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December 4th, 2014

file3101282942088Employee relationships and team productivity are critical factors in the success of nearly every business, so it should come as no surprise that many business events strive to encourage team building. Whether team building is the sole, primary goal of an event or a hopeful secondary outcome, most corporate events seek to encourage employees to know each other better and to work together in a positive and productive way. Employees may work side-by-side on a daily basis, or they may manage teams from opposite sides of the globe—either way, employees need healthy working relationships.

Team building games can be applied across the work spectrum—from newly hired trainees, through to management and leadership teams. Team building is an excellent way to recharge long-term employees—improving the engagement, work satisfaction and success rates of seasoned company veterans. Best of all, with digital team building games, apps, and gamification, companies can get all of the benefits of team building games, without necessarily bringing employees together physically!

The Benefits 

  • Increased Productivity
  • Heightened Employee Collaboration
  • Improved Learning
  • Enriched Corporate Culture
  • Augmented Support and Encouragement
  • Better Sharing and Corrective Feedback
  • Greater Social and Emotional Rewards
  • Increased Recognition

In team building, the first step is always to identify the desired goal. Most exercises focus on communication, problem-solving, or trust-building, but they can also be striving to simply give employees a shared, fun experience that revitalizes their workforce and improves the culture on the job (the workplace equivalent of a “Field Day!”).

The second step for team building is to determine whether the activity will be in-person, remotely accessed, or a hybrid combination of the two. Obviously, for remote access teaming, all activities need to be Virtual; however, for in-person or hybrid events, use your event app, iPad rentals, or ARS keypads to host the games, and feel free to mix virtual games with physical games. Keep long-distance participants present with digital leaderboards and video chat feeds.

The Games

From team competitions and scavenger hunts, to casino games and giant board games, there’s no end to the potential examples of challenges that can help bring a team together. The following two resources provide roughly 120 unique examples of virtual, digital gaming that can take your team building across the planet and into the 21st Century!

  1. 50 Digital Team-Building Games: Fast, Fun Meeting Openers, Group Activities and Adventures using Social Media, Smart Phones, GPS, Tablets, and More (John Chen)
  2. Big Book of Virtual Teambuilding Games: Quick, Effective Activities to Build Communication, Trust and Collaboration from Anywhere! (Mary Scannell, Michael Abrams, and Mike Mulvihill)

November 20th, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASponsorships are a major part of events! As if your event app wasn’t doing enough already—your app provides a number of new and unique sponsorship opportunities that can bring in advertisers and their campaign budgets! Consider these options as you look to increase your sponsorship revenue.

App Sponsor – your event app will arguably be the most universally utilized feature of your event. Whether for a conference, a meeting, a corporate event, a trade show or a conference, every attendee, facilitator, speaker, vendor, educator, executive, and exhibitor will use your app for one purpose or another. Therefore, your app sponsorship is prime-time advertising—holding the potential to repeatedly reach the eyes, ears, and minds of every single participant in your event! An app sponsorship comes with high-visibility.

App Page Sponsors – if a single sponsor is willing to adopt the entire app sponsorship—that’s excellent news; however, it may be more profitable to break  the app sponsorship into smaller segments, allowing for more opportunities and a larger profit overall.  App page sponsorships also allow businesses to obtain advertising space and sponsorships that are targeted to their location, their service, or their ideal audience. Furthermore, your mobile event app has opportunities for embedded videos—giving your page sponsors the chance to run promotion and demonstration materials through video.

Game Sponsors – as one of the hottest new trends for improving networking, interaction, engagement and learning, gamification is taking the Event Industry by storm. Delightfully, there are hundreds of ideas for games that can enhance your event—and each game can have its own sponsor!

Branded Kiosk Sponsors – attendees should be able to access your app from their own mobile devices, but it’s an excellent idea to offer registration kiosks and information kiosks as well, and iPad rentals are a popular choice for universally accessing event apps at meetings and conferences. Kiosks and iPads (also cell phone charging stations) have external sponsorship potential in the form of wraps and other branding.

Digital Signage Sponsors – if you’re using interactive touch screens as a way to help distribute valuable information from your event app, this digital signage is another excellent chance to provide sponsorship opportunities. For example, envision a sponsorship for the video wall that is displaying social media activity gathered by your app.

Tech Lounge Sponsors – merge the virtual information and connections provided within your app, with a physical gathering place for accessing the app and having face-to-face networking, and you’ve got a Tech Lounge! Imagine the gratitude attendees will feel for the business that sponsors the comfy chairs, fast WiFi, and cell phone charging stations provided by this ideal app-accessing environment.

This concludes our series on event apps! Hopefully, we’ve helped you navigate through the staggering amount of potential that the technology can provide for your events!

CRE Rentals can provide the iPads, digital signage, interactive kiosks, WiFi arrays, and video wall rentals that can optimize your sponsorship potential! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

November 13th, 2014

8-03-2We’ve been discussing some of the many ways that event apps can enhance your business event, meeting, trade show and more. This week, we look into the amazing reporting features and capabilities that your app can offer—helping you and your clients determine the overall success and the ROI of your event’s efforts!

Due to the miracle of digital technology, your event app will be able to capture virtually (sorry about the pun) any information that you need. Owing to the vast potential of data collection and the enormous quantity of information that you can receive, it’s best to really ask yourself what information you want. Use data from your event app to guarantee that your events improve year after year.

Your event app can gather nearly any data, but popular options include:

  • Tracking  details—by location, volume, and attendees

  • Attendee profiles—who is attending and why

  • Attendee activity—by time, location, sessions, features

  • Social networking activity—the amount, platform, popular times for posting, hashtags used, and content shared

  • Poll and survey results—you’ve asked; they’ve answered

  • Registration details—overall number of guests, attendee demographics, registration preferences, attendance by day for multiple-day events

  • Lead scanning—detailed information on exhibit visitors and sales leads

  • Document requests—popularity of documents, attendee demographics for downloads

  • Customized analytics—reporting based on the precise data that you want to obtain

  • Engagement reports—popularity of speakers, sessions, meetings, and exhibits

  • Information retention—testing and quizzes measuring attendee learning

  • iBeacon and indoor positioning data—analyzing the overall success of your floor plan and more

  • Attendee satisfaction—the likely rate of return, perception of value for attendees

As a leader in the Event App Industry, QuickMobile released a whitepaper entitled, “Top 10 Insights Revealed by Event App Analytics.” Their own insight into event app usage identified the following categories:

  1. Marketing Effectiveness

  2. Attendee Interests

  3. Participation Levels

  4. Preferred Mobile Platforms

  5. Sponsorship and Advertising ROI

  6. What’s Happening in Real-time

  7. Audience Participation Rates

  8. Amount of Networking

  9. Guidance Needed

  10. Impact of your Incentives

It’s easy to be both amazed and overwhelmed by what event app reporting and analytics can capture and illuminate. Once you recover from the massive amount of possibilities, start browsing through the options and select the data that is most relevant to your goals. Your event will be better for it!

Next week we’ll delve into Sponsorships—some of the ways that you can use your event app to bring in advertising and sponsorship revenue!

CRE Rentals can provide the Audience Response Systems, iPad rentals, and Interactive Kiosks that can help you track attendees and use valuable information to your advantage! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

November 6th, 2014

file0001755351339We’ve been discussing the remarkable power of event apps. One of the greatest benefits of app technology is the immediate feedback that you’re able to gather from your audience, guests, speakers, and exhibitors! Through the use of questionnaires, surveys, question and answer sessions, forums, ratings systems, and comment requests, you can gather the data that you need to make educated assessments on the successes and shortcomings of your event!

We break the ratings and feedback discussion into two parts, during and after the event.

During the Event

Last week, we discussed how instant messaging can help you tailor the content of your sessions based on real-time comments from your audience. Be certain to allow interactive real-time feedback and questions during any lecture, presentation, training or educational session. Consider using an Audience Response System; the ARS keypads can be used for quizzes, ratings, and other interactive, information-gathering activities. Asking for audience feedback offers several advantages:

1. First, it keeps attendees actively engaged and listening, because they know that they’ll be called upon to participate.

2. Second, it’s an excellent, easy way to gauge how well your audience understands your material—the feedback helps ensure that the material is clear.

3. Third, most audiences contain a significant portion of introverts—these guests are unlikely to stop a presentation in its tracks with questions, or to go out of their way to offer knowledge and opinions that might enhance the session. Create an easy, streamlined way for attendees to contribute and collaborate by allowing real-time feedback, comments, and questions during sessions! Consider using the following techniques to promote open discussions regarding your event:

  • Live session comments
  • Voting
  • Q&A
  • Live commitment
  • Open space
  • Interactive forecasting

After the Event

Once your event is concluded, it’s the perfect time to ask your attendees for their thoughts, concerns, compliments, and advice on the event as a whole—as well as their ideas on what they’d like to see in future events.  As you construct your surveys, consider the following five suggestions:

  1. Keep your questions short and to the point. Even the most enthusiastic attendee has a limited amount of time to donate. Craft a survey that gets the information you need—quickly.
  2. Ask yourself what you need to know. Since the general patience for surveys is limited, focus on the information that is most vital and design a survey that gets data on those points.
  3. Avoid neutral options. If the majority of your attendees “neither agree nor disagree”—what have you actually learned? Offer answers that give YOU answers.
  4. Encourage real thoughts. Why does a participant “strongly disagree”? Provide an area for open comments and encourage attendees to voice the reasons behind strong feelings.
  5. Use incentives. If you need more advanced feedback, be prepared to offer something tangible in exchange for the time attendees donate to your questionnaire.

Next week we’ll delve into Reporting and ROI—some of the ways that you can use data from your event app to guarantee that your events improve year after year!

CRE Rentals can provide the audience response systems, iPad rentals, and touch screen rentals that can help you gather and display the interactive material gathered from your attendees! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

 

 

October 9th, 2014

networkIn 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

 

 

 

 

 

August 21st, 2014

evernote 100In 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 10th, 2014

AFTER THE EVENT – YEAR-ROUND ENGAGEMENT

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

 

July 3rd, 2014

AFTER THE EVENT – CRAFTING THE NEXT EVENT APP

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!

CRE has Event Production Technology and all the latest hardware to help your Event App shine! Whether you need iPad Rentals, rental laptops, Audience Response Systems or Interactive Kiosks, give us a call today! 877-266-7725

 

 

June 19th, 2014

DURING THE EVENT – LIGHTS, CAMERA, INTERACTION!

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:

  • Mobile agendas
  • Surveys and polling
  • Lead scanning
  • Instant content updates
  • Social interaction facilitation
  • Attendee networking
  • 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 5th, 2014

DURING THE EVENT – WiFi CONNECTIVITY

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

 

 

 

 

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