Wireless access, or at the very least, wifi access site wide for press and bloggers, would be very much welcomed, Peter.
Let me give you two examples of where the lack of this created problems and expenses.
a) WBC 2005 Bern - for those who attended, one of the more shocking things was the cost of wifi in Switzerland in general, and at the convention in particular. I'm talking 10, 20 euro for only a few HOURS coverage. Even my hotel was 20 euro per day. I was hoping to live-report from the event a lot more than I did, but the prohibitive cost of doing so prevented it. Even so, by the time I was done with that European trip (Bern + Milan + Florence), and worked out the post-budget, I had spent over 250 euro on connectivity. It made my jaw drop.
b) SCAA Minneapolis. I had actually emailed Rick H. at the SCAA a few months before the show asking what the connectivity / wifi situation would be. I was told that there'd be wifi in the press room for sure, and around the convention in "hot spots". I asked if it was free, and was told "it should be". Once I got to the show, no free wifi (I found the SCAA 2008 spot near the barista comp on Sunday (!!)); there were several costly services though (priority net, the convention wifi service, also city wifi via USI), and in the press room - none, though RJ45 cables were available.
Regarding the press room. I'd highly recommend the SCAA buy a $99 Apple Airport Extreme and use it at functions like this in press rooms, etc. In fact, the SCAA could (I know, it's a few bux) buy 5, 10 Airport Extremes and put them strategically around conventions wherever you have your own RJ-connection. But at least one for the press room. It makes setting up a wifi network pretty painless. I brought my own AEX and used it in my hotel room. I was sorely tempted to bring it to the press room each day.
In the end, I'd bought multiple wifi connectivity; one for me, one for Beata, one on Friday for Liz, plus others for my multiple devices on Monday and Sunday (ie, if I wanted to twitter stuff from the cell phone, it wouldn't work unless I had two accounts because my notebook was "tied" to the account I paid for). I spent about $150 on connectivity for my team at this show, not including my hotel room.
It's been a long standing issue, and the reason why I didn't do probably 3x the updates I wanted to do at this and previous SCAA shows. We've tackled the methods to update CG instantly on this end (we can even email in blog entries) and the twitter feed was something I was hoping to have 20, 30 posts a day to; instead it was more like 3 or 4.
I'm hoping the SCAA does something to improve this next year. It'd be extremely helpful for those who want to cover the show. I spent too much time this show just looking for a signal.
Again, some suggestions:
a) the SCAA buy one or more Airport Extremes from Apple. $99 each. Very versatile, and can also be used by staff and board members to create a wifi connection in their hotel rooms when not at conference (but I hope they don't get coopted for that purpose during conference!) Can also be very useful at the fall meetings, etc.
b) set up the wifi with passwords that only the press and bloggers (and staff) can have access to, so it's not wide open
c) be more clear with the press if there are public spots set up. Rick H. had no clue about the free hotspot near the USBC entrance, as an eg.
d) If at all possible, create localized wifi spots in parts of the convention hall that people covering the show are told about - even if it's only at a few locations (ie, wherever you have a lot of meeting tables), that would be a serious boon, and very welcome.
e) provide wifi access to those who are covering / promoting / reporting from the show. Make sure Rick H. knows about it
f) don't bury the press office in the bowels of the next convention hall