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Free WiFi on Domestic Flights – A Deal Breaker For Event Professionals

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When choosing a location for an event, there are many things for to consider, not least, how attendees will get to and from the event. Part of that decision, if it's not already, will be which airlines fly there and what in-flight services are offered.

This week, New York-based airline, JetBlue announced that they have finished kitting out their whole fleet with high-speed WiFi and streaming services. This move could prove vital in giving the airline an upper hand when it comes to its speciality, US Domestic flights. In-flight streaming services from Amazon allow non-Amazon customers to browse, shop and watch video on demand via Amazon Video. Amazon Prime members can log in and use the service as normal.

At present, the only other airline offering WiFi on all internal flights is Virgin America, whose offering, provided by third party supplier, Gogo can cost up to $19 per flight or $49.99 a month for subscribers. JetBlue’s WiFi operates from gate to gate, meaning flyers are connected for the entire duration of their flight.

A Bonus for Event Professionals

As discussed previously in our Event Trends Report, traveling to and from events forms a part of the overall experience and is, therefore a very important factor in planning events. Traveling from place to place is often regarded as an unavoidable waste of time, and for a busy executive, this can clock up days of downtime over the course of a year or even put them off attending an event at all. For this reason, staying connected can be a real plus for anyone traveling to or from events. Services like those offered by JetBlue can potentially bring your whole office to the flight. And of course, if downtime is needed, you can binge on TV shows and movies while you fly.

If you couple connected planes with connected cars, such as those offered by Uber, you could potentially offer your attendees a fully connected experience from door-to-door. Quite a desirable prospect for anyone flying for business reasons.

Extending The Event Experience

All that connectivity means there could be opportunities to extend your event experience to the commute itself. A great example of this was seen at CES 2017, where Uber teamed up with telecoms provider, Sprint to keep users connected between the airport and the event.

If you know that your attendees are going to be connected on the way to your event, this is a great opportunity for you to get them engaged with the event before they even walk through the door. If there are any changes to what’s on at your event that day, that’s the time to let people know.

Sponsorship and Branding

If you know where your audience is going to be at a particular time, this can also raise a few opportunities for sponsorship and branding. In-flight and in-lounge advertising are just the beginning. Like Uber and CES, perhaps your event could benefit from partnering with transport services. This doesn’t have to be confined to terra firma. Take your event to the sky.

In Conclusion

Choosing a venue with the right travel connections is essential for any event. If your event requires people to fly, air connections are a part of that mix. Extending your event to include these connections could improve the overall experience and help event professionals engage with attendees before and after the event itself.