Posts Tagged 'projector rentals'

6 Tips to Extend the Life of your Projector


Extend Your Life: Don’t Operate in a Smoky Environment 

Projectors can be expensive to purchase if you don’t follow these 6 tips for extending your projector life. If you only need a projector once or twice per year, then renting a projector is a better idea.

Here are 6 things you can do to extend the life of your projector

1. Read the instruction manual.
This is the most basic way to extend the life of your projector. Read the manual that was included with your projector. The manual will provide tips on how to properly operate the device and store the projector. It will also provide precautions to avoid damage to yor projector.

2. Let the Projector to cool before packing away
If you want to extend the lamp life of your projector, you need to let your unit cool completely before turning it off or unplugging it. Excessive heat is a huge contributor to the shortening of a projector’s lamp life. Due to this fact, it is also important to remember not to utilize your projector in direct sunlight or near a heat source.

3. Change the filter.
Didn’t know your projector comes with a filter? It might have one and if it does, the specifics about changing your projector’s filter can be found in the user’s manual. If you don’t change the filter, you shorten your life.

4. Make sure the filter is properly installed
Do not operate your projector without a filter. If you do this, dust can be drawn into the optics of the projector, which will then cause the dust particles to show up on your projected image.

5. Don’t Smoke
Don’t operate your projector in a smoky environment. The smoke can cause damage to the optics of your device, and smoke damage is not covered under most projector’s warranties. Smoke shortens the life of your projector.

6. Store Your Projector Properly
It is important to store your projector in a cool, dry space to extend the life of the projector. Also concern should be take to store in a place where the projector will not be easy bumped.

If this story sparks your interest then you may also like Tips to Caring for Your Projector on The Projector Blog.

Do you need an Electro Voice Speaker System Rental? If so then call Rentacomputer.com today at 800-736-8772.
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Build Your Own Projection Screen

Projectors are expensive, but what can really gall someone is buying that super-expensive projector and having to spend a ton of money on the screen as well. While nothing can replace a high-tech projector, with a few supplies a projection screen can be built for under $100 and function just as well as a store bought screen and look just as good too. Here is a supply list as well as the places that will have to be visited to buy said supplies.

Supplies:

Super-white seamless paper 53″

Wood for frame

L bracket and screws

Velveteen fabric in black

Elmers Glue

To obtain the super-white seamless paper the best place to visit is a camera store. This paper is used as a backdrop for photographers and happens to be the perfect size for projection screens. The wood frame, L bracket, screws, and Elmers Glue can be found at any local hardware store, and the velveteen fabric can be found at a  craft or fabric store.

The wood frame needs to be made of 1×4 poplar wood. Poplar wood is strong, lightweight, and smooth enough not to catch on the fabric. The 1×4 wood will give your screen a border that is 3.5″  around. Have the hardware store employees cut two of the boards to a length of 55.25″ and the other two to 93.5″.  Once this is done, see if it is possible to have the ends cut to a 45 degree angle, and if they are unable to do it at the store, take it home and cut it yourself with a handsaw.  While at the hardware store, pick up four flat L brackets that are six inches long on both sides and  twenty four 3/4 Philips wood screws. After the hardware store, the last stop is the fabric store. Pick up three feet of black velveteen fabric to wrap your wood frame in.

Step one

Cut the boards to the correct lengths and angles if not done at the hardware store. 55.25″ for two of the boards and 93.5″ for the other two, ends at a 45 degree angle.

Step two

Cut the fabric into four 6.5″ wide strips, with two  58″ in length for the sides and two strips for the bottom and top edges  being about 96″ in length. Lay the fabric on a flat surface with the board on top and wrap the fabric around the board stapling it into place as you go. If the fabric slides, use a little glue to hold it into place until the fabric is fixed to the wood all the way around. Carefully cut the fabric to match the 45 degree angles and glue in place if necessary.

Step three

Arrange the fabric-covered pieces of board in a rectangle, placing an L bracket at each corner. Holding the two boards firmly in place, screw six of the screws into the L brackets. Repeat for each corner.

Step four

Lay the super-white paper over the frame and keep it taut. Starting at one of the 55″ sides staple the paper into place, one staple every 9″ is sufficient. Once the paper is secured, trim it up around the edges so it doesn’t hang over the frame.

There you have it! The finished frame should look professional enough to be mounted on the wall for meetings or even at home for a home theater. The total cost of the supplies should be under $100 and it should look like it came side by side with your new projector.

How to handle secondary conversations



Chances are if you call a meeting then you have something important to say, but in all offices or businesses there is going to be outside conversation that leaks into the meeting room. During computer and projector meetings it is exceedingly important to have the full attention of your audience. Off-topic subjects can range from office gossip, to relationship talk, and even children. Regardless, talk between meeting participants that does not have to do with the subject matter of the meeting can distract from what is important and ruin the professional atmosphere you are trying to project. Below I’m going to go over a few tips to keep all eyes and ears on you, and ensure whatever you are trying to convey in the meetings is heard and absorbed by all.

Be non-verbal and non-threatening

There is no reason to embarrass someone for a first offense, so when two or more meeting participants are chatting on the side, make eye contact with each of them to let them know their conversation has drawn attention. Let your cues be non-verbal so that the speaker is not interrupted. Signal the offenders to quiet down with a clear hand signal and leave it at that. Speaking up or calling someone out has the negative outcome of making the offenders only dwell on getting in trouble, and not the subject of the meeting.

If chatter continues, call the talkers out in a non-threatening manner

On the off chance that the people holding the sideline conversation do not stop after a non-verbal cue is given, it is appropriate to call the talkers out in a manner that does not put them in a negative light with their peers but forces them to pay attention. One method is to ask the opinion of one of the people holding the secondary conversation. Ask things like, “Do you feel that this is a good idea, Margaret?” or “Do you have anything to add, Joe?”. By grabbing attention in a non-threatening manner the participant in the secondary conversation is made to pay attention or risk the embarrassment of being ignorant on the subject matter. Another tactic is to ask to borrow the notes of someone involved in the talking. Say that you missed the last part, and ask if they could give you a quick rundown of what was just said.

Keep control without getting angry

Sometimes things can just get out of hand, especially if the person who has the floor has a meek personality or does not know how to handle a large crowd of his or her peers. If competing conversations continue to the point where multiple conversations are being held, it may be necessary to bring the conversations to a halt by addressing the room. Avoid sarcasm or anger so that no one feels intimidated or embarrassed. Comment on your own inability to hear whoever has the floor and calmly guide attention back to the presentation. With the whole group’s attention it is very unlikely anyone’s thoughts will stray to other conversations again.

Keep the presentation entertaining

When running a computer and projector presentation, the biggest key to keeping other conversations from springing up is to hold everyone’s interest. Make sure the projector screen is large enough that everyone can see and that everything on the computer is running smoothly. Keep the presentation engaging and fast paced while still being informative. Incorporate humor and ask lots of questions of the audience. If you do not have the floor, make sure to be engaged in the presentation being given. Laugh at the jokes and ask questions. Hopefully everyone will follow your lead and enjoy the presentation instead of viewing it as a chore.

Using these tips it should be easy to control the crowd and keep everyone focused. Low stress, highly interactive meetings are good for business and good for employees. Successful meetings help reestablish a feeling of group pride and motivation in offices and it is important to have a firm handle on these meetings to keep your work environment a happy one.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes PerfectWhen you are having a meeting, chances are you will be making a presentation.  It may be long or short; it may be in front of a crowd of 10 or 100 people.   Regardless of the details, you want to make your best impression and give the best presentation you can give.  When you hold your meeting, you’ll learn that a little time and effort go a long way.  Practicing your presentation ahead of time will help you appear more confident, professional, and you’ll be able to grab your audience’s attention in ways you never thought possible.   You’ve always heard the saying “practice makes perfect;” well, in the case of presentations it’s absolutely true.  So what are some good ways to practice?   Take a look at the tips below and use as many as you can before your next big meeting. 

1.  Record Yourself.  If you can hear or watch yourself make your presentation, it makes you more aware of what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right.   If you have a tape recorder or some kind of audio recorder, go ahead and hit record when you make your speech.  Play it back and listen to yourself.  Are you speaking clearly?  Do you have any annoying habits such as saying “um” and “uh” between sentences?   Are there any words you have problems with? 

This works for videotaping yourself as well.  Set up your video camera or if you don’t already have one, consider renting a video camera.  Record your entire presentation and play it back to see where you can make improvements.  Are your gestures distracting?   Do you make eye contact with the camera/your audience members?  Do you look nervous?  

2.  Have someone else watch.  Whether it’s your friends, family, or a few close co-workers, have people whose opinions you trust watch you give your presentation and ask them to give honest criticism.  Ask them to tell you what they liked and didn’t like, what you need to change and what you can improve.  

3.  Use a mirror.  In a quick pinch using a mirror can be as rewarding as a video camera.  You have the same ability to watch yourself perform and you can watch to see what you’re doing wrong.  If you are making distracting gestures, you can stop and do it over again until you find a place where you’re comfortable. 

4.  Get familiar with props and technology.   If you plan to use any kind of visual aids, props, or technology with your presentation, you’ll want to make sure you do at least one run-through with them at your side.  Make sure you’re comfortable moving things around if you have props or paper visual aids.  If you plan to use a projector rental or any other technology you’re not familiar with, make sure you have the rental firm set it up ahead of time and make sure you get there early to learn how to use it well enough, so that you’re not having to stop your presentation to figure out how to change slides or power on and off.

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.

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.