There’s a world of new technology out there claiming to make our lives easier and to help us work more efficiently.
But when it comes to technology at a venue, what really matters? John Turpin, business development and support manager for EEF Venues, spoke to a selection of clients to ask what gets them wired.
- Skilled support staff
A frustrating issue for many bookers is that staff aren’t trained in the technology that is available at a venue, or that there just aren’t enough staff to support each event running. It’s vital that the technology works and if it doesn’t, that there is someone on hand who knows how to fix it quickly. Before committing to booking a venue, ask how often they check their technology and what technical support is available.
- High speed Wi-Fi that works
We all want to make our presentations more engaging, and as a society we crave imagery that we can relate to. Whether it’s streaming videos in real time, sharing the latest tweet trending on Twitter or an insightful speech on YouTube, slow Wi-Fi just isn’t going to cut it. Wi-Fi at a venue has to be fast, it has to be reliable and it has to be free.
- No passwords
Nothing seems to frustrate clients more than having to remember yet another password. Ease and speed of access to a venue’s Wi-Fi system is a basic must to avoid unnecessary frustration, loss of valuable conference or training time and total delegate melt-down.
- Video and Microphones
It shouldn’t be too much to ask that the audio from the CEO’s annual review presentation and the microphone he insists is needed to ‘get the message across’ will both work off the same system. We have all witnessed the scenario of a valued team member staying poised by a presenter’s side, tentatively waiting for the ‘trigger word’ that initiates a call to action. Fumbling with switches in the hope that one can swiftly flick from one input to another - and back again before he realises that he’s been talking to himself for the last ten seconds – does not strike confidence or make the right impression.
- Power and plug sockets
This may seem like an obvious one, but it can ‘trip up’ even the smallest meeting. From smart phones to tablet and laptops, we all want to take our technology with us – and all devices need recharging every now and then. However, when the plugs are in the skirting board and the skirting is two metres away, health & safety can become an issue. Centrally located floor boxes are essential - and power bars in the tables are even better.
- Flexible lighting layouts
Getting the lighting right is key to engagement. We have all been at conferences or in meetings where the lighting is either all or nothing, from bright retina-burning florescent lighting to dull, nap-inducing low lighting. Ask the venue team if you can control the lighting. Venues with banked lighting systems on dimmers win hands-down in this area.
- Working flipchart pens
Say no more…
- Keep it simple
When it comes to technology, the main message is ‘keep it simple’ and ensure that the basics are readily available, easily accessible and, above all, in working order.