Convention Centers Must Evolve With Technology

Guest column by Smart City featured in local publication

Smart City’s president Mark Haley recently penned a guest column for VEGAS INC about the importance of convention centers evolving with technology. Listed below is the article as it was originally published by VEGAS INC.


Convention centers serve as large-scale venues for industries to share their latest products, services and innovations, which is why it is imperative that these facilities are at the forefront as we approach the zettabyte era. To remain competitive in the coming years, convention centers must embrace next-level technologies, including advanced Internet connectivity, big data, cloud computing and social media integration.

Public demand for enhanced wireless services at convention centers has spiked in recent years, particularly with the advancement of mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT includes everyday items such as thermostats, LED bulbs and even athletic apparel that gather and transmit data. This growing technology segment has boosted the demand for reliable wireless Internet wherever people travel.

Technology research firm Gartner estimates there will be 26 billion IoT units worldwide by 2020, a nearly 30-fold increase from 2009. With this increased number of smart devices comes the need for bandwidth and infrastructure to support the IoT.

The greatest challenge facing the convention center industry is adapting to constant technological changes and demands for more speed and capacity. Cisco Systems Inc. recently estimated that global Internet traffic volume in 2019 would be 66 times larger than it was in 2005. Data volume and storage alone have evolved from bytes to megabytes to terabytes and now zettabytes. A zettabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes!

Convention center facilities today need to be built smarter, not just larger. This means investing in the infrastructure to support events large and small, engaging with visitors in new and exciting ways, and using big data to create an optimal environment for attendees.

Developing a plan to exceed the expectations of convention center visitors can be overwhelming. Finding a technology partner that keeps up with the latest trends in the market and creates customized network solutions is just as critical as adapting to a technology environment that is always evolving.

In an industry where no two events are the same and each event has its unique needs, the traditional telecommunication model does not apply.

Those in the telecommunications and convention industries would be wise to embrace such changes and adapt to meet the business community’s ever-increasing need for connectivity.

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