I hear this objection a lot…” Our stadium doesn’t have wifi and connectivity is terrible. We can’t implement this or any digital activation.”
I hear you.
Sometimes we feel like it is beyond our control. An easy out to why we want to but we can’t do digital in our arenas.
I’m here to tell you that this is not an insurmountable task. You can activate in your stadium with digital assets no matter what your connectivity level.
There are just a few levers we can adjust to help. Below are a few items we’ve found that will help.
Like draining a lake through a straw.
When we think of connectivity I like to use the analogy of a lake & a straw.
You have water you want to transfer from a lake to say a bucket. It’s a 5-gallon bucket.
You want to fill the bucket as fast as possible, but all you have is a straw.
Conventional wisdom says…don’t use a straw, use a hose. This is correct, but what if a hose costs $500,000? (Wifi set up, DAS system, etc.)
Well, we’re stuck with the straw.
As you could imagine, this is going to take a long time to get the water to your thirsty friends.
What if though we could fill one cup at a time…and keep some friends drinking.
This is how you can manage low connectivity. Make sure that what is passing through is filling cups.
Making sure that the water coming through the straw is being maximized is key. That we can optimize the water that is making it through.
In this analogy, the water coming through are your videos, images, and functions of your code.
The main issue is we try to jam so many megabytes & kilobytes of data through a pipeline as small as a straw. We then focus on the size of the straw not what we are putting through it.
If we change our mindset to see the problem in this light, we can adjust what we are expecting to put through it.
Compress your video & image files.
We can’t always control the connectivity, but what we can do is control how much output we demand our fan’s phones to handle.
When you create your videos and images on your site, compress them.
Two programs we use are TinyPNG.com for images and PSPDF for Mp4 video files. Both are free and work really well.
Many times they compress down to 10% of the original file size.
Facebook and Instagram compress all images and videos. But if we can upload an already compressed file we are only helping the process.
For our landing pages, this is key as well. Many times it is the images that are the main culprit for slowing down our loading.
When you create your pages, compress your videos & images. It will increase your speed no matter what your connectivity is.
Prompt fans to ‘log in’ or load the page early
To speed up loading times our websites cache images, that is to say, it loads the image onto your phone so the next time you visit it the image is pre-loaded unless you change the image.
With that, when your fans are at home before the match & game, prompt them to visit the site before they get into your stadium. This will help the image load that you put on the system as the images are pre-loaded on the phone.
Not only does this help in load times, but it can help with marketing as well. Prompting before the game views place it to top of mind for our fans when they enter the stadium.
The vendor you choose should be optimized for this.
As you chat with your vendors, if they ask if you have wifi and say they can’t run games if you don’t…run.
In today’s age with what we know about connectivity, there are ways on the technical side that we as vendors can optimize how much stress we are putting on the network.
At SQWAD we understand that you many times have no control over the connectivity in your stadium. We build our activations to put as little stress on the network while also keeping the experience top-notch.
That is our job as a technology vendor.
I’ll caveat that we can only optimize so much…if no websites are working then we can’t guarantee ours will…but many times ours does because we optimize.
If the vendors you talk to aren’t optimizing…. you need to talk to a new vendor.
Overall, you can solve this. You aren’t helpless.
The above are a few ways you can, today, adjust to solve this issue. There are many more. I am not a web speed expert.
But today is the last day you use this excuse that your connectivity is the reason why you can’t. You can adapt and adjust some things to make it work.