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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 31st, 2014

Continuing our six-part series, we attack the clutter of our data using the brilliant simplicity of Evernote! In our first post, we discussed evernote10 easy methods for getting started. Hopefully, at this point you have at least a few notes entered into the system. Pull up your notebooks, because we’re about to start organizing!

Tagging

If you took our advice to heart, at this point you have at least two notebooks—one “Personal” and one “Work.” While you still have relatively few notes entered . . . let’s begin tagging. Simply put, tags work like hashtags—helping to fine-tune categorization and allowing you to cross-reference your notes based on multiple categories. In exactly the same way that hashtags pull content from any source into a single stream unified by topic, Evernote tags make virtual folders based on any content you need. For example, if you’re an Event Planner, tag notes with the client’s name—that way you can immediately pull up all of the information relating to their projects. How do you tag? Simply click on the phrase “Click to add tag…”—it’s found at the top of every new note.

Here are some useful shortcuts:

  • New Note:  Ctrl + N
  • New Notebook:  Ctrl + Shift + N
  • New Tag:  Ctrl + Shift + T
  • Jump to Tag:  Shift + Alt + T
  • Jump to Notebooks:  Shift + Alt + N
  • Find in Evernote: Win + Shift + F

TipTip: in the “View” section of your navigation bar, check on the box beside “Show Related Notes.” Evernote will naturally bring up similar and relevant notes—making it easier for you to coordinate ALL the pieces of your project. This feature offers another excellent way to cross-reference your data without any extra work or forethought. It’s also a great way to keep track of overlapping notes and make it easy to remove redundant information!

Synchronization

Synchronization is one of the main reasons that Evernote succeeds in organization where other systems fail. If you’ve previously used multiple systems for keeping track of business contacts, calendars and schedules, folders for work information, personal information, and documents, then you’ve already experienced the difficulty of coordinating separate programs. Evernote’s synchronization connects your email to Evernote, to your tablet, to your computer, to your laptop, to your phone and back—you can even let other people into your loop! All of the information that you store is available on the device at hand—whichever device that happens to be. Better still, you can access all notes offline once they’re synced. How do you sync? When you download Evernote, the setup will guide you through the steps that magically connect your device . . . to your data!

Stay tuned for the next post in the series: “Evernote Illuminated—Part Three: Importing and Collaborating”, as we dive into the amazing and innovative ways you can collect and share your data!

 

 

 

 

July 24th, 2014

In this six-part series, we delve deeper into detail with a master app that is the ideal marriage of simplicity and genius—Evernote. Just logoevernoteas a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so does a project of a thousand stages, a novel of a thousand words, or plans for an event of a thousand guests begin with a single note! Evernote is like a MAGNET that gathers ideas, and those collected ideas have the power to develop into ANYTHING.

The beauty of Evernote is that it provides a unique opportunity to (FINALLY!) keep track of all aspects of your life—both your personal and professional lives—in a SINGLE program. Project schedules, emails, documents, business contacts, social engagements, reminders, anecdotes, ideas, journals, lists, vacation info . . . Evernote’s structure adapts perfectly to anyone’s needs.

Evernote_Iphone.jpgWhat separates Evernote from most, if not all, other organizational tools or systems is that you don’t need any planning in order to have all of your information at your fingertips—WITHOUT  searching or indexing. Most people find themselves with multiple organizing and filing systems—a program for email, files for documents, a system for business contacts, a binder for paperwork, a folder for reminders—all of them take planning, follow-ups and follow through to make sense of your data. How many of us have spent HOURS sorting and labeling and filing, only to run out of energy and start “piling” instead of filing? Evernote effortlessly handles all the data in our rapidly evolving lives.

Starting with the basics, individual notes are collected into notebooks, naturally. Notebooks can be dedicated to ANY topic under the sun.

How to begin converting to Evernote:

  1. Look around your desk. Do you currently keep physical, hardcopy notes using sticky notes, notepads, or even scraps of paper? Begin with these. Take the relevant information off of these and put them into your first notes. (Recycle the paper notes, and notice how good you feel about watching them go.)
  2. You have the option to add a Notebook category to your first notes. Feel free to start simple; make yourself a “Personal” notebook and a “Work” notebook. Again, Evernote is one of the few programs that will easily adapt as your needs change—there’s ALWAYS time later to fine-tune the labeling of your information. Even with a system categorized as basically as “work” and “personal,” you’ll notice that you feel more organized.
  3. Next—if you have piles of incoming papers or memos, start with the pile nearest to you. Oftentimes, we’re holding onto a physical sheet of paper because of a tiny amount of relevant information that we might need later, and when we DO need that information it’s nowhere to be found. Rest assured that after a few keystrokes, your desk is cleaner and necessary information is available instantly when you need it.
  4. Let go of outdated filing systems and begin to see Evernote as your own personal secretary. Start sending your data its way and watch as organizational magic develops!

Stay tuned for next week’s post: Evernote Illuminated—Part Two: Tagging and Syncing!

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 26th, 2014

AFTER THE EVENT – THE BEAT GOES ON!

Although the last attendee has checked-out, all the technology rentals are returned, and the signage is taken down, your event still has momentum, and there’s a tremendous amount of potential that needs to be utilized! The weeks immediately following your event are the ideal time to roll energy into planning the NEXT corporate gathering, as well as the perfect opportunity to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of what just occurred.

The following Apps provide polling and analytics that are necessary for answering questions like:

  • Which speakers were considered the most informative?
  • What adjectives did attendees use most often regarding the event?
  • What sessions generated the highest levels of engagement?
  • Which elements of the event caused the most tweets?

Bizzabo – saving time by reusing an App that you’ve already applied, Bizzabo returns to center stage as it helps you identify the relevant information that will fine-tune future corporate gatherings! The Bizzabo event App provides direct methods of gathering feedback from your attendees. The App also helps you use the analytics from social media to get a true picture of your event’s successes and failures in the minds of your guests.

Pathable – this App can help Event Planners from start to finish. In the finishing stages, it facilitates and simplifies post-event polling and surveys—allowing attendees to respond from a desktop web or a mobile App. Better still, Pathable provides customized data reporting that is easy to understand, letting you quickly analyze the ROI of a corporate event—essential information for your clients’ reporting, planning, and budget meetings.

Hootsuite – Hootsuite can be used to get information out, but it can also keep an “ear” out for tweets, posts, and mentions about your brand or your event. Simply set up a stream that searches for mentions and you’ll have insider knowledge of what people are saying, giving you a chance to utilize this valuable, candid feedback as a way to improve future conferences.

Zerista – with its customized event specific social media platform, this App gives you access to a concentrated stream of comments regarding your meetings. Zerista aims to make networking and discussion between attendees simple and convenient, making it easier for you to gather the information you need.

DoubleDutch – this App is designed to increase networking and interactions. After the event, it converts all the data of the digital connections into precise reports that will help improve your conferences and corporate events. DoubleDutch can even provide a post-event App engagement infographic!

CRE has the hardware needed to run the latest software! Whether you need Computer Rentals, iPad Rentals, Interactive Kiosks, or the best Trade Show Speakers, 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 12th, 2014

DURING THE EVENT – PERSONAL CONNECTIONS

Business and corporate events are designed with ONE objective in mind—to make connections with other people. Certainly, technology is quickly becoming King of events, but all the banners and lights—bells and whistles—are designed to draw the attention of individual humans that represent opportunities for you and your business. With this simple, obvious goal in mind, Part 6 of “There’s an App for It” focuses on the Apps that can keep you connected with the people that are most important to your business goals.

As an Event Planner, you’re used to burning both ends of the connection candle—you’re always helping to facilitate connections between your attendees, while you’re simultaneously (and—hopefully—invisibly) working the connections between your staff members and volunteers.

Connecting with Staff and Volunteers during an Event

Hey Tell – this free, fun, convenient App converts your smartphone into a combination walkie-talkie/instant voice messaging service with geo-location benefits! There’s no contract needed for this service. Since Hey Tell sends instant voice messages, it allows busy Event Planners to skip the work of texting. Furthermore, it allows messages to be sent to specific individuals—an advantage over traditional walkie-talkies!

Connecting Business Cards at First Sight

We return to Evernote for their organizational superpowers. Evernote works with your smartphone to instantly capture business cards using the Business Card Camera. After the App is downloaded, capturing a business card is as easy as “tap and slide.” The camera itself will hunt for the card, pull off the information and store it instantly in your contacts. With one additional click it can send a follow-up email to your new contact. It will even connect that information to a LinkedIn profile, giving you access to additional background information that can really solidify a personal connection!

As an Event Planner, Evernote’s Business Card Camera can help you help either yourself OR your guests. Certainly, this is an enormous advantage for business representatives, buyers, headhunters and more. However, as an Event Coordinator, the Business Card Camera is another quick and easy way for you to store the vital information you need on the vendors that are supplying your needs on the floor. Let Evernote keep track of your caterers, AV rental specialists, hotel managers, florists, animal-wranglers, and the seamstress for the band.

Say “Hello!”

Just in case you thought we were done with singing the praises of Evernote, we’d like to SURPRISE you with Evernote Hello. This App is so simple and yet so revolutionary—most especially for insiders in the Event Industry. Evernote Hello is nothing more . . . and nothing less . . . than a way of keeping track of all the personal anecdotes and relevant information about the fascinating people that you meet in this amazing line of business!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

May 29th, 2014

There’s an App for It ? Part 4 of 10

BEFORE THE EVENT – PROMOTING

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

 

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