February 01, 2017

Reliable, Affordable High-Speed Internet Connectivity: The Must-Have for Today's Meetings

As the role of technology in meetings continues to grow, the importance of having a well-connected venue is no longer optional. Meeting and event planners must demand sufficient bandwidth, because advanced presentation capabilities, the demand for real-time analytics, and attendees utilizing multiple devices are on a dramatic rise. 

Tech innovations are evolving rapidly and meeting venues must continually raise their game in terms of connectivity. But the next question is, how much does all this cost?

Keeping costs in check
You've surely heard horror stories of properties handing planners a six-figure bill for Internet service. There is no industry standard for connectivity services and it's difficult to compare apples and oranges. Some clients just want their groups to be able to access email. Others want full-blown connectivity for multiple Wi-Fi-enabled personal devices and complex multimedia presentations. 

Further complicating the picture, your estimates could be based on bandwidth alone, bandwidth plus the number of places where the wireless signal is provided, or the peak number of wireless users connected at one time. 

For their part, many venues are scrambling to install and maintain the Wi-Fi infrastructure and gain the expertise they need to be competitive. It all translates into big investment costs, which are then passed along to you and your client. But maybe not….

Disney convention hotels can accommodate wired and wireless service for groups ranging from 10 to 5,000.

 

Connectivity that doesn't break the bank 
 At some properties, connectivity for large groups can cost little or nothing. One example is domestic Disney convention hotels. "Wi-Fi and hard-wired services supplied by redundant, high-capacity Internet bandwidth is available for groups of varying sizes - at no additional or low cost, depending on the services you select," says Terry Dola, Vice President, Group Sales and Marketing, Disney Destinations. Disney convention hotels can accommodate wired and wireless service for groups ranging from 10 to 5,000 in all indoor convention center meeting spaces in addition to complimentary Wi-Fi services in guest rooms and common areas. 

Because there is no industry standard rate chart, planners must carefully consider all factors when assessing internet service pricing; you may need to estimate the bandwidth needs of attendees, exhibitors, presenters, and event operations, as well as the number of Wi-Fi-enabled devices. 

 

Disney convention hotels offer complimentary Wi-Fi services in guest rooms and common areas.

Basic capability sets
When trying to compare services, consider these factors when looking at a venue's capabilities:
Mobility. Is there mobility across meeting rooms?
Access & Authentication. Does the venue provide an open but secure network to ensure that attendees don't have to login each time they want to log on?
Redundancy. Are the Internet and core network connectivity mirrored to ensure uninterrupted service?

For more information about Disney convention hotels, visit www.DisneyMeetings.com