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March 29th, 2012

CRE supplies the finest trade show rentals anywhere. We are also the premier source of high-end technology rentals for film, TV, animation and media professionals. Whatever your hardware needs, you get our marketing expertise and all-around business savvy at no extra cost, to help you develop and implement new ideas. Today we’re talking trade show swag.

trade show swag

Swag, giveaways, freebies – it’s what fills your tote bag at conferences. You may have a wonderful presentation running on a sharp LCD touchscreen monitor rental, but prospects cannot take that when they leave. But if it were on a flash drive with your logo, they just might spread your message to their co-workers, colleagues and who-knows-who. If flash drives are too pricey, anything that’s useful and has your contact info is better than nothing at all.

Swag smarts

If you pick the wrong item, or use it ineffectively, you’ll get zero bang for your precious bucks. Here are the top five rules for trade show swag:

1. Make it useful – A trade show giveaway must be useful or it will end up in the junk drawer. Even some useful items have been overdone – who needs another refrigerator magnet or keychain? – so think it through. Huge numbers of people now own an iPad, so a branded, plastic, rubber-tipped stylus could be a winner.

2. Make it yours – If your company brand involves specific colors and other design elements (in addition to your logo), make sure to incorporate these into the promo item. It needs to look like “you” – and if you established a conference theme then apply it to the giveaway item, as well.

3. Make it Informative – Give people as many ways to contact you as possible (phone, fax, e-mail, URL). Even computer rentals have stickers with CRE Rentals contact information. Also use your company slogan or create a short, sweet tag line about your product or service.

4. Make it financially sensible – If yours is a low-cost product or service, high-priced swag makes no sense. Of course, the costlier the item, the more judicious you need to be about giving it out. CRE Account Executives can help you strategize this with the same level of expertise they bring to event production rentals.

5. Make it targeted – Naturally, you want to attract qualified prospects, but it can take a few moments to determine if someone is a good prospect. Consider getting low-cost branded pens to offer all comers, reserving a special item (flash drive?) for the best prospects.

For audio visual (AV) equipment rentals or powerful post-production gear, CRE is the one-stop shop. We can support your new viral marketing project with a room full of iMac rentals or help you through a production bottleneck with additional mass storage. One call or e-mail does it all – and if you already know what you need, use our Quick Rental Quote form.

February 2nd, 2012

You collect a lot of information at conferences, and in a lot of forms. To Do ListKeynote speeches and breakout sessions produce lots of notes – digital ones on iPad rentals and/or analog ones on paper – and you are likely to have scores of business cards, brochures and USB thumb drives. It is easy to toss the analog stuff in a pile and the digital stuff on a backup drive (where it may or may not be safe) after which you may simply forget about it all. There’s a better way.

Your post-conference to-do list

1. Report – Send in the post-conference survey. Tell the organizers the truth (what a concept) and you can help them make the next conference better, even if you don’t go.

2. Reflect – Your head will be spinning when you get home. Give it a few days (no more than week) to sink in. You can be swayed by great speakers into buying a concept, product or service that isn’t right for your firm. Don’t rush things.

3. Review – Organizing your notes, like filling out the survey, forces you to think about what you learned. If you had a booth with CRE trade show convention rentals, write a short report on your experiences to keep with your conference notes. Discuss your findings with colleagues.

4. Share – Whether you are a presenter or attendee, going to conferences marks you as someone with passion for the topic. Writing a blog, or making a presentation to company execs on a dramatic LCD touchscreen monitor rental, establishes you as someone with both expertise and initiative.

5. Connect – Don’t surrender to PCLS (Post-Conference Laziness Syndrome). The most valuable “stuff” you brought home wasn’t the knick-knacks and logo-stamped thumb drives, but contact information. Among the business cards, brochures and notes on your team’s tablet PC rentals are new prospects, potential employees and possible partners. Put the info to work, and soon.

6. Forecast – Going to next year’s conference? If you haven’t been one already, contact the conference organizer about being a presenter. Of course, you can also plan your own breakout session with  Audience Response Systems Rental (ARS). Whether in front of the entire assembly, or some subset of it, plan to increase your exposure on your “return engagement.”

7. Apply – Not everything at the conference will be new to you, but you will likely have a few epiphanies and perhaps a very good idea or two. Someone else may have had the same insight, so kick it around – then get on it, or you may regret it.

You won’t regret contacting CRE with a call or e-mail, or making a quick visit to our Quick Rental Quote form. CRE can help you with post-production gear, conference needs, office equipment rentals, computers and more. We have  the expertise to devise the best, most cost-effective and highest-quality solutions to your unique challenges.

January 24th, 2012

NADA 2012

NADA 2012 Logo

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) represents around 16,000 dealers of new vehicles, both domestic and foreign. Over 90 percent of new-vehicle dealers in the U.S. are members, and representatives from most will be at NADA 2012 from February 3-6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The many tech breakthroughs in computer and communications are being embraced wholeheartedly by makers of transportation technology.

For the first time, NADA 2012 will be held in conjunction with the American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention and Expo. Exchanging ideas, getting updates on new marketing approaches and networking with other dealers are invaluable experiences for attendees. With the right setup – a LCD touchscreen monitor rental to engage exhibit hall visitors, breakout session aids using Audience Response System (ARS) rentals, etc. – you can make an impact at the event that puts the new vehicle industry in your sights.

This year’s conference promises a powerful conference with such heavy-hitter speakers as President George W. Bush and Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. Everything on the NADA 2012 program is geared to pushing dealerships to new levels of success.

Catch the “mobile health wave” at HIMSS12

HIMSS

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society is holding its 2012 annual conference and exhibition, HIMSS12, at the Las Vegas Convention Center from February 20-24. The leading group to approach healthcare from the information technology (IT) and systems side of the equation, HIMSS is focusing this year’s conference on “mobile health IT” and the integration of such mobile devices as a smart phone or iPad rental.

With education sessions, special programs and wide-ranging exhibits, health IT and systems professionals from around the world will have their eyes, ears and minds wide open for new tools, techniques and services. With our plasma display rentals you can capture the attention of passersby and draw them into your booth. Of course, there are a lot of people you can miss that way, so you should rent interactive kiosks and place them strategically to capture attendee contact information.

HIMSS12 is the premier location for promoting products and services that empower healthcare professionals to speed workflows, deliver patient care and make educated decisions on technology. A “conference within a conference” event, HIT X.0: Beyond the Edge, will introduce you to hundreds and hundreds of special health/medical applications for smart phones, Wi-Fi gadgets of all kinds and tablet PC rentals running Windows, iOS or Linux. It may help to outfit your conference team members with an iPad rental as well as a Windows device to do “test drives.”

A single call or e-mail puts an experienced Account Executive on the job for you, while our Quick Rental Quote form will save you time when you know what you need. Either way, we’re here and ready to help.

January 10th, 2012

We’re going to go out on a limb and predict that the world will not end in 2012, as some ancient Mayan calendars have been interpreted to mean. Even if it does, it’s supposed to happen in December, so the following two trade shows in late January and early February should be right on schedule.

World of Concrete Trade Show

World of Concrete

From January 23-27, 2012, the Las Vegas Convention Center hosts the only international conference dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries, World of Concrete (WOC). CRE’s expertise in trade show convention rentals will help you create an inviting, effective presence in WOC’s 500,000 square feet of indoor and/or outdoor exhibits.

With around 1,300 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of products, services and technologies, you need the right sights and sounds to stand out – like big plasma display rentals for indoor exhibits and audio visual (AV) equipment rentals for outdoor exhibits. WOC also has a full program of demonstrations and competitions, as well as a first-rate education program.

Lab Automation Conference gets new name

SLAS

SLAS2012, the First Annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition, is bringing the best of the former Lab Automation and SBS conferences to the San Diego Convention Center from February 4-8, 2012. Over 5,000 engineers, scientists, technologists and researchers – from government, academia and industry – are coming from around the world. A wide range of industries will be represented, including drug discovery and development, food and agriculture, forensics and security, energy, consumer products and more.

Whether you decide to focus on the display floor, inviting people to your booth with an interactive presentation running on an all-in-one multitouch display PC (or several), or lead a breakout session with one of our advanced Audience Response System rentals (ARS) to gather feedback, we can put it all together for you.

Attendees will enjoy some 130 presentations and scores of workshops, tutorials and short courses, and will also be investigating exciting technologies from about 270 exhibitors. Arm your conference team with the iPad rental and you can all stay in touch with FaceTime, IM and SMS messaging, e-mail and web conferencing services. Rent interactive kiosk technology to augment your human crew, and capture contact info from all the people you don’t see.

One call or e-mail – or a few clicks on our Quick Rental Quote page – will put an expert Account Executive on the job for you. We will craft just the right solution for your unique challenge at these upcoming trade shows (and future ones too!). Give us a call today or learn more about our products and services

December 14th, 2011

The first Macworld expo was in 1985, a few lifetimes ago in “tech time.” Compared to the Apple of today, the company that was the focus of the event was defined by its one product, the Macintosh. In 2012, Apple’s iOS devices are a big part of the story, along with the ever-evolving Macs. Given the “new Apple,” there is now a new name for the event, too. From now on it will be known as Macworld-iWorld: The Ultimate iFanEvent, and the 2012 edition is set for January 26-28 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

iFanEvent

Multiple channels

Event producer IDG and its partners at Macworld magazine are balancing a “heavy influence of OS X developers on the show floor” with products and people from the iOS “sister universe.” With everything from iDevices to the new iMac, the event brings top media outlets, industry experts and people like you (and us) together for the unique value that comes from networking, seeing and/or showing new products, taking part in some first-rate technical training and enjoying diverse educational programs. And all of it is about Apple gear!

Macworld-iWorld also offers important cultural and social opportunities within the Apple universe, creating multiple channels for reaching attendees with your firm’s marketing message. You can leverage CRE’s event production rentals expertise into a powerful floor presence. Alternatively – better yet, in addition – you can take prospects off the floor to a breakout session and gather valuable feedback with our Audience Response Systems (ARS). Whatever your plan, we have the mobile gear, presentation devices, plasma display rentals and everything else you need for success.

Music is expected to play a major role at Macworld-iWorld 2012, with showcase performances at the ongoing “Music Experience” and a list of evening events at other S.F. venues. Film, media and post-production pros – the kind that use our render farms and other high-end gear – will find things with which to fascinate and entertain themselves, on center stage and elsewhere. Draw passersby into your booth with custom interactive programs running on our all-in-one multitouch display PC. You can also collect contact info from people that aren’t passing by if you rent interactive kiosks and set them in the high-traffic areas that your conference team can’t get to.

IDG is estimating some 20% growth in total exhibitors, a dramatic increase from the 2010 and 2011 shows, which experienced a major down-scaling from 2009, the last time Apple exhibited. The turnaround is in full swing, so don’t miss out! If you’re a conference pro, use our Quick Rental Quote to get rolling right away. If you need expert assistance, simply call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive and we’ll work out a strategy, deliver the goods, set it all up and even take it all down for you, too. If you want to make the first Macworld-iWorld event a memorable one, let us help – we’re good at it!

November 30th, 2011

Recent studies show that the popular iPad rental is an increasingly significant source of web traffic in the U.S. With a little planning – and some strategic insight into the ever-busier two-way street of mobile media – you can attend conferences and be confident in your ability to drive attendees to your website with iPad. Here’s how.

iPad

Traffic leader

The respected web analytics firm, comScore, reports that smartphones and tablets (from iPhones to WiFi-enabled tablet PC rentals) accounted for nearly 7% of total U.S. web traffic in August 2011. About two-thirds of that was from phones, the balance from tablets. Astonishingly, the iPad grabbed over 97% of tablet traffic.

But the iPad is also driving more web traffic than Apple’s own iPhone – a 46.8% share of all traffic originating from iOS devices (again, in August), as opposed to the iPhone’s 42.6%. Tellingly, the total iOS share of U.S. mobile web traffic that month was 58.5% – that’s market penetration, folks. This is true despite the continuing growth of Android, which just released version 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”).

In the mix of communication

Clearly, the iPad is right “in the mix” when it comes to communications today. What makes it so potent as a marketing device – before, during and after conferences – is its portability, for one thing. But the real power lies in its “double connectivity” (WiFI and cell) and all the great apps that have been customized for it. Although the MacBook Pro is portable, too, Apple’s tablet is supremely flexible, adaptable and focused.

With access to e-mail, social networking sites and the rest of the web, you can use your iPad in real-time from your exhibit booth to draw attendees there. In addition to communications apps, the iPad has a full array of office tools for creating, editing, printing, sending and otherwise managing all of your marketing materials. You can announce breakout sessions, invite participants to interactive presentations powered by Audience Response Systems (ARS) and steer attendees to both your booth and your website.

Bottom line for business professionals

According to comScore, in 2010 over 115 million Americans used mobile devices to browse the web, use/download apps or access content. This is nearly 20% greater than just the previous year – and the numbers are even more impressive among business users. Whether using a PC desktop computer rental or a mobile device, business users have come to depend on the ability to reach their targets – worldwide, around town and in a sea of conference attendees.

When you need more than just an Xserve RAID array or other high-tech tool – when you need a solution, a plan, a strategy – you need CRE. One call or e-mail, or one visit to our Quick Rental Quote online form, and an Account Executive is on the job for you. Just let us know what you need to do!

September 22nd, 2011

Yesterday, we dealt dealt with pre-conference promotion and exhibit preparation (check out the post: Impressing Conference Attendees, Part 1) Today, CRE Rentals covers promotion at the conference itself, in addition to the vitally important follow-up after the show.

ISC Promo

Promotion at the conference

• Sponsorships and participation – If you can arrange to lead a conference session under the aegis of the host organization or company, it positions you as an expert in your field. Although you would not promote your services in these settings, you will benefit from priceless word of mouth. If you use projector rentals for a presentation, it would be acceptable for you to have your logo or business name at the bottom of the images – but be discreet.

• Giveaways – Consider freebies for visitors to your booth. People do like logos, especially on useful little items like key rings, sticky notes, fridge magnets and such. Do not be cheap. It is better to have nothing at all than a penny mint or plastic wristband. Naturally, be frugal, too. Outfit your conference team with MacBook Pro rentals and your giveaways can be digital, and you can deliver them to other Mac users with OS X Lion’s new Airdrop feature – over WiFi or peer-to-peer.

• Brochures and business cards – You can never bring enough of these. If you run out… never mind, it’s too horrible to contemplate. An updated business card with all your contact info is always the #1 thing on experts’ lists of “what not to forget to bring to the convention.” Don’t be shy about spreading them around, either.

• Touchy-feely togethernessLCD touchscreen monitor rentals are great for engaging and impressing booth visitors, and you can customize any number of approaches to lead them to the right conclusion about your product or service. With a printer hooked up, booth visitors can print a variety of materials themselves. This guarantees they’ll leave with contact info for your firm.

Post-conference follow-up

This is the “forgotten step” in many conference marketing strategies. It is important to follow up with everyone whose contact information you captured – at your booth, or with strategically placed interactive kiosk rentals – and it is also important to revisit your original invitation list. Since many firms do zero follow-up, you will impress conference attendees with your attention to detail – and your attention to their company! You can use post-conference reports available (for a fee) from the association hosting the event to identify other contacts. “Sorry we missed you at GlobalWorldCon 2011,” you could say, then steer the recipients to your website.

CRE has a full range of convention rentals, and decades of experience helping firms impress conference attendees. One call or e-mail is all it takes to get a knowledgeable Account Executive on the job for you, and a couple of minutes is all it takes for you to get what you know you need with our Quick Rental Quote form. How can we help you?

September 21st, 2011

Conference

Conventions and conferences are tremendous opportunities to reach the right kind of people, the ones that need your product or service (whether they know it or not). Appearing at the right venues will enhance your brand identity and increase your firm’s visibility, while you are simultaneously generating leads and driving new sales. As a leading provider of state-of-the-art event production services, CRE Rentals can not only advise you – we can equip you.

Participating in the right events helps you

• make new business connections,

• keep abreast of industry trends,

• observe your competitors in action and

• hone your marketing and sales strategies.

Naturally, you will want to impress attendees without breaking the bank, and much of the answer lies in the old “4P Method” – Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Remember, too, that most cost overruns are due to excessive revision and redundancy. So (1) do things right the first time and (2) stay on schedule.

Your pre-event checklist

• The first thing that will impress conference attendees is an invitation. You can use e-mail blasts, phone calls, press releases and other approaches in the mix that works best for you. Target existing customers, prospects, business leaders, industry analysts, bloggers and anyone else who may be interested – or should be!

• To ensure you have the right exhibit to fulfill your marketing goals (within your budget, of course) you should check out different booth designs. You will need visual appeal, so CRE plasma rentals should be at the top of your list.

• If you do a little research, you can discover what unique and creative booth ideas generated buzz on the exhibition floor of other conferences. Not everyone you invite will show up, so you must attract visitors to your booth.

• Consider which accessories, lighting setups and audio visual rentals will solidify your brand image. Compelling sights should be used in tandem with compelling sounds – without blasting the neighbors, of course.

• Also: Stock some cost-effective giveaways, make sure your booth staff project a professional image, prepare a talking points one-sheet and be proactive in steering people to your exhibit area.

Two overlooked strategies

Early Bird – Start your pre-conference promotion before the ink dries on your booth contract. If you have sales and field personnel using iPad rentals, make sure they carry PDF versions of your promo pieces, and tell them to spread the news.

Cast a Net – Most industries have numerous conferences and trade shows every year, but many firms cannot afford to go to more than one. If this is your situation, arrange to get your promotional materials to associates in non-competitive industries that are exhibiting at shows scheduled before yours.

Call or e-mail an Account Executive for all your on-site production needs, as well as trade show expertise. Know what you need? Use the Quick Rental Quote form right now!

Don’t forget to check out Part 2 of “Impressing Conference Attendees” on Thursday, September 22nd.

September 13th, 2011

Oracle OpenWorld 2011

Oracle Open World

Fall is coming, and that means it’s time once again for Oracle OpenWorld 2011, being held October 2-6 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Researchers, entrepreneurs, the scions of today’s industries and the innovators of tomorrow’s – representing every imaginable industry – come to OpenWorld from the overwhelming majority of nations on Planet Earth.

If you want to master Oracle technology, this is the place, with literally hundreds of sessions, 450 exhibits, scores of technology demos, numerous breakout sessions and many exciting keynotes from world tech leaders from which to choose. If you want to outfit an exhibit area to reel in interested parties, CRE has the convention rentals expertise to help you there, too.

For 30+ years, CRE has been providing solutions for breakout sessions, presentations and exhibits, and is a veteran of OpenWorld. Our plasma rentals can anchor your booth with dramatic displays and signage, while iPad rentals empower your conference team by putting those same materials (and/or others) right in their hands for “portable presentations.”

As we’ve said of previous OpenWorld events, Oracle delivers “five days of education with insights and connections that will transform your business.” The clincher for 2011? This year’s “Appreciation Event” concert features Sting. How can you afford to miss all this?

Solar Power International 2011

From its previous home in Anaheim, Solar Power International 2011 (SPI) moves to Dallas, TX, for its annual conference, to be held October 27-29. SPI is among the biggest, most wide-ranging solar power exhibits and conferences in the world with some 24,000 professionals from over 125 countries in attendance.

With 1,200+ firms from all of the solar power vertical markets exhibiting across an expanse of nearly a million square feet (gross), SPI is working hard to achieve its goal: to “advance and support the solar power industry and to promote the growth of U.S. solar markets.”

Encounter new products, service providers and prospects while networking with professionals from the broadening horizons of the industry. Draw passers-by into your exhibit area with unique (and fun) LCD touchscreen monitor rentals that engage, educate and entertain. From manufacturers, contractors and engineering firms to utility companies, government representatives, investors and financiers, the connections you need to make will all be there – don’t let ‘em get away!

In addition to Audience Response System rentals and other gear, CRE has tips for a successful breakout session. Want to multiply your presence cost-effectively? Capture information from high-traffic areas with interactive kiosk rentals customized with your message and queries. We are conference and exhibit professionals. We can help! One call or e-mail to an experienced Account Executive, or a few minutes with our Quick Rental Quote form, and your solution is on its way.

September 1st, 2011

Whether you are speaking to five people in a department meeting or 300 at a tradeshow, the cliche holds true: You have one chance to make a good first impression. Logistically, CRE can help you with gorgeous plasma rentals for your PowerPoint presentation, plus everything you need to fill the room with sights and sounds from our comprehensive selection of audio visual rentals. But it’s not about the room or the equipment – it’s about keeping the audience’s attention. Here are half a dozen great ways to do that.

6 Super Speaking Tips
1. Be bold. Bold statements get attention, making listeners focus on what comes next. So when you make a bold claim – “This industry will die by 2015″ or “Your grandchildren will live to 100″ – have your follow-up ready.

2. Ask a question. You can start with a question and use your presentation to answer it. Another approach is to use multiple questions throughout your presentation. By using CRE’s Audience Response System rentals you can capture valuable feedback.

3. Encourage new thinking. Asking people to use their imagination – “Imagine how to reward innovators” – puts them in the middle of the experience. As an “open, non-restrictive demand,” it allows their creativity free reign.

4. Challenge old thinking. People fall into patterns of thinking as well as behavior. “Old” thinking led many technology analysts to forecast failure for Apple’s iPad. CRE’s experience with iPad rentals, like Apple’s with the device’s phenomenal worldwide sales, clearly spells success, and also shows that innovation can be confusing and counterintuitive.

5. Tell a (true) story. People are most convincing when speaking from the heart. Your audience will sense your sincerity when you share a personal anecdote, unless you try to act sincere or lay it on too thick. You want to connect, not perform.

6. Be yourself. If you don’t tell jokes well, then don’t tell any. Make sure your presentation sounds like you, not your firm’s marketing copy writer or product manager. Digital recorder rentals can help you practice and perfect your delivery for a smooth performance.

Of course, you may run into snags. Stuff happens! Since authenticity is an important element of all these tips – and the subject of fascinating new research – be real. If you flub a line or lose your place, excuse yourself and move on. In fact, it is at these embarrassing times that seasoned speakers make use of Tips #5 and 6. Be honest, be yourself, but never forget Show Biz Rule#1: The show must go on!

If you are “putting on a show” we have a full range of convention rentals and the expert Account Executives to put it together for you. If your work involves putting on someone else’s show, we’ve got the render farm rentals and other post-production gear you need for that, too. One call or e-mail is all it takes, or a few clicks with the Quick Rental Quote form. We’re ready to help, right now, the right way!

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