On the road: Mobile monitoring for events and exhibitions
Exhibitions and trade shows have become a key part of many businessesâ€™ calendars. For many organisations, they are the main way of getting face-to-face with potential customers, showcasing their products and services in person. Theyâ€™re an opportunity for creative marketing, for collaboration with other businesses, and for invaluable networking.
But they also carry some technical challengesâ€¦.
Complexity and diversity
The rise and rise of mobile technology and the so-called â€˜internet of thingsâ€™ has meant that where once exhibition stands at trade shows were manned by sales managers armed with nothing more than pen, paper and a stack of business cards, now it is possible for such stand personnel to be connected to the corporate network as closely as they would be at the head office.
Today, a typical exhibition stand may feature dozens of devices, from laptops, tablets and phones to smart devices designed specifically for events, for example to collect and track registrations or to display a presentation. Many trade stands will also feature their own Wi-Fi access points, rather than relying on the communal service in the exhibition space. If products are being directly sold at the event, then stock and sales monitoring tools will be in place. In short, todayâ€™s exhibition stands offer complex network infrastructures all on their own.
And, just like any other part of the corporate network, these infrastructures need tracking and monitoring. If a single device goes down, the efficiency of the entire event could be in jeopardy. If a business suddenly canâ€™t sign up any new contacts, or share a crucial presentation with attendees at its industryâ€™s flagship event, then thereâ€™s a major problem. That pen, paper and business card stack canâ€™t suffer a technical fault, or a connectivity failure. A mobile device can.
On-site monitoring: costly and cumbersome
One answer is to bring an IT professional on-site to monitor all the devices on the stand during the event, and fix any problems as they occur. This is effective â€“ but itâ€™s also extremely costly. Additional travel and accommodation costs are incurred â€“ which add up particularly fast when events are abroad. If multiple events are happening simultaneously, then additional contract personnel must be brought in â€“ or the stand left un-monitored at times.
A better answer, then, is to look at mobile monitoring, through which you hand over the task of managing the devices on your stand to a technological solution. Mobile monitoring devices can be plugged into your network just like the other parts of your standâ€™s infrastructure, quietly monitoring performance and constantly reporting data back to your central office.
Here are some of the elements you should consider when choosing such a solution:
Device mapping and naming. A clear and comprehensive map of all the monitored devices on your network is essential at all times but becomes especially important at short-term events because so much is changing so rapidly. Devices join and leave the network in a matter of days. It is vital that you have customisation available to set up device names and mapping that make sense to you, and can easily be interpreted remotely.
Dashboards and visibility. An effective monitoring appliance is all very well, but if you struggle to navigate and interpret what itâ€™s telling you, then all that network intelligence is irrelevant. Look for dashboards that filter and separate different network and device elements, so you can easily drill down into your network.
Scalability and flexibility. Device monitoring for events and exhibitions is a dynamic business. Monitoring systems that incur hefty costs for alterations, for adding, removing or altering devices will quickly become cost-prohibitive. You donâ€™t want restrictive monitoring technology to be the thing that stops you from signing up to a new and exciting event.
Flexible alerts. Should a network incident occur that needs your attention, you need to ensure that you receive the alert in the most appropriate manner. Flexibility around, for example, SMS and email alerts will ensure that youâ€™re always on top of your network performance.
Mutiny has experience in the support of events and mobile monitoring. Working with three Formula 1 teams that are constantly on the move Mutiny has the mechanisms to cope with remote networks that come and go from your infrastructure. Mutiny allows you to distinctly identify your remote network devices and avoid cluttering up your in-house systems.
To discuss how we can help at your next trade show or exhibition, or how our systems can help you to track your mobile assets get in touch today.