Access to Wi-Fi has become so second nature to our daily lives, that when we can’t find a signal or are denied access, we react as though all the oxygen has been sucked from the room and we’re fighting for air. An extreme example? Perhaps. But the bottom line is we all want Wi-Fi and we want it now. This is especially true when you’re attending a conference. Last October, Marriott International was fined $600,000 by the FCC for blocking guest’s personal Wi-Fi and forcing them to pay—$250 to $1,000, per device— to access the Wi-Fi network at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville. As the number of wireless devices we each use continues to grow, conferences must thoroughly scrutinize venues to ensure they are equipped to handle and exceed attendees’ Wi-Fi expectations.
Start by asking potential venues these 10 questions:
- Have they done conferences similar to yours?
- What’s the average conference size and were multiple devices used?
- Will you be allowed to have access to the site prior to your conference?
- How much dedicated bandwidth will be available to your group?
- Will Wi-Fi be available 24/7 in all areas?
- Will there be a qualified technician on site during the entire conference?
- Will Wi-Fi be available in hotel rooms and conference rooms or just conference rooms? What is the capacity in each of the rooms?
- Can you separate Wi-Fi for rooms or for different groups?
- Can you provide hard lines for each of the meeting rooms for speaker needs?
- What is the backup plan in case things go wrong like an unexpected outage?
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