Wi-Fi an overlooked deal breaker, says industry

The event industry is still overlooking Wi-Fi, which is make or break for many suppliers

The need to capture and report on live attendee data will soon be a must at every event, according to Shocklogic marketing and communications manager Johnny D Martinez.

“The biggest challenges our clients face on a regular basis are Wi-Fi costs and poor infrastructure at venues,” Martinez told Access. “Venues globally need to step up their game now and understand that without accessible and affordable Wi-Fi they will soon perish. Wi-Fi has become the most controversial deal breaker in the events industry.”

Others point out that there is a difference between having Wi-Fi capability and Wi-Fi that is able to cope with the extreme demands that brands require for events.

“All too often the cop out is to rely on generic cloud-based systems, which are simply not strong enough for the volumes required at these events, especially as many take place on remote greenfield sites,” said Mobile Promotions managing director Robin Carlisle. “This just creates frustration and can have a negative impact for a brand claiming to provide Wi-Fi facilities.”

Carlisle added that solutions need to be designed to deliver proper service for guests and the wider event’s needs. He added: “Within venues, it is well worth paying to have existing infrastructure upgraded if connections will not be suitable. This can be in the region of £5,000, but if the event requires it and the venue can be utilised again, the legacy is worth the investment.”

Jerome Maas, director, The Flash Pack, which creates photo and video experiences at events, agreed. “If guests are not able to share their content immediately, the moment is often lost and the key share the brands are so eager to secure, is lost,” he said. “Any switched-on event owner will want their festivalgoers to share their event experiences – and if they are not able to share those images, tweets and status updates immediately, then the moment is lost and they will be less likely to share them afterwards.”