SmartSource Rentals Blog


The Three Vital Elements of Effective Presentations
Jul 23, 2015 by Anonymous

The most necessary feature of any presentation is the information that you need to share. In meetings, conferences, lectures, product launches, seminars, training events, and demonstrations—any situation where your discussion content needs to be distributed effectively to a group of participants—speakers strive to deeply connect their audience to their material.

The three most important elements of any presentation are:

  1. That your ideas are developed.
  2. That you’re prepared for your speech.
  3. That your presentation harnesses the right technology.

There is planning, work, research, development, and money involved. After all these factors are in place and these resources are utilized, the most dangerous scenario for speakers is that this extensive undertaking will go to waste because the audience won’t connect to the material.

According to Guy Kawasaki, “a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points—an idea now universally known as the 10/20/30 rule. All presentation rules and suggestions aim to achieve the same goal—preventing a tragic disconnection between your audience and your ideas.

After developing your ideas and preparing for your speech, it’s time to apply the final element.

Taking your ideas to the next level means utilizing the technology that best distributes your material—literally distributing it in many cases! The following technology suggestions involve hardware and software that can present your valuable ideas in their best light!


Hardware that Supports Your Content

Video Walls – at their most basic, presentations need a screen that offers a full, clear view of the supporting text and images. Video walls are simply one of the best, most functional, most professional, most captivating options for displaying the pictures that tell a thousand words (helping you save some of your breath).

Audience Response Systems – one of the easiest ways to keep attendees fixed on your every word is to put an audience response keypad in their hands. Whether you choose to use quizzes, polling, or voting, you’ll increase attendee interaction and engagement, while gaining the ability to immediately gather information from your guests.


Software that Connects Your Audience

Speecheo – this award-winning app (crowned as the winner of IMEX America’s 2014 Technology Start-Up Competition) combines your material with the note-taking, sharing, saving, tracking, recording powers of audience members’ own tablets and smartphones. Rather than limiting attendee devices, this app helps to ensure that your audience is able to completely capture your presentation within the technology that is most personal and familiar to them—helping them to encapsulate, adapt, and digest the live material for their own reference.

SlideShare – this slide hosting service is to slides what YouTube is to videos. Users upload their slide presentations through file formats, such as PDF or PowerPoint; the site also supports documents, videos, and webinars. Once the material is uploaded, viewers can easily access the presentations from the site itself, embedded within other sites, or on handheld devices. The website was originally designed specifically to provide businesses with an easy method for sharing slides with and between team members, and it lets viewers comment on the material as well as to share it.

Engage – this custom presentation software, from SmartSource Rentals, distributes your slides directly to a fleet of attendee iPads or Android tablets. The software allows speakers to control their slides and gather feedback across all the tablets, simultaneously. The software also allows speakers to moderate questions and comments, offer surveys, publish up-to-the-minute information and responses in real time, and to gather trackable data from each attendee’s interactions.


About SmartSource Rentals

With over 30 years of experience and 21 branch locations nationwide, SmartSource Rentals has the event technology that supports and promotes ideal presentations—from projectors and screens, to sound systems, iPad rentals, and software solutions. Contact us today for a quote!

Have it Your Way – Video Walls Scaled to Meet Your Needs
Jul 16, 2015 by Anonymous

Business displays rely on large-scale, high-resolution screens, and video walls are one of the best technology offerings for getting attention and showing your material in an eye-catching and remarkable presentation. These crisp, clear, visually stunning display panels are ideal for events, trade shows, exhibitions, product launches, and conferences because they are unsurpassed in their ability to enlarge your content and engage your audience. There is no better method for presenting visual content—whether the content consists of videos, advertisements, sponsorships, news feeds, social media, text, demonstrations, logos, promotion of live interviews, speakers or lectures, wayfinding, local info, scenic displays, webcasts—the options are endless.

Remarkably Customizable Configurations

While video walls are known for their beautiful image quality and astounding sizes, they offer an additional benefit—their size and configuration are remarkably customizable! Although we tend to think that “bigger is better,” in truth, the dimensions of the ideal screen depend entirely on the unique circumstances of each event. Video walls can be scaled to fit the available wall space and designed to present the desired content at its absolute best!

When determining the ideal video wall size, Event Planners, organizers and exhibitors should begin with the available wall space, consider the distance between the screens and the audience, and take into account the content that they intend to present.

Video walls can be configured in grid shapes, beginning with a basic rectangular display of 2×2 panels and moving up to a grid consisting of as many as 40 screens! Here are a few basic tips to help start the planning process and determine the exact video wall size for any setting:

  • Consider the layout of the room when you determine your ideal screen dimensions. Naturally, higher ceilings will allow a taller grid; lower ceilings benefit from a shorter, wider screen.
  • Consider the size and aspect ratio of the content that will be displayed. Some content scales well, but some should remain as close as possible to the original dimensions.
  • Determine the types and resolutions of your input sources.

Video Walls in 46 and 55 Inch Panels

SmartSource Technology Rentals uses NEC 46 inch or 55 inch video wall panels, which offer a remarkable number of benefits. Both sizes can be tile matrixed into any grid size—generally starting with a 2×2 orientation. The models work wonderfully and have benefits in both vertical and horizontal positions.

The NEC 46 inch video wall panels – offer a high resolution screen with a native resolution of 1366×768; however, our skilled technicians can fully scale the video wall by using each individual panel’s resolution to create a larger and higher resolution screen as needed. Each panel has inputs including analog standards, digital HDMI, and on to DVI orientation. These video walls give a trade show booth or corporate event a bright, vibrant pop!

The NEC 55 inch video wall panels – have a very thin bezel, which gives the display a crisp, seamless presentation. These screens offer resolution up to 1920×1080 and provide a full array of inputs: DVI, HDMI, display port, analogs and VGA, and also composite. They can be scaled in many different ways, using unique and varied paneling configurations, and either vertical or horizontal orientation—up to 40 or more panels as desired!

For more information, consider watching Robert Mink, National Project Manager for SmartSource Technology Rentals, as he demonstrates the 46 Inch LED Displays and 55 inch LED display panels.

Easy Event Technology to Boost Your ROI – Part 1
Jul 14, 2015 by Karen Daniels

We live in an era where it seems like new technology is coming out every day: from wearable items and medical breakthroughs to smartphones that can run just about anything from your house to your outside grill. There is no denying that technology is changing the way we live and function at work.

And technology for events and tradeshows is no different in the impact that it has had. New technologies have changed how events are managed and run, how attendees sign in, and even how they interact during a conference.

Easy Event Technology Choices

The key to selecting the proper technology is to first understand what your goals are and then to select the technology that will best support those goals. Cool new technology is great, but that in and of itself is not a great reason to select it for your tradeshow or event. When it comes to technology, the most important thing is to make selections that will help you hit your clear and specific goals, because that is how you will boost your event ROI.

Specific event goals certainly vary depending on the event itself, your company, your message, and your budget. However, some common event goals include:

  • Gaining a potential customer’s attention
  • Spreading brand awareness
  • Expanding your customer base
  • Boosting customer interaction
  • Informing customers about products and services

Today in Easy Event Technology to Boost Your ROI – Part 1 we’ll go over some technology you can use to help gain the potential customer’s attention.

Event Goal: Gaining the Potential Customer’s Attention

If you’re running a booth at a tradeshow, one of the biggest challenges can be to get people to stop and take notice of your brand and what you have to offer. Competition among booths is fierce at large events, so it makes good sense to select technology that will help you attract the eyes and ears of your potential customers.

Digital Signage

Eye-catching digital signage is a superior way to be able to keep your message fresh and allow you to include video and other images in your content. Digital signage allows you to rotate your content so you can highlight different aspects of your brand or services at different points during an event. Some suggested uses include:

  • highlighting sponsors
  • interactive applications
  • displaying booth or event agendas and happenings

Apple iPad Stations

iPads and other tablets are a simple and cost effective way to grab attention. You can utilize them to interactively demonstrate products and services while at the same time capturing information of those potential customers. When a tablet is mounted on a stand for easy use, it creates a versatile station. Some suggested methods to incorporate iPads and iPad stations at your event booth include:

  • as part of a cyber café
  • utilizing as a document library station

Video Wall Displays

We all know that large Video Wall Displays get our attention and can even be mesmerizing. You may think of them as huge, which they can be. But a video wall display can also be created on a much smaller scale to suit your needs.

One advantage of a video wall display is that you can create content which consists of one large image, or many separate images. This gives you great creative control. And the entire wall, no matter the size, can be linked with your PC or camera and other devices. Suggested ideas to maximize your video wall display:

  • incorporate your booth architecture into the video wall display
  • highlight your show special or new products
  • stream your social networking

Keeping abreast of all available technology can feel daunting. The good news is that you don’t personally have to become an expert on all existing technology to make the best choices for your events and goals. You simply need to have the right technology partner. SmartSource Rentals has provided a unique range of rental products and services for trade shows, professional conferences, and general technology markets for over 30 years.

Disaster Recovery – How to Keep Your Business Running
Jul 09, 2015 by Karen Daniels

Did you know: According to FEMA, almost 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster?

Every year, businesses find themselves impacted by unforeseen circumstances; tornados, hurricanes, ice storms, blizzards, and floods are all becoming more common occurrences. You put a lot of time and money into your business; considering this investment, putting thought and effort into proper disaster preparedness is just plain smart.

While many of us would rather “think positive” and avoid envisioning (and preparing for) emergency situations, it can help to start with some of the basics. How would your business be affected by a service interruption such as lost power, phone, water, electricity, or Internet connection? Naturally, personal safety for you and your employees is a major concern, and insurance coverage for your business property is a close second. Moving into a more sophisticated realm—after an emergency, how can you ensure that your business is fully functional as quickly as possible?

Form a disaster plan that includes:

  • Emergency response plans
  • Human resources
  • Technology resources, including back-up data and access
  • Communication plans
  • Employee assistance plans
  • Proper training
  • Utility information and back-ups
  • Methods for maintaining business continuity

Avoid making your strategy too complicated, and don’t forget to test and update the plan as needed. While it’s virtually impossible to anticipate every situation, flexibility is critical for a workable, scalable arrangement.

Here are some Business Disaster Guides to get you started:

Planning for Employee Assistance and Aid

As you approach your planning, anticipate that you and your staff would need help during (and after) larger disasters.

  1. Start by having a complete list of emergency contact information for your employees.
  2. Reach out to them as soon as possible to make sure they are safe, and maintain clear communication.
  3. In the weeks following a disaster, offer flexible working hours or allow working from home as a way to help your team get back on track.
  4. If needed, provide professional counselors to help affected employees process their anxiety and emotions.

A major disaster affects employees personally, as well as professionally. Ideally, employers will help their team regain stability in both aspects of their lives.

Business Disaster Resources

After securing employee safety and well-being, the next step in planning should focus on safeguarding important business resources—services and assistance that will provide support for your specific crisis situation. Although every business will require unique planning, here are a few general resources to help begin the planning process:

  • Disaster Resource Guide for Business Continuity -This online disaster guide is set up to help you find information, vendors, and organizations that help you prepare and recover, while you keep your business running.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) –The Protecting Your Businesses guide provides an overview on FEMA’s mitigation and insurance programs , and it suggests tools to make your business safer and more resilient to disaster.
    • SmartSource Rentals Computer and IT Technology Solutions for Disaster Recovery -When your business relies heavily on technology and an event occurs that leaves your technology destroyed or inoperable, you need a temporary, easy-to-implement solution that gets your business running again quickly. At SmartSource Rentals , we provide immediate short-term technology rental solutions to help you through the crisis. We can quickly re-establish ALL the technology needed for: 
    • Temporary Offices
    • Control Centers
    • Operation Centers
    • Response Team Environments
    • War Room Operations

Some disasters cannot be avoided; however, you CAN lessen the impact through proper planning and response initiatives—focusing on getting your business up and running, safely and quickly.

Article Resources:

Digital Document Libraries – the Green Solution to Generating Leads
Jul 07, 2015 by Karen Daniels

Even with the online world at your fingertips, attending events and trade shows continues to be a prime opportunity to generate leads and gain customers. Unfortunately, we all know that trade shows can be costly for your company—both in money and time. This heavy investment can leave you wondering—is the ROI from trade shows truly worth the effort?

Although the high cost of trade shows may tempt you to focus your marketing dollars on Internet leads rather than belly-to-belly events, the most loyal customers are built through direct relationships. Profitable business relationships more often come from looking a client or customer in the eye, shaking their hand, and truly listening to their needs; however, seasoned exhibitors and account executives know that a tremendous amount of data and follow-through need to happen before a face-to-face meeting can convert into a profitable long-term business relationship.

In any industry, the competition can be fierce; sales teams need every possible advantage. SmartSource Rentals offers a technology solution that can lower costs and increase sales—an interactive digital document library! This tech option can not only cut down on the expense of printed trade show collateral and eliminate waste, but it also enhances your ability to capture leads and follow through with potential customers—arming your sales team with specific knowledge about each customer’s problems and the products and services that interest them the most.

Going Green – Saving Money 

Accordingto the Center for Sustainable Tourism, the typical trade show can generate the equivalent of 170 trees worth of paper waste, and attendees can carry home as many as ten pounds of paper. As our culture focuses more attention on globally appropriate practices, a business that fails to adopt a digital solution for their document library fails in more ways than one:

  1. They’ve failed to be environmentally responsible.
  2. They’ve failed to consider their attendees’ convenience.
  3. They’ve failed to utilize the new technological standard.
  4. They’ve failed their own bottom line.

While paper certainly had its day, times have changed. Paper documents cost a company in materials and printing costs, but also in shipping, storage, and drayage. Print collateral has been the standard for a long time, but it does very little to generate actionable, trackable leads. You have no idea if people are actually reading what you hand out.

If you’ve ever attended a trade show, you’ve probably been on the customer end of this cycle of paper waste. You come back from the trade show floor with piles of paper, which you might—or might not—look at before they go into the recycling bin. These flyers and pamphlets were easy enough to pick up, but reading, processing, sorting, filing, storing and acting on them is an overwhelming task.

Generating Leads with a Digital Document Library

A digital document library offers a paperless place for potential customers to find the information they need; however, digital document libraries also provide an additional, enormous benefit to businesses because they gather data!

  • They offer the ability to generate leads by capturing the user’s information as they research your material and download the documents that are most relevant to them.
  • Digital document libraries can be presented in a completely customized way—giving the user a more in-depth view of your company, as you highlight what matters most to your business (and your customer).
  • Customers can view videos, add items to a cart, and read materials that interest them personally—simply by scanning their badge. The items they select are automatically emailed to them (without creating ten pounds of paperwork to carry!).

Behind the scenes, your company gets detailed information on guests that used the library and a list of the items viewed or downloaded. Data reports can include information such as the guests’ names, jobs, associations and titles, the data they received, and the documents they viewed. The system can also provide analytics by day, hour, or workstation, and all data is easily exported. All lead generation information can be programmed to automatically ship to your regional sales people.

No waste lead generation. How great is that?

For more information on the SmartSource Digital Document Product, watch this video hosted by David Schmerbach, Digital Communications Coordinator at SmartSource Technology Rentals.

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