Huh? Is right. If you haven’t already been overwhelmed by the new terminology that has been thrown at you in the past 10 years with online technology, than prepare yourself, because if you are in the event industry, your learning curve is about to accelerate.
I find myself using several terms for one process even when speaking with those industry professionals that are defining the Event Digital Technology Industry. The industry is rather new in many aspects and even with the #1 ranked event and experience marketing agency in the world, George P Johnson, I find that the digital event terminology is only clear within their company brand. Often, outside the walls of each individual digital technology company, one could call themselves, multi-digi-lingual (yes, I just made that up).
So for me to be able to intelligently discuss the…rapid changes, necessary requirements, and valuable uses…of #EventTech amongst #EventProfs…I will continue to multi-digi-define in my articles the “process / service / platform/ apps / products” – here to be known as “event tools” in a way that I hope makes it easier to understand for the end-user (probably you).
[IMPORTANT terminology –
4.3 billion people, 60% of the world’s population carry a mobile digital device [Stats via Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb 4th, 2014] With this knowledge it is easy to anticipate that the use of technology at events will continue to grow and expand as the profit value of digital event marketing becomes more universally recognized.
That means that ANY event, whether using a lot of technology or not, whether rural or urban, is going to have to pull its weight in bandwidth and secure connections to keep information flowing properly thus keeping event attendees happily posting their real-time experiences and thoughts about your event BRAND.
Two things I would say are quickly becoming the backbone of ALL events – secure, accessible, reliable managed internet connectivity or professional network management, and dedicated bandwidth and/or Beacon Technology.
Most event venues are starting to comprehend that high functioning internet connectivity has become absolute in offering their venue for all types of events. However, upgrading current venue internet service is not enough. Reliable full-on-support during your event is essential. With all the digital and social technology being used at events these days, making sure the wifi technology is always working properly in real-time is of the highest importance.
During events there is a surge of activity within a specified time-frame, and with the almost assured use of wifi by 99% of exhibitors and attendees, often a standard wifi connection, for instance one that is offered by a hotel to all hotel guests, can easily become over loaded and/or unsecure. To avoid issues such as these, you’ll want to make sure someone is onsite managing the event wifi network in “real-time” while your event is in progress. That means monitoring security, monitoring bandwidth supply and demand, looking out for wireless interference, creating and enforcing wifi fair-use rules and fixing any issues that may arise.
Managed internet connectivity or network management is about hiring a professional company (outside the venue internet provider) to bring in, and run all aspects of the wifi connections at your event. Hiring a company to assure the smooth running of something that is so essential to your entire event takes pressure and responsibility off the Event Professional and assures that all the other systems and event tools will comply with needs and rules, and function properly.
Personal hotspots are commonly being used at events also and this causes a conflict of wifi connectivity because of too much wifi noise traveling through the confined event space and interfering with each others connectivity. This should not be allowed at events. It should be recommended that all attendees whether guest or exhibitor be directed to connect with the professionally managed SECURE dedicated event internet and wifi. Having a professional network management company on site puts the burden of internet workability and security on them to maintain and improve in real time if need be – and most likely, there will be a need.
If your event’s internet connectivity fails, it will be reflected onto your event BRAND and make it appear unprofessional with attendees losing trust in your overall event process and brand. No matter how small or large your event, or how much technology you are offering at the event, you are also guaranteed to have attendees connecting to their personal social platforms. Even with something so simple, if they do not have the ability to efficiently connect, your event will be seen as less than reliable and unprofessional…even if it is the fault of the venue. I will emphasize again, secure, accessible, reliable Managed Internet Connectivity IS THE BACKBONE of your event. So invest in that FIRST.
Directly piggy backing on Managed Internet Connectivity is dedicated bandwidth and/or Beacon Technology. I mentioned above the use of personal hotspots (wireless connections) by exhibitors and the use of cellular connections by each individual attendee to connect with their brand marketing processes and platforms. These personal wifi connections interfere with the wireless access points you are depending on to serve your entire event. In a sense this is in line with dedicated bandwidth but dedicated bandwidth through your event allows you to make sure that everyone has what they need and when they need it. Dedicated means it is “yours” only – you can offer this to speakers, individual venders, etc at your events and then control the cross-over of transmissions so that they don’t interfere with each other.
Beacon Technology gives exhibitors the ability to easily deliver targeted information and video content in-the-moment, on-the-spot directly to attendees’ smartphones. Beacons are a low-cost piece of hardware — small enough to attach to a wall or countertop — that use battery-friendly, low-energy Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet. They are poised to transform how event organizers, attendees and exhibitors communicate with people at events. Event attendees are starting to expect paperless real-time delivery of relevant information directly to their portable devices wherever they are, and whenever they want it. Beacon Technology optimizes the opportunity to immediately connect with event attendees within your event defined environment. Beacon Technology delivers, indoors or outdoors, immediate content promoting enhanced engagements and an overall better attendee experience.
Quality Internet connectivity and dedicated bandwidth / Beacon Technology are two ways to ensure that your event will be seen in a professional light. Invest well in these options and secure an overall positive experience for your exhibitors and attendees therefore ensuring positive reporting by them about your event BRAND.
I would love to hear your feedback on the topic. Please contact me directly.