Trade Show Internet: 4 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
Getting reliable trade show internet to your exhibit is important. Particularly if you want to do things like digitally record customer data, display a cool video, and keep your team productive during downtime. But glitchy downloads, dropped video calls, and frozen slideshows can derail even the best presentations. If your trade show experience depends on seamless connectivity, here are four mistakes to avoid, as well as a few things we do here at Hyper Networks that give our customers a leg up.
Not ordering enough bandwidth.
We get it, trade show internet is expensive. But after all you’ve done to secure a booth, prepare a demonstration, ship your swag, book flights, and so on, cheaping out at the finish line doesn’t seem worth it. Especially when having insufficient bandwidth at showtime can be disastrous.
Simply put, bandwidth is a measure of how much data an internet connection can download or upload per second. You can purchase bandwidth in certain increments from the venue or through other Internet Service Providers (ISPs). How much you need depends on the types of data you’re transferring.
To purchase the right amount, be sure to do your research and identify your needs. For example, is your product web-based? You’ll need to have enough bandwidth available to connect to the web in a timely manner—even during peak usage times—for product demonstrations. Are you just sending emails? You can probably get away with lower-end speeds. Are you live streaming your event? You’re going to want high-speed capability. Take all these factors (and more) into consideration when you compare services and prices. Plug your information into our handy bandwidth calculator if you need help getting started.
What you get with Hyper: We recommend service options based on your unique needs and projected usage. We also monitor your connection so we can give you real-time reports, let you know if you need to purchase more bandwidth, and track usage levels throughout your contract period to spot potential problems.
Buying shared instead of dedicated.
Most venues offer trade show internet packages at various price points and connection speeds. For exhibitors expecting light internet usage, this house-provided service can be just fine. But beware: when you purchase internet from your host site, you won’t be the only one.
That means you’ll share your internet connection with other exhibitors and potential competitors. And that comes with all the pitfalls that sharing always comes with: issues arise when everyone tries to use the same thing at the same time. For example, the video you streamed one afternoon may not load at all the next morning when XYZ company down the aisle decides to stream something, too.
On the other hand, when you order a dedicated connection from an expo provider, like Hyper Networks or others, you get a specific amount of bandwidth all to yourself. This ensures stable upload and download speeds that are unaffected by peak usage periods.
Another thing to consider is the potential for outages. If you’ve purchased internet from your venue, if that venue’s carrier goes down, then so do you. If you’ve purchased a dedicated connection from a reliable ISP, they’ll be able to route your data through another carrier if the primary connection goes down.
What you get with Hyper: We use four different carriers, which allows us to offer seamless redundancy capability. That means if one carrier experiences an outage, we can route you through another, and so on, without disruption.
Assuming you can connect to different venues.
If you’re set up at different locations and you need a secure connection, don’t assume that’ll be possible just because you bought internet at both venues. For example, let’s say you’ve booked a high-profile influencer to present from your booth at Sands. You want your people at MGM to have video access so you can reach the crowd over there, too. Unfortunately, you’re out of luck. Due to limitations by both house providers, connectivity isn’t permitted between the two venues.
When you purchase your trade show internet service from a reliable expo provider you can expect to be able to connect to the various venues that the provider has relationships with. Just be aware that it won’t be a secure connection.
What you get with Hyper: Since we have multiple venues on the same network, the Hyper Ring, we can provide secure connectivity between all those locations. And it just so happens that the best venues in Las Vegas are all on the Hyper Ring network.
Relying on WiFi.
Trade show WiFi is notoriously bad. And you really don’t need to be a network engineer to see why. Put a lot of people on the same frequency and you get the same thing as when you put a lot of cars on the same freeway. Slow. Speeds.
You definitely shouldn’t rely on WiFi connectivity for your presentations or demonstration, but it can be beneficial to provide WiFi connectivity to your visitors. For one thing, people may simply hang around your location longer if they can get a good signal. In addition, they may want to share an experience at the show, use an app, share their contact information, and so on. If providing WiFi to your visitors or your booth staff is important to you, there are a couple of things you can do.
If you’re connected via the house network, select an exhibit location close to the main router. That way the signal won’t get watered down as it travels throughout the convention space. You can also buy or rent a mobile hotspot router that uses your connection (whether dedicated or shared) to broadcast a WiFi signal. Just remember, its performance depends on both the quality of the router and the strength of your connection. You can also use your own phone as a WiFi transmitter (hotspot), but you’d have to use the phone’s cellular connection, which may or may not be good quality.
What you get with Hyper: We provide a connection to your location at a port that you can connect to with a wireless router. Because it’s a dedicated connection, you can rely on being able to broadcast a viable signal to your visitors. We’ll work with you to recommend a WiFi solution that’s best for you.