Conferences i/o is built for performance. To move data in real-time, we use a rock solid transactional messaging system which talks to our cloud and then pushes changes out to every attendee's device with minimal latency. Though these messages occur frequently, they do so in very small packets.

Conferences i/o has been battle tested at all kinds of venues with every type of access point and shared data connection speed you can imagine. We very rarely hear reports about connectivity or bandwidth problems related specifically to a venue's Internet capability.


Understanding connectivity and bandwidth

There are two useful ways to consider Internet capability at a venue: connectivity and bandwidth.

Connectivity relates to the capability of a venue's wireless access points to service an audience. These access points (APs) are how people connect to the venue's Internet. Though enterprise-grade routers often advertise 100+ connections per AP, recommended deployment tends to be about half (or less) of the theoretical maximum.

Bandwidth is how some venues price their wireless Internet connection. For example, you might be offered a 10 Megabyte per second connection for attendees to use. This connection is then shared by attendees.

As mentioned at the outset, Conferences i/o moves data in very small packets. For this reason, reliable connectivity is more important to performance than sheer available bandwidth; if an access point is saturated by connected users, you could be looking at a data traffic jam. The number one priority at any venue is to make sure the APs, at recommended deployment capability, can handle the size of your audience.

When it comes to bandwidth, lower shared connection speeds can be a concern since most devices automatically download application updates in the background. Bandwidth problems tend to be lumpy; that is, they will occur in spurts, and the Internet being problematic one minute is fine the next.

As a general rule, we think that a reliable average connection of at least 50 KB per second, per attendee, is enough to guarantee steady performance with Conferences i/o. 

Mitigating factors

For most of our customers, connectivity and bandwidth concerns are alleviated by the fact that not all attendees will connect to a venue's wireless network; many attendees prefer to use their device's existing data connection. However, some venues and events may make it difficult to maintain a steady data connection, either due to the population density of the area or the building's construction materials. 

When in doubt, advise attendees to switch to the alternative connection method.

Venue guest network considerations

Depending on the Wi-Fi system in use by the venue, there may be automated timeouts or pre-established time limits for users of the guest Wi-Fi. These may interrupt the Conferences i/o process until the attendee resolves the limitation, typically by logging in again and accepting the terms of service.

Some venues may also require accepting terms of service before connecting to the Wi-Fi. Until the attendee satisfies this condition, Conferences i/o and other internet services may not connect.

Conferences i/o's support team will do our best to resolve issues at your event, but often are unable to resolve issues with guest networks because of the nature of the situation. We recommend contacting the venue's management and/or technical support prior to the event start to get information about connecting to the network and to establish a point of contact for connection-related issues.