ABPCO, the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers, plans to host a round-table debate with venues, PCOs and campaign supporters to discuss the issues surrounding the implementation of a free Wi-Fi service for conference delegates.
The debate, which takes place on December 5th at Twickenham Experience, is the next step in the Association’s Conference Cloud campaign, calling for free Wi-Fi for delegates, which was launched in August (www.theconferencecloud.co.uk ). The campaign has already signed up more than 40 venue listings, accounting for over 100 sites across the UK, that have committed to offering free Wi-Fi and gained the support of more than 200 individuals who have signed the petition. ABPCO plans to host a further discussion on the topic at its annual conference in January 2012 in London. Attendance at the conference is open to ABPCO members and non-members.
The debate will involve three core components:
- technology, looking at what infrastructure is required, the technical challenges and what the cost implications might be;
- financials, considering some of the financial implications of offering Wi-Fi for free and discussing revenue models ; and
- free Wi-Fi in action asking venues to share examples of where free Wi-Fi is already in place and how this is working for those venues.
Guest speakers providing expert insight into these areas will be invited to address the group and the debate will be introduced by ABPCO Chair Michael Foreman and facilitated by meetings technology consultant Corbin Ball.
ABPCO Chair Michael Foreman commented: “This debate is about getting down to business, looking more specifically about what is involved in making a commitment to offering free Wi-Fi, especially for the larger convention centres. The response to the campaign has already been incredible so we know that this is something clients want, we just need to work with venues to explore how we can make it a reality across a larger proportion of UK conference venues.”
Corbin Ball added: “The explosion of mobile technology is making easy access to Wi-Fi essential for events and tradeshows. Demand for bandwidth is growing exponentially and providing good signal to all delegates is increasingly a challenge for venues. I am delighted to participate in this very important discussion organized by ABPCO where the issues, promises and challenges will be addressed from all sides. I expect that the information shared and the conclusions will be both informative and enlightening for all who attend.”