Cisco Mid-Year Event Wi-Fi
A beast of a venue needs a tough network
We all take computer and phone connectivity for granted. At home and at work it must work and work well. While out and about we rely on that connectivity just as much but accept that it may not be as good as we are used to, and we expect to keep swapping between mobile data and wifi. At events and venues having a good quality reliable internet access is no longer a nice extra, it is essential. This is especially true when the customer has event applications, demonstrations or environments that rely heavily on internet connections.
When working with our customers to deliver a successful event we strive to ensure a great experience for everyone whether attendee, partner, exhibitor, or crew.
Not all venues are equal. All of them will say they can provide wireless and wired connections, that doesn’t mean they are fit for all environments. We have experienced older networks, poor cabling, inflexible security or just a lack of knowledge about their own infrastructure which stops our customer doing what they need to do.
Our customer Cisco UK & Ireland booked Manchester’s historic Victoria Warehouse which came with basic coverage for WiFi and outsourced support. The venue itself was a 145k square foot sprawling monster, with multiple levels, breakout areas, and interconnected spaces. This all presented major challenges in terms of providing exceptional Wi-Fi for the tech-savvy attendees.
The client was expecting heavy internet use with 650+ attendees, dozens of representatives from several sponsors who would be doing demos requiring internet access, plus the network requirements of the crew and event support staff.
Purple Realtime, as part of the event planning, evaluated the existing network and highlighted several issues. Realtime proposed a temporary extension and overlay to the network for the duration of the event. Fortunately, the support contractor was amenable, and we were able to install 10 more Meraki access points in areas of low coverage, provide 5 wired connections for demonstrations and work with the rigging company to install an additional 2 access points in a high vaulted ceiling. We even provided a wireless SSID aligned to their event theme.
Come the day of the event the network extension and overlay handled the heavy load very well. We were monitoring the network closely but thankfully no issues arose but if they had we would have been ready to fix them immediately.
Post-event analysis showed the network handled 1,079 total people visits and over 700 gigabytes of traffic, the network was tested pretty hard, from set-up to break-down. We were very happy with the performance of the network at the event and our client was satisfied with it too.
Attendees just expect the internet to work and they only notice the network when it doesn’t. At Purple Realtime we do our best to ensure that the network at all the events we support are invisible so that guests, organisers and crew can focus on what they are there to do.