Archive for July, 2010

Staying on Budget When Planning Your Meeting

Staying on Budget When Planning Your Meeting When you’re in charge of planning a meeting, staying within your budget is probably one of your biggest worries, but it shouldn’t have to be.  With a little extra effort, staying within budget can be the easiest part of meeting planning.   Here are a few tips  to help you out with the financial aspect, so that you can spend more time and effort on the important parts of your meeting.

1.  Make sure you know your budget.  If you know your exact limits verses a guess or estimate, you are more likely to stick to it. 

2.  Stay organized.  This one seems simple, but before you even begin the planning process, make a list of items you’ll need to pay for.  These might include transportation, entertainment, refreshments, technology rentals, accommodations if your meeting will involve out-of-town guests, renting a location if it won’t be at your office, and more.  Figure out how much of your budget you can afford to assign to each aspect and try to leave a little extra room in case something comes up.  

3.  Be flexible.  If you have specific expectations about dates and locations, you may find yourself having to shell out a little extra money to pay for those expectations.  Some places, such as hotels, might give discounts if you’re not 100% set on a date. 

4.  Have a back-up plan.  Something can always go wrong when you’re planning a big meeting.  Consider the possibilities and decide what you can do in the event of an emergency.  Not having a back-up plan could result in spending tons of extra, unnecessary cash. 

5.  Rent any necessary technology.  In today’s world, technology is king, and any successful meeting requires at the bare minimum a projector.  Renting a projector is a great alternative to purchasing one when you’re trying to stay within a budget.  You’ll pay a small fraction of what you would when you purchase a new projector and you can rent it for as long as you need.  Many meeting planners also rent laptops so that each meeting attendee can use one to access websites, take notes, and perform other tasks related to the meeting.

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Start Your Meetings on Time

Start Your Meetings on TimeNo one likes a meeting that doesn’t start on time.  Most of the time, a meeting that starts late means a meeting that finishes late and it can eat up important productivity time and even affect when you and your employees are able to go home.   There are so many ways to prevent your meeting from starting later than scheduled.  After following these tips, you won’t have any excuse to ever start a meeting at the wrong time again!

1.  Make sure everyone involved with the meeting knows when it starts.  Also, make sure everyone knows you mean business.  State that your meeting will begin promptly at that time and that no excuses for tardiness will be accepted.

2.  If possible, remind everyone the morning of or shortly before the meeting.  Send out a group email or put a flier in your employees’ mailboxes.  Make an announcement if you have a PA system. 

3.  Even if your meeting starts late, wrap it up at the scheduled time.  This will also show your employees you are trying to stick to a schedule and may help them be on time when you have your next meeting.

4.  Close the doors to your meeting room and post a sign that says something along the lines of  “Do not enter. Meeting in progress.”   This will send a clear message to attendees that you will not tolerate lateness. 

5.  If you are planning to use temporary equipment such as laptop rentals or a projector rental for your meeting, make sure it’s set-up and powered on, ready to be used.  Familiarize yourself with the technology so that you do not have to spend the first fifteen minutes of the meeting learning how to show your slides. 

6.  Finally, be prepared.  Have your notes together and rehearsed, and be ready and waiting in the meeting room before your participants arrive.

Choosing the Right Font for Your Presentation

Choosing the Right Font for Your Presentation

You’ve got a big presentation coming up for your company’s next meeting.  You know your topic like the back of your hand and you’ve contacted your Tech Travel Agent to secure a projector rental for your meeting, but now it’s time to put together the actual presentation.  You want it to be appealing and attention-grabbing, but you don’t want to overdo it, right? 
 
One of the biggest things that often prevents people from even working on their presentations in a timely manner is the font.  There are so many different options when it comes to fonts these days, that picking the right one can be an overwhelming task for someone who does not usually work with programs like Microsoft’s PowerPoint.   Sure, you can use the old-fashioned standbys like Times New Roman and Arial, but that can get boring and surprisingly, it’s not always the best option. 
 
First of all, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions: 
1.  What type of audience are you presenting to?  
– Do you work in an informal office, where your presentation will be made to your co-workers?  In this case, you can probably spice things up a little bit and have a little more fun with your fonts. 
– Do you work for a larger company and plan to make a presentation to several executives from your corporate office?    Obviously, in this situation, you’d want to keep things formal.  
2.  How serious is your topic?  
– Are you discussing something important or sensitive such as accident prevention or budget cuts?  You may want to avoid using anything you would consider cute or fun in this situation.  
– On the other hand, are you discussing something fun, like the budget for this year’s holiday parties or the upcoming community project your office is involved with.  These types of presentations will allow for a little more room to get creative.   
3.  Is your presentation mainly in what you say or in what you type?  
– If you plan to let your mouth make the point and use your slides as simply a back-up tool for people to refer to or to emphasize a few key-points, then you can afford to be a little creative with your fonts. 
– If you plan to rely heavily on your slides and pack them full of information, you’ll want to stick to fonts that are easier to read and less distracting.  
 
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have at least a general idea about what types of slides you want to make and what sort of image you want to convey. 
Here are a few general tips about choosing fonts:
 
1.  Don’t use too many.  The more you use, the more jumbled up your presentation will look.  If it’s too busy, it will be unappealing to your audience and hard to follow.  Many consultants suggest using three or four maximum. 
2.  Use one main font for your main content.  Whether you have two points or ten points per slide, make sure they’re all in the same, consistent font.  You’ll also want to be sure your main font is the most plain. This would be a good time to use Times New Roman or something similar that is easy for everyone to read.
3.  For titles, captions, and other non-main text, you can use something a little more fun, but make sure it’s still readable.  Trebuchet, Tahoma, and Comic Sans are a few examples. 
4.  Be careful about using anything too “out there.”   Not just because it might drive your audience crazy to look at it, but also because some of the more unique fonts don’t always transfer well from one system to another.  
5.  When choosing font size, never go below 16- or 18-point.  Also, keep in mind that different fonts can be the same size but they don’t appear the same on screen. 
6.  If you really want to grab someone’s attention, use even bigger fonts on words like “new,” that are meant to grab attention.   32-point or higher is great. 
7.  Use bold font, italics, and underlined font sparingly.  Just like having too many fonts, having too many extra characteristics can ruin you presentation.  

Projector Rentals Save the Day

Projector Rentals Save the Day

Did you know that no matter what type of business you’re in, a projector rental can be just what you need to save the day?  
 
Amy Evans spends the last few days of each month traveling around the metro Atlanta area.  She sales insurance to businesses and often meets with groups of new employees at various companies.  These meetings may include two people or 32 people. When Amy started the job, she realized quickly that showing her slide presentation on her laptop wasn’t going to work when she had a couple dozen anxious new employees to keep entertained.  Being new to her job, she couldn’t afford to purchase a projector and she never knew if the company she was visiting that day would have one on hand.  That’s when she turned to RentOurProjectors.com.  “I was able to take advantage of their Atlanta projector rentals, which saved me money and helped make my presentations a lot more interesting.  I recommend them to any new salespeople my company hires.”    
 
Jason Hudson learned that Maryland projector rentals are definitely life-saver when it comes to his job.  Every year, his company sends him to Baltimore for his industry’s big annual conference and every year, he’s forced to make an educational presentation to a few groups of about 50-100 people.  Jason has always been very shy and nervous about speaking in front of a large crowd, so anything that would help make his job easier is a welcome bit of a relief.  That’s why he uses RentOurProjectors.com to make sure he has a quality projector ready and waiting for him at the Baltimore Convention Center.  The projector is delivered and set-up exactly where Jason needs it, exactly when he needs it.  That’s one less thing he has to worry about. 
 
When Amelia Farquhar’s small business just outside of Jacksonville, Florida launches a new product and she has to present that product to potential buyers, she finds herself staying up all night for weeks, planning every little detail of her product launch.  But Ameila says she couldn’t do the launches without Florida projector rentals from RentOurProjectors.com.   “As a new small business owner, I can’t afford to purchase a bunch of technology for my office.  I’ve only been at this for about a year and a half.  I am just so thankful I found RentOurProjectors.com.  I’ve only had three product launches so far and each time, they’ve delivered the right projector to my office, set it up, and provided me with excellent customer service.  
 
If you ever find yourself in a tough spot and you need a projector for a limited amount of time or you can’t afford to go out and buy one, let RentOurProjectors.com save the day for you, too.  Visit our website or give us a call at 800-736-8772 today.