Case Study – Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show

What is Canada's Outdoor Farm Show?

New technologies and digitalization are transforming agriculture. Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show gives farmers an opportunity to see and learn about all the innovative and technologically advanced agricultural products and services now available.

Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show is the largest full-scale outdoor farm show in Eastern Canada, taking place annually at Discovery Farm in Woodstock for the last 29 years. The three-day show each September features equipment and livestock demonstrations, crop plot tours, product displays, special events, and the latest innovations in agricultural technology.

Spanning over 100 acres of land dedicated to trade show partners with equipment and crop demonstrations in the field, the event has grown to feature more than 750 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees sharing agricultural innovations first-hand.

The Challenge

As Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show evolves each year, so does its need for more robust Internet solutions. In 2022, the farm show returned to being in person for the first time since 2019. With that return, the farm show and its exhibitors needed reliable Wi-Fi access to showcase their innovative technologies, conduct e-commerce transactions, use internet-connected devices, and capture attendee data. Without a solid connectivity infrastructure, all of this would be impossible.

The increasing size and scale of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show have brought many connectivity challenges to past events due to the existing infrastructure not extending far enough to ensure reliable, consistent service and optimal performance to all subscribers. With slow Internet connectivity, this resulted in potential revenue loss and a poor customer experience.

Prior to the 2022 show, access was only required for the exhibitors to connect, but this year, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show also needed to accommodate e-ticketing services and point-of-sale transactions at the entrance gates.

To do this, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show required an improved infrastructure that would increase and guarantee the coverage of their Wi-Fi access across the 100-acre show and provide a higher availability bandwidth to 4k streaming devices over Wi-Fi.

The Solution

Execulink has brought Internet access to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show for the past 10 years and was committed to providing an improved, customized solution that would provide the availability, performance, and scalability the farm show required to host the 2022 event and beyond.

Execulink started collaborating with the farm show organizers several months in advance to conduct an analysis of the site’s existing infrastructure and planned a strategic transition to an alternative, more “capacity considered” approach. This approach needed to consider throughput, airtime utilization, and interference on top of an immense coverage area. To adequately provide coverage across 100 acres of land meant that a range of wireless technologies had to be deployed, including dedicated backhaul links and mesh wireless access points (APs) to cover the event’s outdoor footprint. Execulink also leveraged ISP-grade firewall rules to manage all event traffic securely, ensuring all access was kept separate from each other.

Execulink upgraded its access bandwidth and increased the amount of Wi-Fi access points from 11 to 25 at strategic locations around the event site to ensure optimal performance and coverage. Using industry-leading Wi-Fi planning software, they designed and set up a temporary Wi-Fi infrastructure using tripods, complementing a previously deployed Execulink network, ensuring more capacity and keeping radio communications between access points and Wi-Fi devices clear of interference. Out of the 25 APs, 11 were fixed to point-to-point radios as a backhaul and the rest were set up in a staggered mesh with primary and secondary wireless links. This allowed for flexibility in the placement of the APs for better real-time coverage adjustments.

The solution was installed by Execulink technicians two weeks prior to the event which provided adequate time to test and make revisions. The planning and resources allotted behind the scenes and onsite allowed Execulink to troubleshoot and overcome obstacles that were out of their control, set up and configure the installation, and provide onsite support during the show.

“We were extremely happy with the solution and service Execulink provided for Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in 2022. Execulink communicated the design, plan and implementation schedule so everyone knew what to expect and what they were responsible for. They spent a considerable amount of time planning, which proved beneficial as the team overcame obstacles out of their control and still delivered what they promised. We would highly recommend Execulink for large outdoor events and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Carla Vipond

EVP Discovery Farm & Events

The Results

The Execulink network reliably delivered fast Wi-Fi coverage to support the event network activities, which ranged from POS transactions, e-ticketing services, 4K streaming services, video conferencing, and event data capture.

Exhibitor subscribers received high-speed Wi-Fi including:

  • 5 Mbps download | 2 Mbps upload (each device)
  • Unlimited usage Sept 13, 14 & 15
  • Up to 4 devices connected
  • High-density 5 GHz outdoor Wi-Fi
  • Onsite real-time troubleshooting

Over the course of the 3 days, the event saw 40,000 attendees, and the connection for e-ticketing and POS was always stable and reliable for taking card payments, ticket sales, and pre-booked ticket verification.
Exhibitors who subscribed to the service were happy with the connectivity, the onsite team commitment, and the quality of service provided before and during the show.

Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show has built a brand around innovation and technology and being able to provide reliable Internet services to the event exhibitors has further increased its brand reputation. The solution is reliable and scalable allowing it to be implemented in future shows. With a proven connectivity solution and dedicated partner, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show organizers can spend less time focusing on Internet connectivity and more time on their farm show operations.