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October 15th, 2013

Presentation-TIPSNot only have we trimmed the innumerable tips on how to make great presentations down to a manageable 10, we also put them in roughly the order you should use them. A couple of preparation steps are followed by pointers for the introduction to the close. These Top 10 Presentation Pointers can help you, your firm, someone you know, or even all of the above. Let’s get to it!

1. PREPARE AND PRACTICE: For your presentation to go smoothly, free of embarrassments and distractions, you must be prepared. This means knowing your material and rehearsing the presentation. If you’re making a conference presentation, practice with the sort of trade show convention rentals you will be using.

2. WARM UP YOUR VOICE: Few things will empty a room faster than someone yelling “Fire!” but speaking in a lifeless monotone has to be a close second. Practice altering cadence, pitch, and volume (not too low). As a vocal warm-up, help your tongue limber up on certain syllables, and drink some room-temperature water.

3. START STRONG: It might be called a “hook” or a “grab.” It might be an anecdote or a joke, a statistic or a factoid. It would be great if it were relevant to your topic, but whatever you say, start strong and project confidence. Do not open with a voice, character, or attitude that you cannot sustain throughout.

4. BUILD RAPPORT: Don’t rush to details, “talking points,” or punchlines. And remember that dirty jokes aren’t just tacky. In the workplace, they can be illegal, and are not the way to develop rapport anyway. Make roving eye contact (see #6, below), show your passion for the topic—then fill in the blanks.

5. STATE INTENT: Without a clearly defined purpose, there will be no way for listeners to measure your  presentation’s relevance or effectiveness. Within the first few minutes, tell the audience

  • the purpose of the presentation,
  • the top three or four points, and
  • the one or two critical takeaways.

6. MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT: The research is clear: Eye contact is the most important element of a good presentation. You must learn to do it, particularly if you use an audience response system rental or other Q&A method. People don’t respond well to speakers with poor eye contact.

7. SIMPLIFY THE SLIDES: Slides that are garishly colored or filled with every cursive font available are guaranteed losers. Worse, they can undo in seconds what took minutes to explain. Presentation guides typically recommend one headline font, one body font, and three or four bullet points per slide at most.

8. MULTIPLY THE PROPS: You might benefit from using props in addition to slides. Add a whiteboard, pick up a flip chart for a key point, and consider what else could communicate your message. Variety, personality, and unpredictability encourage the audience to pay close attention.

9. STAY IN MOTION: Another excellent way to maintain the audience’s attention is by moving around. You don’t have to break dance or be frenetic. If you need a wireless lapel mic, a PA, or anything else to pull off the event, CRE’s audio visual (AV) equipment rentals inventory holds the answer.

10. MAKE THE CALL (TO ACTION): If there is no call to action at the end of your presentation, you just wasted everyone’s time. If your product or service is valuable to people, you are doing them a disservice by not telling them how to try it or buy it. Tell people what to do with the news you just gave them. Close the deal!

If you know what you need, the Quick Rental Quote will save you time. Call (877) 266-7725, or send us a message, and our Account Executives will respond to your challenges with solutions–the right ones, right now!

August 13th, 2013

Favi E3 pico projectorIt’s hard enough to master the personal communications skills in business, like making an effective presentation, without having so-called technological “helpers” get in the way. But the size and complexity of some A-list business-class projectors are daunting to some professionals, who nonetheless realize nothing makes an impression like great images (especially great big ones). The evolution of smart, simple, and scaled-down projectors could solve some of these operational issues, with a footprint often smaller than a paperback book.

We will give you the basics, and tell you what “tech and specs” you need to know. A four-point checklist, handy for comparing models, is followed by short reviews of three top products. We will not suggest any particular models, as we do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach. We start the discussion, you make the decisions.

Pico projector checklist

1. Form/Features: In addition to a small size you want quality construction, of course. Also consider the projection distance and aspect ratio, and look for expandable internal memory, battery life, and audio output.

2. Compatibility: Even if a projector has WiFi, wired connections are far more trustworthy in critical situations. Absent sufficient internal memory, you may need to connect a smartphone, USB drive, or computer rental to give the presentation. You need a projector that works with “your stuff.” Composite, BNC, S-video—you need to know what you’re working with, and how it works.

3. Image: A high contrast ratio, wide range of brightness settings, and sufficient resolution describe the ideal projected image. Of course, that could describe our iPad rentals, so don’t forget image size.

4. Help/Support: Good customer support often makes a good product an excellent one. It doesn’t take long to get ratings on projectors from various customer reviews, reporting services, and user forums—to discover, among other things, how they treat their customers.

Some top picks

Digipro pico projectorDigipro: A weakness in many portable projectors is the bulb, typically 5-10 lumens, not enough for detail. Although it can fit in your pocket, the Digipro puts out 15 lumens at SVGA resolution, rather than basic VGA, making once-illegible maps, schematics, and other details readable.

Favi E3: This device would vault to the top five or so in most anyone’s list, simply for having a bulb with 30,000+ hours of life. But there’s more, such as an even smaller form factor, multiple connection options, a bright and clear projected image, and expandable internal memory. Holy Grail? That’s your call.

Optoma Pico PK320: If you want to know about the few flaws in this near-perfect model, go to the manufacturer site and search a few tech forums. There are no big, obvious deal-breakerOptoma PK320 pico projectors, but check it out yourself and see if it passes muster. It’s tiny and well-built, with a super contrast ratio and a big, bold image. It’s as good a choice as either of the above for the title of “standard-setter.”

If you need a full-scale professional projector with more lumens and a bigger picture for an event or large meeting, get help selecting the right LCD projector rental with the proper resolution and brightness for your venue. An experienced CRE Account Executive is ready to help at (877) 266-7725, or you can send a message or use our Quick Rental Quote page. Do it now!

April 23rd, 2013

Staying abreast of all the progress in science and technology is difficult. Even deciding what to write about in a twice-weekly blog is tough, so we continue to focus on being practical, keeping you updated, and alerting you to new, exciting breakthroughs and important trends. In just one of many accelerating trends, the venerable Microsoft PowerPoint is getting serious competition from low- and no-cost upstarts leveraging open-source software and cloud services. This trend is looking more and more like a tidal wave now, but today’s overview of this new (rather, new and improved) breed of presentation programs will point you to a safe harbor. As always, ratings are subjective and “your mileage may vary” (YMMV).

1. Zoho Show – Part of the free Zoho office suite that includes a spreadsheet and word processor, Zoho Show has surprisingly robust features and is as solid as a rock. Like the other apps in the list, you can use it on any web-enabled device from a MacBook to an Android tablet (although phone-size screens may be problematic). Unlike most of the others, however, Zoho Show makes as strong a case as can be made for replacing your firm’s current presentation application.

Zoho-Web-presentations


2. Live Presentations – Describing itself as being “like Powerpoint, only better,” Live Presentations is web-enabled in both of its modes, browser and desktop, and promises professional presentations “with half the effort.” Share presentations with anyone on any system or device, control “who does what” to them, run remote shows, and manage multiple simultaneous editors, all from your computer, an iPad rental, or any other net-connected device. You can import PowerPoint files, import/export such other formats as Open Office Impress, and use Google Translate, Twitter, and Flickr to augment your presentations. The Live Documents suite is available in a range of versions, with the basic plan being completely free.

3. Prezi – With just the right sound for snazzy presentation software, Prezi is right up there with the others in creating “a more cinematic and engaging experience [to] lead your audience down a path of discovery.” They mean this literally, since Prezi is 3D, and incredibly gorgeous on the Retina display of our MacBook Pro rental. Prezi is non-linear (not a sequence of slides) and one of its major features, “zooming,” means that (1) you can work on your desktop, in the cloud, or with “the mobility of the iPad or iPhone,” and (2) you can “zoom around” the prezi as if it were a Star Trek holodeck. (Yep, a ‘prezi’ is what you make with Prezi.) It has a decent free plan and two other tiers of service with annual fees.

ThinkFree Web Presentations4. ThinkFree Presentations – The ThinkFree online office suite presentation program is called, of all things, Presentations. As with all of the suite’s apps, you can use the “quick edit” mode to make minor revisions, and reserve the “power edit” mode for major undertakings like the initial design, typesetting, and creating various special effects, even in its mobile version. Remember, this is the online version of ThinkFree, not the ThinkFree Office suite that you install on your iMac or VAIO (which is notorious for installing browser bars, bloatware, and baloney all over your system). By keeping their hands off your hardware, ThinkFree has vaulted from a well-deserved oblivion into the Top Five.

5. Google Docs Presentations – Some call Google Presentations “one of the best free PowerPoint alternatives” while others say it’s “the weak point in the Google Docs series of office 2.0 applications.” Still, when it came to replacing Microsoft programs, Google was fast out of the gate—since we all know they want to take over the world and make sure all the companies that rent laptops have to get Chromebooks! Failing that, they are apparently willing to give away a program that mimics PowerPoint’s interface quite well, but has been refined for ease of use. The software has the “built by geeks” look that is part of the Google brand. Many use Google Docs Presentations to begin a project quickly, then switch to a more powerful alternative to “pump it up.”

When you need to “pump it up” and push that project out the door with the help of some high-tech gear, or find just the right trade show convention rentals to make your next conference a real winner, CRE is ready to help. Call us at (877) 266-7725, send a message, or use our Quick Rental Quote form if you already know what you need.

February 12th, 2013

Will 2013 finally be the year that truly useful, ready-for-prime-time iPad business apps let you leave your laptop behind? With tons of new and “newly improved” apps hitting the market, it just may be—truth be told, it took some doing to keep this list down to 10! We manage to cover some great apps in the following categories: Presentations, Graphs & Graphics, Cloud & Collaboration, and Documents & Design. Let’s roll!

PRESENTATIONS

Keynote – As far as apps go, Apple’s Keynote is the “PowerPoint killer.” It is without question the most potent presentation app available on any mobile platform, and has been retooled from scratch for our iPad rental and other iOS devices.

Presentations on iPad

Corkulous – Whether you call it an ”idea board” or a “mind mapper,” Corkulous is a simple, straightforward way to bring definition, organization, and collaboration to your ideas before they evaporate.

Sadun’s Whiteboard – Connect your iPad to an LCD touchscreen monitor rental, a TV, or a projection system (via VGA, composite, or component cable), use the familiar markers and erasers with this app, and view it all “big as life.”

GRAPHS & GRAPHICS

Analytics HD – Google’s online Analytics App debuts on the iPad as Analytics HD, empowering your charts and reports like never before. There’s a version for Android devices, while tablet PCs running Windows can access the browser-based original—and they’ll all play nice, too!

Numbers – Like its brother app Keynote, Apple’s iOS spreadsheet is far and away the best ever made for a mobile device. Although completely refurbished, it’s still the app you know and love on your iMac. Powerful, attractive spreadsheets are mere minutes away.

CLOUD & COLLABORATION

FTP On The Go PRO – This FTP client for iOS devices lets you view website components (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.) and other server-based files (JPG, PDF, DOC, etc.), and modify them with a built-in editor. You don’t need your MacBook anymore to update your website from wherever you are.

SugarSync – Among the first cloud services, SugarSync gives you instant access to cloud-synced files from all your computers and “smart” (WiFi-enabled) devices. View and edit documents and files, save and send photos, stream movies and music, and share files (and entire folders) with anyone.

GoTogotoMeeting now on iPadMeeting – GoToMeeting was one of the first services offered for online “virtual” meetings, and is now among the first to go portable. From your iPad you can “meet and greet” people signing in from a smart phone, a Mac, or a desktop PC rental, and easily share almost anything on-screen—spreadsheets, Word docs, presentations, even video clips.

DOCUMENTS & DESIGN

iMockups – Developers and designers often need to whip up a few wireframes for their websites and apps. An iPad exclusive (so far), iMockups takes complete advantage of the touch interface to produce great results. If you need a better view, just connect to one of CRE’s plasma display rentals with a simple cable/adapter.

Dragon Dictation – Built from the core capabilities of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Dragon Dictation “turns talk to text” for note writing, e-mails, and messages. After a bit of breaking in (for you and the app), it can be up to five times faster than using the virtual keyboard.

With a simple phone call to (877) 266-7725—or an even simpler online message—our expert Account Executives will help you overcome every obstacle you face, from that impossible production schedule to a last-minute need for some tradeshow convention rentals. As always, if you know exactly what you need, just head to our Quick Rental Quote page and tell us!

June 16th, 2011

PowerPoint PresentationCRE helps you make the most of your presentations with fabulous plasma rentals and everything else you need to look good. Of course, your presentation is only part visual – a PowerPoint “deck,” an Apple Keynote document, a slide show – and the other part is verbal. So, what’s the best way to cook up a persuasive presentation with these ingredients?

Listen to the audience

As with other challenges, it may be easier to tell you what not to do. Professional speaker and presentation guru David Paradi surveyed audiences about presentations. Following each negative comment is the percentage of agreement:

• Speaker reads slide copy (69.2%)
• Text unreadably small (48.2%)
• Sentences rather than bullet points (48%)
• Colors unreadable (33%)
• “Busy” graphics, special effects (27.9%)

It’s impossible to list all the good ideas and tell you what you should do, but there are some agreed-upon basics for creating effective presentations. Start here and stay teachable as you look around for more help.

Five steps to a better presentation

1. Successful slides are supportive, giving your message impact and making it memorable. A slide must clarify, reinforce, make an emotional appeal, take the audience to a different “mental location” and/or portray complex concepts simply. Using graphics sparingly maintains their power. Using too many dilutes it.

2. Establish a powerful presence by making your slides readable from the back row. Keep copy simple and follow the “Rule of 66” – six lines of text per screen with six words maximum per line (minimum 24-pt type). Viewing screens with white backgrounds, whether you use monitors or CRE projector rentals, can be like “like staring into headlights” for audiences. Use light text on dark backgrounds.

3. Make your point with “bullets” using the absolute minimum verbiage. Full sentences, if you must use them, should be memorable, brief (15-20 words) and clearly superior to shorter alternatives. Audiences typically remember things with impact, like quotes.

4. Simpler is better for graphs that grab and charts that clarify. Do your fancy effects add to audience understanding? If not, they likely cloud meaning while cluttering the screen. Making clear points is hard enough without annoying people.

5. Show a “map” so your audiences know where you’re headed. You can divide your presentation into sections, using different background colors or icons to show progress and position. Explain the agenda in your opening and never leave your audience guessing.

Don’t dilute your message

Remember, visuals must add power and/or clarity to your presentation or you shouldn’t use them. Used wrongly, they will dilute your message and can even alienate your audience. You should consider one of CRE’s audience response system rentals so you can get real-time feedback on your presentations, in-house and at conferences, for ongoing improvement.

From PCs, displays and office equipment to specialized gear like render farm rentals, CRE is your one-stop solution. Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive, or tell us what you need with the Quick Rental Quote form. We’re ready with your solutions right now!

August 31st, 2010

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has been at the forefront of touch screen technology for some time, and cranks out both touch-based all-in-one PCs as well as touch screen displays targeted at everything from home entertainment to digital signage. Rent Touchscreen LCD monitorIn the latter category, HP introduced the current state-of-the-art with its third-generation widescreen digital signage display – the 42-inch LD4200TM. This gargantuan creature grabs attention even before you turn it on, and is an absolute people magnet for exhibit booths, breakout sessions or other sorts of presentation uses. Now, CRE offers touchscreen monitor rentals.

Extra dose of inventiveness

A capacitive touch screen at this size would have been extremely costly, so HP engineers added an extra dose of inventiveness to the LD4200TM’s digital DNA. The device has a unique way of delivering multi-touch capabilities with an “array of infrared (IR) light-emitting diodes (LEDs), along with photo sensors.” With a native resolution of 1920×1080, you’ve got full HD for lifelike color and clarity, ably assisted by a superior brightness rating and a 1000:1 contrast ratio (with 3000:1 dynamic contrast ratio). It adds up to jaw-dropping graphics and video, and incredibly sharp text, in bright lighting or dim. CRE has LCD monitor rentals and plasmas, too, for all kinds of display purposes, but we’ve added this great touch screen model because of its power, presence and aforementioned people-magnet potential.

As an attention-getter in exhibit booths the LD4200TM excels with an ultra-wide 178 x 178 degree viewing angle providing clean, bright views. As opposed to TV screens, Touchscreen LCD Digital Signage Display Rentalthe LD4200TM can run day and night with low power usage and still enjoy a long, useful life due to its high-quality components. HP sees businesses large and small using the unit for “quick and easy onscreen interactivity” in a variety of settings – retail, point of sale, digital signage, malls, hotel lobbies, airline and other terminals, entertainment venues, colleges, hospitals – and it is bound to show up at conferences, conventions and corporate meetings worldwide.

Wide range of applications

Interactive kiosk rentals can do yeoman’s duty collecting contact information and making small-screen presentations wherever you place them, but for attracting visitors to your booth in an exhibit hall – and thoroughly engaging them – there’s nothing quite like this new HP display. For meetings, corporate presentations and high-end brainstorming, the LD4200TM is also perfectly suited, and teamed with one of CRE’s Audience Response System rentals it could be the star of many productive polling sessions, marketing focus groups and product demonstrations.

The LD4200TM’s hardware supports multi-touch gestures, and after the software driver was WHQL certified a slew of applications started to support their use with this big boy. To make its “magic” happen, you will connect the display to your computer via USB (for control and gestures) and send images via an HDMI connection. It can also take VGA (for tiling, too), component video, composite video and S-video signals. The range of its connectivity makes the LD4200TM extremely flexible for a broad array of duties. You can opt for the rear-facing audio amplifier and speakers from HP that give you 20 watts (10w x 2) of sound.

Whatever you need to spread your marketing message or capture attention in a sea of exhibits, CRE has it, from this great new HP display to all manner of convention rentals. We are also your productivity partners, with the potent Mac Pro rentals and newly-upgraded iMacs to help you finish that post-production, animation or design work and hit your deadline. Contact a seasoned Account Executive today, or fill out the Quick Rental Quote form right now, and let us know just where you need to go – we’ll help you get there, guaranteed.

July 22nd, 2010

Our recent gadget blog mentioned a potent hard-drive-based media player that could connect with CRE plasma rentals to create a low-cost, high-impact presentation system. For all of you who use PowerPoint, we’re going to share some creative and cost-effective ways of bringing a presentation to your seminar or breakout session.

You could present the PowerPoint show from your connected laptop – or from a CD or DVD containing the presentation and the standalone PowerPoint Viewer application – but PowerPoint is notorious for its propensity to stutter and crash. The most dependable playback format is a universally supported video format like AVI, where you will have a smooth, flawless presentation with no glitches. With an AVI file of your presentation, you can then leverage the power of a neat piece of equipment we found in a rather unexpected place.

Convert PowerPoint presentation to video

Literally scores of applications, from freeware and shareware to commercial packages, can convert PowerPoint presentations to AVI. Most allow a trial period before buying, although they might watermark your video, so find out about that. PowerVideoMaker Professional, for example, converts PowerPoint files to AVI , MPEG or WMV formats, while PPT To Video Scout will convert to AVI and over half a dozen other formats. There are plenty of converters to choose from, and several Web-based conversion sites, as well.

Mention “karaoke” and most people think of rolling carts full of audio equipment. You can still have a big rack of karaoke gear if you want, but the Pocket Karaoke Entertainment Systemhigh-powered, handheld Acesonic PK-6000 Pocket Karaoke Entertainment System can replace all of it. If it didn’t have “Pocket Karaoke” stamped on it, it could just as easily be called the “Presentation Player with Voice-Over.” The PK-6000, an iPod-ish media player with a 2.8-inch color LCD screen, stores 2GB of MP3 and MP3+G files in internal memory (plus up to 16GB more on a MicroSD card). It also has native support for AVI video files – and fits in your pocket.

Flexible power with AVI movie

Convert your PowerPoint file into an AVI movie and load it on the PK-6000 via USB. A touchscreen with great navigation tools offers intuitive control, and the PK’s mini-gooseneck microphone lets you speak over the program material as it runs. The device has a built-in FM transmitter so you can use it as a PA, but you won’t need to if you connect it via the included RCA cable to one of CRE’s LCD monitor rentals or other big displays. In addition to its presentation chops, the PK has a digital mixer for tweaking mic volume, echo level and tone settings.

You can make an honest case that the Acesonic Pocket Karaoke was made for presenters as well as singers. There’s nothing in the manual that says you can’t talk instead of sing, or play business presentations instead of Toy Story. At CRE, we don’t let any obstacles get in the way of working smarter as well as harder, and can offer you creative solutions to even the most daunting audio, video and post-production challenges. If you need meeting rentalssimply fill out the Quick Rental Quote form, and we will get you what you need to capture the meeting presentation on video.

May 25th, 2010

When you need feedback from a marketing focus group, a room full of shareholders or a few score people attending your conference breakout session, that’s where CRE’s Audience Response System rentals (ARS)Audience Response System Rentals really shine. The Audience Response Systems are fully integrated with Microsoft Office applications, letting you turn a flat, boring PowerPoint slideshow into a two-way, interactive mutual learning experience. A simple, easily installed PowerPoint plug-in enables real-time audience polling, as well as the acquisition, analysis and display of the collected information. And you do it all from within the PowerPoint application.

It is not difficult to get going with the presentation once you have the plug-in installed. It provides a new toolbar that lets you edit professionally-designed templates to your needs. You can change graphics, colors and styles in a few mouse clicks, use the special toolbar to create content fields and choose your settings, quickly and easily. Save your slide, move on to the next one and repeat as needed. Load your finished presentation onto a laptop or desktop computer, then plug into a projector rental, set up your screen and start getting that audience feedback you need.

How does interactive polling work?

Audience Response Systems offer small response card keypads that are wireless and use both IR (InfraRed) and RF (Radio Frequency) technology depending on the model. With the keypads, the audience can answer multiple choice, multiple response, short answer, essay and alphanumeric questions throughout the presentation.

Need to poll the audience from different (even distant) locations in real-time? Now there is remote polling technology that allows a presenter to address and question audiences, either using a web-based polling application (through their iPhone or Blackberry smartphone) or a hand-held keypad. This gives the presenter the capability of combining the remote results with those of the local group. Real-time feedback allows the presenter to keep remote participants attentive and focused by displaying results of their ongoing input.

Expanded uses, expanded capabilities

Audience Response Systems have proven their tremendous value in a wide variety of settings. No longer do seminars, product demos, breakout session presentations or other corporate meetings have to be one-way streets – someone talks, you take notes – now that true real-time connectivity is easily achieved. The old salesman’s saying, that the best salesmen listen more than they talk, is a powerful insight, and an ARS gives you the ability to listen to hundreds of people at the same time, responding with information that your organization really needs to know. An Audience Response System, being fully plugged into the MS Office applications, makes it easy to tally, analyze and display the gathered information.

Ready to interact with your audience at your next meeting? Simply fill out the Quick Rental Quote form, give us a call or  send an e-mail and we will take care of you right away. Whether you need audience response, kiosks (another great interactive tool!) or plasma rentals, our objective is to equip you with the best tools available so you can finish on time with excellent results, whatever the task.

April 29th, 2010

From the start, the educational potential of the Internet was a source of tremendous excitement. There is a wealth of online training available today, in every imaginable subject, with many top universities and even elite Ivy League institutions delivering courses, counseling, certificates and degrees on the Web. It’s even better for ongoing education and professional certification, as well as for people who want to learn specific skills or knowledge without a degree program.

At CRE, we support all kinds of businesses in every industry, but have a particular expertise outfitting creative people – designers, audio engineers, video pros, marketing mavens – with powerful media manipulators like our Mac Pro rentals. We know how much effort it takes staying updated on all manner of different software and hardware, with the ability to jump into one of our G5 with Kona card rentals and do your thing. Should you decide to take some online training to maintain and/or improve your professional standing and specialized skills, we would commend you for your work ethic – then share a few tips.

Always check training sources

You must always consider the source of online training because not all teachers and schools are created equal. Use your Web search skills, make some calls, ask questions, get references – anything to get some third-party insight. As you search for a source for training, you should consider the type of training that would work best in your specific situation. You can watch live online classes, or buy books and read online class notes, or use webcams to interact with others, and you can study on your own or in a group.

Rentals for in-house training

If you are looking for training for a group of people, perhaps for professional certification of some kind, you can buy the instructional materials on DVD. CRE has the projector rentals, as well as the audience response system rentals, that can make group training simple and effective. Especially in the IT and technical fields, where widely-regarded certifications are essential for a tech firm’s employees to have, using CRE laptop rentals rounds out a cost-effective training regimen. The more people you can get trained together, of course, the lower the unit cost for the preparation. Win-win.

With large enough hardware or software purchases, vendors can also customize a total solution for your firm and easily integrate online or offline training into the plan. You don’t need to tie up your workstations (which are making your company money) or budget a large hardware purchase when you use computer rentals for training. A room of iMac rentals and/or PCs, the right software, the right learning materials and the right amount of time, and you’ve got another group of experts in Excel, Exchange. Photoshop or InDesign – or Maya, C+, Logic, Pro Tools, Avid, Javascript, Ajax, Cisco, Microsoft, Novell or whatever else you can think of.

CRE has its share of experts, too. Our Account Executives know exactly what solutions will fit your particular challenge, whether it’s a post-production bottleneck, convention, presentation or training session. Call or send an e-mail, or fill out the Quick Rental Quote form, and we’ll get you that personalized training solution you need.

April 13th, 2010

As discussed in our  April 8 blog (“Computer Security, Online and Off”), it wasn’t long before the computer revolution gave rise to the kind of negative, destructive activity that infects all other human endeavors. Hackers became the new anti-heroes – they destroyed research, stole credit card account information, brought down communications infrastructure and generally made a (costly) nuisance of themselves.

To combat these so-called cybercriminals, new technologies and techniques were developed – and are continuously updated and improved – to provide security for both information and the systems that store it. As the technologies are in a state of constant improvement, Computer Security - CRE RentalsIT security professionals must be involved in ongoing education or risk catastrophic losses. The previous blog told you what expertise you needed, while this one tells you how to get it.

The SANS Institute

Founded in 1989 to undertake collaborative research and provide state of the art education, SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network and Security) Institute oversees programs that reach some 170,000 computer and network professionals worldwide every year. From auditors and system operators to network administrators and chief information officers (CIOs), increasing numbers of IT professionals are sharing insights, learning lessons and finding solutions to a never-ending stream of security challenges.

SANS brings together security professionals from a diverse array of global groups – including corporations, think tanks, universities, government agencies and trade associations – to benefit everyone concerned with information security. It is among the most trusted, and without question the world’s largest, independent source for IT security training and professional certification. The group is a fabulous resource for everyone, from small TV post-production firms with CRE Mac Pro rentals to financial institutions running huge databases on IBM iSeries servers.

In addition, SANS creates, maintains and distributes the most extensive set of research documents available regarding information security. Many of these valuable resources are free for the asking, including use of the Internet Storm Center (an “early warning system”), a weekly news digest called NewsBites, a weekly vulnerability report entitled @RISK and timely security alerts available by RSS  or e-mail.

Annual training conference

In San Diego, from May 7th to 15th, the group will be holding its SANS Security West 2010 training conference. To benefit fully from over 20 top-rated course offerings presented by expert instructors, make sure your show attendees pack our convenient laptop rentals to take notes, stay in touch via Wi-Fi and download course materials.

Security West 2010 is the place to be for security pros and business owners, and CRE can outfit you for attending, exhibiting or making a presentation. If you’ve reserved a spot at the Vendor Expo, we can set you up with touchscreen LCD monitor rentals, interactive kiosk rentals or anything else you need to present and promote your product or service.

Diverse and comprehensive

SANS veterans will recognize both classic, always-relevant offerings as well as exciting new courses in the comprehensive lineup. From SANS Security Essentials Bootcamp Style, Intrusion Detection In-Depth, Computer Forensic Essentials and Developing Exploits for Penetration Testers & Security Researchers to Comprehensive Packet Analysis, Security Architecture for Systems Administrators and Virtualization Security Fundamentals, the course offerings are both diverse and comprehensive.

The conference will also feature special events, a Vendor Expo/Reception and SANS@Night talks, all absolutely free to registered attendees. There are many informal yet enriching networking opportunities at SANS training events where you can forge valuable professional relationships that can last for years. That’s the kind of relationship that CRE has with many of its valued clients and customers. Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, call or send an e-mail to our experienced Account Executives (or use the Quick Rental Quote form) for all of your computer, networking, storage, presentation and event management rental needs.

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