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May 21st, 2013

E3, the world’s premier trade show for computer and video games and related products, is coming to the E3 LogoLos Angeles Convention Center from June 11-13, 2013. Operated by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the annual show brings together the top publishers of interactive games for video game consoles, smartphones, handheld game devices (a definition that even fits our iPad rental), personal computers, and the web.

E3 draws tens of thousands of creative pros to a single location to continue the ongoing process of creating the future of interactive entertainment. The most influential people from the most innovative companies attend this event. It’s the place to see trailblazing technologies, brand new products for computers, the latest video game consoles, upcoming titles running on handheld systems and tablet PCs, games/apps for mobile and social platforms, and multiplayer web-based adventures.

RCX, or Radio Control Expo, is taking over the Long Beach Convention Center on June 1-2, 2013 to bring everything related to “RC entertainment” to Southern California. Manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, designers, hobbyists, and competitors will arrive by the thousands to see new products, network RCX - radio control expowith other fans and RC pros, and have a whole lot of fun. Even if you go to run a booth on the expo floor, with a bright LCD touchscreen monitor rental inviting passersby to stop in, you’re bound to take a few minutes off here and there for some flight time!

There is so much entertainment planned that you really have to visit the RCX website’s “attractions” page to take it all in. Some highlights:

  • Mech Warefare creates a real-life robotic combat competition that pits participants against each other, piloting custom 1/24th-scale robots armed with Airsoft weapons and other systems.
  • Take a test flight in the Horizon Try Me Cage, getting hands-on and flying some of the hottest indoor airplanes and micro-copters from Horizon Hobby’s huge line of aircraft products.
  • The Construction Zone at RCX will feature highly-detailed, customized, and functional 1:14- and 1:16-scale model trucks. Scale RC trucking requires slow, precise driving skills along with the assembly of a high-quality model.
  • Crazy TV host and Hollywood car designer Fireball Tim will be at this year’s RCX Show signing his new insane children’s book Fireball Tim’s BIG BOOK of Wacky Rides!

Want to strategize an appearance at one or both of these events? There’s still time to get the right event production rentals, so make a call to (877) 266-7725, send a message, or log on to our Quick Rental Quote page.

March 1st, 2013

Game Developers Conference logoThe Game Developers Conference (GDC), produced by the UBM Tech Game Network, returns to San Francisco’s Moscone Center from March 25th to the 29th. The special “Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps” are set for the 25th and 26th, and the exciting GDC Expo for the 27th through the 29th. The world’s biggest and oldest event for the game industry is also the most exclusive, as it has always been a professionals-only get-together.

What began as a modest “get-together” now draws over 22,000 artists, coders, producers, audio engineers, game designers, and others. It’s where visionaries join decision-makers to dream up new ideas and shape the future of the industry. If your firm is presenting or attending any of the 400 tutorials, lectures, or round-tables on game development, it’s time to finalize your choice of trade show convention rentals or get the mobile tools you need as an empowered attendee for note-taking and networking.

The future is bright

The GDC Expo is the premier high-tech showcase for both the heavy hitters and the up-and-comers of the industry. The ongoing evolution of game development platforms, operating systems, utilities, networking, and peer-to-peer services drives the industry as a whole forward. It also spurs other industries to keep pace by developing new devices and updating “standards” like PCs and the iMac.

The 14th Annual Independent Games Festival will be at GDC, too, with original games competing for attention from publishers in attendance. Capping off a great week will be the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the ultimate stamp of peer-recognition in the digital games industry.

games collage 3

A quarter-century of progress

The GDC celebrated its Silver (25th) Anniversary in 2011. Originally focused on computer games, the conference has had to diversify to keep up with the exponential growth in all relevant tech sectors: handheld devices, gaming consoles, smart phones, tablet devices like our iPad rental, the Internet, and (coming full circle) computers.

Year after year, in niche after niche, the GDC introduces innovation to the gaming world, while continuing to update that world’s collective vision of the future of gaming. Valued at nearly $75 billion in 2011, according to Gartner Research, the gaming industry is on track to make some $115 billion in 2015. Game developers are also driving advances in cloud computing.

Zillions of pixels on the way

Before long, next-generation processors, even in a basic PC desktop computer rental, will be powerful enough for 3D rendering at two to four times today’s screen resolutions. Speaking of screens, there are exciting things coming with flexible displays and other sci-fi-style gizmos, so visit us regularly, right here at the CRE blog, and we’ll keep you updated. As for interactive games, no matter which ones hit it big on the Xbox or the MacBook, they will doubtless add more billions to the industry’s total haul. Perhaps our headline could have used one more word: Games are very serious business.

We’re serious, too, about providing you the right solution at the right time—everything from the industry’s finest inventory of event production rentals to hard-to-find post-production technology. Call us at (877) 266-7725, send us a message or, if you know what you need, use our Quick Rental Quote page. We’re ready when you are!

September 25th, 2012

G2E Global Gaming ExpoThe Global Gaming Expo (G2E) comes to the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas from October 1-4 (exhibits open on the 2nd). In the gaming industry, nothing comes close to G2E – it’s the world’s biggest, most comprehensive educational event of its kind. G2E is designed to keep your business and career on track in tough economic times, offering a huge variety of workshops, keynotes, and breakout sessions.

We have numerous blogs detailing green conference strategies and innovative ways to present your firm to conference attendees. And we do a lot more than just offer the most cost-effective plasma display rentals and other trade show equipment (the most comprehensive selection anywhere, by the way). We also investigate and make possible numerous creative ways to turn passersby into visitors, and visitors into prospects.

G2E conference sessions promise to pack ‘em in, as topics range from Casino Design, Gaming Technology, and Marketing, to Security & Surveillance, Social Media Boot Camp, and an invitation-only Gaming Investment Forum. Still, there will be plenty of exhibit floor wanderers that you can snag if you are exhibiting, and if you are well prepared and equipped.

•  •  •

INDIECADEThe International Festival of Independent Games (IndieCade) will be held in multiple locations in CRE’s own hometown of Culver City (Greater Los Angeles to you out-of-staters) from October 4-7, with Festival Day itself set for October 6th. This action-packed event will feature game play, product previews, workshops and sessions, networking, an awards presentation, and much more. (Watch the IndieCade Festival video at YouTube.)

This year’s event will feature the IndieCade Village, a central indoor/outdoor “headquarters” location, at the corner of Main Street and Culver Blvd. (9300 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 if you want to map it). With Wi-Fi for your iPad rentals and the promise of great weather, the IndieCade Festival is open to the industry and the general public, and is the one and only standalone, independent-focused game event.

Events include festival workshops, keynotes, hands-on play, a GameWalk and family-focused activities. Whether you’ve arranged to be there with the appropriate trade show equipment rentals, or plan to swoop in with a few co-workers and some notebook PC rentals for note-taking and emails, you will doubtless enjoy the event that the Los Angeles Times in 2009 called “the video game industry’s Sundance.”

CRE Rentals can multiply the effectiveness of every cent you spend on event production rentals and/or high tech. Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive about your upcoming convention or post-production bottlenecks. Know what you need? Use our Quick Rental Quote form and you can get in, out and back to work in a flash!

August 7th, 2012

RTECCThe Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference (RTECC) is a unique one-day event that takes place in dozens of locations around the globe every year. In the third week of August, RTECC will be in Irvine (Tuesday, the 21st) and San Diego (Thursday, the 23rd), bringing leading-edge thinking and in-demand information about the many existing and emerging opportunities for real-time and embedded computing. And check this out: It’s all free, including the parking.

What is real-time, embedded computing?

Briefly and broadly, real-time and embedded computing refers to operations carried out by devices with built-in (embedded) software. Modern vehicle braking systems and vending machines are good examples, and you’ll see another if you rent interactive kiosk units from CRE. At an RTECC event, (software) programmers, (hardware) engineers and (corporate) managers focus on specialized computing systems for

  • military and aerospace,
  • image processing and medical instrumentation,
  • telephony and data communication,
  • industrial and process control,
  • vehicular maintenance and control,
  • consumer devices and more.

Free… and valuable event!

A highly focused conference comprising keynotes, workshops and exhibits, RTECC offers free registration, open-door sessions and complete access to the exhibition hall. With parking and lunch also complimentary, your budget for trade show convention rentals and other promotional expenses is looking better all the time. A free conference with all the bells and whistles is great in and of itself, but as real-time and embedded computing is a huge, broad, growing niche, RTECC is a no-brainer for many.

In fact, real-time and embedded computing is among the most exciting new technology fields, with innovative products, sophisticated professional journals and significant industry buzz. If you have reserved an RTECC booth (or intend to now) consider running an eye-grabbing presentation on an all-in-one multitouch display PC, perhaps requesting visitors’ contact info in exchange for a bit of convention swag. RTECC invites you to explore opportunities, network with colleagues, meet industry experts – and get a look at the competition while you’re at it.

“Technology knows no borders”

Year after year, thousands of people attend RTECC events all over the world because they get what they need to succeed. Open-door breakout sessions, the latest on emerging technologies, top industry experts – there’s so much to see, hear and do that you’ll need an iPad rental for each of your conference team members. The iPad is ideal for audio, typed or handwritten notes, still photos or video.

RTECC Irvine
8:30am-2:30pm on Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Hilton Irvine (Orange County Airport Hotel)
18800 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine CA 92612

RTECC San Diego
8:30am-3:30pm on Thursday, August 23, 2012
San Diego Marriott, La Jolla Hotel
4240 La Jolla Village Dr.
La Jolla CA 92037

CRE can multiply the effectiveness of every cent you invest in conferences or computing. Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive about your next conference or critical post-production project. Visit our Quick Rental Quote page if you know what you need, and you’ll be in and out in a jiffy.

July 26th, 2012

In Part 1, we met übergeeks creating applications from scratch, and also discovered conference-oriented plug-ins that essentially make WordPress a development platform. In Part 2,  we offer an overview of custom conference app development as well as some basic features.

Bring on the expert coders

From freelancers specializing in coding to specialized app makers, there is a dramatic surge of custom app creation due to the growing use of “smart” electronics like GPS units, interactive devices, phones and tablets. Today’s business professionals – the people that attend conferences, corporate meetings,  trade shows – wouldn’t leave the house without their iPads, tablet PC rentals and smart phones.

Since marketing strategies need to “reach people where they are” (via whatever devices they have), you will likely need a few versions of your custom app – iOS, Android and web-based (HTML). Among the most successful apps are those that help organizations connect with their members, clients and/or customers, wherever they are, with products that are simultaneously effective and mobile (like guidebook to name one). The kind of custom conference app(s) businesses need are varied, but share some fundamental characteristics.

Custom app basic features

Besides continuing to promote the event after it has begun, which requires a bit of finesse, your custom conference app must

  • have versions for iOS (iPhone, iPad rental), Android (tablet, phone) and the web;
  • provide correct, up-to-date schedules for speakers, sessions and exhibit-floor events;
  • include an exhibit floor map that scales to viewers’ devices, whether they decide to rent laptops or bring their personal smart phones;
  • enable social media coverage via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and the new Google+ Events (subject of an upcoming blog);
  • introduce out-of-towners to the area (what to do, where to eat); and
  • give attendees a guaranteed way to reach you if they still have questions.

As you look into producing custom iOS and Android conference apps, consider using content that your marketing department has already created (website, brochures, etc.) to guarantee the same look and feel as your app. Whether viewing your site via MacBook Pro rental or using the new app on a smart phone, you want prospects, customers and other visitors to feel at home. Using certain kinds of custom apps in conjunction with one of our Audience Response Systems just might result in the most specific, useful prospect and customer information you’ve ever gotten.

Various firms and individuals can build a custom conference app to your exacting specifications. CRE works to a similarly high standard, with expert Account Executives who can suggest the right PC desktop computer rental for your new outbound sales team, as well as the appropriate Xserve RAID for your storage needs. One call or e-mail, or a trip to our Quick Rental Quote page, and you’ll have the right solution at the right price – right away!

July 24th, 2012

In the first days of the Information Age, when home PCs were still pricey novelty items, “computer user” was synonymous with “programmer.” It was not possible to get a PC desktop computer rental stuffed full of applications for writing, design, database work, engineering and so on. In fact, if you needed a new program, you either wrote it or paid someone else to do so.  Today lets consider three ways to get the unique software you need – by writing the code, paying for it or some combination of the two – in this introduction to custom conference apps.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) methods to coding

The first commercial software packages to appear were operating systems, but the 1980s brought productivity programs, the 1990s saw hardware breakthroughs and the early 2000s gave us total connectivity . As the years passed, off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all software couldn’t cover all the bases, so custom apps – at first only for desktops, then for laptops and now for tablets (like our iPad rental) and smart phones – began growing in popularity. With the power and flexibility now available on mobile devices, they have become the latest, greatest platform for custom conference apps. So, how do you get exactly what you need?

DIY methods range from really doing it all yourself to leveraging various technologies like WordPress to simplify the process. In the first instance, either you or your “code head” need solid experience as developers – on multiple platforms, with various programming languages – to build the apps you need for specialized conference use. For a fully integrated, works-anywhere strategy, your apps will need to have versions for tablet PC rentals, Apple and Android smart phones, netbooks and laptops.

Plug-in and play option for Conference Apps

One option is use a WordPress plug-in developed by Top Quark. Working together, this plug-in can create a custom mobile app for Android, Blackberry and iOS. Without having to deal with any original coding, you simply make adjustments on a settings page to create custom apps for conferences. A smart phone can now download all the conference data so conference attendees can run the app even in “airplane mode.”

IntoMotion, Zerista, TripBuilder EventMobile, Conference Compass and other firms can provide a menu of services for building a custom conference app, doing either a little or a lot as you decide. With some firms advertising $20,000 custom app “bargains” as others promote $99 specials, it is important to look into all possible alternatives for creating a custom conference app.

Even though we don’t develop custom conference app, CRE can help keep you moving forward with everything from trade show convention rentals to special post-production gear. A single call or e-mail, or a brief visit to our Quick Rental Quote form, gets it all done. Call now!

July 3rd, 2012

For 21st-century technology pros, the summer is convention season! Here are two important events taking place in California this month.

iTVfest + Pop Con LA

iTVfestThe first Pop Con LA (Popular Culture Convention) will be an integral part of this year’s ITVfest (International Television Festival) at the Los Angeles Convention Center, being held from Thursday, July 5th through Sunday, July 8th. Pop Con comprises a multitude of activities and interests from fashion, comic books and movie memorabilia to fine art, music (live bands), industry panels and film screenings.

Need an affordable way to “multiply your presence” at this event? If you’re short on (human) staff, you can rent interactive kiosk units, park them in well-traveled spots and collect contact information from all the attendees you don’t see at your booth. And you may miss a lot of them, what with screenings of Superman II and Blade Runner, a Star Trek panel with Tim Russ (Tuvok from Star Trek: Voyager) and such celebrity guests as Billy Dee Williams, Michael Biehn, Bruce Boxleitner, Margot Kidder and others.

The Opening Night Red Carpet Party will be held at the trendy ICON LA Ultra Lounge on Thursday night, July 5th (across the street from the Convention Center). The next couple of days you and your team will be plenty busy, so remember the iPads or the tablet PC rentals so you can stay in touch via WiFi. Wrapping things up on Sunday night, July 8th, are the ITVfest/STTV Awards. For details and tickets, go to PopConLA.com.

SEMICON West 2012

SEMICON West 2012SEMICON West 2012 will take over the entire Moscone Center in San Francisco for three days, Tuesday, July 10th through Thursday, July 12th. This year’s conference has a “show within a show” dubbed “Extreme Electronics” that will focus on high-brightness LEDs, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and plastic electronics (flexible or rigid materials with electronics “printed” on them).

SEMICON West will keep you updated on the new materials and technologies that are powering electronics to new heights of performance, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.  To reach decision-makers, consider creating a digital welcome sign on one of our plasma display rentals at your booth. In fact, with the special Extreme Electronics show emphasizing “synergies” and “inter-connectivity,” a multimedia presentation using audio visual (AV) equipment rentals might be indicated, too.

With LEDs, MEMS and plastic electronics the new frontier in consumer electronics, firms must overcome manufacturing challenges that hamper the development of innovative products. If your company has a product or service that contributes to lower-cost solutions for lighting, sensors, consumer devices and/or displays, grab an iPad rental for each of your conference team members and get thee to Moscone on time!

Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive and we’ll brainstorm a solution (or two, or three) for your upcoming conference, corporate presentation or big post-production project. Know what you need? Visit our Quick Rental Quote form and you’ll be on your way in minutes!

June 5th, 2012

E3 2012, this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, is upon us, running from today through Thursday, June 7th – although you could be forgiven for thinking it started a month ago, given all the hype. Beyond the corporate PR machine working overtime, there are many misinformed pundits deliberately concocting rumors. E3 ExpoThat E3 has the security wall of a NATO conference means many gamers believe, well – anything! Let’s take a look at what the Big Three in video games – Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft – are really up to for 2012.

Nintendo and Sony…asian tigers

Nintendo is doing a “full reveal” of Wii U later today (Tuesday, June 5th) and, until then, the details of the revamped console are mostly unknown. Official specs from Nintendo list a multi-core processor, like CRE’s iMac rentals, and a Radeon graphics card. But how much more powerful is the new Wii U than the current model? Also unknown. Of the remaining rumors, forget a special Final Fantasy edition or other product tie-ins and focus on the real possibilities, which include potential cloud storage.

Sony arrives at E3 2012 enmeshed in problems with its PlayStation Portable (PSP) Vita. Sony lacks the high-quality, wide-appeal game titles that helped Nintendo out of its 3DS mess. (Nintendo launched the 3DS at Vita’s price point, $250, but didn’t get results until it cut the price and added titles.) Sony has to turn the Vita product line around, starting this week at E3. Like Apple, Sony makes superior hardware, but the reason an iPad rental is a hot item still has more to do with usability and content. Can Sony saved the Vita?

Microsoft: always in the mix

Facing some development “kludges” with its new Windows 8, Microsoft will keep the focus at E3 on its successes. Kinect has been a super (and satisfying) one, and keeping that momentum going is essential, so the firm will likely show demos of core Xbox titles coming in 2012 (particularly Call of Duty: Black Ops 2). And after E3, when Microsoft finishes “getting its Windows in order,” CRE will certainly implement the new OS in part of its PC desktop computer rental line.

There may be a Kinect Sports 3 in the offing, and Microsoft may share scenes from the recently announced Harry Potter for Kinect. The only “for sure” announcement coming from Redmond execs will concern the core apps for the Kinect platform, including Internet Explorer and the new Woodstock music service.

If you’re not at the L.A. Convention Center for E3, showing off your stuff on our plasma display rentals, you can watch the proceedings live on SpikeTV and CNET.com. For your next conference or rush job, count on CRE for trade show convention rentals and high-tech post-production gear – and remember that one call or e-mail, or a visit to our Quick Rental Quote page, is all it takes!

May 22nd, 2012

After Apple announced this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2012), Apple's WWDCits annual event in San Francisco, tickets sold out in just two hours. West Coasters have reason to be annoyed, too, since sales started at 8:30am Eastern time, meaning the sales door closed at just 7:30am Pacific time. So the five-day conference, being held June 11-15, is sold out, but Apple promises “full coverage” of WWDC 2012 at CBS’s Tech Talk site (and possibly other online venues). The company will post videos of all sessions “shortly after the conference” concludes.

Why attend Worldwide Developers Conference?

Thousands of developers flock to San Francisco every year for keynote speeches, seminars, product announcements and special events orchestrated and led by Apple executives, marketing managers and, most importantly, about a thousand engineers. This year’s conference will focus on iOS 5, the firm’s latest operating system (OS) for mobile devices like the iPad rental, as well as its latest one for computers, the soon-to-be-released OS X Mountain Lion (10.8).

Those 1,000 Apple engineers will conduct some 100 hands-on labs to help developers with techniques for strategizing, coding and developing applications. In addition to digging deep into the firmware of an existing MacBook or studying the specs of one on the drawing board, WWDC attendees will also benefit from an ideal networking environment – think “geeks gone wild” for a mental picture. Remember, too, that the WWDC has historically been one of the venues where Apple launches new products.

New Apple Announcements, anyone?

Some high-profile tech bloggers have speculated that the iPhone 5 will be announced at next month’s WWDC. Apple has typically launched iPhones in the summertime, and has done so at previous WWDCs (although the iPhone 4S announcement was delayed until October last year). The company has used its summer conference to announce software, Mac models, operating systems, the Xserve RAID and other non-Mac hardware. Any bets on what comes out of WWDC? Check back after June 15th and find out!

Going to WWDC? Need a dozen macbook pro rental, a rockin’ exhibit booth or complete breakout session setup with an Audience Response System (ARS)? Your one-stop shop is CRE. Every business faces different and unique challenges, so call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive and tell us about the obstacles you face – then we’ll brainstorm a solution for you (or two, or three). Already know what you need? Visit our Quick Rental Quote form and you’ll be on your way in just a few minutes!

May 8th, 2012

The National Real Estate On­Line Convention and Exposition in April 2002 is typically cited as the world’s first “virtual conference.” Produced by the Real Estate CyberSpace Society, it attracted 10,000 pre-registered real estate professionals from 28 countries and drew another 15,000 “online walk-ins” over the event’s five days.

In 2009, one Microsoft division made its annual industry analyst event a virtual one. Sessions streamed over the web, meetings between executives and customers took place via tablet PC rentals, and the keynote featured slides with LiveMeeting. Surely one of the premier tech firms of all time would revolutionize the virtual conference, right? Wrong. Seven years after the first one, virtual conferences just weren’t catching on, although they’re starting to now.

Video Conference

Psychology, not video conferencing technology

After a decade of declining prices for videoconferencing technology – plasma display rentals, wall-sized screens and media-friendly computers – it turns out that it’s not technology, but psychology, that is holding up progress. User forums and corporate networks have their share of rants, raves and predictions (“Real-time 3D full-wall HD surround-sound conferencing coming soon!”) but much of the talk is about “intangibles.”

A common refrain is that there is “no substitute for personal interaction,” and that talking is still more efficient than iMessaging with an iPad rental. People pay attention to much more than the words they’re hearing, too, reading body language, interpreting “vibes” and observing how folks relate to one another. If you reflect on the number of intriguing conversations you’ve had in hallways, elevators and lunch lines, you know the intrinsic value of informal conversations.

Characteristics of virtual conferences

Virtual conferences save on obvious costs like air fare, hotels, dining and so forth, but you will still need event production rentals – just different ones than usual. Still, before there can be successful, smooth-running virtual conferences, they have to evolve the following characteristics:

• Excellent planning and execution. A virtual conference is a big, complicated production. Don’t underestimate the effort.

• Fail-safe technology. Streaming media is great, but everything needs to work regardless of what the attendees bring to the event (MacBook, PC laptop, smart phone).

• New model. There is still no consensus on the best model for virtual conferencing, although “informative” and “interactive” are two buzzwords that echo across the Internet. (Ideas, anyone?)

Perhaps in 2012 we will finally see the emergence of a workable virtual conferencing model. Most people need to be engaged and drawn into the action, but how this will get done virtually is still a mystery. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted as “virtual” turns into “reality” in the conference industry.

Here’s a dose of reality for you: CRE is your one-stop shop for trade show convention rentals, high-tech and high-powered post-production gear, potent laptops and desktop PCs, Macs, mass storage and more. A single call or e-mail, or a trip to our Quick Rental Quote page, puts an expert Account Executive to work solving your problem. Call now!

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