Internet Connectivity Guidelines
The best way to ensure a good experience at Olympia London, whether you want Wireless or Wired connections, is not to leave connectivity to the last minute. We encourage early orders by offering a discount as this ensures any potential issues are discussed earlier rather than on the show floor (which is often too late).
Wireless connectivity remains a hot topic in the events industry. To a certain degree, what organisers and exhibitors want to do with wireless is being hampered by the vast array of technology available, including the devices that visitors bring to the event. These guidelines have been produced to keep you up to date with the latest developments and provide helpful tips.
Olympia London is continuously investing and improving our connectivity infrastructure. Our network is specifically designed for our venue and has been installed to allow for as many connections as we can technically handle, within the space we have.
We’re also working with the AEV, ESSA and Exhibition News to address the ever increasing demands for WiFi while working within the constraints of available technology.
Despite our considerable investment, there are two major factors that can still create problems with wireless access:
1) Exhibitors broadcasting their own wireless via their own brought in equipment
2) Devices that connect to WiFi on 2.4Ghz (and not 5Ghz)
Non-Venue Wireless Routers
We strongly advise against exhibitors bringing in wireless routers as these will compete with the venue WiFi, and any other unauthorised wireless routers. This causes the airwaves to become saturated and can stop all the wireless networks working properly. Please therefore, consider a wired connection wherever possible, as it’s the most stable and robust connection, or consider contacting eForce and purchasing a WiFi zone on our wireless infrastructure.
If routers absolutely have to be brought in, then users should be completely familiar with the technology and follow the guidelines below. This will benefit everyone else at the show including the visitors:
- Hide the SSID so only specified devices can see it and restrict any transition to channel 1.
- We strongly advise against having open WiFi access, as allocated bandwidth will very quickly be used up by surrounding exhibitor and visitor devices. This may also be misinterpreted as slow internet speed
- If the wireless router has the option it should be set to the lowest power setting so it does not broadcast across the venue and interrupt the rest of the show.
- If a wireless router is being used for hard wired distribution then the wireless element should be turned off
- Where the option is available we recommend that only the 5GHz frequency is broadcast. 2.4Ghz is unlikely to work so it will simply add to the traffic in the venue. If this is turned off better connectivity will result.
- If a router has multiple radios to broadcast over and only one is required the others should be disabled. eForce reserves the right to terminate connections should they cause interference to the rest of the show.
Again; we advise against relying on wireless routers for your internet connectivity. We also recommend you continue reading and understand the problems visitor devices may have connecting to wireless networks at busy events.
Connecting to the Wireless Network
Connecting to WiFi in busy enclosed exhibition environments can be problematic. This is due to the number of people trying to connect, rather than the wireless system itself. The large number of devices saturate the airwaves, in a similar way that mobile phones can sometimes not get a signal at concerts or football stadiums.
WiFi devices use one of two bands to connect. These are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. These may be referred to like this in the manufacturer’s information:
2,4GHz (802.11b, g or n)
5GHz (802.11a or n).
Note: where a device is 802.11n check the manufacturer description.
Some smart phones and older laptops, still work on the 2.4GHz band. This does not work well in any busy exhibition environments. Please understand that this is not a system fault, but a limitation of these devices.
5GHz offers a better chance of connecting to WiFi in busy areas so if it’s essential to connect to WiFi then:
- Make sure the connecting device is 5GHz (802.11a) compatible
- Ensure all drivers are up to date
- Ensure you are running the latest update
- Know how to connect your device to new WiFi Zones
Connecting to the Wired Network
If a wired connection is required we recommend that all drivers and anti-virus software is up to date on any device that will be used at the event.
For wired connections we will provide the following technical information. If this is difficult to understand please contact us at eForce, your IT Department or an IT literate friend or colleague!
The connection will be supplied via a Cat5e cable terminated with an RJ45 connector. The device that is to be used will then connect via DHCP when the cable is plugged in.
Make sure the Proxy Server option is unselected – this is found under internet properties – Connections – LAN Settings
Ensure any office static IP addresses are removed in favour of DHCP. This is found under My Computer – View Network
Connections – Right click on Local Area Connections –Select properties – Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click Properties and make sure ‘Obtain an IP address automatically’ and ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’ are selected.
For Mac OSX, go to Network options – Advanced – Then check the TCP/IP, DNS and Proxies options.
If a laptop is being used, make sure wireless is turned off as this can take priority over a wired connection and override it.
Please note that whilst we will try to help as much as we can on the show floor it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that all devices are configured correctly and can connect via the cable we provide.