Representatives from the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Association of Event Venues (AEV) and Event Services and Supplier Association (ESSA) have participated in a new forum discussing the needs and requirements of Wi-Fi provision for exhibitions.
The meeting of 28 delegates at Reed Exhibitions’ offices in Richmond follows discussions on LinkedIn that led to a meeting at the Event and Exhibiting Show in July and now a working group exploring how to improve Wi-Fi connectivity on the show floor.
“This began as a discussion on Reeds Ops LinkedIn Group and seems to have struck a chord with all parties within theindustry,” Reed Exhibitions operations director Piers Kelly said. “Technology will become an increasingly important part of exhibitions and we need to have reliable, available and cost-effective solutions to providing Wi-Fi irrespective of size of event or location.”
According to the group, the open and frank discussion explored the experiences of all parties and their customers, their ideas and plans for the future and etched out an overview of the current Wi-Fi landscape. The discussions identified a need to define the requirements of key users of exhibition Wi-Fi services – visitors, exhibitors and organisers – and each of the key stakeholder groups.
The outcome from the meeting is a number of research projects to accurately record the needs and existing provisions, which will feed back into the group at its next meeting. This will include a survey by the organisers into the needs and wishes of visitors, exhibitors and theorganisers themselves. The venues will report back on the infrastructure landscape available, and suppliers reviewing and submitting various management processes employed on a range of shows – large/small, indoor/outdoor and IT heavy/light.
“The seniority of people attending this meeting is indicative of the importance this subject has to our industry,” Kelly continued. “It is encouraging that the associations are able to bring together a meeting such as this to seek practical solutions.”
The Wi-Fi working group will next meet on 2 February during The Event Production Show at Olympia. This will be followed by another forum on 23 May 2012 at Excel London during the London International Wine Fair.