Festival WiFi has become a requirement for the production. Before we begin discussing attendee WiFi (Public WiFi), there is a business to run.
Ticketing and Access Control platforms are being controlled by scanners which require a reliable WiFi and Internet backbone platform.
Point of Sale (PoS) that support cash, credit card and cashless options also have WiFi and Internet requirements. Add Production, FoH, VIP, Artists, exhibitors, sponsors/activations and Emergency services, now you have some significant Information Technology (IT) requirements for your festival.
It is not uncommon for each requirement to be either handled internally by each group, or each group might bring in an outside vendor like Backstage Networks to handle their individual needs. Overall, this is a highly inefficient way to handle the IT requirements for the festival.
By bringing in a single IT Vendor to handle all data networking/WiFi aspects for the festival, total cost of IT operations will be reduced and a single cohesive, more powerful, and more reliable network can be deployed. Network security controls can be put in place so the festival WiFi networks can be logically distributed to all logistical areas in a proper and secure manner.
Now what about festival WiFi for the attendees, or also known as public WiFi? While there are some extra (incremental) costs for deploying attendee WiFi, it is not as bad as you think, especially if you already have a full festival WiFi system for the whole production.
There are several creative options for monetizing the cost for the public WiFi. Some examples include:
- Sponsored splash page with customized branding
- Integrated Social Media logins for enhanced event integration
- Advertisements via Social Media apps and smartphone web interface
- Coupon pushes to the attendee smartphone
- Ongoing attendee interaction throughout and after the event
- Attendee Big Data Analytics and ongoing Social Media interaction
- Pre-paid WiFi options
- On-the-fly Paid WiFi options