CAUTION! DO NOT SIMPLY TRUST WHAT YOUR VENUE'S SALES PERSON SAYS ABOUT THE NETWORK/WIFI AT THEIR VENUE!
TRUST US, THEY DON'T KNOW. We hear comments like "oh our Internet is great, people do mobile bidding here all of the time" and then when it is tested, we find out that the network is highly inadequate.
Before finalizing any venue contract, you should make sure that the network will be adequate for your bidders. You need to TEST the Cellular and WIFI network coverage and speed at the venue for yourself.
Having a good internet connection will allow you to have a more successful auction with Handbid.
Test the Mobile Network
Your bidders can connect to Handbid either using the mobile (wireless) connection on their device or by connecting to a WIFI network at the venue.
We recommend that your bidders connect to Handbid using their mobile data network connection. The mobile providers are much more equipped to handle hundreds of connections than most WIFI networks. To determine if the connection is adequate, we recommend you test with an app from Root Metrics call Coverage Map.
- Download a SpeedTest App - We like Root Metrics' Coverage Map, but you could also use SpeedTest or any other app that can give you a report of the speed of both the WIFI and Cellular Data networks.
- Turn OFF WIFI on your phone (so you are only testing the cellular data connection) - To test cellular data speeds, we need to make sure we are on the cellular data network.
- Launch the SpeedTest App - Once it loads, run a test.
- Review Results - Look at the results. You want at least 2-3 Mbps down (arrow down) and 1-2 Mbps up (arrow up).
- Get Help? Not sure how to interpret the results? Take a snapshot of your screen and email it to email@example.com
Some things to consider:
Your guests will likely subscribe to a variety of cellular carriers. Be sure to test the most popular carriers in your area so you can get an idea of who may have a problem.
Things work "best" when your guests stay on their mobile data and do not have to join your venue's WiFI network. However, if your venue is in an area where certain mobile carriers will have inadequate cellular service, then the performance of your WIFI network becomes increasingly important!
Testing the WIFI Network
A good WIFI network will insure a great experience for your bidders. The network at your venue needs to be HIGH SPEED! How fast is this? It depends on how many guests you intend to have connected to it. Our rule of thumb is 5mbps down and 2mbps up for every 100 connected users. If you had an event with 400 connected users (likely a 600 person event), then you would want at least 20mbps down and 8mbps up. This is just a "rule of thumb" you could need more or less for your event. Please make sure to download our Network Technology evaluation guide and review it with your venue (attached to this article).
In addition to speed, your venue's WiFI network needs to be able to accommodate the number of connections you intend to have. For example, if you are having an event with 300 people and expect that 150-200 of them will connect to the internet using their phones to bid, then you need to insure that your venue's WIFI network can handle that many people.
The venue will help determine this. Things that impact the ability of your guests to connect to their WIFI network include:
- Type and quality of the WIFI access points used. Are these commercial access points designed for multiple users or is your venue using a home/office WIFI router that is going to max out at 40-50 connections?
- How does their network assign IP addresses? (Don't worry what those are, but know that every one of your guest's phones is going to need one). If they are only handing out 100 max IPs, then only 100 connections will be available. In addition, make sure they release their old IPs from other devices (from other events) so you get the max number of IPs available.
Test the WIFI network in a few different places in the venue. Make sure that you have adequate access anywhere that your guests may be roaming.
You can test the quality of the WIFI connection using the same SpeedTest app.
- Download a SpeedTest App -We like Root Metrics' Coverage Map, but you could also use SpeedTest or any other app that can give you a report of the speed of both the WIFI and Cellular Data networks.
- Turn ON WIFI on you phone - To test WIFI, you need to be connected to the venue's WIFI network. Make sure you are testing the SAME WIFI network that will be used for the event.
- Launch the Root Metrics App - Once it loads, hit the Test tab on the screen (top left) and run Single Test.
- Review Results - Look at the results. You want at least 3 Mbps down (arrow down) and 1 Mbps up (arrow up).
- Get Help? Not sure how to interpret them? Take a snapshot of your screen and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Other things to consider regarding WIFI:
- Will your guests have to enter a password to join the WIFI?
- Does your venue require guests to enter their name and password in a web form (many hotels require this).
- Will the WIFI network cache (store) your guest's phone info so they don't have to login every time they wake up their phone?
- Will the venue give you a separate WIFI just for your laptops and iPads?
See the attached network guide and plan to share this with your venue and their IT/Tech team.