Monday, April 25, 2016

Stressed Out Planning Your Meeting? Don’t Be: Following This AV Checklist!

Meeting professionals are great planners. They like to focus on the attendees, speakers and event logistics. But when it comes to the AV equipment…not so much.

However, understanding your step-by-step audio visual plan can make your stress level go down while your understanding goes up. Since audio visual rentals are integral to the successful of any event, I have provided the following checklist to help guide you.  

The Ultimate Planners’ AV Planning List

       Put together an AV Budget.
Before you get started looking at technology or quotes from area vendors, have an overall idea of how much you are going to spend for audio visual on your event. You don’t need to have it broken down between
iPad rentals , projector rentals, and such -- just an overall technology budget will do.

       Determine how much Wi-Fi you need.
Even though each venue can offer some level of Wi-Fi, the truth of the matter is if your attendees are bringing their smartphones and you are renting
Apple devices that will be utilizing mobile apps; the amount of Wi-Fi the venue provides is probably not enough. Check the CIC Bandwidth Estimator to obtain an idea of how much Wi-Fi you will need and poll your attendees’ months beforehand to see what they are bringing to your conference. 

       Get Everything in Writing.
From the speakers’ requirements to the audio visual RFP, make certain to get everything in writing. This will prevent any confusion and allow you to see everything in black and white. If things change, make certain to obtain a written record of the change from the vendor and how that change will affect your budget and/or contract.

       Understand the Contract Before Signing.
Take a look at the equipment, labor and any other charges. Ask questions and “red line” the contract until you feel it is a win-win for all parties.

       Take your partner on the site visit with you.
Since AV is such a big part of your event, take your vendor onsite to make certain you have the right equipment set up in the right room. The last thing you want is a sound system that doesn’t work appropriately, a screen that is too large or small, or a room that has too many obstacles. Your partner can advise you on options to solve room configuration challenges.

       Have Regular Conference Calls with a Set Agenda.
I recommend that you start out with monthly calls, move to weekly when you are three months out and then move to daily calls the last two weeks before your conference. This should include all your suppliers, not just AV. These don’t have to be long; 30 minutes or less should be enough time unless you are tackling a major issue.

       Obtain Speaker Presentations 7-10 days in advance of Your Conference.
Having the presentations early allows your AV technician a chance to load the PowerPoint presentation onto the
computer rental, test them for sound and visual components and identify any problems. In addition, if you have several presenters, your tech can load them in the order of the presentations and save a lot of time the day of the event.

       Make sure the AV tech remains onsite during the conference and has backup equipment and supplies with them.

       Have a Contingency Plan.
Things happen – the electricity can go out, the presentation equipment can freeze or your speaker may cancel at the last minute – whatever the problem, have a plan to meet it. Your AV partner can help you write this plan.
In summary, it is important to communicate and have contingencies. But all in all, proper planning in this arena will help your conference run smoothly and allow you to relax more when the event date arrives.

About Us

 Hartford Technology Rentals’ job is to make your life easier in the area of technology. We can provide equipment from industry leading manufacturers. Give us a call today at 888.520.5667 to get started! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Does Your Website Suck? Ask Yourself WHAT is Your Content (Part 3)

Part 3 WHAT is Your Website Content

Ok, we know know WHY you want a website and WHO your target audience, so lets make sure the content being served to them on your website is valid. Unless your website is an eCommerce site, you need to take time and establish the most beneficial content to include on your website. You must be clear and concise otherwise, your online visitor will become frustrated and leave.

Giving Away the Cow for Free

If your website is meant to be a resource site where users are supposed to visit and get everything they need, that's fine, but rare, so be careful not to "give away the cow for free". You know the saying "Why buy the cow if you are getting the milk for free"? In this case, the cow is being given away, there is no opportunity to even buy the milk! What I mean in is, give users enough information that they will take the next step, not get what they want and move on with their day (or worst case use your info for their personal gain!). 

Provide them with enough information so they will take the next step or engage in your website's call to action: 
  • Completing/submitting a contact us form
  • Giving you a call
  • Signing up for a newsletter
Be careful to hold onto your intellectual property and engage the online visitor to reach out and form some kind of association. There are a lot of websites that give too much information to their visitors. For example, if you list your services, don't go into too much detail that the user can turn around and provide the same services themselves! This is called giving away your intellectual property, which that my friend is as precious as gold. Hold onto it and just give your online visitor an overview, not the entire"cow".

Be Clear and Concise as Possible

Is that clear enough? Don't drone on and on and get too fancy because the online visitor's eye's will glaze over and they will skedaddle. The average attention span of an online user is 8 seconds. You better tell them what you want them to know and quick. 

This means your navigation as well. Which we will get into in more detail with part 4 HOW of this series, so stay tuned.

This is part 3 of a 6-part series about the 5 w’s and 1 h for website design/redesign.

About Mulligan Management Group

Mulligan Management Group will help you determine your What for your website. We now offer website consulting, so give me a call at 330-310-3222 or send me an email at to learn more about how we can help you create a website with truly valuable content.