What are the Wi-Fi requirements for the app?
Hotels and Conference Centers all package their wifi/network solutions differently, so you will have to work closely with the network vendor at the venue. We know that it is frustrating not to have an easy rule of thumb. The high level points to communicate to them:
- Touchpoint apps will use much less bandwidth than the other activities your attendees will perform (checking email, downloading attachments, surfing the web). Therefore you need to work with the venue to understand the number of attendees you'll have on site and what requirements are needed to serve their general Internet needs.
- If you are utilizing live polling, you'll want to work with the venue network provider to understand how many simultaneous users they can support. You will want to estimate the peak number of simultaneous live poll users you will have and be assured that they will be able to connect. These connections will use very little bandwidth, but they will need an active connection.
We do not anticipate that your Touchpoint app will be the main user of bandwidth at your conference. Once Wi-Fi is made available to attendees, they will use it to send and receive email, browse the web, watch videos, etc., and this usage will typically outweigh usage by the app.
For people downloading the app at your conference, rather than at home or at the office, the iOS app is typically 10MB and the Android app is typically 5MB. When the app is first opened, there is an initial sync of data that tends to be larger than subsequent syncs, but it is still fairly small bandwidth-wise. By way of example, the initial sync of data for a conference of 1,500 attendees would be less than 1MB. After that sync, the app uses caching and other technologies to minimize duplicate syncing of data. These subsequent syncs could be anywhere from 2K to 100K, depending on how much data changed. In other words, subsequent syncs require small amounts of data.
For comparison purposes, the average single web page in 2015 is more than 1,600K, according to Web Performance today. Therefore, a sync for the app would often be an order of magnitude or two less data than one of your attendees visiting a single web page.
If you are providing presentations within the app, those presentations can be anywhere from 500K to 5MB or higher, and you should plan for bandwidth needs accordingly. Note, in our app, a presentation only downloads and opens in the app when the end user clicks on it.
Further, if you do use live polling or want people to access presentations during sessions, you will want to ensure that the venue (e.g. each conference room, not just the common areas) has a sufficient number of “access points”. It’s great if the hotel tell you they offer X megabytes of bandwidth, but if they only have one router and 1,000 people’s devices are trying to find it at the same time that could be problematic.
So when you talk to the venue ask both about bandwidth AND how many access points can be supported for simultaneous usage. In our experience, one business router can support 150-200 people. But it varies widely based on the devices the venue employs. So you’ll want the venue to ensure they have enough routers available based on the number of access points each of their routers supports and the number of people you are expecting at the event.