When planning a major meeting and/or trade show, there are a lot of variables to consider including budget, attendee experience and destination. In addition, as a planner, you know it is part of your job to interface with a lot of partners and suppliers.

In today’s market, however, with rapidly changing technology choices and interfaces, it is important that your knowledge is the most current is can be.

Below is a quick FACT or FICTION guideline to make you all the smarter when planning your next event. Here we go:

You should find out what type of devices your attendees, exhibitors, and speakers are bringing to your meeting.

FACT. It is very important that you determine the type and quantity of devices they are bringing and how they plan on using those devices during your conference. A quick online survey 30-60 days prior to your conference should help. From there, you can plan for the right amount of iPad rentals and the proper event WiFi solution.

The venue has the Audio Visual and Wi-Fi handled.

FICTION. No matter what they say, all that matters is how the AV and Wi-Fi perform on the days of your conference. First, it is important to remember that you have the right to obtain a quote from an outside vendor, and in many instances, the outside vendor will be less expensive than the in-house provider.

With Wi-Fi your job becomes a bit trickier. Finding out the number of BYOD from your event stakeholders is one thing, and then measuring utilization of the bandwidth is quite another. Talk to the venue’s IT provider, and if you are unsure they can give you enough bandwidth, look outside the venue to rent a Wi-Fi network array.

Transportation and Parking can encourage or deter individuals from attending.

FACT. When considering a particular city or venue, determine if it is easy to get to via air, train, bus, subway, and/or driving. If flying, how easy and what distance will someone have to travel to get to the facility? And what about parking? Is it free or fee? And is there enough parking adjacent to the meeting facility?

All of these factors will make a difference in attendance. Bottom line: Make it easy for attendees to get to your conference and stay there.

All venues are available for your conference, all the time.

FICTION. All venues and supply partners have busy times and slow times – and what you think might be slow for them – could be just the opposite. For example, I just finished a site visit to a convention center that is attached to a water park outside of Cleveland, Ohio. One might expect it to be busy in the summer, but not so much in the winter. It turns out; this place is jamming almost year around, even in 5 degree weather! Their slow period is mid-week days during the school year.

Don’t assume. Ask and find out.

There is an easy way to tell if attendees enjoyed the meeting and facility.

FACT. With Audience Response System rental units, you can gather feedback from your attendees easily, instantly and anonymously. You can also survey them several times during the conference in order to keep a pulse on what is important to them and make changes accordingly.

A group can get lost in a large facility.

FICTION. With digital signage rentals and mapping apps provided on attendee’s iPad rentals, it is easy for them to know exactly where they are in a very large convention center space. In addition, with a geofencing app, attendees can be guided to visit particular trade show booths based on their demographic profile.

How SmartSource Rentals Can Help

SmartSource Rentals is dedicated to helping you meet your event challenges and make your meeting memorable and successful! Simply request a quote and one of our experienced Account Executives will turn around a quick response to you.