By James Grant, technical director, Noba Event Wi-Fi (pictured)
For most event professionals, the working week consists of hours out of the office, in the confines of an exhibition or conference venue or travelling on public transport to said venue. Staying connected to the rest of the world while we are away is a given these days and most of us rely on the use of our mobile or other device to do this.
In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, 94% of England’s adult population owns a smartphone and I think it’s safe to assume that close to 100 per cent of event attendees in the 21st century will use this smartphone at events; whether it’s to check emails, keep in touch with the team in the office or to access the show app or other show material.
In my humble experience, mobile technology is fantastic when it’s working yet, when it isn’t, it can put a real damper on your day! As an event technology supplier, myself and my team are regularly out of the office onsite. We’ve put together six tried and tested hacks to improve event profs’ lives when travelling to or onsite at events.
Carry a power bank
Running out of juice is like losing a leg and a great way to solve this problem is to carry a power bank. Most power banks are able to charge just as quickly as a mains charger and you can make friends by offering to charge their phones!
Purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM on another network
You never know when you may encounter a dead spot, or your network will have an outage (we’re looking at you O2!). By purchasing a pay-as-you-go SIM on another network you’re increasing your chances of connectivity and minimising unnecessary stress.
… Or get an eSIM
Even better, if your phone is new enough (latest iPhone, Samsung) purchase an eSIM, a software-only SIM that you can use at the same time as your regular SIM.
Turn the brightness down on your devices
Did you know the biggest consumer of your precious battery life is actually the brightness on your smartphone screen? By turning down the brightness you can conserve a small amount of battery when you need it most. Other battery saving tips include turning off push notifications, using auto-lock, turning off location settings and even enabling airplane mode as a last resort.
Buy a cheap Android phone
It’s always good to have a backup phone, especially if you need to test Wi-Fi and apps etc. There are plenty of mid-range and budget smartphones that still deliver massively for less than £100. My recommendation: the Moto X
Don’t lose your stuff
It’s easy to lose things when you’re busy at events, Tiles from thetileapp.com are a great solution. These little Bluetooth tags attach to your belongings and are great for international travel. You can use the app to ring your Tile and if it’s nearby you can tap the ‘Find’ button to locate it. I’ve used it to track Peli cases on their way home from events.