The High Point Furniture Market is the largest furnishing industry trade show in the world. The Market brings more than 85,000 people to High Point, NC every six months and covers 180 buildings, over 10 million square feet of show-space and is spread across much of the City. More than 2000 exhibitors from over 100 countries are represented, at the Market with tens of thousands of new product introductions.
The City of High Point identified a need to offer free Wi-Fi connections for The High Point Furniture Market attendees who use iPads, laptops, smartphones, and other mobile devices. The area covers downtown shopping, dining, bus terminals, and furniture market space. The environment is demanding with many buildings obscuring line of sight. The IT staff wanted a simplified management solution so they could provide more services for attendees and have the ability to expand the network to meet growing wireless demands.
HitsTech deployed 50 outdoor wireless access points, manufactured by Cisco Meraki, to cover the areas requested. Because of the challenging environment, the equipment had to be carefully positioned to maximize the communication signal between the repeaters and the gateway units. The City of High Point Parks and Recreation Department elected to use wireless equipment to cover the Oak Hollow Campground, Marina and Tennis Center. Oak Hollow has 12 APs, covering 3 sections of the campground, 2 APs for the Marina and 2 APs for the Tennis Center.
During the Spring Furniture Market there were over 6000 unique devices connected on the Downtown Network for the 5 day event. The City’s IT staff was excited about the capacity for meshing, automatic optimization, and seamless roaming from one part of the City to another. There were 600 unique devices connected to the Oak Hollow network. While the Downtown network had more users, the Oak Hollow users consumed more bandwidth. Brad Mendenhall, Parks Supervisor for Oak Hollow Marina and Campground, stated that “typically during Market we would get multiple calls a day in regards to our Wi-Fi system kicking people off, no signal available, or weak strength and slow speeds, and so on. This last Market we did not receive one complaint. In fact it was just the opposite. We got multiple compliments on how solid our new Wi-Fi system is, and many were from the same patrons that would complain on a daily basis.” “I would highly recommend the professionals at HitsTech for fast and affordable Wi-Fi solutions.” –Steve Lingerfelt, IT Director City of High Point, NC