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May 13th, 2010

Because of our own commitment to sustainability, we’ve covered a number of green topics in our blog this past year (yes, it’s been a year now), but have discovered one glaring oversight. We never gave you, in one place at one time, a simple action plan or quick overview for having the greenest possible conference. Today, we will address conference exhibitors, but the ideas will be applicable to in-house meetings and events, too.

Green is the goal

CRE Rentals Commitment to GreenAlong with everything else that goes into your conference preparation – writing and design, layouts and animations, schedules and assignments – you need a strategy for equipment. The challenge is to balance your corporate conference goal with the green goal of minimizing waste of all kinds. This means not only saving paper by creating virtual sell sheets and brochures that can be downloaded, but saving on conference incidental costs by using one of CRE’s interactive kiosk rentals as both a “presentation station” and a data collector.

If you are scheduling a live presentation, the same thing goes for any ”handouts” – make PDFs available for download. (Most conferences these days have onsite wireless set up for attendees’ use.) For feedback on the presentation, forget the paper and pencils again, because Audience Response System rentals will get you much more feedback, and in a form you can immediately put to use on your computer. The presentation itself can be done in several ways, either with projector rentals or large-screen monitors (like CRE’s plasma rentals). You can attach a digital media player or your laptop to either a projector or a LCD monitor, and remotely control the whole thing.

More green tips for your conference

If you really want to limit your conference team’s paper use, you may want to outfit everyone with tablet PC rentals. This way, the team’s note-taking can be handled with the various “pen computing” tools. Using the stylus and a “notepad” program, you can take digital notes, saving them as-is or converting them in real-time (or later) with character recognition software. A tablet PC, of course, is multipurpose wireless device and can be used to keep team members connected and coordinated, no matter how busy and demanding the conference gets. (Tip: Don’t forget the AC adapter, and plug in the unit at all possible times to keep it charged for those times you need to be “untethered.”)

If you need to record a conversation with a potential customer, a keynote speech or a breakout session, digital recorder rentals can provide massive amounts of speech-quality recording time. Again, you will have no consumables, no waste, a low cost and high quality results. Instead of pages of random, unsorted notes (plus the occasional napkin or envelope with someone’s name and phone number), you will leave the conference with a useful collection of digital assets – audio notes, imported/downloaded video, drawings, doodles and handwriting converted to editable text.

Always back up your digital assets!

In addition to carrying your digital assets out of the convention center on your laptop, you can upload them to your company’s server (or elsewhere) as you go along from session to session, day to day, in a sort of ongoing online backup routine. This is the way to safeguard against loss of your laptop, file or disk corruption or other catastrophes. After planning a Earth-friendly, green conference appearance, the last thing you need is a technological breakdown. Don’t forget to make backup an important part of your strategic planning.

CRE’s experienced Account Executives can help you “green” your next conference or event, or set you up with everything from computers to office equipment. Our expertise is yours with a simple phone call or e-mail, or if you know what you need, use our Quick Rental Quote form. We are here to help. Let us know how we can help with your next green event!

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