Fi network is vital to the success of any event these days. When you consider the amount of event technology that can potentially be used across an event cycle from event registration and a conference app to live streaming and social walls, the connection needs to be efficient and fit-for-purpose.
Happy, connected delegates
The number one frustration for people at events in not being able to connect to the venue’s Wi-Fi. In the connected world we live in, delegates need to be able to use their phones to check their emails and messages. Anyone that has attended an event and struggled to connect to the venue’s Wi-Fi network knows how frustrating it can be. A poor user experience can reflect badly on your brand and encourage people to use their mobile network to share their disappointments across social media. Dublin’s Web Summit suffered this problem a few years ago. Europe’s largest tech event left delegates frustrated that the connection was extremely slow and at some points was unable to connect. The event’s 22,000 visitors took to Twitter in their droves to complain about the issue.
Security and reputation
Most corporates such as banks, law firms and financial services want a secure network for their delegates to connect to at events, as they need to ensure there is no risk of their devices being hacked while connected to the conference network. Yet it is not only these industries that consider security as a vital requirement anymore, network security is a high priority for events in the 21st century. A reliable, safe Wi-Fi network available at UK venues is essential for building a positive reputation among international organisers and visitors and attracting business events to help grow the industry.
Today, technology and connectivity are as critical as audio, video and lighting to events and live experiences, therefore bullet proof Wi-Fi is no longer a bonus at an event but an absolute essential.
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