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Wonder What a Perfect Meeting Looks Like? Wonder No More!
perfect meeting, SmartSource Rentals, CSR, meeting space, green practices
Feb 26, 2016 by DeDe Mulligan

Structure, Sustainability and a Touch of Health

 

Think about the last several meetings, conferences or events you attended. Can you remember a meeting that you loved? One that you felt connected and part of something larger than the event itself? If so, then you attended “the perfect meeting”.

According to Successful Meetings, this type of event is composed of three key elements:

  • Good Meeting Structure
  • Green Practices and
  • Healthy Choices

Today, we will explore all three and let you be the judge whether they are workable solutions for your event or conference.

 

Meeting Structure

 

  • Provide a lot of breaks.
    Research states that the average adult can only sit for 15-20 minutes without interrupting their work. They desire to check their phone, move around or talk to the person next to them. Therefore, don’t schedule back-to-back sessions or hold lectures for 90 minutes. Give individuals time to nosh and network with each other!
  • Encourage small group interaction.
    If you are running a large convention, it is easy for attendees to get lost in the crowd. Breaking up into small groups, either through tabletop discussions or spreading out in groups of 4-8 throughout the venue, allows time for attendees to work on solving the challenges facing the company, association or community they serve. An easy way to keep everyone in sync, is to provide these groups with iPad rentals preloaded with applications that can sync with each other and the cloud for real-time storage and access.
  • Provide more workshops.
    When individuals come to your conference, the first question they will receive from the boss upon their return is, “Was it worth it?” of which you want them to give a resounding “Yes!” But in order to do so, you need to provide education that is pertinent to them. With a wide diversity of attendees (novice to experts) the key is not to provide general, middle-of-the-road sessions but something everyone can dig their teeth into.
  • Provide easy Wi-Fi access everywhere.
    Users want access everywhere and they want an easy sign-in process. If you are concerned the venue may not have enough bandwidth to adequately serve your group, you may wish to rent a Wi-Fi booster.

Green Practices

 

  • Choose a Corporate Service Responsibility (CSR) project.
    Rather than doing the project in the beginning or end of the conference, make it smack dab in the middle of it to change up the meeting flow.
  • Go paperless.
    Replace binders with apps, posters with digital signage and goody bags with CSR activities. Millennials demand it and most attendees appreciate it, given there’s much less waste and everything can be stored on a tablet or iPad rental.

 

Healthy Options

 

  • Give them brain-friendly foods.
    The DASH diet has identified the following foods as making an impact in keeping our brains healthy:

    • Green leafy vegetables (lunch or dinner)
    • Nuts (snack)
    • Berries – blueberries and strawberries preferred (breakfast)
    • Beans (dinner)
    • Fish (lunch or dinner)
    • Poultry (lunch or dinner)
    • Wine (dinner and networking)
  • Look at farm-to-table options.
    A big trend is to source food within 50 to 100 miles of your meeting location. Attendees are interested in organic, natural food sources that are not shipped to your meeting destination from thousands of miles away.
  • Add relaxation/fitness options as part of the day.
    Typically, if you wanted to work out while at a conference, you are limited to the fitness center early in the morning or late in the evening. More and more meetings are fitting these options right into the meeting day as long breaks for attendees to enjoy healthy moves and relax at the same time.Here are a few creative ideas:
  • Provide yoga or meditation programs during breaks
  • Allowing individuals to go to the spa in the afternoon
  • Walk and talk about a current company challenge
  • Ride bikes around the property or city

SmartSource Rentals is Your Perfect Meeting Partner

 

SmartSource Rentals can provide the audio visual rentals you need to make your meeting vision a reality. Simply request a quote and one of our Account Executives will respond quickly to your needs.

Wearable Tech for Events
Wearables for Events
Feb 17, 2016 by Anonymous

Wearable technology has been flashing in and out of the news for a decade or more—leaving most of us feeling . . . intrigued. Ideas that once only existed in science fiction movies and comic books are now on the shelves—available to anyone willing to buy them. However, many of us are still asking whether the technology is honestly practical or if it’s just a “flash in the pan”—grabbing attention for introducing thought-provoking design, influencing manufacturers’ stock prices, and creating fascinating tech magazine articles, rather than wearable technology truly being a product that consumers believe they need.

One thing is certain: wearable technology is the leading edge of a user interface that is more completely integrated—a step toward machines that are truly like a “part of us.” Integration is a driving focus in the development and advancement of technology; appropriately, integration is also a critical part of business events!

Some Unexpected Facts about the Future of Wearables:

  • An estimated 17.1 million smartwatches were sold worldwide in 2015. ²
  • Shipments of Smart Wearable units are expected to increase from 27 million (in 2014), to 116 million in 2017. ¹
  • $53 billion is the projected market for wearable devices by 2019. ¹

How Can Wearables Benefit Event Planners?

As with any technology, event planners should only employ a tech option if it brings a genuine benefit. In the case of wearable technology, many of the choices CAN make sense for event planners. Even at their most basic, wearable devices offer hands-free connection, and event planners have their hands FULL (often literally).

Many of the most successful wearables focus on lifestyle and health (helping users to track their steps, monitor their heart rate, and prevent sun-damaged skin, for example), but wearables can provide many benefits for event organizers and exhibitors. Here are a few products that may make work easier for event professionals:

Headsets

  • Google Glass and GlassUp – although Google Glass has had a somewhat sketchy reception from the general public and the product is currently in a state of transition, there are definite advantages to headsets and eye wear. The optical head-mounted display can allow:
    • News
    • Facial recognition
    • Hands-free photography and videography
    • Photo manipulation
    • Email
    • Translation
    • Sharing to social networks
    • Connection to apps
    • Reminders and scheduling
    • Voice recognition
    • Voice activated search results and queries

Indeed, GlassUp intentionally avoids the futuristic appearance of Google Glass. The company offers headsets that look like regular glasses but are designed to offer personalized connectivity and notifications for travelers and exhibition attendees (including integrating customized apps for business events and shows). The translation capabilities alone are enough to make these options valuable for many business events!

  • Smart Contacts – options such as the iOptik Contact allow many of the benefits of smartglasses, with a wider viewing range and without affecting the wearer’s appearance.
  • Daqri Smart Helmet – this wearable option protects the wearer’s head, keeps a person’s hands free, and projects augmented reality that can display materials such as schematics, diagrams, and instructions that offer valuable assistance at job sites, in training sessions, or for demonstrations.

Smartwatches

Once worn only by Dick Tracy, smartwatches are now readily available. Although it was expected that 4 out of every 10 wristwatches would be smartwatches by 2016 ³, many of us may still be hard-pressed to find anyone wearing one. However, smartwatches make a LOT of sense for event planners and exhibitors.

Whether you choose the Apple Watch, Pebble, or Android Wear, smartwatches can make it simple to connect with your phone, apps, contacts, and the Internet. Smartwatches offer built-in connectivity and conveniences—such as:

  • GPS
  • Standalone phone
  • Internet connection and data service
  • Speakerphones
  • Emailing
  • Instant notifications
  • Tracking

Something to consider: most smartwatches work best (or even require) a connected smartphone.

Moving Forward with Wearables

Wearable technology is still unusual and novel enough to help trade show displays and event exhibitors make an impact. “. . . Currently, the market is friendlier toward cheaper and simpler wrist-mounted devices that only offer notifications and tracking as opposed to full-fledged mobile operating systems boasting a range of apps (like the Apple Watch).” ² Although headsets and smartwatches may not appeal to the masses just yet, event planners are an ideal candidate for this technology—people who need information and constant connection, hands-free and on-the-go!

How Can SmartSource Help?

SmartSource Rentals can provide the technological foundation for any business event. Our nationwide network of branches can provide your event with the lighting, staging, sound, digital signage, servers, and software that create successful events! You’ve got enough to do—let US take care of the tech! Give us a call today at 800.888.8686

Resources:
(Image courtesy of atibodyphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
¹ http://www.vizworld.com/2015/04/how-wearable-tech-will-change-your-life-infographic/#sthash.uOb13aGd.0pNQd3K1.dpbs
² http://mashable.com/2016/01/12/apple-watch-smartwatch-sales/#ka1cTr9cDaqX
³ https://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/09/17/report-40-percent-of-wristworn-devices-will-be-smartwatches-by-2016.aspx
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Glass
http://www.cnet.com/topics/wearable-tech/best-wearable-tech/
The Smartphone Generation of Meeting Attendees
Smartphones, smartphoners, SmartSource Rentals, mobile technology, meeting attendee
Feb 13, 2016 by DeDe Mulligan

Crossing Over into the Technological Divide

While it has been highly touted and written about that the next generation of meeting attendees (Gen Y) are running the show on meeting demands, Futurist Mike Walsh disagrees.

He stated in his presentation before PCMA, it is the smartphone generation that is going to shape our meetings and events and I whole-heartedly agree. For example, my 76-year-old mother and my 13-year old nephew are equally active on Facebook and both have smartphones, while my 52-year-old brother has no social accounts — let alone an email address – and is perfectly happy with his flip phone.

Let’s take a closer look at what these technology-dependent attendees really seek in a meeting, event or trade show.

 

What Smartphoners Want

 

  • Content that captures and holds their attention

It doesn’t matter if the attendee has an iPad rental or Galaxy Note in front of them, they will pay attention to the presenter if he or she has something captivating to say. The moment the attendee is bored, ignored or isolated is the moment they turn to technology to fill in the time gap. Keep them interested and engaged for short periods of time and you will see an engaged audience.

 

  • Comfortable, chic seating

“People don’t want to be in a room that is set up theater-style anymore,” stated Joe Martin, Partner & Director of Conferences at

Work toward creative setups with overstuffed chairs, whiteboards, and small tables grouped together in configurations that will seat 4-8 individuals comfortably.

 

  • To be outside and still be Wi-Fi connected

    It is important to plan various sessions and activities outside. Whether it is sitting through a keynote address, doing a CSR project or taking a hike around the venue grounds, attendees want to be constantly connected to the Wi-Fi.A Wi-Fi network array might be the ticket to help bolster the bandwidth. Be sure to take the time to fully understand the Internet capabilities on your site visit and all the venue has to offer in the great outdoors. Make sure the Internet is fast, secure and robust.

 

  • A Regiception

    Rather than having individuals stand in long registration lines to check-into your conference, make things much more relaxed by combining your registration process with the opening reception. As a general rule, receptions are much more welcoming and lend themselves naturally to more networking.While it is important to adequately identify your attendees from potential event pirates, focusing their attention to the self-serve kiosk rentals and asking them to take 2 minutes to check-in during the 2-hour reception, should not be a problem.

 

  • Recharging Lounges

    Believe it or not, the number one thing travelers leave at home or in their hotel room is a smartphone charger. That means they need to buy a charger in the airport or schlep back to their hotel room toward the end of the day, possibly cutting short valuable content or networking opportunities.Why not create an environment where the attendee can sit down, relax and network all while their smartphone is connected to the charging kiosk? This is possible by renting charging stations and creating a relaxation lounge where attendees can sit comfortably and talk to others for at least 10 minutes while their mobile device is being brought back to life.

 

  • To go all Green

    Rather than having paper, smartphoners want everything on their mobile device. This initiative allows for a totally paperless program – where presentations can be viewed on mobile devices, notes can be taken on tablets and presentations are accessible anytime on the cloud.

 

SmartSource Rentals is Ready to Help Smartphoners

 

Choose SmartSource Rentals as your technology equipment provider because we are committed to on-time delivery, guaranteed quality assurance, correctly configured, name-brand equipment and 24/7 technical support. Give us a call today at 800.888.8686 to learn more about ways we can support your technically savvy attendees.

Future Trade Shows Will Include Many Technological Features
trade show technology, future trends, SmartSource Rentals, virtual reality, augmented reality, geofencing
Feb 05, 2016 by DeDe Mulligan

Cool Options Are Around the Corner

 

Trade shows are the perfect place to use specific technological gems – partly because the contained space is perfect for testing new apps and partly because every exhibitor is looking for something new and cool to bring precious attendees streaming to their booth.

Today’s blog post will focus on the breakthrough applications on the horizon: Geofencing, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Drones.

Geofencing

You are probably already familiar with geofencing, but don’t call it by that name. This is when push notifications are sent to your smartphone or iPad rental exactly when you are within so many feet of a trade show booth.

This message is meant to lure you into the booth to see a demonstration, register for a giveaway or gain points toward a loyalty program.

Geofencing is also about what is happening at the moment. For example, if a speaker is holding a book signing in a booth for two hours, that message would be received only during that time and only by individuals that are close by.

 

3D Printing

This technology allows booth exhibitors the capability of producing prototypes that are personalized to each attendee.

For example, OREO debuted 3D printer vending machines at the South by Southwest Interactive trade show. The machines served up personalized cookies based on which flavors were trending on Twitter. Users share their favorites using the hashtag #eatthetweet and the cookies were made in less than 2 minutes.

 

Virtual Reality

This technology allows event marketers the ability to tell their story in a more immersive way. VR allows users to feel like they are in a different place. Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Vrse provide the virtual reality experience to attendees, from a headset, a reader or even a mobile app.

Besides being cutting-edge, this offering reduces the cost of shipping, assembling and storing your products. You can immerse the user into an environment where they can understand your product use in a variety of settings.

Augmented Reality

Where VR is about transporting users to another location, AR is about bringing digital objects into the real world. To view great examples of AR, check out the Magic Leap website.

 

Drones

According to Global Experience Specialists, drones are here to stay and they are providing valuable touchpoints at events. Drones can livestream video, analyze foot traffic and provide better brand awareness for exhibitors.

For example, Pepto-Bismol implemented a Twitter campaign called #TweetforRelief and when people did tweet that hashtag, a drone would drop off the tablets to that person as long as they were in the confines of the event.

 

SmartSource Rentals Speaks Up About the Future

SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals helps businesses be successful by being the chosen technology solutions partner to over 400+ trade associations and thousands of corporate events and user conferences. Take advantage of our experience and knowledge by requesting a quote  or calling our sales team at 800-888-8686.

Onboarding Session Technology
onboardingsessionimage
Feb 02, 2016 by Anonymous

Many businesses recognize that it saves money to retain good employees. The costs of hiring can include advertising, recruitment, travel, relocation, and training—not to mention hours upon hours of time spent sorting through resumes, scheduling interviews, deliberating, following through, and negotiating salaries and benefits.

Indeed, studies show that many companies lose a significant amount of time and money in headhunting, hiring, and training new employees. Many companies realize—too late—that it’s worth the extra effort to try and retain current team members rather than to replace them.

Optimal ROI from Onboarding

A recent Aberdeen Report defines onboarding as an orientation process involving:

  1. Forms management
  2. Tasks management
  3. Socialization into the company culture

The report suggests that companies will achieve “optimal ROI” from their onboarding process by incorporating those three elements.  The research demonstrated that onboarding and socialization techniques lead to several positive outcomes for new employees, such as:

  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Better job performance
  • Greater organizational commitment
  • Reduced occupational stress

Onboarding Sessions Can Improve Employee Retention

Once hired, new employees benefit greatly from onboarding sessions. These informative presentations help bring employees on board with orientation and training that help to give them an appropriate view of their new work environment.

Onboarding sessions are a useful HR tool—incorporating both training and management to deliver the knowledge and skills that help individuals successfully join into a new team, project, branch, or company. The Wall Street Journal article, “Employee Retention – How to Retain Employees,” suggests the following tactics:

  • Explain the expectations
  • Communicate your business’s mission
  • Create open communication between employees and management
  • Outline your perks and benefits package
  • Coach employees
  • Foster employee development

Onboarding sessions may involve:

  • Formal orientations
  • Mentoring
  • Role clarification
  • Presentation of organizational culture
  • Skills practice
  • Development programs
  • Team building
  • User training
  • Case work
  • Exercises

Effective onboarding . . . can be one of the most important contributions any hiring manager, direct supervisor or human resources professional can make to long-term organizational success . . . onboarding done right can improve productivity and executive retention, and build shared corporate culture.(1)

Technology that Helps Incorporate Employees

Onboarding can include formal meetings, lectures, videos, printed materials, computer-based programs and group sessions. Smaller, more personal meetings are also a good technique for helping bring new employees into the team. Consider the following technology options as you create an ideal onboarding campaign:

Networked iPads, or laptop rentals, and presentation software are an excellent choice for onboarding sessions. With linked iPads, laptops, or tablets and the right software:

  • Event managers can distribute materials in a common presentation format
  • HR, management, and training session leaders can instantly capture each team member’s work
  • Presenters can quickly and easily adapt materials to suit the specific session members
  • Speakers can easily implement crowdsourced content, present surveys, and run Q&A sessions

A Mobile App is the ideal digital organizational tool—helping to connect your audience to exactly the materials they need. In the case of onboarding, use a customized mobile app to:

  • Present interactive maps for campus orientation
  • Offer an E-Literature library of digital documents
  • Connect to social networks for work teams, mentors, and support staff
  • Provide downloads of benefits information and employee handbooks

Projectors and Screens are a traditional foundation for delivering the videos, charts, graphics, and slide presentations that will help in orientations.

Sound Systems are important for boosting the audio of your managers, speakers, and educators as they help orient your new team members.

In conclusion, the onboarding sessions that welcome recruits are a valuable technique in familiarizing new employees to the expectations and culture of their workplace—helping businesses increase their recruitment ROI and gain a more educated, acclimated, and successful workforce!

SmartSource Rentals has the experience and inventory  to help you create effective orientations, staffing events, or corporate training sessions, anywhere in the U.S.! Call us at 800.888.8686 or get a quick quote today!

 

Reference:

(1)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onboarding

 

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