In the sixth part of this series on event apps, we’ll discuss one of the mainstays of the modern app—Social Networking. Certainly, if there’s one thing that technology has advanced and encouraged for us, it’s our ability to be “connected”; event apps are no different. However, the social networking that happens at business events is, in many ways, more important than the everyday round of “Likes” and “Plus Ones” that we do in our personal digital socializing. Social networking in the business world can mean a difference of millions of dollars in sales and revenue. Undoubtedly, an event app needs a particular kind of format—one that keeps the focus on the business at hand!
Ideally, the social networking features of your app will collect and distribute valuable information—information that allows your attendees to bypass all the basic details and helps them connect with the right people—knowing names, knowing faces, knowing companies, and getting straight into productive meetings.
What social networking opportunities can a good event app provide?
Advanced LinkedIn – LinkedIn has risen to the surface as THE social networking site for our professional lives. With its focus on our work, job skills, education, achievements, and contacts, it is the perfect foundation for event networking. The best event apps utilize the extensive information on attendees’ LinkedIn profiles—providing the most complete data, while also saving guests the tedious task of re-entering their information for a single event profile. A LinkedIn connection adds the extra benefits of importing their professional profile photo and syncing their professional contacts.
Personalized Lists – happily, gone are the days when event attendees needed to wander the floors, scrambling to read name tags. A good event app will immediately help attendees locate similar and complimentary guests, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers.
Social Sharing – your app should allow your guests to share their thoughts freely in the form of comments, posts, photos, and tweets. Let these streams-of-consciousness be shared within a special feed dedicated to the event, as well as whatever external social media platform(s) your guests prefer. (TIP: a video wall is an excellent place to display social media activity!)
Twitter Conversations – let your app ease communication by making it simple to connect with other attendees through Twitter.
Meeting Scheduling – your event may be designed for meetings to occur in general sessions, but if possible, allow direct meeting scheduling between guests. Your app is the most direct way for guests to identify important contacts and schedule meetings.
Stay tuned as we continue with this topic—“How to Succeed with Event Apps—Part Seven: More Social Networking!”
CRE has the iPad rentals, laptops, digital signage, and Interactive Kiosks that can enhance your event and increase your app adoption rate. Give us a call today! 877-266-7725
In this six-part series on Evernote, we’ve discussed the broad uses of this organizational tool, and how—now—there’s no excuse for wasting precious work time hunting down lost files or wading through disorganized materials. Let Evernote act as your personal assistant—making you look like you’re two steps ahead of the game as you instantly pull up memos, documents, email threads, web clippings, or business contact info—even personal anecdotes regarding sales leads or team members! Never scramble or stall for time again.
In a meeting, have you ever been called upon to provide unexpected information? Did you feel the pressure of all eyes on you as you desperately sifted through papers, scrolled through emails, and searched through documents or files? The following business apps will make your work flow . . . actually FLOW!
UberConference – a better, more connected form of free conference calls, UberConference is a visual phone conferencing service that lets you not only see the participants, but also share Evernote notes during the calls.
Smartsheet – an app that seamlessly joins spreadsheets to Evernote, offering all the convenience and informational power of both, plus task lists, file sharing, work automation, and an archive for thoughts and ideas.
Evernote Business for Salesforce – designed specifically for sales teams and working in conjunction with Salesforce software packages, Evernote Business for Salesforce brings Evernote’s information capture and sharing, and allows those notes to be entered directly into the Salesforce program.
Hello – this app keeps track of relevant information and anecdotes regarding business contacts. The app uploads business cards, connects with social media profiles, and keeps track of any information that will help you make conversations and meetings run more smoothly, socially!
Smart Stickers – if you need to scan and sort large amounts of documents, pages, or images, Smart Stickers can help. Select a color for a particular notebook, temporarily stick the colored “Smart Sticker” onto any page that you scan, and Evernote will automatically add the scanned image into the correct notebook, saving you the trouble of filing!
Mynd Calendar – an iPhone app that turns your smartphone calendar into a Mastermind, combining date and time, GPS location, and your Evernote notes to ensure that you’re always where you need to be.
Refresh – this iPhone app will send you the notes that you’ve saved regarding business contacts—helping you feel more prepared for business gatherings.
ScanSnap – the Evernote Edition of this app recognizes the differences between documents, receipts, photos, and business cards. It then automatically files these items into the appropriate notebook!
Atlas – this app keeps track of location data when uploading scans to Evernote, allowing you to search your information and notes by location.
FileThis – at last, take control of your online statements and invoices, automatically and securely. This app will send all of your bills, whether business-related or personal, to Evernote each month, placing them in the appropriate file and keeping records of previous statements.
Stay tuned for the final post in the series: “Evernote Illuminated—Part Six: Special Tools”, as we explore some of the apps and specially-designed hardware that can help adapt your individual preferences into the Evernote system!
Interestingly, using social media AFTER an event helps to create a sense of community. Since the event is already concluded, attendees are more relaxed. No one has pre-event jitters. The travel, scheduling, and networking stresses are over. At this point, the pressure is OFF and attendees can truly reflect on what they took away from the experience. Often, in the heat of the moment, names are forgotten and opportunities are missed, but a healthy post-event social media campaign is a second chance to bring people together for fun, friends, feedback, and the future!
Continuing to ride the tide of your event’s success, the days and weeks following the conclusion of your corporate gathering are an excellent time to put some spin into promoting the next event. Now is the time to gather your new contacts, generate a social media strategy, and send a healthy stream of promotions out to your followers. Ideally, you’ll create “year-round engagement” with an active community that keeps in touch with one another as they’re waiting for the next meeting opportunity that you create. Hopefully, you’ve already explored or implemented some of the following Apps after reading previous posts in this series. The following selections are perfect for post-event promotions, and for helping you roll knowledge and connections into a powerful future!
EventMobi – their specialized Event Apps and Association Apps help you achieve year-round engagement. The EventMobi multi-event app gallery also allows attendees and members to easily find any Event App—no matter what stage of past, present or future—making it easier to keep a community connected.
LinkedIn – let LinkedIn be the social media hub that feeds your Apps and helps you throw an ever-widening net for gathering business contacts. Unlike many other social media sites, LinkedIn is most often used with a specific focus on businesses, career connections, business contacts and, most importantly, GROUPS. Check LinkedIn for networks and communities that would benefit most from the type of events that you’re producing. Let it help you find new attendees based on the industries and associations of the people you already know.
Pathable – browse and search Pathable’s attendee directory. Use its Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn integration. Pathable allows for direct contact between participants, and it also offers public discussion forums that you can put to work for you, building your brand and keeping your events at the forefront.
Bizzabo – returning to Bizzabo again, this time use it to keep your attendees or members connected with news about your upcoming events. Let it help you extend an event’s “lifetime” by keeping the contacts and experiences fresh in the minds of your attendees.
For your next event, let CRE Rentals provide you with all the technology you require. From iPad rentals that deliver the customized content of your Event App, to digital signage that informs and impresses, CRE Rentals has the equipment and expertise to make your event SHINE! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725
You’ve been processing the polling results, social media comments, feedback, and analytics from your recent event. Now that you’ve had a chance to analyze your data, it’s time to use insight, intuition, and technology to begin crafting a more perfect App for the next time around! Today’s events rely on well-organized, streamlined, customized Apps. The information you’ve gathered from your event is exactly what you need to help you make well-supported decisions regarding the digital directory for your future events.
Does your Event App need tweaking? Check the feedback regarding your App’s success in the following key areas:
Social Media Integration
File and Document Integration and Synchronization
Usability and Security
Maps and Geo-Locating
Polling and Surveys
Networking and Gamification
Branding and Sponsorship options
Exhibitors and Speakers
Analytics and Reporting
Your attendees rely heavily on your Event App for so many aspects of their event experience. From schedules and speaker bios, to networking, local maps and photo sharing, your App needs to be a customized guide for the agenda and setting of your meeting. The following services allow you to create your OWN Event App, exactly to the specifications you want. They range from point-and-click, do-it-yourself to full-service possibilities.
QuickMobile – quickly manage your own Event App with easily configured modules that let your attendees learn, share, interact, and personalize while you sit back and measure the ROI. QuickMobile provides the design components and makes it simple for you to load content. This D.I.Y. option is even scalable, allowing you to plan an App for a single event or keep a template you can use a thousand times over.
EventMobi – gives you drag-and-drop capabilities to create and customize your own Event App with everything you need, as well as providing the backup tech support to assist you with more sophisticated requests.
Avodigy – with a heavy focus on the technological aspects, and specializing in seamless data transfer and mobile Apps, Avodigy works with several partnering tech brands to provide you with customized and scalable mobile platforms that can become a solid foundation for a corporation’s Event Apps.
CrowdCompass – allows you to easily develop a customized Mobile App for your event. Best of all, CrowdCompass puts individuality and SOCIAL first with features like Social Notes, SocialWall, and Social Game—letting your attendees share connections, activities, and ideas. From schedules and maps, to gamification and speaker profiles, CrowdCompass offers the ability to have your Event App customized for each individual attendee, based on their interests, activities and preferences!
One of the most amazing Event Planning tools is already in your pocket—your iPhone. The following set of Apps will partner with your iPhone to become your Event Planning Mastermind . . . or Assistant (you get to decide who has more power). Capable of planning, tracking, coordinating and administering all aspects of event management and networking, these Apps act like an army of stage hands in your pocket, without disrupting the cut of your suit, of course!
As an Event Planner, you ALWAYS want to be on top of a situation, and you need to be the first one to identify and solve any issues, ideally before a single attendee has a chance to notice. Armed with these Apps, you can control the environment, cue the production, and analyze the interactions during the event, guaranteeing the best possible conditions.
DoubleDutch – calling itself “The Data-Driven Event App,” DoubleDutch is nothing short of an Event App to collect and coordinate . . . all of your Apps. It’s the one App to rule them all. DoubleDutch is customized to manage all of your event needs, including:
Surveys and polling
Instant content updates
Social interaction facilitation
Processing of user engagement data
Control of multiple events with a single App
Dropbox – access your data (documents, images, logos, presentations and more) from anywhere on any device and instantly share access with others. Left a file of important information at the office? Dropbox lets you forget that ever even used to happen.
FFT – this real time sound analyzer can “listen” to your presentation and deliver immediate information on the quality of your audio. Audio Engineer reviewers say the App gives you the ability to visualize the success or failure of what your audience is hearing, depending on the location of the attendee, and to adjust the levels of your speakers accordingly.
WorldCard Mobile – another networking time-saver, WorldCard Mobile allows users to immediately scan and download business card information in 16 languages. The App also connects the business contact information in social media—Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter—allowing for instant contact, communication, and connection.
Zerista – from its automated lead generation and capture, to its live activity feeds and gamification solutions, Zerista is a “simply” excellent way to facilitate interactions and connections between your attendees—one of the most important goals of any business event. Everyday social media platforms carry a tremendous amount of irrelevant information and noise; Zerista is an Event Planner’s dream come true—an event-focused social platform. Let it concentrate your attendees’ interactions on the event at hand—YOURS!
CRE Rentals has the technology and technicians to help you do all this and more, using our equipment rentals to their fullest potential! From Audience Response Systems to Interactive Kiosks—CRE can provide the technology to take your event production to the next level. Give us a call today! 877-266-7725
While you’re definitely aware of the desperately critical importance of powerful WiFi at your event, you may ask yourself—“Well, how do I KNOW the strength of my connection?!” As Event Planners, it’s our job to be certain that everything is in place; hoping for the best is never enough. With so much of the success of modern events riding on the strength of the WiFi connection, it PAYS to be CERTAIN!
Rest assured—we’ve got an answer to this question, because . . . There’s an App for It! (Several, in fact.) Armed with the following Apps, an Event Planner scouting for locations has the power to gather quantitative evidence of a venue’s WiFi capacity and determine whether it is adequate or not.
Fing – short for “to Find and Ping,” this free App is one of the best for overall network analysis. Fing lets you quickly see all the devices that are connected to your WiFi network—it will identify device vendors, IP and MAC addresses, and ISP location, giving you the most complete picture of the number of connections sharing the network. Think of it like a traffic camera for your WiFi!
Network Multimeter – this almost free App is designed to help you find the strongest connection areas in a WiFi range, whether public or private. Simply download it on an iPhone and it turns your phone into a “divining rod” that can locate the hottest (and coldest) spots in your connection. It’s perfect for providing continual feedback on your network speed and quality as you move throughout its range.
Network Multimeter allows you to run tests by either download (D/L) or ping. The download speed is tested in megabits per second. The higher the number, the faster the speed of your connection. The ping is a standard method for measuring the speed of response from a particular address. Either one—or both—can give you an excellent idea of how your connection rates overall. Network Multimeter is HIGHLY useful for trade show booth planning and set up! Use it to help you determine the strongest possible connection for the visitors within your area.
With these tools under your belt (or in your smartphone, technically) you’ll be in the best position to ensure that your event has more than enough speed and bandwidth to cover the needs and devices of your next meeting, convention, or trade show!
Stay tuned for “There’s an App for It – Part 6,” as we explore deeper into Apps that keep you on top of your event planning and management! CRE Rentals has the technology rentals and expertise you need to create successful business events. From iPad rentals and Audience Response Systems, to WiFi boosters and Video Wall installations—we can provide the technology to take your corporate event to the next level. Give us a call today! 877-266-7725
You’ve been spending countless hours designing, planning, and coordinating your upcoming event. However incredible these plans may be, anyone in the industry knows it’s time and money down the drain if you don’t get the word out and get attendees through the door. Enter the miracle of promoting!
Happily, with a few clever Apps, a few keystrokes and a little social media luck . . . . your event can become the most talked about and anticipated item on the calendar! Here are the top three Apps that make it a cinch to generate some buzz!
Bizzabo – this amazing free App is designed to connect event organizers with event attendees. Bizzabo divides its services into two camps—those who create events and those who attend them. It walks event planners through the planning before, during, and after! For event creators, the App is a one-stop shop for planning, networking, and marketing—offering a dedicated server, complete with company branding and logos. Messaging, calendars, agendas, polling, marketing and sponsorships are all covered by this game-changing application!
Foursquare – while we’re all used to this location-based social network App being great for our personal lives, be certain to maximize its potential for your event. Add your event as a venue in Foursquare as soon as possible, and create check-in possibilities for each of your event’s unique aspects, areas or gatherings. Foursquare is a fun way to “virtually” guarantee that your event attendees will make the most of the possibilities that you’ve organized. Feel free to engage your attendees’ competitive sides with competitions, giveaways and other special offers that are linked to their check-ins! Let Facebook and Twitter linked accounts distribute the details through hashtags. For more ideas, check out our related article, http://computerrentals.com/articles/event-planning-cure-for-social-media.php.
Hootsuite – your attendees (or future attendees) need easy access to all of the vital information on your event, as well as teasers to drum up excitement and increase attendance. With so many social media opportunities and outlets, Hootsuite is the answer for delivering your messages simultaneously across all platforms. Some of your guests use Facebook and some may use Mixi, but Hootsuite is the best way to reach your audience at whatever social media platform is home for them!
Stay tuned for “There’s an App for It – Part 5,” as we delve into APPS that help you figure out the technology Before your event!
Utilize the App’s discussed above to promote your event and contact CRE Rentals for the technology needed to make your event memorable. Whether you’re looking for WiFi Boosters, iPad Rentals or Audience Response Systems, we’re ready to help make your next event a success. Give us a call today! 877-266-7725
You thought the next article would be on Technology Apps Before your event…but I need to call out one program that encompasses Planning, Technology and Promoting on the Pre-planning side. I’m calling it the IDEA Organization app.
That program is Evernote and the program is free and the App is available for iPhones, Androids etc.
Evernote has become a go to program for filing and organizing all info you find (or put online). It would be a Series of 10 articles to just discuss Evernote and all of its capabilities, especially for Event Planning…but let’s start with some simple uses of this program/App.
Wandering through an event (I’m sure everything seems like an event to you at this point) you notice something brilliant or something not working…you take a note, you take a picture, you send a text…what happens with all that info now?
You upload it to Evernote where you file, tag, capture and store that tidbit so it’s easily found and referenced for another event or two.
I start by creating “Notebooks” for specific events or clients. I also have Notebooks for random ideas, mistakes I want to avoid and active To-Dos.
So I am walking through someone else’s event and I come across a logo of a sponsor that would be a perfect match for Event XYZ … take a picture of that logo, tag it with sponsor, and name of company (and contact if I get that lucky). It goes into my XYZ Event Notebook and tag it as a To Do.
From the App you can take a picture (a receipt, an agenda, a brochure, an itinerary, etc.), attach an existing photo or document, write a note, set a reminder, create a checklist…and File, File, File…all from your phone. This is especially great for all of us who aren’t really sitting at our desk very often.
And for those times when you are at your desk researching, trolling the web, reading blog articles (such as this one) you can use the Evernote Web clipper to clip any Webpage…no longer do you have to bookmark on your browser and later try to find what you book marked with no help of tags and notes. Put it directly in an Event Notebook or a “To Read” Notebook.
Emails that are critical to an Event can be forwarded to your Evernote account and put in that Event notebook. And use Evernote program Skitch to draw on your Evernote docs…great for communicating Tradeshow Floor changes.
In this article I’ve only scratched the surface of the robustness of Evernote. So whether you are a one-person show or part of a large event planning team…Evernote can make things easier. So Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter or Join our Circle on Google Plus for this 10 week series on what is out there in App land to make your next event less stressful and more spectacular. And if you can’t do that immediately…then Evernote can remind you!
Go ahead and put “Call CRE Rentals” as an Evernote To-Do for your next event. Whether you’re looking for iPads, WiFi Array systems or AudioVisual equipment, CRE Rentals has the technology you need to make your event stand out.
Microsoft ended official support for Windows XP recently—on April 8, 2014—but no one can claim surprise. And they didn’t need to convince the tech-savvy, who have been moving to Windows 7 and 8 (and, in small numbers, to Linux and Macs, like our potent MacBook Pro rental) for the last few years. It’s true that, as of March 2014, XP was the world’s second most popular OS, holding about 28 percent share. But the pace of upgrading is accelerating, a pretty predictable result when you really do get to the end of the road.
Microsoft has been “pleading with customers” to upgrade, observes Spencer Ferguson of Wasatch IT, who was on Microsoft’s licensing and anti-piracy teams back in the day. It might look and sound like a sales pitch for buying the company’s latest OS, but Ferguson says it should mean only one thing to users: “It means you should take action.” We offer up these simple, straightforward FAQs about this crucial matter, and suggest that whatever action you are going to take, do it ASAP. Now consider:
What’s the #1 reason to upgrade? — One word: security. Windows XP computers will certainly still function, but without new security updates, non-security “hot fixes,” free or paid support plans, or online technical content updates. Some firms are moving to fill in the gaps, but your XP computer will be poorly defended, and hackers will exploit bugs and back doors that Microsoft is neither fixing nor closing.
Are there exceptions? — After the initial negative feedback , in February 2014 Microsoft extended Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP until July 2015. Enterprise customers will get System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security and Endpoint Protection, and Windows Intune, while consumers will receive Microsoft Security Essentials updates. nti-malware solutions are limited, and only “some anti-virus providers” will extend support for XP.
Is it a big deal for real, or Y2K-level dramatics? — A new data breach or computer invasion hits the headlines daily. The risks are real. Just because you like XP, or you don’t want to hassle upgrading, you’ll risk your company? Anti-malware maker Avast estimates that Windows XP systems are “six times” more vulnerable than PCs running Windows 7. (Of course, when you rent iMac computers from CRE, you get the least hacked OS around.)
How do I make the switch? — Microsoft’s online tutorial help you get from Windows XP to Windows 7, so make certain to back up all your files. The update process will not preserve your settings, preferences, files, and programs.
Can I upgrade straight to Windows 8? — It is technically possible, of course, but Microsoft warns that “Windows 8.1 isn’t designed for installation on PCs running Windows Vista or Windows XP.” What with the costs of two OS packages, if you want to end up with Windows 8, you really should buy a new machine. If you have a tight budget, search for reports like “Best Budget Laptops.”
Microsoft, naturally, wants everyone to adopt its latest and soon-to-be-upgraded-to-greatest OS, Windows 8. It has picked up market share slowly (it just went over 11 percent in February) because of the touch-centric UI, but the newly released Windows 8.1 Update promises to bring some of the Windows 8 resistors back into the fold. We’ll keep you posted!
When you rent computers from CRE Rentals you can feel safe knowing that you’ll be getting the most secure, up-to-date OS and Anti-virus versions available. Plus, our post-rental wiping process ensures that any data you leave on the machines will not make it into the hands of the next client. Keeping your valuable data safe is just a small part of the CRE Rentals experience. Call 877-266-7725 today to let us know how we can help with your technology rental needs.
Facebook is buying Oculus VR, the maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset, for around $2 billion. This is a fact—as opposed to much of the hype about the purchase, and the product itself. Recently, Sony announced its own headset, dramatically named Project Morpheus, so the momentum is building for “the breakthrough” that has been decades in the making. It’s time for a reality check on virtual reality.
The challenges now are legion. The public sees VR headsets as “gamer gear,” so Facebook will need to merge the technology into its huge (and still growing) social space. In an investor call after the purchase announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke of “sharing not just moments [but] entire experiences and adventures. Oculus,” he opined, “has the potential to be the most social platform ever.”
A Call for Clarity
In a statement reminiscent of Apple’s reactions to rumors about our original iPad rental, one PCWorld.com columnist went so far as to say, “Everything you’ve heard about the Oculus Rift is wrong.” Brad Chacos thinks the Oculus Rift is “a groundbreaking, affordable virtual reality headset,” but the public has “a skewed picture.” He lists five top “inaccuracies,” but two deal with Kickstarter funding and the Oculus SDK (Software Developers Kit). The other three points, however, are crucial to clarity here.
Not Just For Games: The “early software” for the Rift, or any other VR headset, will focus primarily on games and other diversions. But Zuckerberg did not buy Oculus to make shoot-’em-ups more realistic. Like Steve Jobs with the iMac, he “sees the future” and aims for it. What might he see? One simple example: Bossa Studios’ Surgeon Simulator is a game today, but delete the horror-movie elements and tomorrow it could be part of a medical school curriculum.
Not Ready for Primetime: The Oculus Rift can be purchased at the company’s website. The firm has sold some 75,000 of them since March 2013, but the “product” is not a finished consumer product, but a developer’s kit to help you create VR software. There is no date set for a consumer-ready device, and when one debuts, it will require the horsepower of a CRE computer rental. Until power requirements are reduced to work with tablets and smartphones, the VR social “dimension” will remain constricted.
Not the Only Game in Town: With Facebook’s clout (and cash), Oculus—which will operate “semi-autonomously” like recent acquisition WhatsApp—often appears to be the only VR company around. CRE agrees with PCWorld.com’s Chacos that you should keep an eye on a “wide range of companies [that] are developing virtual and augmented reality headsets…including game-industry heavyweights like Sony (of PlayStation fame) and Valve (creators of the Steam PC gaming platform).” We know you’re busy, so we’ll keep an eye out for you—and so, as we like to conclude, we will keep you posted!
CRE Rentals keeps you informed on future technologies while continuing to provide the technology that you need to get your projects finished today. If you’re looking for the new Mac Pro…we’ve got it! Give us a call today to find out about all of products and services. 877-266-7725