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Event Solutions for Increasing Engagement – Part One: Big Data
Event Data Collection
Mar 09, 2016 by Anonymous

For business events such as meetings, conferences, trade shows, and expositions, data can be an invaluable tool for increasing engagement. By knowing your attendees better, it becomes exponentially easier to provide them with an event experience that truly serves their goals and exceeds their expectations. According to Forbes, only 15% of Fortune 500 companies are currently using big data analytics.¹ While big data may seem intimidating and inaccessible for many smaller companies, big data spending is projected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 23% each year until 2019²; there is no denying that it will control the future of business Intelligence and play an ever increasing role in corporate event planning.

Access to consumer data helps businesses develop a clearer understanding of customer activity and business operations—both of which are essential for business growth and the success of business events. Data helps to explain customer behavior—revealing patterns in customer interactions and transactions, helping uncover new paths-to-action, and demystifying “fuzzy” situations.

Gathering Valuable Information about your Customers

Data-collection is an essential technique for helping a business understand the “who, what, when, where, and why” of its customer base, and data-collection has improved by leaps and bounds in the last five years. Here are a few of the major data sources that should be evaluated, monitored and mined for information that can help increase engagement at events:

  • Social network profiles that can improve attendee networking
  • Social influencers that can help offer more engaging session and discussion topics
  • Activity-generated data that can provide insights into attendee movement, both on the event floor and in social media discussions
  • Software as a Service and cloud applications that offer deep analysis of customers’ needs
  • On-site event reporting that allows real-time review of traffic patterns, technology usage, survey results, and attendance information

Information from social media, digital activity, public information, and through services such as Amazon RedShift, Google Analytics, Google BigQuery, and Salesforce, helps businesses customize their events for their target audience. Businesses and event organizers need to be listening and gathering knowledge from as many data sources as possible—in the planning phases before an event, during the event itself, and following its completion.

The Data that Improves Event Engagement

For decades, business events relied on little more than basic attendee information: name, age, gender, company information, and job title. Now, however, event organizers can expand their data collection to cover nearly any goals or queries. With attendee engagement software, event organizers can create customized back-end reporting which can increase attendee engagement by:

  • Improving the overall efficiency of an event’s operations, creating a more enjoyable and effective attendee experience.
  • Providing detailed demographics that compare attendees to the event’s target audience, allowing organizers to ensure that the event’s goals match its audience.
  • Offering surveys and content feedback—bringing insight into attendee perceptions through questionnaires and polling that help increase guest satisfaction.
  • Streamlining online registration allowing faster, more customized check-ins.
  • Automating management of back-end participant data, allowing organizers to focus their attention and energy on attendees while reporting “runs itself.”
  • Measuring attendee engagement at specific points—such as exhibits, technology stations, speakers, breakout sessions, and for general traffic flow—helping event organizers determine which elements have the highest levels of engagement.
  • Allowing real-time adjustments and improvements—solving problems quickly to keep attendees active and involved.
  • Facilitating and customizing the attendee experience, from initial engagement to post-event follow-up, helping to increase attendance for future events.

In conclusion, data management leads to better attendee engagement. When event organizers determine the real objectives of an event and ask the right questions from their reporting, they can convert data into insights that create an event that their target audience wants to attend, year after year!

 

Resources:

¹ http://www.forbes.com/sites/teradata/2015/06/24/why-only-15-of-the-fortune-500-uses-big-data-analytics-to-look-beyond-the-known-knowns/#6868beae1bc9

² http://www.fastcompany.com/3053911/hit-the-ground-running/five-business-trends-to-watch-in-2016-no-matter-how-or-where-you-work

http://www.zdnet.com/article/top-5-data-to-decisions-trends-to-know-for-2016/

3 Ways to Create an Outstanding Financial Conference
Outstanding Financial Conf image1
Nov 17, 2015 by Karen Daniels

As a financial conference planner, it’s up to you to anticipate the reasons people attend a conference and provide solutions that will help your attendees satisfy those reasons. These reasons may be a desire to gather new knowledge within an industry, to network, as well as taking advantage of an event location, making it a mini-holiday.

You can’t always control where your event is held, but you can create an Outstanding Financial Conference that leaves your attendees feeling satisfied and excited for future events.

Provide Awesome Networking Support

       Help attendees maximize social media opportunities

  • Social media for you, as the event organizer, as well as for all attendees, should begin before an event, and continue during and after the event.
  • Encourage enrollment and create excitement about your event. Plan on creating online opportunities that encourage attendance and give the inside scoop to those who are already registered. 
  • Also, make it easy for people to meet other attendees ahead of time. Make a special Facebook group for those attending where everyone can introduce themselves and ask questions ahead of time. Often,other attendees will jump in and answer questions, so it’s a good way to get a conversation going and for attendees to learn some names and set meet-ups before the conference even begins.
  • Publicize Your Speakers/Events through social media. Have one or more of your speakers hold a pre-event Chat session or host a Q&A.

      Create Unique Social Events

  • The usual wine and cheese meet and greet can be nice and a good networking opportunity for those who are comfortable going up to new people and introducing themselves.  Instead, consider hosting a Make Your Own Sunday/Fruit Salad Bar for those who are intimidated by the usual Meet and Greet.

      Create an Event that makes it easy to Engage with Others

  • For example, you can have staff on hand who greet everyone who comes in and then introduces that new person to someone else who is already there, creating a kind of new buddy system. Or, you can have items in a bag, such as candy bars or fruit. As people enter, they draw one out and then go to the table or area where all the other “oranges” are gathered. This gives everyone something to laugh about, as they introduce themselves to each other, and gives everyone the feeling of inclusion.

Use Cutting-edge Technology to Engage, Enhance and Amaze Attendees

Outstanding Financial Conf image2

Financial events and technology go hand-in-hand. Technology that helps increase customer interaction can be hugely beneficial and go a long way in making your event more memorable for attendees.

With the advancements in technology and tools such as touch screens, your ability to increase engagement by incorporating the right technology is significantly easier than it used to be.

Here are some of the more popular technology offerings SmartSource Rentals can supply for financial conferences:

  • State-of-the-art sound, lighting and staging will help ensure you “wow” attendees. Conference attendees like to be part of an experience and powerful sound and lighting can make all the difference.
  • Capture attendee attention with video walls that can dazzle your attendees with visuals that make any topic more engaging.
  • Instant Updates using digital signage will highlight conference details, sessions, speakers, and room information allowing you to update all information in real-time so when change happens, you are prepared.
  • Highlight Sponsors & Exhibitors with strategically placed touch screens and kiosks creating a dynamic interaction tool.
  • Provide much appreciated and necessary service with standalone charging stations for attendees’ personal mobile devices. Don’t forget you can use the display screens to show important information and bring attention to sponsors.
  • Go Green with Audience Response Systems and Digital document libraries by providing attendees with conference materials and company information without handouts and flyers
  • Cutting-edge Wi-Fi network arrays will ensure the bandwidth provided is fast, secure and robust – a must for exhibitors and attendees alike so they can easily access information, conduct business, and stay in touch.

Supply Information about the Surrounding City

Remember, conference attendees are not only there to gather all that great information and meet new people, they also want to experience the sites and other highlights the city has to offer.

  • Offer digital versions of local restaurant menus on your Digital document library.
  • Provide information on local sites and maps of surrounding areas on interactive kiosks. Set up the programming so viewers can read reviews by other attendees.
  • Include “must see” attraction list in their welcome packet – and discount tickets for those attractions or shows. Encourage social media conversations about those events or raffle tickets throughout conference.
  • Plan scheduled outings with groups. This is especially nice for those who are attending the conference by themselves. Many local events will open up early or stay open late for a large group. Call SmartSource Rentals, the largest technology solutions rental company in the United States, and let us help you create an outstanding financial conference. Call us at 800.888.8686 or request a quote today.
Discover 5 Questions to Evaluate Renting Audio Visual Equipment vs. Buying
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Oct 21, 2015 by DeDe Mulligan

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When does it make sense for your organization to rent audio visual equipment versus buying it? Many organizations are wrestling with this very prospect.

Here is what you need to consider:

Are you in the audio visual business or in the business of making money for your organization?

Let’s explore five questions that can help you better evaluate this:

  • Does your staff have the time to research, purchase, get trained on, maintain and store your technology?
  • What is the total cost of ownership? On top of the purchase price, you need to factor in accessories, supplies and insurance. For example, the average cost of a replacement projector bulb is hundreds of dollars.
  • What about the cost of crating, shipping to and from various locations across the country?
  • How will you retire your old equipment?
  • What are the benefits of renting?

If you decide renting is for you, examine the 14 things you need to look at when picking an audio visual partner.

Still not sure? Download our latest article titled “Rent vs. Buy Audio Visual Equipment” for more reasons why renting makes sense and how to choose a reputable AV partner!

Need more information about interactive technology tool rentals? SmartSource Rentals is the largest Total Technology Solutions provider in the United States with 21 locations to serve you!  Give them a call at 888-249-4903 to learn more about how they can help you be successful with your next event!

Enhance Your Event with our Extensive Kiosk Rental Selection
iPad Kiosks
Sep 24, 2015 by Karen Daniels

Touch screen kiosks are one of today’s best interactive tools for elevating any event. Our cost effective cutting-edge trade show kiosk rentals allow you to easily promote business, exchange information, provide services and improve attendee experience, in literally thousands of ways.

But we don’t stop at just providing you with the best equipment on the market. What really sets SmartSource Rentals apart is our unparalleled service and customer support.

Touch Screen Kiosks are the Ideal Technology for:

  • Conventions, Tradeshows, and Corporate Events
  • Sponsorship Promotion
  • Self-Service Registration
  • Exhibitor Locator Stations
  • Cyber Cafés
  • Social Media Lounges
  • Lead Retrieval Systems
  • Interactive Sitemaps
  • Event Promotion
  • Presentations
  • Digital Signage
  • and More!

Touch screen kiosks offer that perfect innovative blend of interactivity, fun, and effectiveness.

Ready to get your Kiosk Rental Quote

Learn more about tradeshow kiosks and how they can help you succeed at your next event by watching our Cyber Cafe Video or viewing these articles:

SmartSource can offer you the best kiosk rental solutions for your needs, including custom programming and incredible customer service.

We are ready to provide you with your Touch Screen Kiosk Rental Quote so contact us today!

Audio Components that Put the “POP” in Your Sound Production
SAMSON TXM20 1000w POWERED MIXER-SLIDERS
Jun 16, 2015 by Anonymous

Sound is one of the major elements of any successful business event. If you’ve ever struggled to hear a speaker or been pained by feedback, you’ve witnessed first-hand how hearing a message loud and clear feels like every audience member’s most basic right. A presentation can still occur without visuals (although it shouldn’t have to), but if there’s no sound . . .

There’s no way for audience members to connect to a speaker, trainer, lecturer, or presenter that cannot be heard and understood. A message simply cannot be delivered when its sound fails to reach its target. The right audio is a delicate mixture of elements, and these elements must be customized to each event and designed SPECIFICALLY for the environment in which that event occurs.

Consider the following questions and situations:
• How much audio enhancement does a particular event need?
• How can Event Planners provide appropriate audio for an irregularly-shaped room or a room with obstructions?
• How can Event Planners deliver the best possible sound quality for an outdoor venue?
• Can the audio be optimized for very large halls or for events held in more confined spaces?
• What is the ideal placement of speakers and microphones, and how many are needed for the size of the event’s venue and audience?
• Is there a way to compete with ambient noise or other environmental sounds?
• Is there a way to provide targeted audio for exhibits or trade show booths?
• What additional audio equipment is needed if a speaker or presentation will be recorded?

A knowledgeable technology rental Account Executive can easily walk you through the best options for your event’s precise conditions—advising you about the audio solutions, and the size, number and ideal configuration of the components that an event needs, including:
• Audio distribution
• Wired and/or wireless microphone systems
• Arrays
• Speakers and subwoofers
• Digital mixing consoles
• Analog mixing boards
• Digital recording devices
• Directional sound speakers

Feel free to view our National Project Manager’s demonstration of some of the audio visual options that SmartSource Rentals is able to offer, including:
1. Analog Way PLS350 Hi-Resolution Mixer and Seamless Switcher – with 8 seamless inputs, universal analog and digital input/output, these receivers have a wide variety of inputs for options such as matrixing, HDMI, full high-definition, and full high-res digital processing scalable to resolutions such as 2048×1024.
2. Yamaha LS9 Digital Mixing Consoles – these 16 channel or 32 channel full-digital mixers provide extensive options and stability in the audiovisual market.
3. Shure UR4D Wireless Receivers – provide advanced control and robust flexibility, combining with dual pack, professional grade microphones for the best sound quality.

About SmartSource Rentals
With over 30 years of experience and 21 branch locations nationwide, SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals is expertly positioned to quickly provide any event with the advice, equipment, installation, and technology support that are necessary for successful events. Contact an Audiovisual Technology Sound Specialist today for a quote!

Lead Retrieval Technology for Any Event
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Jun 11, 2015 by Anonymous

For many business events, lead retrieval is a vital part of achieving the necessary ROI. Event Data Services is the umbrella category that helps event organizers, sponsors, and exhibitors make the real connections they need to form with attendees—gathering actionable data that gives an accurate picture of the event’s success, while also giving sales teams the networking and contact information that brings revenue.
Versatile Lead Generation Options
SmartSource Rentals offers a wide variety of products, ranging from mobile apps for use on iPads or Android tablets to physical scanning devices utilizing an Android system, as well as offering hardware devices with Bluetooth printer connectivity.
Depending on the circumstances of each event, business, exhibitor, trade show display, association or organization, the following six options can provide the ideal scanning set-up—making lead retrieval easy and effective for both organizers and attendees!

1. Expo Tools AT700 Device
This all-inclusive device contains the scanner inside the application, and offers the following features:
• Total touchscreen interface
• Simple two-button operation activating scanning
• Conveniently beeps when it picks up the barcode
• Instantly retrieves information based on the individual’s badge
• Accesses built-in qualifiers or allows you to create your own
• Battery use that lasts for the entire show
• Data viewing on an as-needed basis, both in real-time during the show or afterwards

2. Swiftium
This Android-based hand-held scanner is a slimmed down version of the scanner itself, offering the following characteristics:
• Sits nicely in the palm of the hand
• Buttons positioned on both sides are convenient for right- and left-handed use
• Scans 3 to 4 inches from barcodes
• Simply press to receive a plus sign and beep when the barcode is picked up
• Instantly retrieves information based on the individual’s badge
• A simple tap allows note-taking
• Built-in qualifiers are also customizable to your association or company needs
• Easily select qualifiers that apply to each individual
• Edit function allows you to review information, go back, and make changes
• When charged at the end of the day, the battery sled lasts the entire event—allowing you to have full scanning ability

3. Android System on Tablets and Phones
Fittingly, the Android system also works on Android tablets, offering the following advantages:
• Tablets scan through the camera on the device
• Scans at 3 to 4 inches from the barcode
• Instantly retrieves information based on the individual’s badge
• Same system is used for phones, and it allows a combination of phones and tablets to be used for scanning convenience and versatility
• Option allows for multiple types of scanners in your booth, with no learning curve

4. Scanner Attached to a Tablet
This option is ideal for individuals that prefer the larger size of a tablet but also want the scanning capabilities, allowing these benefits:
• Combining a big screen with quick scanning by placing the scanner directly onto the back of the tablet
• Through the scanning application, offers a quick and efficient read without using the camera on the device
• More “real estate” on the screen for note-taking and qualifying the individuals

5. App Download on Existing Devices
For individuals who would prefer to add scanning capability to their existing devices, this option uses an iPad or tablet with software called “LeadValu” built onto the system, offering aspects such as:
• A system that is intuitive and easy to use from familiar devices
• Option to scan, create a new lead, or recall the last badge
• Simply clicking “scan” opens the camera and pulls information from a badge
• Allows note-taking in the notes field
• Provides a pop-up keyboard
• Supplies qualifiers

6. Compact Epson Printer
This addition to our lead generation offerings is designed for events that need efficiency. It provides the following capabilities:
• Compact printing system
• Printer uses roll paper and cuts badges specifically to the desired badge size
• Ethernet and USB capability through multiple ports
• No wasted badge stock
The Specific Choices that Suit Individual Preferences
SmartSource Rentals offers lead generation products that will suit any preference and enhance your experience at events. View our complete demonstration of Event Data Service technology rentals or request a quote today!

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