On April 5, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) released its White Paper: “Wi-Fi and Mobile Challenges in the Exhibitions and Events Industry.” In response to concerns expressed by various segments of the industry, the IAEE Wi-Fi and Mobile Bandwidth Task Force was created to address issues surrounding Wi-Fi and mobile bandwidth as it relates to the exhibitions industry. The main concern is the growing use of Wi-Fi internet access during exhibitions/events, and the likely consequences that will affect connectivity quality and reliability to our collective customers.
“The explosive growth of tablet computers and smart phones is revolutionizing the way business is conducted,” said Steven Hacker, president, IAEE. “While there is much to celebrate, the downside of the phenomenon is placing extraordinary strains upon bandwidth and connectivity, which have become vital elements for the success of most exhibitions and events.”
A survey was sent in April 2011 to IAEE exhibition organizer, exhibitor and facility members. The IAEE White Paper breaks down points of consideration from the viewpoints of the exhibitor, attendee, facility, show organizer and internet service provider.
Key points of the White Paper include: exhibitors have higher expectations about the quality of the Internet connectivity when purchasing services; facilities want assistance from show managers to eliminate rogue access points from the exhibition floor to reduce interference with the facility’s network; and the increasing demand for wireless Internet access could, in the future, impact the ability of providers to maintain the technology required to deliver consistent hard-wired connections and a range of connectivity options.
“IAEE is pleased to have produced an essential learning resource thanks to the participation of members who are both consumers of internet connectivity and providers and hosts of infrastructure,” said Hacker. “We know that many members will find the White Paper very helpful in understanding the challenges we must manage and that ultimately we must all collaborate to develop solutions.”