The importance of providing reliable WiFi at major events

Summer is well on its way – and with it, the season of festivals, outdoor concerts, sporting competitions and many more major events. They attract millions of visitors, are a major boost to the UK’s economy and showcase its position as a centre for excellence in culture and creativity; Glastonbury Festival alone attracts 175,000 attendees and a global television audiences.

However, such events also introduce significant organisational and logistic challenges – not least in terms of delivering reliable WiFi connectivity for staff and visitors alike.

The backbone of event organisation

WiFi connectivity is crucial for the smooth running of any major event. It keeps mobile staff connected with each other and their managers, enabling the smooth sharing of information, dynamic reallocation of resource and rapid incident response should an incident occur. It also powers mobile payments, an increasingly important part of the revenue flow at outdoor events in particular.

For example, the Brighton Spiegeltent, part of Brighton Fringe, needs WiFi for both mobile ticket sales and a range of different food vendors; a reliable service is crucial for customer satisfaction, smooth operation, and to attract the best vendors. At Curve IT, we were delighted to recently be reappointed to handle the event’s WiFi and network requirements.

Event marketing also requires fast and reliable WiFi. At multifaceted events such as festivals, it is increasingly common for mobile apps to be used to keep attendees up-to-date on evolving events, and to suggest places for them to go or tickets for them to purchase. Alternatively, promotions and ads for upcoming events can be directly ‘pushed’ to users’ mobile devices.  These techniques only work if the WiFi is reliable and can support reasonable volumes of data.

Indeed, for attendees at major events, reliable WiFi is increasingly seen as a must-have, not a luxury extra. Attendees want to be able to post to social media, access up-to-the-minute event information including menus of food options and even find lost friends, all using freely available WiFi.

The challenges of crowds

However, the obvious challenge of delivering fast and reliable WiFi at major events is the crowds that said events hope to attract. Tens or even hundreds of thousands of users, all attempting to use data-rich applications on their mobile devices? It is a recipe for draining the cellular network capacity.

Additionally, many major events take place in environments which introduce practical and physical challenges in terms of setting up a WiFi network. They may be in rural locations and spread over wide geographical areas. Alternatively, as with events like Brighton Fringe or Brighton Pride, they may be dispersed within an urban area, in which case choosing where to place cellular equipment, and ensuring quality coverage between different building materials and in awkward spaces may be difficult.

All this means that delivering fast and reliable connectivity – for staff, third-party vendors and attendees alike – at major events is a specialist pursuit. Curve IT is proud to have built an expert practice in this area, supporting events as diverse as Brighton Fringe and Brighton Pride with bespoke connectivity solutions which can handle both their unusual environments and their huge crowds. Furthermore, we can build and dissemble such solutions quickly and efficiently, ensuring that WiFi connectivity isn’t another headache for major event organisation – it’s a simple add-on.

If you are looking for a connectivity solution for your own event – no matter how major or boutique – get in touch with us today.