Brighton Centre has become the first purpose built convention centre to support ABPCO’s Conference Cloud campaign which calls for free wi-fi for conference delegates. The Conference Cloud, which launched in August last year, has secured 138 venue sites that have agreed to offer wi-fi free of charge to conference delegates and received more than 200 individual petition signatures in support of the initiative.
In December 2011, ABPCO held a round table debate with venues and PCOs at Twickenham, where the pros and cons of offering wi-fi free of charge to delegates was discussed at length.
ABPCO Chair Michael Foreman commented: ‘While those in attendance at our December debate agreed overall that there was a need for ‘basic’ free wi-fi for conference delegates, many larger venues are still hesitant in offering a free service of some kind. We are delighted that the Brighton Centre has factored this in to their major new refurbishment and built a robust network that enables them to offer a degree of free wi-fi. They have demonstrated a clear understanding of the way the industry is moving and the need to support PCOs and their clients’ delegates in leveraging new technologies to enhance events.’
Penny Parker, Business & Communications Manager of Brighton Centre added: ‘The Conference Cloud campaign was definitely a motivator for the Brighton Centre in terms of developing a free wi-fi offer as part of our redevelopment. We followed the debate online which then created our own discussions internally and ultimately influenced the decision to build in a high-speed, state-of-the-art network as part of our offering. This is something we have considered for some time and so wanted to ensure we offered the best service to suit current needs.
‘Our new Free Delegate Wi-fi does just that; connected to a 100mg fibre feed, it gives business class upload and download speeds throughout the venue. It allows visitors to communicate with each other, their offices and to take advantage of delegate interaction options like e-polling and live Twitter feeds during meetings. We are delighted to be leading the way as the first convention centre to support Conference Cloud and look forward to more delegate interaction as a result of our wi-fi offering.’
ABPCO aims to continue The Conference Cloud campaign throughout 2012. For more information or to sign the petition supporting the campaign, visit www.theconferencecloud.co.uk or tweet using #confcloud.
The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) is the only UK professional body to represent the interests of individual Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs). Established in 1981 and formally incorporated in 1987, the association’s mission is to develop and enhance the professional status of conference and event organisers and increase the recognition given to its members as the leading representatives of the profession in the British Isles. ABPCO’s members organise an estimated 3,500 conferences and events annually and spend an estimated £58m each year on venues and suppliers. For more information, visit www.abpco.org or follow ABPCO on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ABPCO.