Technology is all around us. We check our phones when we wake up, use computers while at work, and watch TV before hitting the hay. Since it has become so involved in our daily lives, why wouldn’t you make technology a part of your off-site event? With all the latest gadgets available, we understand that a budget can be a deciding factor that limits event planners from trying something new and interactive for their guests. Here’s a few ideas that may give your event that extra tech pep it needs.
iPads, Galaxy Tablets, and other touchscreen devices have drastically evolved over recent years, which is why you need to stay up with the times and seriously consider using them at your off-site event.
Depending on your need for using a tablet, there are a few payment options available for planners. If you are in it for the long haul and plan to use your device in the future, purchasing your own iPad will run you around $400-800 based on the model you choose. Those who prefer Android devices over iOS should expect to pay anywhere from $99-$650. However, more affordable alternatives are available. Choosing to rent a tablet will cost planners $50-200 for events. Touchscreen kiosks are also beneficial for planners in many ways. On top of the price for a tablet, individual display stands can be rented anywhere between $50 to $150.
As an event planner, tablets are initially beneficial by saving you from having to carry around a bulky laptop or folder. Touchscreen kiosks additionally enhance events by making registration or check-in processes more self-serving for guests. Worried about guests not knowing your event’s agenda while they are staying at an off-site venue? Set up a table in the venue’s common area and display photos, videos, and other information on your device in order for guests to have access to all your event’s details. Receiving survey responses and electronic payments from guests are other ways tablets can enhance the overall experience at your event.
If you plan to use tablets, there are a few items to consider before your event kicks off. One of the first aspects you have to think about is ensuring that your device is charged. Keep your device going by having it plugged in at all times or swap it out with another tablet that you have handy. Nobody wants to bring a tablet that they can’t use because it wasn’t charged. You should also dedicate someone from your leadership team to oversee your tablet, so guests know how to use it or do not damage it. Another item you need to know about is whether or not your event’s venue will have Wi-Fi access, especially if you want to display information that is online. Finally, before you turn in a rented tablet, ensure that you or the company you borrowed from completely deletes any stored information that was logged onto the device from your event.
Planners aren’t the only ones brining the technology to events. You can guarantee your guests will also have their devices with them. Make them happy by having charging stations at your next event! This type of tech item can power up multiple devices all at once, and some stations even have lock features, so guests do not have to stand there while their devices charge.
The cost for renting a charging station typically depends on its features and the duration of your event. Most planners can anticipate paying anywhere from $250 to a few thousand dollars for a charging station depending on its features and if you choose to rent or purchase.
From meetings to worship services, your guests are going to want to use their devices. The last thing you want is attendees to not be able to tell others about their experiences online or take notes in meetings because their batteries died. Another benefit for having a charging station at your event is that some include promotional options. Market your event at the event by seeing if the rental company will allow you to wrap a station with vinyl graphics that feature logos, your event’s agenda, or special offers. Advanced charging stations also include digital screens to grab the attention of guests. A nice promo video for your event is sure to build excitement!
Similar to using a tablet, assign someone to manage your station if guests have questions on how to use it. It is additionally important to consider the type of charging station you want to have at your event. Do you want one that requires quests to stand next to it or would it better to rent one with a lock feature? The first option is great because it would allow guests to mingle with others. If you choose to go with the latter, you will need someone to unlock the station when guests want to use their devices again. Another item to consider would be the station’s placement. Set it up in an area that is fitting and visible to guests and make an announcement that reminds attendees of its location and features. Lastly, it is essential to have a charging station that suits different phones and other gadgets. Not every guest will have an iPhone!
Looking to improve the interaction of your meetings? Who wouldn’t!? Keep up with the latest in technology by replacing old projectors and monitors with interactive whiteboards.
If you would like to incorporate this type of device into your event, initially see if your host venue already has one readily available for groups to add to their retreat packages at a supplementary fee. To rent an interactive whiteboard yourself, you should expect quotes to start around $1,000 for events. Additional costs may be included depending on the whiteboard’s features and necessary equipment.
Interactive whiteboards are excellent for visually displaying a speaker’s presentation, recording notes, and sharing videos. Planners can also use them for collaboration by allowing guests to contribute to a meeting session. For instance, they are great tools to use as an audience response system for interactive polls, quizzes, and live Q&A sessions.
Since you or another leader from your ministry group will likely be the ones using an interactive whiteboard at your event, it is necessary for you and others to understand exactly how to use it. Nobody wants to receive a toy they don’t know how to use. Whether your host venue has one available or you choose to rent, do your own research first by reading up on interactive whiteboards and watch tutorial videos that discuss features. But don’t stop there. Listen to what the staff at the host venue or rental company have to say and ask questions before diving in. Other items to consider would be to make sure you have all the necessary equipment to use the whiteboard and that your own personal devices (i.e. tablet or laptop) are compatible.
As a whole, technology can be a major addition to events when it comes to further developing the experiences of guests. Whatever technical tools your ministry team tries to incorporate, these helpful tips are sure to have a positive impact on everyone involved with your next event.