A good informatics network on your event is crucial to facilitating all communications notifications, security and cash register activity on your event. We are so used to having internet always and everywhere and yet a stable data network on an event is not as evident as you might think. Ilja Theuwissen of The Safe Group explains what the challenges are, and what to look out for.
Hi Ilja, welcome to our studio.
Today's topic is data networks. Why is data networks so crucial for an event?
Well, our experience is that these days, well connectivity network becomes more and more crucial even for a temporary event. In the old days internet access was something of a luxury. It wasn't something that really, the production or anyone relied on, but today this is a different thing. So yeah, it becomes more crucial and we want to focus the attention on, what can be done to make sure it always works.
Okay, but data network is more than internet access alone. What is happening at events on those networks these days?
Well, it used to be only internet access, some email, some web browsing and the social media and so on. But we see that almost all techniques, or all communications are moving to this IP network. For example CCTV or video surveillance. We have the crowd control, digital signage, we have wifi access, but also production. Even light and sound control is moving to IP networks. So a part of it is becoming more important as communication, also more technologies are moving to the same network, or the same backbone. Which makes it even more exciting because of the possibilities, but also the dangerous.
But also crucial.
If it goes down, the whole event goes down?
Yeah, well, in the worst case, that's what happens.
Okay how do you make sure it doesn't go down?
Well there are many things you should do in terms of higher fallibility or availability and of security. Well, to go through all the details will take several hours...
Not for this episode.
No, I think not. But there are some things, that are easy to do or easy to check. And the most important one is to look for a partner you can really trust. And who also has the experience in two ways. The first experience that he must have, is experience with all kinds of technologies. Not just one certain IP technology for example wifi or for example CCTV, but all kinds of communications that are using this network. And the second one is a partner that has experience with events. With a really hard deadline that is there for events, and a really short up time that's needed. That's really crucial.
On an event you have of course the organisation itself, who uses the network, but also the crowds the people over there, who want to share what they are experiencing on social media. What do you do with those target groups? Do they share the same network? Do they have their own separate networks?
Well, of course it's necessary to provide divisions or segments to make sure that there is security between the networks, that a visitor can't access the data of the organizer. That's something that's really important, and also to make sure that there are measures in place, to be able to recover the most important networks, even wireless, the most important wireless networks faster than the least important wireless networks. When there is a problem, you want to make sure that the organizers are restored fast, and you can take a bit more time to restore the visitors network. Especially when they are security related or safety related.
That's one thing. The second important thing is that on a site or an event there is one party, one responsible party that has an oversight of all the wireless activity status that are there. Wifi is using the free band. It's a band that's not regulated, and there are not only wifi's using those frequencies, but also bluetooth, wireless video, location based services and so on. So, it's good or important that one party has an oversight of what's going on, and can watch that the things that have to be operationalcan be operational and of course limit those that are causing a disturbance.
Okay. It seems like there's need for an expert to do all those things. Ilja, thank you very much for coming over to the studio.
And you at home, thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week.