Today, there are a huge number of gaming festivals that attract millions of gamers across the world. In the US, the massive Electronic Entertainment Expo (otherwise known as E3) attracts thousands of attendees and features some of the biggest gaming companies in the industry. Across the pond, Gamescom is Europe’s biggest gaming festival, taking place in Cologne each year. According to Gamescom, “a total of 373,000 visitors from over 100 countries” attended in 2019, “including 31,300 trade visitors”. That’s a massive number of people and tech under one roof. So how do event organisers keep up with connectivity demands?
High demand means high-pressure
Of course, with so many attendees, trade visitors, games, software and tech under one roof – demands for fast-paced internet are high. Most people will have attended an event or conference in the past where they struggled to connect to the internet, making it hard to contact people, stream services, utilise tech and upload content to social channels. This is usually because of the huge amount of people trying to connect to Wi-Fi, which simply can’t keep up with the pressure. It’s hugely frustrating for both visitors and exhibitors, who expect a constant connection to high-speed internet.
How can organisers ensure great connection 24/7?
There are many ways that event organisers can reduce the likelihood of this happening. Firstly, they need a rough estimate of the amount of people and the number of devices that will be at the convention. Are there 6,000 attendees, or 60,000? How many devices will each attendee have? What tech will trade visitors be using? By establishing the rough volume of traffic, event organisers can ensure they have suitable connectivity in place.
There are many advanced ISP technologies that event planners may wish to utilise. For instance, rather than rely on the standard GHz frequency Wi-Fi which can often be weak under strain, organisers could install a super-fast connection that will keep people satisfied during the event. This could be through a dual band Wi-Fi or similar system that can provide a more seamless connection.
Organisers should also consider their local area network (LAN), as this may not be powerful enough to cope with the demand. A system of LANs, known as a wide-area network (WAN) may be more effective. This will typically provide a faster and more reliable connection – perfect if the event needs constant, uninterrupted internet.
Lastly, organisers should have a backup plan in case anything goes wrong during the event. It’s worth having engineers on site or on call that can fix any connectivity issues with the right tools and equipment. Companies like RS Components sell a wide range of products that will come in handy to engineers, such as network cable testers that can measure LAN connections for signal issues and other problems.
It’s really important for gaming festival organisers to effectively plan and maintain high-speed connectivity for attendees, staff and exhibitors. Without it, the quality of the event could hugely suffer and damage reputation. Get it right, though, and the event is likely to flow without a hitch.