Help! My Venue Doesn’t Provide Internet Access

Wireless Network

An internet connection at your event may be a vital part of your success, whether you use it to check guests in or if guests are using it to place bids—however, just having an internet connection might not always be enough.

Your venue’s internet connection might not always be adequate for your event needs, so it’s good to have a backup plan in case your venue’s internet connection falls short of your expectations. Finding a solution to improve your internet connection may seem daunting, so here are some tips for making the best of your internet situation.

Check-in

If you are just using the internet to check guests in, you’ll need an internet connection for your check-in stations. The best option is to have your check-in computers hardwired to the internet but a wireless connection should work just fine.

If you are using a wireless internet connection and you notice that it has a weak or intermittent signal, you may want to consider moving your wireless router. The poor connection could be due to obstructions or too much distance from the router. If this is not an option or does not improve the connection, you may wish to consider using a mobile hotspot at your check-in stations.

Hotspots

A hotspot is a device that uses a data connection to create a wireless network, as opposed to a wireless access point, which uses a wired internet connection to create a wireless network. Hotspots do not need to plug into a power outlet or Ethernet jack, so they can be great for very large events or when check-in is outdoors or at a remote event like a golf tournament.

If you are able to connect to the internet for check-in but the connection is too slow, you may want to talk to your venue about the network bandwidth speeds. It may be possible for the venue to work with their internet service provider to make the connection faster. Improving network bandwidth often comes at an added cost, though, so make sure you discuss this with the venue and know what to expect.

Online Bidding

While most Online Bidding is accomplished by the guests using their own device and data plan, there are times when you may need to supply an internet connection for your guests. The quality of your wireless network is even more important when your guests use the internet to place bids at your auction. It is important to make sure that the wireless network signal reaches every corner of your auction space. If it doesn’t, you can look at using extenders or hotspots where the signal is weak.

If you are concerned that the network does not allow enough connections for all of your guests to be on the network at once, you can always add additional access points around the venue.  Make sure you have an Ethernet jack and power outlets available for each access point.

It can be frustrating to find out that that your wireless network doesn’t meet your needs, but not if you catch it early and adjust it accordingly. Make sure you visit your venue well before your event and talk to your venue’s IT contacts or someone who is familiar with the wireless network. Discuss whether or not the internet connection will be suitable for your event and what your options are for improvement if it is not.

With knowledge and preparation, you can make appropriate changes so even a bad internet connection can’t get in the way of a great event.

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