If you’re an event organizer, you’ve likely experienced the sticker shock that comes with Internet service quotes for hotels and venues. It’s frustrating, but there are valid reasons behind these seemingly exorbitant prices. Event Internet isn’t a one-size-fits-all service. Every venue is different, and ensuring a seamless connection for hundreds of attendees can be a complex endeavor. This complexity drives up costs, from the setup of temporary infrastructure to bandwidth requirements and the need for redundant systems.
To make matters more complicated, in-house AV companies may use these high costs as leverage to intimidate event organizers into using their services. They might suggest that choosing external AV companies will result in significantly higher Internet charges. This can limit your choices and potentially impact your budget. But don’t fret; there are strategies to help you take control of the situation.
Some forward-thinking brands, such as “Marriott,” made an attempt to standardize pricing around a decade ago. But the key to understanding why event Internet costs can be so high lies in the intricate web of relationships between hotels, audiovisual (AV) companies, and white-label network operators. Let’s delve into the details and explore why this pricing puzzle is anything but straightforward.
The Three Parties Involved: Hotel, In-House AV Partner, and Remote Network Operator
When it comes to the event Internet, it’s essential to recognize that there are three significant parties in the mix: the hotel, the AV company, and the white-label or network operator. These three entities collaborate to provide seamless Internet services at events. Each plays a unique role in delivering a connection that meets the demanding needs of event attendees, for the most part. However, sometimes the entire infrastructure is owned by the in-house audiovisual provider, which means that they’re responsible for the entire operation and cost.
- Hotel Responsibility: The in-house IT department typically handles everything from the wall in. This includes ensuring the infrastructure inside the venue is up to par. However, when it comes to internet services from the wall out, the hotel often hands the reins over to the AV partner.
- AV Company’s Role: The AV company takes on a crucial role in setting up and managing the network required for the event. This encompasses not only equipment and labor but often extends to providing “3rd party” IT expertise, which sometimes is part of the company but not necessarily allocated to that specific property. This complexity can substantially raise the overall cost of Internet services.
- White-Label Network Operator: The third piece of the puzzle is the white-label network operator or the company that remotely controls the network. They are responsible for ensuring the network is secure, reliable, and high-performing. While the hotel commands money for this service, the network operator also charges a fee.
Behind the Scenes: The Complexity of Event Internet Costs
- Equipment and Labor: The AV company is tasked with setting up the necessary equipment, which may include routers, switches, access points, and cabling. They also provide the labor needed to install and maintain the network throughout the event.
- Third-Party IT Expertise: To ensure a seamless experience for event attendees, the AV company may bring in a third-party IT expert. This expertise comes at an additional cost, adding to the overall expense.
- Service Fee: The AV company charges a service fee for its expertise in delivering reliable Internet services during the event. This fee covers planning, setup, and technical support.
- Insurance and Taxes: Additional costs can be incurred for insurance to protect the equipment against damage or technical failures. Taxes on equipment and services can also contribute to the overall cost.
- Hotel’s Commission: Hotels often receive a substantial commission, typically 50% or more, for allowing the AV company to provide Internet services on their premises. This adds to the overall cost and can sometimes be a source of frustration for event organizers.
Tips for Negotiating Your Internet Bill
- Do Your Research: Before signing any hotel contract, do your homework. Investigate what other companies are offering in your area. Consider enlisting the services of Savvy Gatsby, who can handle this research for you. Their experts know the market and can help you find the best deals.
- Be Prepared to Walk Away: If your hotel isn’t willing to negotiate, don’t be afraid to consider other options. Many hotels are unwilling to lose revenue from food and beverage services for the sake of internet charges. Remember, the internet is not as expensive for them as full-time employees like chefs, cooks, and banquets.
- Specify Your Bandwidth Needs: When dealing with audiovisual companies, be specific about your bandwidth requirements. Avoid requesting excessive amounts of bandwidth that won’t be utilized. This can help reduce costs.
- Politeness and Persistence: When negotiating with in-house AV providers, maintain a polite and respectful demeanor. Recognize that they often hold the upper hand in negotiations. Be persistent, and don’t give up if you don’t receive the desired discount immediately. If necessary, escalate the matter to the hotel management, as they often have the authority to order the AV team to assist.
- Be Willing to Compromise: While you may not secure the exact discount you desire, you can still save money through negotiation. Be flexible and open to compromise.
Take Control of Your Internet Costs with Savvy Gatsby
Now, here’s where Savvy Gatsby enters the picture. Savvy Gatsby specializes in negotiating audiovisual and entertainment bills, and they have a team of experts who understand the intricacies of the industry. They know how to get the best deals from technology providers.
So, when you find yourself grappling with complex Internet costs for your event, you can rely on Savvy Gatsby to be your ally. They will negotiate with your AV provider on your behalf, using their industry knowledge and negotiation skills to secure the best deal. And the best part? If Savvy Gatsby doesn’t save you money, you don’t pay them anything.
In a world where Internet costs can skyrocket and the web of relationships between hotels, AV companies, and network operators can be bewildering, Savvy Gatsby simplifies the process. They can help you secure the best technology deals for your event, ensuring you get the most value for your investment. Your event deserves the best, and Savvy Gatsby can make it happen.
Reach out to Savvy Gatsby. Visit our website to learn more about how Savvy Gatsby can help you navigate the intricate world of event technology. Your next event is about to become a lot more cost-effective and efficient.