I am a new entrant into the programming world and still in the early stages of learning, but three big conferences or events that i’ve attended in the last one year have convinced me that
You can have the best location chosen for the event
The best people to be present at the event
Give away goodies no participant would ever expect
Have the best food served
BUT YOU JUST CANNOT HAVE THE WIFI WORKING FINE!!!
This I say after attending 3 big conferences as i stated earlier,
1. Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain
2. Yahoo! OpenHACK Bangalore, India
3. DroidconIN, Bangalore, India
Everyone always concentrates on one of the sides of Internet connectivity, either the wireless or the uplink speeds. Never about both, but Droidcon was a bit different, they tried their best to get the situation under control but sadly the great Indian Tamasha had to happen!
Starting off with MWC, well the connectivity was real sad and when connected with a massive 4000 systems connected to the network on a 80mbps line, the results were expected to suck. So it did, half the time the connection was lost, and otherwise the loading took forever! CISCO managed a decent connection for all the people presenting at least so it was not all that bad or at least not a disaster. Nothing much to talk about the wifi here, it never got better it stayed the same way it started.
OpenHACK boy, imagine 600 odd programmers without internet, it was worse than looking at an Ice cream shop that did not have any ice cream! The guys assumed the hotel would have a good wifi setup but obviously they din’t cause none of us were able to connect! Like every other wifi disaster event, there were hundreds of Android AP’s, people broadcasting through their phones. I connected to some unsecured ones and started using and every time I got disconnected from one, i joined another! This went on for around 6 hours. Then the repair job started and believe it or not, the network crew from Yahoo! managed to get cabling for each and every person in that huge auditorium! Their work was unbelievable, cabled filled the floor but no one was complaining, they all witnessed something they thought they would never ever see after the invention of WiFi! The internet up link was at a healthy 20Mbps but the infrastructure was just not up to the mark for an event of this magnitude to have wireless connections. Again, the Yahoo! guys were just awesome to have cabled the whole place.
DroidconIN, this was the funniest I must say, the infrastructure was unbelievably world class! But the up link was a mere 2Mbps. Seriously? 550 computer on a 2Mbps line? As usual a 100 hot spots of which i tried connecting to all the unsecured ones but sadly no luck this time. The infrastructure was so good that I never saw less than 3 bars of connectivity on my phone or laptop at the arena. There was a huge talk about this by the organizers at the end of the event and he did mention the trouble they went through trying to get the up link upgraded to at least 20Mbps. Apparently, the manager at the venue MLR Convention Hall, Whitefield had no idea that the WiFi in the place was pimped up with the best equipment available. Super noob he must be! The organizers of the event almost bought new equipment to set up the wireless at this place, thankfully they figured the WiFi was bat shit crazy awesome. They also realised it was on a shitty 2Mbps line and they asked the Reliance guys to upgrade atleast for just 2 days but they refused, possibly stating
Indians are used to 512kbps being called broaband, they might die of vertigo if they went faster than that!
The other major players in that area asked for prices like 2L for 2 days of wireless internet at 20Mbps. Well nothing could be done here, but the effort of the organizers was definitely worth mentioning! They put up a great event against such adversities.
Well, what can we say! WiFi is the bitch of every conference. Its like an angry bird, it will always bring down the structure of orderliness you created for the big events!