13/9/17

Planning A Fundraising Auction? Here's Your Venue Wi-Fi Checklist

If you're planning a fundraising auction, it's highly likely your guests will expect access to Wi-Fi. A strong and reliable 3/4G connection is particularly important if you're planning on using digital auction platforms and technology. It's easy to assume that venue Wi-Fi is a given but it's not necessarily the case. Here's a handy checklist to make sure your fundraising event stays connected.

Is There Wi-Fi?

Obviously the first question to ask any venue provider is whether there is Wi-Fi. Remote or unusual locations may no have access to Wi-Fi or have limited 3/4G coverage.

If There Is Wi-Fi, Is It Adequate?

If your guest list numbers 100 or less, the 3/4G Wi-Fi available at the venue should give you the connectivity you need. Venues located in metropolitan areas are almost guaranteed to provide excellent Wi-Fi stability. Just be aware of venues that are below ground level may have compromised Wi-Fi connections. Check with your venue contact to get the lowdown.

Let's Test To Make Sure!

Nothing will give you greater peace of mind that actually testing the network. To complete the test go to the venue ahead of the event start (a weeks in advance is ideal). Make sure you test each area of the venue you'll be using. Have one device on each of the available networks e.g. 3 (UK) or Telstra (Aus).  Go to speedtest.net on any browser on each device. Run the test and save the results. If you have more than 20Mbps for each network and you don't have more than 200 guests accessing the auction platform, the Wi-Fi should suffice.

What If You Need More?

Function guests will often check their emails and post on social media plus a multitude of other phone activity - all of which consumes connectivity. For this reason, and the fact that guests will expect good connectivity, most venues offer Wi-Fi. This can be supplied by the venue or provided for hire by a specialist company.

Is Free Venue Wi-Fi An Option?

Lots of venues offer free Wi-Fi, which is typically shared amongst everyone at the venue. This may be OK for your needs, but if you plan to encourage a lot of activity that requires connectivity, consider upgrading to a dedicated Wi-Fi network for your fundraiser.

Getting Connected

Connecting to a Wi-Fi network can be as easy as selecting the network and clicking ‘connect'. Or it can be as laborious as opening a web page and filling in a form. If you are looking to provide a great Wi-Fi experience choose a network that's quick and easy to access. Think about including clear instructions at the start of the event.

Be Wary Of Short Wi-Fi Session Times

When it comes to venue Wi-Fi, it can come it short blocks of time that requires quests to keep logging in. Nothing will disrupt your fundraiser faster than guests irritated by having to reconnect to the Wi-Fi every 15 minutes.

And Speed/Concurrent Connections

A fast network is important. Your venue contact will advise you on the speed required for your guests' activities. You will also need a network that allows all or a large percentage of your attendees to use it at the same time (access points). Don't forget however, that the speed and concurrent users are directly related. The more concurrent users on the network the slower the experience is for all.

Think About Offsite Support

If your fundraiser is heavily reliant on Wi-Fi and there's a problem, you will want it fixed fast. Find out from your venue if the Wi-Fi support person or team is located in-house or if not how quickly they can be onsite.    

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GalaBid is CrowdComms’ fundraising software, developed inhouse, which facilitates bidding, donations, purchases, payment for and management of all fundraising activities before and during live fundraising events, galas, golf days etc.

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