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FAQ 54: Use at a trade show

Category: No-Internet

In 2005 a customer wanted to demo his web-based project management software. He had a booth at a local convention center for 2 days, but they wanted $100/hour for an ISDN Internet connection.

Instead, he loaded an offline copy of the website onto a spare desktop which acted as the server, this was connected to a wireless access point with the SSID "freewireless" He had 3 laptops on tables at the front of the booth so people could try out his site. In addition to those laptops connecting wirelessly he left the access point open for anyone else to find, and people did. Using DNS Redirector's SimpleDNS= file with an asterisk record; thereby resolving any DNS lookup (any attempt to visit a website) to the local web server - all without a real Internet connection. The default document and custom error pages redirected to a page explaining the user should click here to start a demo of the product and/or come to booth 285 for more details.

A few days later the customer told DNS Redirector staff that "at least 30 people came by" the booth as a result of connecting to "freewireless" and learning about the product. That's 30 individuals who might not have otherwise discovered it. The people at the next booth were also very jealous that he didn't pay the outrageous price for a real Internet connection.

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