Event: ONA15
Location: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza
2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Dates: Sept 24-26, 2015

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza facility layout is available here.
Hyatt Regency Century Plaza room capacity chart is available here.


The Online News Association is composed largely of professional digital journalists. Founded in 1999, ONA now has more than 2,300 professional members across the globe whose principal livelihood involves gathering or producing news for digital presentation. ONA is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.

ONA is searching for an Audio/Visual partner who will offer creative solutions to our ever-growing conference needs. ONA15 will have approximately 80 exhibitors, 2,000 attendees and 100 educational sessions.  Exhibiting organizations range from legacy media companies (Reuters, AP, Gannett) to technology/platforms for digital media (Google, Twitter and Facebook), start-ups and organizations for training, and academic institutions.

Organizational Background

ONA is a leader in the rapidly changing world of journalism; a catalyst for innovation in storytelling across all platforms; a resource for journalists seeking guidance and growth, and a champion of best practices through training, awards and community outreach.

Conference History

Our annual conference focuses on the latest in journalism, media and technology. The ONA Conference & Awards Banquet has grown to be the premier gathering of highly engaged digital journalists who are shaping the future of media. Record-breaking numbers of journalists travel to ONA’s conference each year to learn about new tools, techniques and technologies, to discuss advancements and challenges in the industry, take advantage of the rare opportunity to network face-to-face, and share best practices with peers from all over the map.

They also come to soak up the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that distinguishes ONA conferences. Attendees are a tech-savvy bunch. They include producers, content editors, technologists, programmers, designers and newsroom decision-makers from major media markets, independent websites and leading academic institutions interested in emerging practices in news gathering, software, hardware, revenue generation and content and distribution platforms. In 2014, for the eighth year in a row, our conference sold out, with an all-time high of more than 1,900 attendees traveling to Chicago from around the world.

On the final night of ONA14, we celebrate excellence in digital journalism around the world at the Online Journalism Awards Banquet. The OJAs, launched in May 2000, are the only set of digital-only awards for journalism. Over the past 14 years, the OJAs have recognized major media, international and independent sites and individuals producing innovative work in multimedia storytelling. The OJA Committee and judges place special emphasis on entries that demonstrate mastery of the special characteristics and emerging technology of digital journalism.


The winner of this bid will need to successfully network and deploy wireless internet at the conference to allow solid Internet access and wifi to over 2,000 attendees, exhibitors and speakers. Attendees of this event come with 2-5 devices (do not underestimate our attendees’ use of the bandwidth). The vendor will also provide onsite technical support and monitoring throughout the conference to maintain the Internet, including support tables. In addition, provide exhibitors on the show floor means to purchase Internet for their show booth.


Deadline Date for Responses: March 27, 2015
Expected Decision Date: May 11, 2015
Submit responses to Irving Washington at irving@journalists.org

Contract Contact Information

Irving Washington, Deputy Director
Email: irving@journalists.org

Scope of Work

The winning bid will need to be able to visit the location of the event to begin planning.

The vendor will need to provide network specific troubleshooting tech support for attendees, speakers and exhibitors. They will also need to have knowledge of network cabling for events (proper taping and routing of cables) and advanced knowledge of network (wired / wifi) troubleshooting in a high-density environment. ONA requires a project lead and senior technical lead be onsite during the entire conference and available for any meetings as necessary such as a pre-conference meeting with the facilities. In addition, appropriate staff should be monitoring network usage for both the wired and wireless access, able to respond to problems as they arise.

In depth reporting of performance requirements and performance data (wifi scans, LAN bandwidth monitoring reports, IP scope % utilized, WAN utilization) need to be provided pre, post and during the conference.

Format of Your Proposal

  1. An introductory statement which reflects your understanding of this project.
  2. A statement detailing the availability of services and fees that will be in effect during the conference. Expenses related to the preparation and completion of a response to this RFP is the sole responsibility of the bidder.
  3. Your plan for Internet security and management, redundancy and failover
  4. Three references from previous Internet deployments jobs you have done with attendance of over 2,000 attendees and with extremely tech savvy users. If your bid is accepted, and there is failure to perform, the vendor will not receive compensations from ONA
  5. Submit a comprehensive plan for providing Internet access for over 2,000 users that carry multiple devices. Submissions not formatted correctly will not be considered.  The submission of a boilerplate collateral piece will result in your bid being disregarded.
  6. Ability to show use of VLAN protocols to set up separate wireless networks.

Other items to note: Any charges for local labor, senior-level technicians, or onsite IT staff (including number of hotel rooms and nights for each) should be included in the proposal. ONA requires that a senior-level IT staff person attend a pre-conference meeting on-site before the conference begins. Also this senior level staffer should be onsite for the duration of the conference and meet daily with the Executive Director and Deputy Director.


The schedule below reflects the events expected to take place at the conference. The schedule is based upon the last year’s schedule and is subject to change.

Wednesday, September 23

  • 4-7 p.m. Registration and Help Desk

Thursday, September 24

  • 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Registration and Help Desk
  • 8:15 -9:15 a.m. First Timer’s Orientation
  • 9:45-11 a.m. Opening remarks and keynote
  • 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Midway / Exhibit hours
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Session Block 1
  • 12:30 – 2 p.m. Lunch (1.5 hours)
  • 2-3 p.m. Session Block 2
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. Session Block 3
  • 7-8:30 p.m. Opening Night Reception

Friday, September 25

  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration and Help Desk
  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Program: roundtable discussions + 2 Listen sessions
  • 12-4:30 p.m. Midway / Exhibit hours???
  • 12-1:30 p.m. Lunch (1.5 hours)
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. Session Block 1
  • 3-4 p.m. Session Block 2
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. Session Block 3

Saturday, September 26

  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration and Help Desk
  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Midway / Exhibit Hours
  • 10-11 a.m. Session Block 1
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Session Block 2
  • 12:30-2 p.m. Lunch (1.5 hours)
  • 2-3 p.m. Final Keynote
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. Unconference, educators’ meetup, lightning talks
  • 7-9 p.m. OJAs
  • Diversity Reception

Summary of wifi needs

  1. Wifi for over 2,000 conference attendees in general conference areas and meeting space (ability to create custom SSID if wifi is sponsored)
  2. Areas that need wifi dedicated VLAN:
    • Presenters (hard wire)
    • Midway/Exhibits/Career Fair
    • Student Newsroom (Hard wire; Dedicated IP address)
    • Registration (Dedicated IP address for onsite registration and staff computers.)
    • Live Streaming sessions (4-5)

Bandwidth History

  • 2012: 100 Mbps (1,450 attendees)
  • 2013: 120 Mbps (1,524 attendees)
  • 2014: 200 Mbps (1,902 attendees)


ONA14 Wifi Report


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