Slick gadgets aren’t just for presentations. These devices make it easier for attendees to get and share information, keep their smartphones juiced, and keep up their pace to get all they can out of a meeting.
Near Field Communication (NFC): NFC is similar to RFID, but this technology is loaded into a mobile device, making it possible to share contact information and other material automatically. With this technology, attendees can interact intelligently with trade show booths and kiosks — hold your device up to other NFC-enabled devices to receive a presentation, collateral, and additional relevant information electronically.
QR (Quick Response) codes are two-dimensional bar codes that store text information or website URLs. The user takes a picture of or scans the QR code image to display text or open a web browser on the device. The application of this technology to conference and event attendees is similar to NFC: Event organizers and exhibitors can post QR codes on signs or collateral at sessions or in exhibit booths, where attendees can scan them with their mobile devices to receive more information via text or to access a web page.
Inductive charging pads: This handy tool could render jumbles of wires, cables, and AC adapters obsolete — the inductive charging pad, charges cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, and other medium-sized items wirelessly. An adapter with contact points is attached to the device’s back plate: When it needs a charge, the device is placed on a conductive charging pad plugged into an electric socket. Various inductive charging pads are available, usually for $50 or less.
External battery packs: Staying connected online and engaged with social media throughout the day is integral to meetings. However, this requires lots of battery power, and external battery packs are the most efficient way to keep mobile devices juiced all day.
Apple iPad: It’s no secret that this cross between a laptop and a PDA has become an integral tool for everyone at a meeting or event. And it’s little wonder why: A person can do almost everything on the lightweight iPad that’s possible on a laptop — take notes, do real-time research, conduct surveys, blog, interact with social media tools, and access documents and photos — but much more conveniently. In addition to its streamlined design, the wide variety of iPad apps has helped propel the device from a neat gadget into a meeting essential.