Wednesday, July 3, 2013

iPads for Events: 3 New Ways You Can Use Them

All right, so by now anybody who sets foot on a conference or event floor knows the iPad has revolutionized the experience. 

At Rentfusion iPad rentals have become a huge part of our business for displays, to sign people up for more information, and for large trainings (Apple even rented 250 iPads from us once for an event!). For software companies the iPad is the perfect way to show people how their products work, display a gorgeous interface, and demystify complicated technology. 

A rental ipad on stand at NeoCon2013.
The iPad has evolved into much more than a
pretty display device. 
But when I went to Linkedin recently to ask people their favorite uses for iPads at events, even I learned a lot of great new iPad uses from people who are innovating on the floor all the time. Here are a few of the ideas that caught my eye out of dozens of great responses.

3 Great Ways to Use iPads for Events

1. Guest Check-in

Yes, for a ground-breaking tool, it doesn't awe you to use if for guest-checkin. But the reason this is such a great use of an iPad for events is that it immediately gets your guests information stored and does so in a way that makes your business look ahead of the curve. 

Christina Olenick works for zkipster, an app that allows organizers to upload a guest list to the iPad to easily check people in and make changes to information on the spot, providing a polished, professional look for your attendees.

Couple the check-in with your Customer Relationship Management tool and you've instantly produced a valuable data set. 

2. Silent Auctions

I hadn't seen this before, but Jazmyn Anderson mentioned how great the iPad is for nonprofit events that include silent auctions. Scott Lee, an event pro in Chicago, has used it to entice silent auction bids by showing videos or a presentation about the action item. Plus, you can take payments on-site.

3. Making an Event an Experience 

Joseph Poe, an event professional from Colorado, said he has come across "dozens of examples of how properties are engaging their guests while on property, even building customized apps that allow groups to do team building exercises using downtown areas - sort of a treasure hunt thing - and bringing them back and seeing the results on screen later at the banquet awards dinner - very inventive."

We're always looking for other great ways to to use iPads for events, so please send us your ideas or connect with us on Linkedin to share yours!

About the Author

John Dubielak is the Vice President of Operations for Rentfusion, which offers AV rentals, computer rentals, and all manner of equipment for meeting planners, tradeshows, convention hosts, exhibitors and event planners nationwide. Follow Rentfusion on Twitter at @rentfusion and on Linkedin.