I Wanna Get Myself Connected


What do McDonalds, Starbucks, Greggs, my local boozer and even the number 36 bus I travel on all have in common?

Well, they all offer FREE WiFi in exchange for the purchase of something very low cost.

A sign of the times?

A sign of the times?

We all know what humans require for the most basic of survival – water, sustenance, shelter and WiFi! Most recently, the most popular complaint I hear in everyday life is “the WiFi in here is rubbish”.

Let’s face it, we all rely on it more and more. I’m not talking about checking your Facebook or Twitter feed – obviously no human should be deprived of that most basic of necessity – I was talking about what we require in our day-to-day jobs. More and more IT is becoming cloud based, we all communicate by email and we often need to log-in to online services.

So here’s my frustration and maybe you’ll share it too… if I can purchase a burger at 99p, a coffee at £2.29 or a pint at £3.50 and access free, often decent, WiFi for as long as I need, then why if I get to a purpose built meeting centre or the average hotel am I required to pay an average of a tenner for the privilege of connectivity? We all resent this! And  mean massively resent this!

Yes, I understand it’s an overhead, I understand it need regular upgrading, I understand it costs money – but so does the seat I might sit on or the bed I might sleep in.

Surely any forward thinking company realises that you customers expect (yes, expect!) to be able to connect to the internet. What’s more, if you provide a ‘free’ decent WiFi connection to your customers, they are going to come back time and time again. I put the word ‘free’ in inverted commas on purpose, because I realise that there’s very little that’s actually free in a commercial world.

Why can’t companies just build it in to the price? Everyone wins! Your customer is happy and you’ll get return business.

Because if I can get free decent WiFi for the price of a cup of coffee, I really do expect free decent WiFi for paying upwards of 1000% of the price of my Americano.

Black, extra shot and no sugar thanks, I’m sweet enough!

What do you event professionals think about this? What’s your opinion of free WiFi at a conference or hotel venue? We’d love to hear your thoughts – @rbgroup