Buying Dedicated vs. Shared Bandwidth at Trade Show Events

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. 

The time has come for your business to break the routine of online marketing and remote sales and get face-to-face with consumers and industry professionals alike.

In today’s world, you have to capitalize on any opportunity to get in front of your customer to create lasting business relationships. That’s why many exhibitors take advantage of the various benefits of trade shows to create a space for new sales and lead prospects. Events offer the opportunity to gain valuable exposure and feature upcoming products and promotions. In addition, trade shows provide an opportunity to strengthen brand loyalty between businesses and their existing customers.

Numerous exhibitors are gravitating toward more technological presentations by choosing to promote their products and services with live demonstrations within the booth. Social media can also be an important tool, providing a live streaming platform for consumers unable to attend the conference. All this means high-speed internet for events is becoming more of an essential than an elective. To present your brand to thousands of attendees with the latest trends and tools in technology, you have to buy enough bandwidth to make it all possible. So, what are your options?

Usually you can choose between a shared connection provided by the “house network,” or a dedicated connection provided by a trusted third-party ISP (Internet Service Provider). The difference comes down to how the bandwidth is allocated, and which one is best for you depends on your needs and budget.

Shared bandwidth: cheaper but potentially slower

When you order a shared line, you share the internet with the entire show floor. This has the potential to be unreliable during times of peak usage periods since the venue can only guarantee “up to” the speed you’ve ordered. You may wonder how the venue can offer internet that’s not guaranteed to work during your event. That’s simple; they figure not everyone who ordered an internet connection will be using the service all at once. For instance, a 20 Mbps shared connection can be sold to multiple customers, meaning if the other users are merely sending emails or visiting websites, you’ll have plenty of bandwidth left to work with.

However, if you or other users are downloading and uploading large files simultaneously, that 20 Mbps circuit gets rationed out to sustain as many of those users as possible. As a result, this slows down your connection tremendously, which hurts your business’s appearance at the event.  

For example, say your company’s booth is live streaming or demonstrating exciting new products and your availability to the internet is cut in half when the majority of the show floor starts using that same connection. Suddenly your entire demonstration is at risk. If you have a glitch, the potential customers in your booth or watching online will lose interest quickly and move on to the next presentation. Nobody wants that!

That’s why it’s so important for your ISP to know the purpose of your internet usage, so they can help you figure out how much you will need. If you’re only using the connection for back-office use, like composing emails or watching Netflix, you will be just fine ordering from the venue, which is likely the less costly option. 

Dedicated circuits: a reliable connection all to yourself

For exhibitors planning on live streaming video content or including any product demos during the event, a third-party ISP like Hyper Networks can be a lifesaver. These ISPs can create a network capable of supporting various customers with specific or unique IT requirements.

With a dedicated hardline, you are allotted a specific amount of bandwidth for your use ONLY. This will ensure stable upload and download speeds. Those who order a dedicated line come out unaffected by peak usage periods, unlike customers who buy from the shared network at the venue. Phew! 

When you order a dedicated line, you get a “symmetrical internet connection.” That means your upload and download speeds are the same, which is essential for transferring data in both directions. To get your product off the show floor and into the hands of those behind the keyboard, your upload speed is the most important. Upload speeds need to be fast enough to send your data through the internet seamlessly to ensure no lag time or missed information. Downloading files doesn’t require nearly as much bandwidth, so if you’re satisfied with how quick your files are uploading, you should have no problem with how fast they are received. 

So, which connection is best?

Which type of internet connection is right for you comes down to your needs and budget. If you expect to have a large online presence and live demonstrations during the show, you’re better off buying dedicated. After all, your sales depend on your ability to deliver what you’ve prepared, and the last thing you want is a poor showing hurting your business’s reputation. With dedicated internet, you can have peace of mind knowing you are on a steady connection all to yourself.

If you won’t have a large online presence and your presentation isn’t internet-heavy, you will likely be just fine with the house connection.

See how Hyper Networks can help you get connected.

If you have an upcoming event with internet requirements in Las Vegas, Nevada, and would like to get an idea of what a dedicated circuit would cost, head over to our bandwidth calculator. Answer a few short questions and receive a quote on the spot. We also welcome new opportunities at venues outside of Nevada upon request.

 

 

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