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10 Trade Show Technology Techniques
PENTAX Image1
Jan 29, 2015 by Anonymous

By Tia Crawford

Trade shows are an ideal way to bring your concepts to a targeted audience. You need to deliver information on your product or service to the stream of attendees passing your booth. Whatever the focus of your trade show booth may be, you can be certain of one thing:

Technology Will Help You Deliver Your Message

A trade show booth operates under a certain budget, a definite timeframe, and a limited amount of floor space. Despite these restrictions, the trade show floor holds vast potential for business growth. All you need is a great idea and these ten technology techniques that make an impression:

  1. Digital Signage – From the moment that attendees see your exhibit, they need to instantly understand your business goal. Using digital signage for your company’s display feels exponentially more modern than banners or printed materials. Furthermore, digital signage has infinite changeability with the option to run videos, demonstrations, and interviews in addition to displaying logos and text.
  2. IPads – People love iPads. They have all the processing prowess of high-end computers, but they beg to be held. For interactive displays, quizzes, games, promotions, contests—whatever your exhibit requires—iPads will lure guests in with their tactile appeal.
  3. Video Walls – It’s difficult to ignore a jumbo-sized screen. Video walls are customizable and configurable. Even in small booths, a video wall can make a stunning backdrop for an exhibit. It draws eyes and delivers content.
  4. Computer Rentals – For many exhibitors, software and technology are the main focus of a product or service. Computer rentals may be a strong and silent support for your content, or they may be the front line of information display and demonstration.
  5. Lead Retrieval and Attendee Tracking Systems – Convert visitors into sales successes through effortlessly captured, brilliantly relevant data.  Modern data collection lets your team follow up leads, armed with the information they need to know about each contact’s unique circumstances.
  6. Digital Document Libraries – A digital document library is a streamlined, easily navigated collection of all your company’s relevant documents—available on a touch screen at your visitors’ fingertips.
  7. Audience Response Systems – For trade show product launches, exhibit speakers, or booth presentations, audience response systems are a quick and easy way to gather feedback on any topic. Gathering feedback from a crowd is as simple as handing out keypads or clickers—results can be displayed instantly!
  8. Sound Shower Speakers – These remarkable speakers were quite literally designed for exhibitions and trade show booths. The technology directs sound to a targeted area—focusing the audio on the precise location where listeners are gathered. Exhibit Managers can install or even hang the speakers to create the “shower” of sound—eliminating the need to compete over the ambient noise of the trade show floor!
  9. WiFi Booster – The lifeblood of the modern event, connectivity is the key to success. Without adequate WiFi coverage, documents don’t load, presentations don’t stream, updates aren’t shared, apps aren’t accessed, and attendees aren’t happy. A WiFi booster will ensure that your visitors have connection when they need it.
  10. Charging Station Kiosks – Trade show visitors depend upon their phones and tablets. Our devices are vital to networking, information gathering, scheduling, communication, and so much more! Provide a charging haven within your booth—allowing guests to linger while their devices power-up!

Your corporate message deserves to be delivered with clarity, focus, and impact! The right technology will achieve these goals—setting you apart from the crowd and helping your booth produce the ROI that your business requires.

Engage More of Your Audience – Designing for Color Blindness
Jan 27, 2015 by Karen Daniels

Engage More of Your Audience – Designing for Color Blindness

A great deal of our advertising comes in the form of what we see or read – from magazine ads and websites to billboards along the highway and video walls at trade shows. And there is no doubt that creating something that is visually appealing can have great impact and potential sales conversions.

But what many businesses fail to realize is that they are often leaving out a noticeable part of the population when they don’t create inclusive designs: content and images that take diverse needs and variations in capability into account.

A great example of non-inclusive designs, which many businesses are guilty of, is failing to consider color blindness when designing content and images for their website, trade show displays, and any other marketing materials.

Designing for Inclusion

Understanding Color Blindness

When you design for inclusion, you are making an effort to create and present information in a way that allows absolutely as many people as possible to benefit from your content, products, and services. Color blindness is more common than you might think. According to color-blindness.com, roughly 8% of men and 0.5% of women are affected with the most common type of color blindness. This means that if you rely on certain colors for impact or to highlight important aspects of your message, and if 1000 men walk by to look at your digital display, at least 80 men will not be able to get the message you intended.

Color blindness is really a color vision deficiency which makes it impossible to differentiate colors accurately; it is not a literal colorblindness. Literal color blindness, or a complete inability to see color, would be monochromatic vision.

There are several types:

  • protanomaly is a reduced sensitivity to red light
  • deutreanomaly is a reduced sensitivity to green light (most common)
  • tritanomaly is a reduced sensitivity to blue light (extremely rare)

So when someone has a reduced sensitivity to green light (deutreanomal), they have trouble distinguishing between red and green:

with normal vision (colourblindawareness.org                            with deutreanomaly

Picture1        Picture3


Designing with Color Blindness in Mind

One of the biggest mistakes, which is fairly simple to avoid, comes into play when you are going to have something that requires a slight difference, such as with a hover effect. The important thing is to not just add a slight color shift – like going from dark brown to dark blue.

According to 99Designs.com, the following color combinations are very hard to distinguish between and should be avoided:

  • green and red
  • green and brown
  • blue and purple
  • green and blue
  • light green and yellow
  • blue and grey
  • green and grey
  • green and black

Colorblind individuals are able to perceive shifts in brightness, so going from a really dark color to a really light color makes the change easier to see. Even better would be to also add an additional visual difference such as a pattern or texture, shadow, or border, or anything that acts as a visual cue other than the color change.

Key Places for Inclusive Designs at Events

Whether you’re creating an event and planning on having high-impact digital signage or you’re scheduled to attend an event and have a booth on the exhibition floor, all of your designs should be color blind inclusive. This includes any content and images you are going to have displayed on devices such as iPads and laptops, as well as content you design for handouts.

That being said, there are certain event elements which are key. For instance, maps. Maps, all too often, rely heavily on color, and if done poorly, they can be so confusing to a color blind user that they become useless as a helpful aid. You can alleviate this issue by using varied icons or shapes in addition to color. So make sure key elements that attendees will need to rely on for vital information can be easily interpreted by all.

Gamification is catching on as an online marketing technique at events as a way to create engagement. Many typical gaming elements rely on color to distinguish different aspects, such as being able to tell one team from another. This can render the “game” unusable for someone who is colorblind. Again, with a little forethought, this can be avoided. For example, if a user has to select a color as part of the game, you could simply have the name of the color in text as well as displaying the color.

To help you create inclusive designs for your event, or your website, here are some useful tools:

  • ColorBlindAwareness.org – if you’d like to experience the world of color as it would look to someone with a specific type of color blindness, go to http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/types-of-colour-blindness/
  • See how colors work together – this tool allows you to view a simulation of the 216-color palette as perceived by someone with a specific type of color blindness.
  • Colorblind Web Page Filter – this tool is still under development, but if you want to see what your website looks like through the eyes of someone with a particular type of color blindness, go to http://colorfilter.wickline.org/. You can put in the url and select the color filter you’d like to view the page through.
  • Color Oracle– this is a free color blindness simulator download, which will show you in real time what your design will look like for people with common color vision impairments.

The bottom line is that to be color blind inclusive, you should never use color alone as a way to highlight information, portray key elements, or to engage a user at an event, or on your website.

 

article resources

  1. http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/types-of-colour-blindness/
  2. http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/designing-for-and-as-a-color-blind-person–webdesign-3408
  3. http://dux.typepad.com/dux/2013/04/designing-with-the-color-blind-in-mind-part-2.html
3 Content Tips for a High-Impact Video Wall Display
Digital Display1
Jan 15, 2015 by Karen Daniels

You probably already know that large Video Walls are a great technology tool to create visual impact at a trade show or other event. But what many people don’t realize is that even though big can instantly draw attention, it’s important to do more than put up your usual content if you want to get the greatest impact out of this technology.  You need to create specific content and images for a video wall and then make sure your content matches well with the video wall specifications.

Tip 1: Your Content and Video Wall Need to be a Good Match

When it comes to your content, certainly you can start where you always do with content by knowing your goals and purpose. But while it might be okay to sit down and noodle around on a PPT with only a vague notion of what you want, before you rent a video wall it’s important to know specifically what you want to portray in your content and images.

Then you’ll want to discuss your content with the experts at your video wall rental company who can help make recommendations.  Before you finalize your video wall configuration and specs, or your content, you want to make sure they are a good match. For instance:

  • You need to create content according to the resolution of your chosen video wall. Specifically, your graphics should match your resolution; i.e., high resolution graphics for high res screen and low resolution graphics for low resolution screen.
  • You need to know whether you’re going to run different content on each screen (where each monitor acts independently) or whether you want one large image splashed across all screens (maximizing the size of your image), or a combination of both.
  • You need to know whether your video wall will need to be an unusual configuration to fit your space – an unusual configuration will influence your content/images so that everything appears as you want it to.
  • Content that matches the native resolution of the screens is going to have the best quality.

So, now that you see some of the reasons it’s vital that your content and video wall specs fit nicely together, here are some tips for the content itself.

Tip 2: Remember that a Video Wall is not just a Really Big Television

For some reason, when many people sit down to create content for a video wall, they tend to think in terms of a large screen television and so end up with issues such as content or ads that run too long. In other words, just because something is big and grabs a viewer’s attention initially, it doesn’t mean they are going to pull up a chair to sit and watch your masterpiece.

That means that like other effective content and images, your message should be loud and clear and easy to quickly understand.

In addition, if you think of a video wall like a big television, you’re missing out on some of the truly creative things you can do. For instance, a video wall allows you to run many different images at once on different screens. That doesn’t mean you have to do that, but it’s good to know your options so you can strive to create content that is fresh and innovative rather than something viewers have already seen before.

If you’re not used to envisioning content in a video wall kind-of-way, creating the content can be daunting. Lest you are tempted to use some old content that’s not going to work well at all, you might want to consider using a designer that specializes in video wall content. They can help you create content and images that not only get your point across effectively, but take full advantage of the video wall technology.

Tip 3: Video Wall Text Basics  

Just as the content for your video wall should not be created as if it’s for a large television set, the text itself should not be designed for a monitor-sized display.

Be warned: just because a certain text or text size looks great on your PC or Mac screen, it does not mean that it’ll look great up on a video wall.

Your text needs to be based upon the actual video wall screen size. Any and all text should be big (big for your video wall, not your monitor) and super easy to read upon first glance. Avoid fancy shading and effects or anything else that will likely make your content appear blurry.

You need to know just how close – and how far away – people will be when they are viewing your wall. For instance, if you are renting a video wall for your trade show, viewers might be standing right in front of your wall, or they might be all the way across the trade show floor. So know the display floor distances, and make sure all of your content is easy to read from every distance.

According to Extron.com, as a general rule of thumb, you should aim to have a minimum text height of 1 inch for every 15 feet of viewing distance.  And remember that font size is not equal to pixel height. The difference varies by font, but in general, pixel height is about 1/3 larger than point size.

It’s also good to think in terms of contrasting colors. Approximately 80% of the adult population has some form of a visual deficit, which makes proper color contrasting even more important.

According to a study done over 20 years ago, some of the best contrast combinations include black on yellow, black on white, yellow on black, white on blue, yellow on blue, green on white, blue on yellow, and white on green.

With content that is well-thought-out, matched to your video wall specs, and formatted properly for the best video wall viewing, you’ll have not only greater impact but much more effective results.

Resources

8 Technology Options that Drive Training Sessions
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Jan 13, 2015 by Anonymous

By Tia Crawford

A training session has clear goals, and a company’s progress depends upon its success. Training events move a company forward. They can refocus the efforts of a department, team, or the business in general. They boost morale and motivation. Most importantly, they fine-tune and advance the skills of the workforce, ensuring that corporate goals are being met—ensuring that the company is projecting excellence at all levels. Simply put:

Every business needs a trained workforce.

Training is heavily based in audiovisual technology—we need to see the material in order to fully understand, digest, and process it. Specific technology can easily help deliver the maximum potential for any training event. With this in mind, here is a list of the eight tech options that best help event planners and corporate trainers distribute and promote educational material to every attendee.

Tech Choices that Optimize Training

  1. Sound Systems – an audience cannot connect to a speaker or educator without clear sound. At the very least, most basic form of training, a single speaker can deliver a powerful message to a group—but only if that message can, literally, be delivered loud and clear. Professional technicians can match the right mixer, microphones and speakers to the exact training venue and audience size.
  2. Projectors and Screens – moving on to the next training level—if your session involves a speaker backed-up by presentations and visuals, then a combination of LCD projectors and Plasma display monitors will help guarantee that every seat has a clear view of the material they need.
  3. Audience Response Systems – even if your session consists simply of a single speaker, an Audience Response System can make a huge difference in the behavior of your audience.  With ARS keypads in hand, every member of your audience will hang on each word of the lecture—motivated by the knowledge that their  engagement matters and that their involvement is expected. ARS technology is excellent for promoting involvement, increasing retention, and for gathering valuable feedback from the employees themselves.
  4. Attendee Tracking Systems – we live in a world of big data. There are excellent reasons to make training sessions mandatory for employees, as well as to track the progress and involvement of individual participants. For this level of information-gathering, an Attendee Tracking System is ideal. An Attendee Tracking System provides you with exactly the data that you need on the ROI of an event, as well as attendees’ participation, interests, and achievements.
  5. IPad Rentals – certain training sessions require hands-on interaction, experience, testing, and feedback. For these situations, iPad rentals can put the ideal technology directly into the hands of every attendee. Best of all, iPads combine sound, screens, and tracking data into an individualized, single form of technology. For high-tech training sessions, iPads are currently the most advanced, most customizable training session delivery method.
  6. Server Rentals – behind the scenes, your event may need a reliable, secure server that powers and commands your presentations, interactive experiences, and data-gathering.
  7. Digital Signage, LCD Plasma Displays – gone are the days of printed cardboard signage. For schedules, agendas, and wayfinding, digital signage is the new industry standard.
  8. WiFi Boosters – even if your training session only requires a great lecture and a top-notch sound system, your attendees are likely to remain connected to their devices. Give them the best possible connection for networking, information gathering, social media connection and comments, and overall feedback. WiFi boosters are a basic necessity for today’s events.

With so much riding on the success of your training event, it makes sense to provide the right delivery system for your valuable content. With a little bit of professional advice and a few technology rentals, you can guarantee that all eyes are on your training presentation, and all minds are actively engaged, moving towards your company’s future!

Product Launch Technology Done Right
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Jan 07, 2015 by Anonymous

Your product launch is a critical aspect of your company’s marketing campaign. The launch will define your product, differentiate it from its competitors, and initiate your customers into its advantages and usage. Not only is it the official unveiling of your product, but it spearheads the direction and momentum of all of the marketing and advertising that is to come! A product launch comes with a LOT of pressure!

Product Launches need an AUDIENCE

With the average person’s schedule constantly full, it’s difficult to draw a crowd. Event Planners must identify the SPECIFIC target audience for the product and then find the ideal enticement that will bring those individuals out for the event. A tremendous amount of energy and planning, traditional advertising, and a fierce social media campaign should go into the event before it even happens. The product launch can only succeed when there are guests there to impress.

Product Launches Depend upon TECHNOLOGY

Although in the past it may have been possible to launch a product by renting out an event space and deploying a sales team to work the room, technology is now mandatory for successful launches—it’s the backbone of any thriving launch campaign, and there are several major reasons why today’s product launches rely so heavily on technology.

  1. Product Launches need a “WOW” factor. The success of these events depends upon making an impact that generates buzz, excitement, discussion and conversation. Getting guests to attend is the first step—the second step is to inspire your audience to mention your amazing new product to everyone they know. Large scale items like video walls, interactive technology such as touch screens, and a good dose of lighting and staging can go a long way to keeping eyes open and minds engaged!
  2. Launches MUST distribute information. Ideally, there is a vast audience waiting to receive information on what your product can do. Once your guests have arrived and your presentation begins, it’s time for your sales pitch. Your pitch MUST have technology backing it up. Why? Because people demand it. Interactive displays can (and SHOULD) connect guests to your brand and your product through literature, videos, surveys, social media connections, contests, games, informational QR codes, product information, contact information—everything they could possibly need or want should be available to them, self-serve and at their fingertips in an engaging and interactive experience.
  3. Consistency is CRITICAL. Whether the launch is a single event, an event at simultaneous locations, or a single show that will tour, technology will ensure that your brand and the product are properly represented every time. Consistent, flawless representation of your branding is a necessity because anything less than perfect can be damaging. Digital signage is the easiest, fastest, most reliable method for ensuring that your company and product are presented at their best.

The Technology to Use

  1. Touch Screens – digital walls, LCD touch screens, tablets, and touch panel kiosks are all excellent options for connecting guests to videos, images, and literature about your product.
  2. Audience Response Systems – a product launch is an ideal time to gather vital feedback regarding the product. Whether your target audience members are distributors, consumers, sales teams, the media, or industry influencers, you’ve gathered the model group for providing constructive criticism. Ask them what they think, gather their feedback, and make it worth their time. Launch feedback is like liquid gold.
  3. Charging Station Kiosks – providing this tech option not only gives guests a charging oasis that keeps them involved and active, but the charging station itself is an additional branding opportunity. Charging station users have 7 to 12 minutes of screen-viewing time at the unit—time to drive home the unique advantages of your product or to solidify contact between the guest and your company.
  4. IPad Rentals – for the most individual and engaging experience, use iPads for launch materials and interactions. IPads are perfect for promoting a “call-to-action” through contests, sign-ups, questionnaires, giveaways, and for making social media connections.

SmartSource has Account Executives and event technicians that specialize in Product Launch Events. Contact us and let our dedicated team handle your event from start to finish!

 

 

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