Devices, Bandwidth, and Connectivity

Acknowledging the BYOD Trend and Meeting Its Needs

Preparing for a convention as an attendee or an exhibitor is similar to a guest preparing for a party. First, there is the RSVP, then the proper attire, followed by the business cards and finally gathering the electronic devices, their wires and accessories. To contribute to the atmosphere of the party, many guests bring their own beverages (commonly known as BYOB) to better relax and mingle with other guests. Similarly, to facilitate smoother business interactions many convention guests will bring their own devices (BYOD) to demonstrate products, place orders, and exchange information. BYOD is not a new phenomenon. However, as reliance on devices and usage of the mobility services grow, BYOD is increasing its impact on convention floors.

There are two significant factors in a convention that impact the devices attendees and exhibitors will bring and use: connectivity and bandwidth. Like a party, the meeting facility acts as the host that supplies beverages (bandwidth) and access to said beverages (connectivity) in order to facilitate social communication. In both scenarios when the demand exceeds the supply the overall mood of the party is adversely affected.

The significance of connectivity extends beyond the frustration of holding a laptop up in the air. A guest previously plagued with connectivity issues may arrive to a building with not just one device, but now brings an arsenal of devices hoping that one will receive a connection. The stress of managing multiple devices to maintain a connection can negatively impact the attendee’s overall opinion of the event and the building.

Bandwidth is critical for effectively streaming product demonstrations and communication. Depending on the level of bandwidth available versus the overall demand, guests will not only arrive prepared with a BYOD arsenal but will also bring their own bandwidth (BYOB) in the form of a MiFi hotspot. Devices like MiFi hotspots further contribute to wireless interference and will compound the frustrations of surrounding users. To prevent some of the frustration, facilities often utilize wireless user management and network monitoring software. Utilizing these tools can provide a real-time overview of data usage, monitor tradeshow floors and deter bandwidth and access tampering.

With the continuous release of mobile devices with larger screens, improved high-definition video capability and application processing power, the demand for bandwidth and connectivity will only increase. It is important that show management partner with the venue to best meet the growing technology needs of attendees. Together, both parties can be vigilant on the show floor with their continuous monitoring of BOYB guests and rogue devices. This will ensure adequate bandwidth and connectivity is available to facilitate seamless communication at the party.

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