Secure Wifi Among top Tech Concerns for Event Planners
Jotham Sederstrom Oct. 16, 2013, 9 a.m.
Business conferences and special events are packed with details.
There are guest lists, speakers, facility rental and many more details that have to be finalized before an event can begin. According to new research by Apella, a New York City-based meeting and event specialty company, many event organizers are concerned with content safety over their Wifi networks. The study, which took a look at top technology concerns while designing an event space, listed content security as the top technology concern among event planners.
In many event and conference settings, guests bring their own device. Laptops, smartphones and other devices could be subject to hackers or information loss. The safety of the content depends on the user’s device. In some cases, guests may have their own security system on their device while in other cases the guest may be depending on the event space to have a secure Wifi network that protects their data or device from being compromised while attending.
The study also concluded that when an event attendee has an encounter with a virus, malware or information loss, the guest’s overall satisfaction with the event could become negative. An unhappy customer could have the potential to affect an event organizer for years to come if it is an annual conference or event where the same guests frequent it.
Eric Cruz, director of IT at Apella, said it took two years to complete the research, which included compiling surveys among professionals in the event-planning industry.
“Malicious activity is a big concern among event planners. It’s more likely to happen on Wifi open to the public than in a traditional office setting,” Cruz said. “The information shared over a presentation by a CEO or law firm at a conference can be very sensitive. Event planners want to make sure the companies are protected and will often bring in their own infrastructure to make sure the information is safe.”
Another top technology concern for event organizers is applications for devices among attendees. The trend of customized apps for guests is growing, and event organizers want to make sure the apps have useful information and that mobile websites work properly for guests.