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by Agatha Gilmore and Kate Mulcrone | September 01, 2013

Comparing convention center Wi-Fi offerings can be a daunting part of venue selection, given variables such as bandwidth (the amount of data that can be transferred from one point to another in a given time period), capacity (how many devices can share the system at the same time) and cost. This handy chart of Wi-Fi capabilities at facilities in 20 major meetings markets aims to ease the process, but given relentlessly advancing technology, we ask M&C readers to provide updates when applicable.  

 

CityConvention CenterExhibit spaceBandwidthCapacityCosts
AtlantaGeorgia World Congress Center1.4 million square feet1-3 Mbps Ethernet, up to 500 Mbps Wi-FiBetween 6,000 and 7,000Starts at $15 a day; free Wi-Fi in public areas
BaltimoreBaltimore Convention Center425,000 square feet  Wireless Internet, Ethernet, dedicated T1 linesEvent capacityScalable, packages $263-$4,725
Boston  Boston Convention & Exhibition Center516,000 square feet  ScalableScalableFree Wi-Fi, range of paid options
ChicagoMcCormick Place Convention Center2.6 million square feetImprovements in progress  
DallasDallas Convention CenterMore than 1 million square feetUnlimitedScalable, with three tiers of bandwidthFree Wi-Fi for basic use, with tiered options for faster speed and bandwidth starting at $12.95/day; wired Internet starting at $595 and customizable for each event, including number of users and needed speed
Denver  Colorado Convention Center  584,000 square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
Houston  George R. Brown Convention Center  853,000 square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
Las VegasLas Vegas Convention CenterNearly 2.2 million square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
Los Angeles    Los Angeles Convention Center720,000 square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
MiamiMiami Beach Convention CenterMore than 1 million square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
Nashville  Nashville Music City Convention Center  350,000 square feet1.5-100+ Mbps EthernetScalableTiered packages, priced to scale
New OrleansErnest N. Morial Convention Center1.1 million square feetBroad access for 4G connectivity; Xirrus Wi-Fi system; other improvements in progressPlans for up to 20,000 users by Oct. 1, 2013Free Wi-Fi in select spots. Packages available: $3,000-$12,000 per number of attendees; $500 per meeting room; $2,000 for ballrooms and other  prime spaces
New YorkJacob K. Javits Convention Center760,000 square feetImprovements in progress----
OrlandoOrange County Convention Center  2.1 million square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
Philadelphia  Pennsylvania Convention Center  679,000 square feetWi-Fi, 784 Kbps-3 Mbps EthernetScalable$263-$4,725
PhoenixPhoenix Convention Center900,000 square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
San Antonio  Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center  440,000 square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
San DiegoSan Diego Convention CenterMore than 1.2 million square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above
San Francisco  Moscone Center  700,000 square feetScalableVaries by packageFree Wi-Fi as well as custom paid Wi-Fi; cost and bandwidth vary by meeting requirements
Washington, D.C.Walter E. Washington Convention Center703,000 square feetUnlimitedScalableSame as Dallas, above

 

Sources: Smart City Networks and individual convention facilities