by Michael Shapiro | July 13, 2010

Entrepreneurs Ian Framson and Seth Burstein launched Trade Show Internet in 2009, and they've been garnering an increasing amount of attention this year for their tech startup. Like the name says, their company provides Internet access at trade shows. Most of their business thus far has been directly with exhibitors: Instead of paying the often shockingly high prices for access charged by the venues (which can run well over $1,000 for a few days), those with booths can contract directly through Trade Show Internet -- and pay the going rate of $299 for a three-day rental. The access is via the 3G EVDO network of Verizon Wireless or, as of this spring, the Clear 4G WiMax network. A venue can't place restrictions on wireless network access of this nature.? ?

Clients experience broadband speeds of up to 6 Mbps, according to the company; TSI's website is replete with testimonials from clients who claim the speed is at least as fast as what they're accustomed to from venue-supplied connections. The $299 plug-and-play kit includes a booster antenna, Ethernet network cable, USB-powered modem and a router that allows for up to four device connections, either wired or via Wi-Fi. As the Wi-Fi range is good for up to 600 feet, exhibitors can even use this to set up a cyber lounge for visitors to the booth. TSI also provides 24-hour tech support to help walk exhibitors through any service issues.? ?

Recently, the company started going after more show-wide business and contracting directly with event managers. A premier package, TSI On-Site, entails months of preshow prep, venue mapping, site testing with Verizon Wireless and in-person tech support. For this package, too, TSI claims to be an economical alternative to the in-house provider, as the company is creating competition where previously there was none. ?

Trade Show Internet is exhibiting at the TS2 trade show in Boston this week, so check out their booth for more info. I'd be curious to hear if any readers have used the TSI On-Site package, and if so, what their experiences were.