Support: What Technology Can’t Replace

January 23, 2020
Matt Harvey

In our series on event Wi-Fi, we’ve uncovered the mysteries of determining bandwidth and the infrastructure that supports it.

And while those two aspects are certainly critical to the process, neither one of them would be able to function without a talented group of people pulling the strings. So, the third and final piece to the puzzle is the proactive effort from dedicated professionals both on- and off-site.

While it may not be obvious – most of us never see the technology that makes Wi-Fi work – it takes a village to keep networks running. Wi-Fi is monitored 24×7, with techs automatically dispatched to fix issues, constantly testing, and upgrading networks to ensure consistent performance.

When it comes to event space, there is also the added challenge of highly variable event needs which require trained professionals to interpret requirements, effectively deploy the solution, and deal with changes effectively.

There are a variety of support models in use around the industry which vary in effectiveness. As you’re scoping out where to host your next meeting, it’s important to understand what you’re getting – especially if internet is a critical component of your event.

Nearly all venue networks will have an on-site and off-site support element. The on-site team might be hotel IT, an in-house AV company, or a completely separate third-party network provider. The off-site group could be a central team from the in-house AV company or a third-party network provider. Occasionally, larger venues do everything onsite. You shouldn’t assume that the on-site and off-site team are from the same company and, as such, coordinating any complex needs should involve both teams.

Here are a few things to ask yourself when judging what’s most important to you about your internet service:

Onsite Team

  • What hours will the on-site team be available and will that work based on my setup schedule?
  • How quickly is the on-site team expected to respond to issues? Is that level of response acceptable for my needs?
  • Where is the transition between on-site and off-site teams?  If the off-site team is needed for any custom configuration, involve them in the planning process.

Offsite Team

  • What type of company (same as on-site or different from on-site) are they?
  • For critical events with a lot of customization, will they send a network engineer to the property or offer a more expedited support process via phone?

Remember:

  • Setting appropriate expectations for internet support is vital. If your meeting is heavily reliant on internet, having documented commitments for support hours and a plan for what happens if things don’t go well could really help out.
  • If you find inadequate bandwidth, infrastructure, or support at your otherwise perfect venue – don’t worry! All can be successfully augmented given a little advanced notice (and we’d be happy to help you).
  • Internet@psav.com will answer all of your internet related questions, regardless of venue.