Saturday, October 31, 2015

10 Reasons Why Charging Stations are a “Must Have” for Trade Show Booths

If you didn’t know this already, conference attendees are addicted to their mobile devices. Since 86% of the world’s population owns a cellphone, according the United Nations Telecom Agency, is it any wonder that we are constantly trying to remain connected to each other?

Just take a look around at your next conference. How many people are looking at their phone or tablet as they are sitting, standing or walking? I think you will be amazed once you start noticing this phenomenon.

But did you know that chargers are one of the top left behind items in hotel rooms according to Smarter Travel? And if you polled most meeting attendees you will probably find that this is the one item they usually leave at home, as well.

If you are like most exhibitors, you are finding it increasingly difficult to engage meeting participants in long conversations. You yearn to make your booth a gathering place for attendees. So why not rent a charging station as a way to keep attendees connected remotely AND keep them at your booth longer? 

Pensa, a strategic marketing consulting firm who has been involved in a pilot project with charging stations, believes if you have them, people will come. “We’re looking to create something that complements its surroundings and invites people to hang out and recharge. We have also found that where people gather – opportunities develop,” stated Marco Perry, Principal Founder of Pensa. 

If you still need be convinced of the value of charging station rentals, look where people charge their mobile devices. They will use any outlet available to them including the one in the back of a meeting room, convention dead space or even the hotel’s cocktail lounge. So, given that attendees usually visit the trade show floor several hours into a conference, it only makes sense that they might be hunting for an outlet on the floor or feel compelled to return to their hotel room – thus cutting down their interaction time with you, the exhibitor

Top 10 benefits of renting a charging station kiosk

Benefit #1: Attendees won’t have to make the “mad dash” for an open outlet.
People are constantly looking for a place to charge their phone, especially when they receive the dreaded message that 10% of their battery life is remaining.

Benefit #2: Keep attendees at your booth longer because you are actually providing a service they can use.
During this time, you can introduce to them to your current promotions, service offerings and new products through an HD LCD display on top of the kiosk which will keep attendees interested while they are waiting for their device to charge -- especially if all your exhibitor staff is busy. In addition, this display can be changed on a real-time basis and convey to attendee’s important meeting messages.

Benefit # 3: Increase Dwell Time and Engage Attendees. Gain 10-15 minutes of a prospective customer’s undivided attention where you might have in the past only been able to keep them at your booth for 3-4 minutes.  A great conversation starter when they approach your booth is to ask if they have a mobile device they would like to charge.

Benefit #4: Increase Foot Traffic. Display in your booth’s Plasma TV or Video Wall “Free Charging Station” and you will see attendees flock to your booth.

Benefit #5: Attendees will remain on the trade show floor longer instead of returning to their hotel room.

Benefit #6: Build brand buzz. Your company name, logo, social media channels, and QR code can be strategically placed on the kiosk. You can even order a custom wrap that can cover the entire kiosk with your brand colors and logo, thus creating 360 degrees of brand visibility.

Benefit #7: Sponsors can deliver their message to a captive audience. If you are concerned about cost, you can sell unlimited sponsorships. The interactive touch screen on the top of the kiosk can deliver educational and entertainment content through video, social channels and contests.

Benefit #8: Depart from the competition by creating a dedicated “Refresh and Recharge” Booth where attendees can charge their devices, network and get something to eat and drink. They can recharge themselves while recharging their mobile devices. Creating a "living room" look and feel with comfortable chairs and a video wall rental or Plasma TV can allow attendees to relax and view what is going in different parts of the conference, thus keeping them engaged and connected.  

Benefit #9: A kiosk can charge several mobile devices simultaneously, including tablets and cell phones in a “mix or match” format.

Benefit #10: Charging Stations are hardware agnostic, supporting 95% of the current models of smartphones and tablets.

If you are looking for 10 minutes of attention from meeting attendees, rent a charging station from SmartSource Rentals. They have thousands of interactive technology tool rentals including iPads, computer kiosks and Wi-Fi network array systems. For more information about charging station configurations, contact SmartSource Rentals at 800.888.8686.  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Why Support Local Independent Businesses?

As a local independent business, M.O.M.S. often battle many misconceptions when compared against national chain stores. We’d like to set the record straight. M.O.M.S. has competitive prices, a larger product selection, and expertise regarding the products we carry. But there’s more to it than that.

The local economy benefits when local businesses support each other. Numerous studies have shown that dollars spent with locally owned companies are reinvested back into the community several times over, whereas money spent with national chains tends to be invested elsewhere. Here are some great reasons why it makes sense to buy local:

·        Local independent businesses support local accountants, attorneys, merchant banks, insurance firms, restaurants, and other resources.

·        Local independent businesses pay more taxes than chain stores and rarely receive tax breaks.

·        Local independent businesses make up the distinctive personality of the community.

·        Local independent businesses help make up a vibrant Main Street.

·        Local independent businesses support local charities.

·        Every dollar spent at a local business will turnover five to seven more times in our economy, based on the national average.

·        According to the Andersonville Study of Retail Economics, for every $100 spent at a local business, as much as $68 stays in the local economy, compared to only $43 when the same amount is spent at a chain store.


Buy Local ~ Buy American ~ Celebrating 70 Years in Business

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mayor Loses His Cool

When Jon Daniel created a parody Twitter account of his town mayor, he never imaged it would result in him becoming nearly $130,000 richer.

Daniel created a spoof account of the Peoria, Illinois mayor, Jim Ardis. He created the account simply to entertain his friends with a stream of often profane and inappropriate tweets. He had no animosity toward the mayor, the account was created just for fun.

However, Ardis didn’t see the humor in his efforts. Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show how upset officials were as they tried to hold him criminally responsible for portraying Ardis as a foul-mouthed politician with a habit for liquor, drugs and prostitutes.

Instead of brushing off the parody account, which only had 50 followers and a few dozen tweets at the time, Ardis ordered the police to raid Daniel’s home. The account was shut down and Daniel’s electronics were seized. Daniel’s sued the mayor and the city, and is coming away with a hefty settlement of $125,000- most of which will go to paying his lawyers.

Another similar case, with a different type of celebrity, resulted in a $1 million lawsuit. Blake Shelton, a popular country singer, sued the tabloid magazine In Touch Weekly over an article published about his mental health. The article claimed that Shelton had been admitted into rehab after drinking heavily due to his separation from wife Miranda Lambert.

So what's the difference between a private celebrity citizen and a public figure? Do they have different freedoms with the press, different responsibilities? Were either of them in the wrong?

In my opinion, Blake Shelton did the right thing. The story was fake and was a case of defamation. The tabloid shouldn't have published a story that wasn’t true. He’s going through a divorce, which is already tough enough. It's not fair to him for articles like that to be released.

The mayor, however, was completely in the wrong. As a public figure, he should have handled the situation much more professionally. He could have brushed it off, called the guy out, or simply commented on all the tweets saying that the account was fake. Daniel clearly stated in the account bio that it was a parody and not the real account of the mayor. He made the account simply for fun, not to harm anyone. Since the mayor reacted the way he did, it drew more attention to the story and the parody Twitter account. What once was only 50 followers, now has a large following plus more parody accounts of the mayor were created. He could have saved himself a lot of trouble - and his job - if he had handled the incident differently.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

NFC Technology Tips for Your Next Meeting or Conference

Near Field Communication (NFC) is making its way into our everyday life – including meetings! In fact, according to ABI Research, a technology intelligence company, 285 million NFC enabled devices will ship by the end of this year.

Today’s blog will focus on the definition of NFC, how you might be able to use this device at your next event, and potential benefits/advantages of this technology.

NFC Defined

Near Field Communication is a short-range, low power wireless link that can transfer small amounts of data between two devices held a few centimeters from each other.

Meeting Uses

With an Event Badge

BizBash Magazine recently ran a story about ITN International, an organization that creates NFC Name Badges for conferences. With their badge, an attendee can move to a bank of kiosks and scans it. Here are some of the common uses:

                     Smart Name Tags: The badge is preloaded with a lot of information about the attendee, including their social networks and contact information.
                     Inventory Control: If your group rents iPads or ARS, you can keep track of who received which devices.
                     Educational Credits: The attendee can scan their badge before and after the session to determine the right amount of CE credit.
                     Retail Discounts: By working with local retailers in advance, event planners are able to offer discounts to attendees who scanned their badges at those establishments.
                     Surveys: Attendees can take a survey about the session they just attended.
                     Meal Management: Event organizers can put a certain dollar amount on the badge and allow attendees to choose from various predefined restaurants in the complex.
                     Transportation: Attendees can receive free or highly discounted bus service in a conference city.
                     Charitable Donations: Your group can choose a local or regional charity and allows attendees to donate to it.

With a Bracelet

Bracelets can be embedded with chips and if this technology is used, readers can be placed throughout the event. In addition to the uses listed above, here are some other NFC capabilities:

                     Alcohol Consumption: Event organizers can allow so many drinks at an open bar and the bartenders will know what kind of drink to serve and whether or not that attendee has met their drink limit.
                     Link Their Social Channels: The ability to sign-in and upload photos and videos onto the event’s social outlets.
                     Run Contests and Giveaways: At the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, they gave away a trip to attendees who linked their social accounts to the event.
                     Vote: For an annual meeting, attendees can tap the screen and vote on officers, initiatives and other important business.

The Future of NFC

With all the applicability of badges and bracelets, the future of NFC lies within smartphone technology. According to Bob James, Vice President of ITN International, 30% of smartphones already have NFC but the user doesn’t know it or doesn’t use it. In addition, he predicts smartphone NFC growth will be 700% between now and 2016.

How Kalahari Resorts & Conventions can help

With NFC comes the need to use more Wi-Fi. Having a destination that can understand and manage your Wi-Fi needs is crucial to the success of your event. Contact our sales team today at 855.411.4605 to learn more about our conference center space and how our IT staff can proactively help you implement NFC into your next event. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why Seniors Should Start Caring About Social Media

Remember Betty from senior year of high school? How about Ralph from your economics class in college? Haven’t talked to them in 50 years? Social media can fix that.

It's a well-known stereotype that old people and technology don’t mix. However, being on social media as a senior can be extremely beneficial. According to, nearly two-thirds of 50-64 year olds and 43 percent of those aged 65+ are now on Facebook. So there must be some reason social media is attracting the elderly.

Here are 5 reasons why seniors should start caring about social media:

Brain Food

Teaching an elderly person to use social media, or technology in general, can be frustrating.. They get confused, you get confused as to why they don't understand, and sometimes it's just a mess. But don’t fret. Studies have shown that learning how to use something brand new improves a senior’s cognitive capacity and increases their self-competence. It keeps their brains active and can improve their overall mental health.  So next time your grandpa can’t figure out how to use the DVR, remember that you’re helping him in more ways than one.

Keep in Touch

Social media is a great tool for keeping in touch with long lost friends, relatives and classmates. Reconnecting with an old college roommate or childhood friend can be life-changing for a senior. It can bring back memories they didn't know they had. Its also a way for them to keep in touch with their family. If their children move away, it might be hard for them to see each other and their grand kids outside of big holiday gatherings. Social media is a way for families to post pictures and updates so their parents and grandparents can feel connected, even if they are miles away.

Coupons, Discounts and Sales

I feel that if anyone likes saving money, it’s old people. By following their favorite brands and stores on social media, seniors can take advantage of sales and promotions these companies are offering. Many times special discounts and offers are only available to those who follow a company’s Facebook or Twitter page, so being active on these sites is helpful to seniors.

Research and Questions

If I had a dollar for every time my grandma called me to ask me a question about her iPhone, laptop or digital camera, I’d be able to buy myself a new iPhone, laptop and digital camera. But I get it. Holding a foreign object in your hand that can do a million different things is intimidating. If a senior takes the time to learn how to use social media and search engines, their power would be limitless. They could ask questions on social media. Google how to download the new software update on their iPhone. Tweet a company questions about its products. The possibilities are endless.

Community Belonging

My grandparents are casino hoppers. My grandma is connected to multiple gambling pages on Facebook, and they have met up with many other couples on these pages and visited casinos together. It's like double-dating for seniors. They go on bus trips, carpool and book road trips together. It’s adorable. For the elderly, it's good to find a community to be actively involved in. Facebook has tens of thousands of pages ranging from coin collectors to pages dedicated to Elvis Presley. For those seniors that are stuck at home with limited mobility, belonging to an online community can give them the opportunity to have friends and relationships without having to leave their home.

So if you’re 65 and older and want to get on social media, don’t be afraid to jump right in. Social media can be beneficial to seniors who want to check in on their grand kids or check out what stores are having sales. And it's not as scary as it seems. It just takes some time getting used to and learning the ropes!

If you or someone you love needs help learning how to use social media, Mulligan Management Group is ready to take on the task. Give us a call at 330-472-7673 or email De-de Mulligan at to get connected today!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Running an Election Campaign? Here are 6 Ways Technology Rentals Can Help

Could Your Campaign Benefit from More Technology? 
If you are the Campaign Manager for a local, state or national candidate, you know the importance of having real-time data at your fingertips and keeping the buzz about your candidate alive.

Given the fact that you are bringing either a few to a few thousand staff members and volunteers together for a short period of time, isn’t it about time you look hard at campaign technology rentals?

Here are 6 super ways technology can help position your candidate to win.

A Well-Stocked War Room

Campaign headquarters are always buzzing with lots of staff and volunteers on their phones and computers. Why not have the war room positioned with technology so they don’t have to step out to see what is going on?

Here are the must-haves:

·         Secure Computer Rentals that have encrypted, password protected programs on it;
·         Tablet Rentals for the creation of thank-you letters, promotional materials and budgets; 
·         Printer and Copier Rentals for the printing and copying of handouts and other marketing materials and
·         A large TV for viewing current news items.

Door-to-Door Technology

Many of your volunteers and the candidate themselves will be going door-to-door; especially in tight races and close to election time. Wouldn’t it be great if you could arm them with iPad Rentals

Here are some great benefits of an iPad:

·         It is light and very easy to use while standing, walking or sitting;
·         Volunteers can survey individuals, take notes right on the spot and send their information back to the war room staff on a real-time basis;
·         If the person at the door is unfamiliar with your candidate, volunteers can run a video or two sharing the candidate’s view on the issues and
·         Volunteers can post photos with voters, share feedback about what they learned and monitor and post to social channels.


Campaign Fundraisers

When conducting a fundraiser for your candidate, you want to collect the most money for them in the shortest period of time. And of course, you want to make your candidate look good while they are on stage.

There are many fundraising apps that run on mobile technology and can allow your campaign dollars to continue long after the gala ends. In addition, you want your event stage to be perfect with great sound and lighting to keep your attendees focused on your candidate.

When Your Campaign Staff is on the Move

Depending on your candidate’s voting area, you may need to pick up your war room and move it to other locations – often with a few hours of notice.

Having a mobile technology kit allows for safe and secure transportation of your computer rental items and allows you to wheel in and out of temporary quarters.


Reaching Virtual Voters

Sometimes it is difficult, if not impossible, to get your candidate to all areas of their voting region. But setting up virtual events when individuals can see and talk to the candidate via videoconferencing is a huge help.

Make sure you have the right WiFi solution because as you may know, live video streaming can be a heavy burden on a venue’s bandwidth.


Keep the Discussion Going

Once you connect with a potential voter for your candidate, you can keep the discussion going via your tablets on social channels, invite them to new events and ask them to continue to donate.

All of this discussion can happen in the war room, on the street and even on election night!


How Hartford Technology Rental can help

Hartford Technology Rental understands the importance of connecting with your voters often and on a real-time basis. We offer a huge inventory of computers, laptops, mobile devices and servers at very competitive rates.

Give us a call at 888.520.5667 to learn how we can serve you!