Earning from free Wi-Fi

Many events look to provide free Wi-Fi for attendees. For today’s smartphone generation connectivity is always in demand. With cellular networks, under increasing pressure, cell towers are not deployed to anticipate large user ‘spikes’ which events create. Even when towers are brought in many are uplinked through the local town which is already busy.

The challenge for those looking to provide Wi-Fi is how to manage the associated costs?

Two main options exist:

Sponsorship – Finding a partner who wants to increase brand exposure is the best way to fund services. It’s a great deal for both parties. The sponsor gains excellent visibility from their ‘Complimentary Wi-Fi’ which can be used across site, advertised with flyers and posters. VIP customers can be offered a faster service and invited to a special bar whilst everyone else has that association with the brand when they are desperately trying to check into Facebook or send those photos to a friend.

Collecting data – Many events now use the data from their customers to help brands looking to find a specific range of customers. Those connecting to the wireless network can contribute to this data since some key things are known about them; for example what type of handset they have, their email and what content (i.e. sites) they browsed. A few simple questions are posed as part of the network login function, permission is sought and then the information can be passed over.

Many providers now provide robust systems for managing content and customer data including Ucopia, Purple WiFi, Global reach

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