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18 Innovative Ways to Use Computer Kiosks at Your Next Event
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May 30, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

computer kiosk rental

Kiosks are everywhere and growing in popularity — from ATMs to flight check-ins to even shipment of packages. But what about events? How can touch panel kiosks enhance the attendee experience, save your organization money, and serve as a merchandising tool?

Below are 18 great creative ideas for using computer kiosk rental:

ENHANCING THE ATTENDEE EXPERIENCE

By placing kiosk rentals in strategic locations around the conference, you can provide attendees with the following services:

  • High-quality videos of the speakers, organization, conference, or new products or services for a product launching event
  • If an attendee missed a breakout session, they can queue up the presentation and/or video. 
  • QR codes can be posted so attendees can gain more information by scanning the code from their smartphone.
  • If a Twitter hashtag is created for the event, attendees can view the stream of posts about what is going on in the conference.
  • Attendees can bring up their social media accounts and post content.
  • With Internet access, attendees can check their emails or search the Web at a cyber cafe.
  • Can serve as digital signage, directing attendees to their breakout sessions. 
  • Can be used by exhibitors to show videos, photos, and allow attendees to register for giveaways. 
  • Can be used to check-in attendees or register walk-ins. 
  • Printers can be attached to the unit to allow attendees to print off information about the conference, speakers, or night-life. 

SAVING (or MAKING) YOUR ORGANIZATION MONEY

Self-service kiosks are just that….no need to man them. Because kiosk software is typically navigational friendly and very intuitive, organizations can easily save money in the following ways:

  • PEOPLE: Reduction of staff to register attendees and a reduction of exhibitor staff to run their booth
  • PRINTING: No need to print off brochures, posters, or other items. Attendees can access this information from the kiosk.  
  • SPONSORSHIP: This opportunity is only limited by the number of days and hours of your conference. Computer kiosks are much more vibrant and dynamic than printed material. 

MERCHANDISING TOOL

This is one area that probably has the most potential for event planners. Credit card readers can easily be attached to a kiosk. Here are some uses:

  • For walk-in registrants, they can pay for the conference by credit card and the kiosk can print a receipt and badge for the attendee.
  • If you are having an optional dinner, attendees can purchase tickets.
  • Memberships to the association can be purchased from the kiosk. 
  • Contributions to your foundation or designated foundation can be made.
  • If your organization sells books, CDs, DVDs, or other materials, all of these items can be sold from the kiosk, fulfilled at your corporate headquarters, and shipped to the attendee's home or business location. 

AV Event Solutions, a California meeting equipment supplier, has state-of-the-art kiosks available to fit any budget! Give them a call today to learn more about their innovative offerings!

Memorial Day Salute
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May 28, 2012 by Melissa Bailey

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave

~ Elmer Davis

Thank you to the brave men and women, past and present

Memorial Day Salute

 

Are Trade Shows a Thing of the Past?
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May 25, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

trade show rental

Today's technology of social media, virtual tours, and video conferencing at the touch of a button may make event planners wonder if trade shows are going by the way of the land line telephone or fax machine. But in a recent Center for Exhibition Industry Research and MPI "Changing Environments of Exhibitions" Study concluded that trade shows are the main way to start a relationship between buyers and sellers and are still very important to building long-term buying relationships.  

In addition, event meeting services organizations need trade shows in order to offset the registration cost of the conference to attendees.

Below are the top 7 reasons trade show exhibitors sign up and 4 tips to make it a great show for all concerned. 

Top 7 Reasons Exhibitors Sign Up
84% said The high quality of attendees
60% said A chance to see a large number of prospects & customers in a short period of time
54% said Produces a favorable Return on Investment (ROI)
51% said Exhibitions do the job over other channels for face-to-face meetings
50% said They had positive past performance
40% said It is a good fit with their organizational objectives
34% said It is a a focused show with specific vertical, business sectors


So, what can event planners learn from this survey? Plenty! Here are 4 useful tips

  1. Share with your exhibitors as much information as possible about the demographics of your attendees including title, company, age, sex, and how many times they have come to the show. All of this information will help the exhibitor determine if the event is right for them .
     
  2. Brainstorm ways to get attendees onto the floor. Some ideas may be:
  • Hold one of your meals in the center of the trade show floor. People have to eat and it is a good way to get them there.
  • Hold a hosted buyer program where qualified attendee's registration is free in exchange for set appointments with exhibitors.
  • Create a technology Mecca for the attendee through the use of computer kiosks, plasma TVs, and iPads. 
  • Rent iPads with a gaming application that encourages attendees to visit exhibitors to learn the answers. 
  1. Survey exhibitors before they leave the conference. Informally walking around to determine their level of satisfaction with the show helps but bringing them into a room for a quick 10-minute survey with Audience Response System rentals will help you get  immediate, anonymous feedback as to their level of satisfaction and their likelihood of returning next year. 
     
  2. Keep your trade show focused on the attendees. That old saying, "If you are everything to everyone, you'll be nothing to no one," applies here. Don't spread yourself to thin. Focus on booth exhibitors that make sense to your attendees. 

"Trade shows still allow that interaction with a customer and that 'meet and greet' you cannot achieve as easily online or in print," said Megy Karydes, President at Karydes Consulting.

With over 25,000 trade shows planned annually, it looks like they are here to stay. 

AV Event Solutions can provide your next trade show with great technology options including iPads, kiosk rentals, plasma TVs, and much, much more! Click or call today for more information! 

4 Strategies for Gaining Digital Sponsorships
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May 23, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

As more and more interactive technology tool rentals are being introduced into meetings and events, many planners are asking that age old question, "How will we pay for this?" The answer, of course, is — through sponsors! But the way sponsors want to be approached and what they expect in the digital world has changed.
 

Sponsorship

Below are 4 tactics you can use to approach digital sponsors more effectively for your next conference:

#1: Pitch Your Program. 

Have your agenda and speakers secured BEFORE approaching your sponsors. Put together a detailed analysis of the demographics of your audience. The more facts you have regarding your program and attendees, the easier it will be for your sponsors to say yes. Consider using a derivative of Forrester Research's POST acronym:

People:              Who are your attendees?

Objectives:       What will they learn and why will they come?

Strategy:           How will you promote the program and the sponsors?

Technology:     What technology will you use and why? 

#2: Get Rid of Your Stinkin' Thinkin'

The old way of sponsorship included different levels (platinum, gold, silver), logos passively posted on programs and behind the podium, and the opportunity to speak 5-minutes about the venue or destination. This will no longer do, because sponsors are under the same pressure as event organizers to reduce spending and increase ROI. 

The new way is to show sponsors how they can be apart of the attendee's interactivity and learning experience. Often, this is done in more subtle, but effective ways, such as:

  • Running video on computer kiosks strategically placed throughout the conference, at the Internet cafe, or on the trade show floor. 
  • If you rent iPads, weaving sponsorship information within an application. 
  • Projecting a sponsor's slideshow onto LCD projector and screen rental before a program begins. 

The main thing is to give your sponsors something new, interactive, and buzz-worthy. 

#3: Make it Easy and Simple

Look at your pitch through your own lense: What would make YOU want to sponsor this event? Listen to your sponsors desires and needs. Be flexible and make it work for them. In the end, it needs to be a win-win-win. Your organization is in the black, your attendees are happy because they are given technology that is interactive and helps them learn, and your sponsors are getting the brand awareness they desire. 

#4: Look for Local Sponsors

With Internet-based applications such as Yelp and Foursquare, you can work tap restaurants, attractions, and night-life for potential sponsor opportunities, like never before. For example, your organization can host a Tweet-Up at a local bar and ask everyone to check-in once they arrive onsite. You work with the venue ahead of time to extend a special discount to attendees who write a review about their experience. And you can charge a sponsorship fee to that establishment that will run on the kiosk rentals and mobile devices the day of the event. 

AV Event Solutions is your California meeting equipment supplier! Click out their website to learn more about their iPad rental, kiosk, and Wi-Fi network array rental options. 

Do Tight Budgets and Sustainable Practices Go Together?
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May 21, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

budget  AND  sustainable

Everyone in the meetings industry wants to go green, but many think sustainable practices such as a paperless conference are just not doable because of the cost. Here are 6 innovative and cost-conscious ways to be more earth friendly without driving your budget into the red.

  1. Exchange Paper for Apps.

    Examine your conference binder. How much does it cost you to print each one? Include the cost of the paper, printing, binder, shipping, and the time the staff takes in assembling, packing, and unpacking them. If you added the real TCB (Total Cost of Binder) up, you will probably be surprised it is more that you thought it to be. 

    MeetingApps has thousands of meeting apps that can run on mobile devices and PracticallyGreen is an app that has hundreds of tips an attendee can do at a conference to practice sustainability. Rent iPads or Tablet PCs to run these applications. 
     

  2. Understand All your Transportation Options.

    If most of your attendees fly to the conference, see if a subway line or bus service will take them to the hotel. If they are not traveling by air, look at train, bus, or carpooling alternatives and encourage these options on your website and other social media outlets. 
     

  3. Go Local For Everything.

    Work with the chef to incorporate foods from a local farmers market. Hire local speakers and entertainment. Find out if your city's school system has a jazz band or orchestra that will come out to play for your reception. When renting audio visual equipment, hire a local partner. Local spending spurs the economy and keeps people working. In addition, it reduces your cost by avoiding flying in presenters and entertainment. 
     

  4. Reuse Badge Holders and Use Digital Signage.

    A simple fix to reducing your trash is to reuse the badge holders. You can recycle the paper name badges, thus eliminating any waste.

    Rather than printing up digital signage on posters that will only be used once, use digital signage on computer kiosks that can direct attendees to the proper room. These kiosks can also serve as video introductions to the speakers and allow attendees to see a map of the entire conference layout. 
     

  5. Get Your Count Right. 

    Knowing exactly how many people are coming to your conference, and what sessions they are attending allows you to have the right amount of food and beverage, the right set up in each breakout session, and provide your exhibitors with the right expectations for giveaways. If your event relies on a large number of walk-in traffic, hire interns to call potential attendees to see if they are coming or look at your numbers for the last 3 years to determine an average attendance number. 
     

  6. Donate Leftovers. 

    Even if you get the count right, you are bound to have leftovers. Whether it be food or extra giveaways at the end of the conference, work with your local CVB or Chamber of Commerce to determine the best place to donate your food or items.

If you are event planning in California, turn to AV Event Solutions as your local provider for interactive technology tool rentals! 

10 Easy Tips to Improving Your PowerPoint Presentation
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May 18, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

powerpointPowerPoint presentations are — by far — the largest single way we communicate our message to the masses whether it be face-to-face, via a webinar, or using an Internet tool, such as Slideshare. However, the biggest complaints about PowerPoint presentations are:

  • They are boring
  • They are irrelevant or
  • The presenter tried to cram too many slides into too little time.

So, given that people still use Powerpoint presentation equipment to deliver the message, what can you do to be more interesting and engaging to your audience? Below are some simple tips that can help get your message across and keep your attendees begging for more. 

  1. Hit the presentation "sweet spot". In today's fast-paced mobile market, it is important to plan your presentation for 20 minutes or less. It isn't about you, your company, or your organization's reputation. It is all about the message. 
     
  2. Be enthusiastic and exciting. Make good eye contact with attendees and smile. Tell stories to bring your message to life. 
     
  3. Show, don't tell. How can your presentation improve the lives of your attendees? Show them  through videos, photographs, and stories. The less text you have on slide, the better. 
     
  4. Limit the number of slides to 10 or less. This will keep you focused on the message. 
     
  5. If you have to use text, use no more than 6 words per slide. The purpose of PowerPoint is to be a visual cue to you for your story. It is intended to enhance your presentation, not prolong it. 
     
  6. Never, ever, READ your slides. This will turn your attendees away faster than you can say "PowerPoint". One bold CEO of a Fortune 1000 company told the presenter to stop their presentation and leave the slides behind "because he could read the slides just as well as the presenter could." 
     
  7. Try to find out the attendee's needs and tailor your presentation to meet them. If you are conducting a product launching event, find out what need this product will solve for the participant. If it is a training session, present what they need to know and why it is important. 
     
  8. Ask and listen. Answer questions as they come up, don't wait for Q & A. Be willing to abandon your slides in the interest of where your audience is at. You are the subject matter expert, but they are the experts in what they need to know. Be flexible. 
     
  9. Learn as much about your audience as possible. This can be completed through an online community before your talk or by asking a series of questions before your presentation begins. 
     
  10. Test your presentation audio visual equipment well in advance. Have your audiovisual rental company on premise to go over the entire presentation with you and test the sound and Internet connection if necessary. Give yourself 1 to 2 hours in advance of your talk to be comfortable with all the equipment and connections. 

Are you event planning in California and looking for LCD projector and screen rentals? Give AV Event Solutions a call or check out their express quote form for fast turnaround on rental equipment and event services.

5 Ways to Enhance the Attendee Experience: Show Them That You Care
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May 16, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

positive

Have you ever attended a 2 or 3 day educational conference, gotten home, and said to yourself, "Was that really worth the 2 to 4 days out of the office?" I have completed that assessment and to be honest, the last 3 educational conferences I attended my answer was a resounding — maybe. 

Wouldn't it be great however, if you felt that a conference was developed just for you? With your interests and needs in mind? I know that is unrealistic, but it isn't unreasonable to expect that some of your needs are going to be met through some of the educational content. So…what is the difference between a great conference and a medicore one?

Here are 5 ideas that might astound you, don't cost an arm and a leg, and might bring your attendee back year after year. 

Tip #1: Make certain everyone on your conference services team has a positive, can do attitude.

When I arrive at an educational meeting and check-in, I expect to be received by smiling, helpful registration staff. If I have a question or a need, I expect them to address it. Or get back to me "within a reasonable period of time". 

If I experience negative or apathetic attitudes right from the get go, it affects my conference experience. The latest research on this astounding: Guests and attendees make a judgement about a venue, meeting, or city, based on the first 15 minutes they are there. Make your first 15 minutes count. 

Tip #2: Collaborate on meeting content with unlike minded people.

When developing the content for your association meeting or conference, get as many different people from dramatically different walks of life to make your meeting great. Roger von Oech's book, "A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You can be More Creative", has many examples of how dissonance among team members led to break through solutions. So, it goes for your events, too. 

Tip #3: Close your mouth. 

Event planners (myself included) think we know everything about meeting logistics and want to tell everyone how many meetings we have planned and how smart we are. Shut up and sit down. Let the timid attendee or volunteer lead the discussion. The more restraint we show, the better results we will see because it will no longer be our event but it will shift to the attendee's event. 

Tip #4: Show, don't tell. 

Using visuals will really help drive the message and enhance the attendee experience, especially with product launching events. Rent iPads and run video that demonstrates the product or concept. Have computer kiosks on the trade show floor to show photographs, video, or even run online chat sessions with customer service people back at the home office. 

Tip #5: Have a call to action. 

At the end of each conference, meeting, or event, the attendee should feel that they need to DO something. It could be as simple as buying the new product offering, signing up for more education, or writing their congressman. Action makes attendees interested. 

AV Event Solutions, provides meeting and event planners with iPads, kiosk rentals, and much, much more! Give them a call today at 888.249.4903 to learn more about their offerings!

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