An Unexpected Question to Ask Hotels When Planning Meetings

by Nancy Nachman | The Meetings Concierge


These 4 questions should be asked when starting to plan meetings at hotels:

  1. Are the dates available?
  2. Does the hotel have the guestrooms and meeting space?
  3. Pricing and costs for all items?
  4. What is their bandwidth capacity?

Today we are addressing bandwidth capacity; an often-overlooked cost item on the meeting budget.

When trying to determine the hotels bandwidth capacities, ask if hotels are able to provide your needs. You have to figure out what your needs are, and then hotels can quote pricing. Bandwidth is the maximum data transfer rate capability of a network or internet connection, or how much data can flow through a connection in a given amount of time. Some questions you’ll need answers to are; 1) how many devices will your guests bring to the event, what kinds of sessions the event will have where participants need/want internet connectivity, and what presenters need?

Did you know that having high speed internet is equally important to your guests as the accommodations, food & comfort of the meeting space? And, when surveyed, attendees complain most about inadequate internet service. Your job is to make sure hotels you are considering can handle your requirements yet won’t break the meeting budget to provide the service.

It’s only been about 3 years since technology was in place to allow guests to work and play at amazing speed, and often guests bring 2 or 3 devices with them, putting even more strain on the hotels’ capabilities. And, keep in mind that hotels capabilities have to reach every guest, not just your participants, in guestrooms, meeting space, & public areas.

Typically, everyone wants internet connectivity, not just the presenters, which add costs to the meeting budget. This line item is often overlooked when planning meetings, but you’ll only get caught off guard once, after realizing pricing hotels pass on to you, for technology needs.

Hotels are trying to keep up with the demand and with that, they have incurred enormous costs to bring technology up to speed. Just in the past few years the demand gotten so great that hotels had to invest millions of dollars to provide this service to you.

If it’s determined that a hotel can’t provide the bandwidth you require, you can ask for their help in purchasing more capacity for the duration of your meeting. After all, you’ve worked hard to deliver content and experiences. What good is it if the lack of bandwidth sabotage presentations and frustrates you, your executives and participants?

IAAP works with the best trainers in the industry to ensure you have relevant, engaging, practical content at your fingertips. This blog is written by a speaker with a program in the IAAP Approved Programs database. Search by name or keyword to find their contact information and book them for your Branch or Region event. 

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Ask The Meetings Concierge for more advice.

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One thought on “An Unexpected Question to Ask Hotels When Planning Meetings

  1. Is there a Tech or CAP-OM in the house that can answer, What’s the best practice for determining bandwidth capacity needs for an event? Thanks!


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