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Additional RFP Considerations When Using Interactive Technology Tool Rentals
xirris_kit
Feb 29, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

Your RFP is set and you are about to send it off to the Audio Visual vendors of your choice. It is the same template you have used for years, so why fix something that isn't broken, right? Wrong! WiFi Nework Array RentalToday's RFP needs to address the more technical (gulp!) requirements involved in your event. For every layer of technology you add to the event, there needs to a fast, robust, and secure Wi-Fi network at its backbone. Here are the questions and information you need to gather in addition to your standard "dates and rates" information.

  • Let them know how many wireless devices will be accessing the Wi-Fi. It is vitally important that you survey your attendees and ask if they have a smartphone, are bringing their laptop to the conference, and add in what event audio visual rentals you are going to have. Computer Kiosks, iPads, Tablet PCs, laptops, and smartphones are all going to want access to the network. And don't overlook your exhibitors, staff, and speakers. By knowing this number ahead of time, you will know whether or not you need to rent a Wi-Fi booster for additional access points and to boost your venue's bandwidth.
     
  • Explain how each device will be used. If you rent iPads, will the applications be native or web-based? Will every mobile device have full Internet access for emails and social media? Will the kiosk rentals have Wi-Fi access? All of this will impact the network and various "peak load times" will need to be planned for.
     
  • Ask the vendor to share with you similiar references to your event. Comparing an event with 50 attendees is very different than one with 500. After you share your device data (see bullet points above) with the vendor, ask them to share events that they have managed with similiar amount and types of connections.
     
  • Ask to see post-event attendee surveys from previous meetings. This is probably a good standard with any RFP, but especially one where Wi-Fi connectivity could make or break the attendee experience. Ask them to explain any negative feedback on the survey.
     
  • Ask how the interactive tools and network will be supported. If a touch panel kiosk doesn't function what happens? What are the measures to monitor traffic on the network? Where will the support team be and what are their credentials? All important questions as you look to keep everyone online, all the time, during the conference.
     
  • Do your own homework. Google the company, check their website, ask about them on Event LinkedIn groups, and search for user reviews. Credible reviews follow the "80/20 rule". If most of the information is positive, but it is sprinkled with some negative comments, look into the comments but don't let that make you eliminate the vendor.

AV Event Solutions is ready and available with state-of-the-art audio visual rentals and Wi-Fi network arrays. Give them a call today to learn more about their unique product offerings and fantastic technical support!

Your Request has Been Submitted
Feb 27, 2012 by Melissa Bailey

Thank you so much for your inquiry. 

16 Great Reasons to Rent Tablet PCs for Your Next Meeting and Trade Show
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Feb , 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

iPad

Do you want to rent iPads or Tablet PCs for your next event, but don't know how to pitch it to the boss? Below are 16 uses of this mobile technology that make sense at meetings and trade shows. Pick and choose the ones that are right for your event. They are divided up into Meeting Attendee, Trade Show Booth Exhibitor, and Event Meeting Services Organizer uses and benefits. 

MEETING ATTENDEE

  1. Attendees will receive real-time news and updates about the event. No more scrambling around to let attendees know about room changes, speaker cancelations, and meeting delays. They will receive a notification immediately on the tablet device.
  2. Access to social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and Pinterest. This allows attendees to broadcast to their virtual world how great your event is, post questions to speakers, post photos, send texts, or grow their network. All of this is good for your event because attendees are creating the buzz. 
  3. A real-time event schedule, their own personal schedule, and the ability to locate room directions. Having the overall schedule and then knowing exactly where a breakout session is, can cut down on confusing directions and/or the use of printed signs. 
  4. Providing gamification during the breaks. Allow attendees to play games during the break by putting together scavenger hunts or providing trivia or giveaway contests is another way to keep the attendee engaged during the event. 
  5. Presentations and speaker information on the tablet can be easily accessed through a program or search engines. This cuts down or eliminates the need for bags, binders, and paper. 
  6. Live stream video can go directly to the mobile device. The attendee can see up close and personal the video on their personal, high definiation  touch screen unit. 
  7. Tablets are simple, easy to use, and have an intuitive user interface. 

TRADE SHOW BOOTH EXHIBITOR

  1. Simple way to track leads. Tablets provide an easy way to track leads by scanning attendee name badges. 
  2. Scheduling real-time appointments. This mobile technology allows attendees and booth reps to schedule meetings as well as change them on the fly.
  3. Showcase event floorplan and materials. An iPad allows attendees to see the overall floorplan, exhibitor directory,and get turn-by-turn directions to the booth of their choice. 
  4. Download materials. With a tablet, attendees can digitally download marketing materials, thus saving on costly brochures and chotzkies. 
  5. Rent iPads as portable kiosks. This keeps attendees informed and entertained about your product or service while reps may be busy with other attendees. 

EVENT MEETING SERVICES ORGANIZER

  1. Advertising channel for event sponsors. Now you can have more sponsors and utilize color, video, photographs, contests, and social media to promote their message and brand. All of this while the attendee has the tablet in their hands for 8 to 10 hours per day. 
  2. Enhanced brand awareness for the sponsors, exhibitors, and the event itself. Having everything available on an iPad, allows the user to view information many times throughout the event. 
  3. Great environmental benefits and a reduction in operational costs. Tablets are lightweight, require little energy, and have a battery life of 10 hours. No more paper or binders! No staff to assemble and reassemble the paperwork. All of this can be handled on the mobile device. 
  4. Merchandise sales and event tickets are possible on the iPad. If you are selling books, DVDs, clothing, or tickets to a special event, attendees can purchase all of these items via a credit card reader attached to the iPad and receipts can be emailed to the attendee. 

AV Event Solutions, a California meeting equipment company, can provide you with iPads rental and Tablet PC rentals for your next meeting or event. Give them a call today or check out their website for more details about their offerings. 

Wi-Fi Internet Access – THE Most Important Amenity for Hotels (and Events)
Feb 22, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

According to an October 2011 TripAdvisor survey of 1,250 US travelers and 620 hotel owners and managers, 54% of travelers canceled reservations at a hotel because they found better amenities at a different property.


TripAdvisor asked survey participants to rank the top 5 most important hotel amenities. Here is what they found:
 

Most Important Hotel Amenities Travelers Hotel Owners & Managers
Wi-Fi Internet Access 85% 99%
Breakfast Included with Room 78% 79%
Guest Loyalty Points 72% 55%
Onsite Restaurant 71% 70%
Shuttle Service to Attractions and Airport 66% 41%


They also asked the travelers and hoteliers to rank the 5 least important amenities, which are listed below:
 

Least Important Hotel Amenities Travelers Hotel Owners & Managers
Turndown Service 87% 83%
Pets Allowed 85% 38%
Spa 79% 75%
Tours, Excursions, and Activities 76% 65%
Room Service 72% 49%


Hotel CEOs Weigh-In about Wi-Fi

In a recent USA TODAY article, J.W. Marriott, Jr., CEO of Marriott International, Richard Solomon, CEO of  InterContinental Hotels Group, and Eric Danziger, CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group were interviewed about Wi-Fi access and other technical issues facing their properties.

USA TODAY said Internet access is a top priority for travelers and bandwidth use is growing at a faster pace. What are you doing to respond?

Marriott stated, "We are working to try and get down to a few Internet suppliers because in the past, we had a bunch of suppliers, like 80 or 90. We have 3,700 hotels and everyone's hired their own supplier, so we are trying to narrow down the number so we can increase bandwidth and improve service. It's a huge problem. Everyone wants to download everything they can. It's getting to be quite a challenge."

"Wi-Fi speed is one of the biggest dissatisfiers that you see in a lot of hotels," said Solomon.

"You'd better have some dependability and relability because it will become the single source of complaints," said Danziger. 

All 3 CEOs agreed the increased use of iPads, Tablet PCs, and smartphones has had an impact on the network. 


So what are Meeting Planners to do with this information?

First, since Wi-Fi access is so important to attendees, having fast, robust, and secure Wi-Fi is going to make a huge difference with participant satisfaction. Utilizing AV Event Solutions' Wi-Fi checklist can help you determine whether the property can meet your needs or if you need to rent a wifi network array.  Remember, attendees will be dissatisfied if the Internet is slow or unavailable. 

Second, if you rent iPads, consider applications you will be preinstalling on the unit and the use of social media access, especially Twitter. Also, try and determine the number of smartphones and/or laptops attendees will be bringing to the conference. 

Third, if you are planning a large meeting at a convention center, make certain the Wi-Fi access at the hotel properties have the same level speed and security as the meeting facilities or convention center. Nothing will dissatisfy attendees more than to have great Internet access during the day and poor access at night. 


AV Event Solutions, a California meeting equipment supplier, can provide your next meeting with 1st and 2nd generation iPads, Wi-Fi Boosters, and other state-of-the-art audiovisual or computer equipment rentals to meet your meeting needs. Contact them today for more information!

Honoring President’s Day – AV Event Solutions
12_02_20_presday_mp900407213
Feb 20, 2012 by Melissa Bailey

President's Day

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider

the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”

– George Washington

Honoring President's Day

Your friends at AV Event Solutions

 

AV Event Solutions

 

Get Rid of Those Stinkin’ Binders! How the iPad and Evernote are a Perfect Replacement
evernote-225
Feb 17, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

Evernote        iPad Rental

As you are planning your conferences for 2012 and beyond? Now is the time to rent iPads and pre-install the app Evernote to replace those heavy binders event attendees usually carry around. So, why would you want to use Evernote over the old way of doing business?

Here are 6 great reasons to consider using Evernote at your next meeting or event:

  1. It’s FREE. 
     
  2. It runs on multiple mobile platforms and can be synced to them. Evernote can run on an iPad, laptop PC, and/or smartphone. By installing the app on all 3 platforms, this app allows the notebook (see below), along with any changes to that notebook, to be easily synced on all devices. This can work well with last minute changes and updates.
     
  3. The "Notebook" becomes your program binder. The notebook, is like a file folder on MS Office. You set up appropriate notebooks for your conference. For example, one might have the agenda, another might have the attendee listing, and another things to do and see in the host city. Each notebook could look something like this: 

    Notebooks in Evernote
     

  4. Evernote has great search capabilities. As long as you tag your data, Evernote will know which notebook the information is in. It has a search bar at the top of the application. You can also search the Internet via Google at the top of each page.
     
  5. It has a share button. This will allow the event meeting services organization, attendees, and speakers to share the following with each other: 
    • Notes
    • PDFs
    • Webpages and Links of Trade Show Exhibitors
    • Pictures of Event Staff, Speakers, and VIPs
    • Word Documents
    • PowerPoint presentations from the Speakers
    • Emails
    • Videos from the Sponsors
       
  6. Get Skitch, while you are at it. When you rent iPads with Evernote, you should include this application, too. Skitch allows the iPad user to: 
  • Add arrows, shapes, and text to existing images
  • Draw something new
  • Share sketches and annotations over Twitter and email
  • Save everything to Evernote

AV Event Solutions, has plenty of 1st and 2nd generation iPads and Wi-Fi Boosters available to rent if you are event planning in California. Give them a call today or check out their convenient express rental quote for a quick turnaround response!

Interactive Technology Tools and Techniques from A to Z (Part 2)
Feb 15, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

On Monday, we covered the interactive technology tools meeting planners can explore and use from A to M. Today’s blog is dedicated to the latter half of the alphabet, N to Z.

NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATION

This is going to allow mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to communicate with each other when they touch or are only a few centimeters away. It will be used for business card exchange, credit card payments, and distribution of conference materials and brochures. A fast and secure Wi-Fi Network Array will be the key to implementation of this technology.

ONSITE TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Having AV technicians onsite will enable you to keep the event going, if there is a product malfunction or a light or battery needs to be replaced. Onsite support also ensures adequate testing has occurred and provides for fast strike time, if needed.

PLASMA SCREENS

Flat panel Plasmas are great alternatives to the standard screen rentals. They provide high resolution and can be strategically placed throughout the conference.

QR CODES

These little black and white pixels make up Quick Response (QR) codes which are a great way to disseminate information to attendees. They are scanned by smartphones or tablets.

RECORDERS

These high-quality devices can capture the presentation, quickly transfer the recording to an USB drive, and allow for uploading onto the company website for future reference.

SCREEN RENTALS

There are many screen options including tripod, fastfold, and widescreen fastfold. An experienced AV supplier can help you choose the right screen for your meeting.

TABLET PC

Rent Tablet PCs, which are in high demand because they are lightweight, have a long battery life, and have a multitude of applications that can be easily preloaded onto the device.

UNIVERSAL OPTIONS

Regardless of how small or large your meeting is, you will need a LCD Projector and Screen rental, quality sound, and adequate lighting.

VIDEO

Providing video on computer kiosks and iPads will bring any presentation to life quickly and effectively. Video can also be used at the trade show booth level and provide a more memorable and professional presence for sponsors.

WI-FI NETWORK ARRAYS

Having Wi-Fi at a venue is different than providing it in a fast and secure network for 500 or 1,000 attendees. Utilize AV Event Solution’s Wi-Fi checklist to make certain your network will be lightning fast!

X-FACTOR

Does your event have energy, buzz, and entertainment value? Providing this can give your event positive energy and can be created through sound and lighting rentals.

YOUTUBE

Posting some of your event video on YouTube is a great option, especially if you are looking to go viral in the process.

ZERO TOLERANCE

Yes, once in a blue moon, the equipment will break down or the sound system will go silent. But with qualified AV technicians and project management support onsite, any bump in the road can be readily resolved. Because great AV providers test and maintain their equipment, it is quite rare to see a problem during an event.

AV Event Solutions can provide you with great A to Z options for your next meeting or event! Give them a call today if you are event planning in California.

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