Monday, November 06, 2006

I concur, it was awful

Yes, the wireless connectivity at Quaker Square was abysmal; though to be fair disappointing may be more accurate. After attending the pre-conference workshop, I gleefully dragged my laptop to my room. With a bit of time to kill between the end of one event and the beginning of another, I planned to shop (smile) and then blog the workshop. In my room, it clearly stated there was a wireless fee of $9.95. Reluctant to pay for what I could probably get for free during the conference, I knew session ballrooms were equipped for wireless, I decided against blogging that evening.

The next morning it became clear the fee had to be paid by each conference attendee in order for laptops to be used throughout the day. I know ALAO paid to use the facility and the price included wireless access for the presenters. I also know that two other hotels considered for the conference did not have any wireless access at all, or were "hoping" to be able to offer it to future conferences, so the fact that Quaker Square had wireless was a selling point to the committee. I believed, perhaps naively, that if the facility presented itself as having wireless, and presenters could use the wireless in a wireless capable facility/room, we would all be able to use the connection. I was disappointed that was not the case.

I realize to conference hotels this is a way to make money. Be that as it may, I was not prepared to add more money on to my conference bill. It was not that important to me. I quickly put my laptop in the car knowing I could blog today instead and not have to lug it around with me as I moved between sessions. ALAO continues to plan conferences, in fact next year a full two day event will be presented. Wireless for attendees may become as important as access for presenters. It is something to consider when choosing venues.

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