5 Must-Have Technologies for Holiday Parties

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It’s that time of year that always sneaks up on us – holiday parties. The charter? To produce an excellent event for the client that will engage the attendees, foster great conversation and networking, not to mention run smoothly. One of the key components to having a successful holiday party is the choice of technology, which can be overlooked or underestimated.

Technology can affect the overall energy, perception, and even communication of the event. It is an element that, if done right, can boost your clients ROI, increase networking and keep the event running seamlessly.

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Here are the top five technologies that can really make a difference at your client’s next event:

1. Wireless LEDs

When lights need to be in a location where cord placement is inconvenient (cords over doorways, through a room, where there is no power, etc), wireless LEDs work very well. Good lighting sets a tone and energy for the event that is important for networking. Research shows that light, music, color and food all effect learning and neuroscience has determined that when multiple senses are employed, the brain remembers better. These LED lights from Sylvania work great for events.

 

2. iPad Registration

The first impression of the event begins when the guests arrive, which is not the time to be scrambling to find that piece of paper with the guest list and frantically scanning to check off names. Not to mention, you’d have to cross reference later with any colleagues to see who they checked in. Invest in an iPad for unified guest registration and consider event check in apps such as Event Check In or Check In Easy which can efficiently help you check in guests and will make you look sophisticated too. CheckIn Tech can also provide iPad rentals, staff people and more if you don’t currently have your own iPads.

Key advantages of online registration include:

  • Knowing how many people have arrived at any time
  • Can add/change guest names and information quickly
  • Retrieve a report of historical data of how many people arrived at what times (helpful for staffing future events)
  • Each iPad has the most up-to-date information (vs outdated printed lists)
  • Can add notes and photos so key sponsors, speakers, VIP are acknowledged
  • Easy to see if there are empty seats at a table
  • Visually cleaner, faster, more welcoming, and looks stylish and smart

 

3. Appropriate Screen Size

  • If seats are too close to screen, people can’t see content
  • Content determines which seats will be able to see clearly. 4′ from height of screen is good for graphics (so a 6′ x 8′ screen means graphics can be clearly seen up to 32ft – seating after that won’t see the graphics as clearly). Whereas you should consider 8′ height of screen for video; 6′ items in the middle.

 

4. Countdown Clock for Speakers

Limit live speakers to a minimum and consider incorporating short two minute videos to portray messages. This introduces a visual element that is captivating and, often, more engaging. Video also helps avoid “wasted time” by having speakers walk to and from a podium.

  • Reconfirms the amount of time someone has to speak
  • Subtle on stage
  • Helps speakers stay on track
  • Make sure tech company resets the clock! It’s important to walk through the process in advance with the speaker.
  • If a countdown clock isn’t available (Walmart has multiple options) – warning signs also work. Holding up signs noting 10, 5, “Wrap”, from the back of the room helps your speaker stay on track.

 

5. GREAT Sound

Sound can affect the energy, mood and thinking of attendees. The clarity of the sound is just as important as the level of the sound and it’s evident that one without the other doesn’t get the job done. Loud, inarticulate sound is blaring and offensive to the listener. Clear, articulate sound that’s not loud enough to hear is, well…not loud enough to hear. It’s important to note the point of measurement of which sound can be heard clearly. Sound will decrease by approximately 6dB for every doubling of distance. If the sound level at your loudspeaker is 100 dB at 1 meter, it will be 94 dB at 2 meters, 88 at 4 meters and so on. Check out Bose for some great speaker options.

  • Speaker placement is important as it needs to be evenly distributed into the room.
    • The ability to hear a spoken word vs a thump thump (think rock concert)
    • Prevents sound delay from front of room to back producing an out-of-sync effect (think bad foreign film dubbing)
  • Wireless microphones
    • Speakers should be hands-free so they can engage with the audience effectively and not be distracted by the technology itself

 

These useful technology tips will help your next event run smoothly and keep guests focused and entertained.

eNews December 2013

About the author : Cassie Brown

Cassie Brown

Cassie Brown is the chief experience officer at TCG Events, an award-winning, full-service event planning company whose work includes milestone, nonprofit, and corporate events, as well as grand openings and more. TCG Events specializes in planning and executing corporate events with the company’s proprietary EventSmarter™ approach, which includes a detailed pre-event walk-through that covers every facet from the perspective of the attendee, to ensure absolute success. Eventwithtcg.com

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1 comments
Guy Nadeau
Guy Nadeau

Cassie - you make some excellent points. I've owned a Staging company in the NYC metro area for 30+ years and still see people fail to do what you've outlined.  I'd eleborate on your suggestion to have great audio is especially true if the meeting is long so listiner fatique doesn't occur.