Thursday, October 23, 2014

Conference Technology Ideas: Inspiration from 4 Experts

Conference technologies incorporate everything from projectors to NFC devices. Depending on the specific event and attendee needs, there is a huge range of demands event professionals need to meet. It can be hard to keep up and stay fresh, so we asked event experts questions about inspiration, the future, their least favorite trends in conference technologies and more.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Highest Rated Corporate Meeting Venues in Chicago

Chicago is not only one of the world’s greatest cities; it is also one of the best for hosting a corporate meeting. In 2013 Chicago was ranked #2 by Cvent for top convention destinations and it’s easy to see why. With venues large and small, hundreds of hotel and event spaces and a world class city to explore, Chicago has everything needed to make a corporate event a huge success for both organizers and attendees. Below are 5 of the highest rated event and corporate meeting venues in Chicago.

top rated corporate meeting venues in Chicago

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Trade Show Technology Strategy for Marketing Rockstars

Marketers and managers can make the most of their efforts with a trade show technology strategy that looks beyond the basics. There’s much more to it than simply throwing presentation slides on a screen or raffling off an iPad.
A well-rounded trade show technology strategy involves a multipronged approach. Technology can play a huge role in each marketing segments (pre-show, on-site and post-show), so choose options that present a cohesive strategy and support your long-term efforts.
iPads can be a part of a successful trade show technology strategy

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3 Surprisingly Easy Trade Show Tech Ideas

With the array of AV equipment available for trade shows and the burning desire to avoid looking outdated, its easy for exhibit managers to overcomplicate the technology in their booths. Sometimes, its helpful to take a step back and evaluate your exhibit design to narrow down surprisingly easy tech ideas.

The First Step
The first step in determining how to use tech at a trade show is in understanding the audience. Attendees’ schedules are usually packed, so technology should be used to catch their attention, keep it, educate them and leave them impressed without taking too much of their time. Additionally, many people dont want to get bogged down in technology or admit they dont understand it, which means smooth implementation and efficiency are key.

Idea 1: Quickly Introduce Your Brand or Product

A couple of flat screens or a video wall are the easiest ways to dress up a booth and provide information to people walking past.

If you don’t have the budget for a custom-produced video, keep away that PowerPoint expertwho accosts viewers with 50 lines of text per slide. Two or three sentences is enough to catch interest and make a point on the screen. Then see if you can engage the prospect in conversation to explain more.

The advantage of digital displays over banners is they can be updated quickly and provide a focus for the specific show. Welcome to Mortgage Banking 2014this week and Consumer Banking Worldnext week.

Video wall example from NeoCon trade show

If you don’t display specific product information, use the screens to describe what you do. Whether for a new, unknown company or an industry giant, this means aggressive editing of the message — an easily-digestible version of what do you do, what advantage your product offers and then maybe a limited bit of company history.

  • Keep it short and catchy
  • Make it about the customer, not about you
  • Avoid overused buzzwords like passion, seamless, value, world-class
  • Use technology to project personality for example, mix images of employees with their pets among your marketing messages

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why You Should Rent Trade Show Technology (Even for a Custom Owned Exhibit)

trade show technology costs rental vs owned

Many times, the decision between owning vs. renting a trade show exhibit comes down to customization options and cost. You don’t want to look bland or outdated this year or 5 years from now, so you need cost-effective options to allow creative flexibility. The same considerations apply to renting trade show technology.

Whether you own your trade show exhibit or rent it, the technology inside offers the same benefits. First, we need to cover the basics.

What Technology Does for Trade Show Exhibits (when done right)

  • Allows practically at-will customization
  • Keeps your brand looking modern and up to date
  • Attracts attention from expo attendees (and keeps it)
  • Offers memorable interaction and product demos
  • Includes options capable of everything from lead capture to sales

Everything from iPads and video walls to electronic whiteboards and projectors have their place at trade shows. But for the same reasons you want customization options for your exhibit, you may not want to be locked in to same technology for every show.

Reasons Your Trade Show Technology Needs May Change

  • New products
  • Rebranding
  • Different marketing objectives or audience at different shows
  • Change in budget
  • Adjustments in strategy like gamification or on-site sales

Disadvantages of Purchasing Trade Show Technology

  • Technology can become obsolete overnight
  • Little to no technical assistance without extra trained (expensive) staff
  • Cost of storage
  • Hassle of keeping the software current
  • Limited to what’s in your inventory

Basically, it boils down to two things: brand image and cost.

Your needs and attendees’ needs and tastes change all the time. The cost effectiveness and choices that come with trade show technology rentals help you keep up. If that’s a good enough reason to influence your exhibit structure decisions, it’s good enough to affect your technology decisions.

How to Keep your Event Technology Up-to-Date

  • Customize graphics and visuals. Low-cost options include Powerpoint; high-reward but higher-cost options include custom apps and videos.
  • See people using technology in a new way in everyday life? Talk to your vendor or exhibit designer about how to incorporate it at the next show.
  • Regularly reevaluate marketing and sales tactics to find things that will make them more effective and efficient.
  • Check out your competition for inspiration—and then do it better.
  • Talk to your technology vendor about inventory and ideas. We love this stuff!