Why is wifi so expensive at exhibitions and events?


Costs at exhibitions can quickly spiral out of control and really stretch your budget. One of the costs you probably didn’t expect is the hefty wifi fees that your event organiser may charge. Our clients have reported costs from £100 per device to £250 in some cases!

It’s possible to take the hit if the costs were on a per-stand basis but are actually per device, on average most stands have 4-5 devices needing a wifi connection so that adds up to a lot. What’s more, the wifi supplier is likely to monitor usage by recording the mac addresses using the wifi access to ensure you do not try to sneakily use more than one device with the same passwords.

Usually it is not the venue that provides the wifi but rather the event organisers who may have arranged for a dedicated line from the venue or decided to use satellite internet to bypass the ISP/venue altogether.

Not only is the wifi expensive, but it’s shockingly poor quality too one of our clients paid £600 for 4 devices and were offered maximum speeds of 2Mbps. The speed wasn’t guaranteed either, since the line wasn’t dedicated to them and shared by several other stands. This meant that if other stands were streaming video that would use up your shared bandwidth!

Here are a few tips to help you save on wifi costs at your next exhibition. We’ve helped several of our clients acquire cheap wifi at Excel, Olympia, Business Design Centre and the NEC.

Using venue wifi

Excel, Olympia and the NEC have a free venue wifi which *could* be used. This is different from the wifi organised by the event organisers themselves. The problem with using this wifi method is that it’s designed for the public to use and is open access which means during peak footfall hours the wifi is likely to be unaccessible.

Needless to say this probably isn’t a good solution if you’re relying on an internet connection to handle payments or have a large display that needs an internet connection to display content. Say a mounted iPad or a plasma screen.

4G router

You could use a 4G router, EE supports blistering fast speeds and we have tested 4G routers are major events at Excel, NEC and Olympia. It’s shocking that a mobile internet connection can work so much more effectively than a wifi connection at a popular event venue. But that’s where we’re at in 2017.

A 4G router can provide wifi connection to up to 10 devices at your exhibition or event. Our devices are actually very reasonably priced. Find details below:

Click the icon above to view our range of 4G routers.