How to Get the Most Out of a Conference

A conference can be a fantastic place to network with people in your industry as well as a chance to gain insight and ideas on a variety of different topics. But sometimes you can go away from a conference feeling that you haven’t really gained anything. There’s no use wasting your time on a flat experience, so here are four ways to get the most out of a conference that you are attending.

Audience at the conference hall.Smart networking

Many people think that networking isn’t their thing. How do you awkwardly approach and then keep up a dialogue with strangers? The truth is it’s actually relatively easy to be an introverted person when networking – you just do exactly what you do normally: listen. Ask questions to the people you meet and let them do the talking. Ultimately you are looking to forge strong relationships with people and sometimes the best way to do this is to allow them to take the lead.

Go it alone

If you attend a conference with a number of colleagues it can be tempting to spend much of the day with them, watching presentations together and even attempting to network together. This can actually be a mistake – trying to do anything in a large group just encourages you to talk to each other and can be too intimidating for other people to try to strike up a conversation with you. You’ll get more out of the day if you split up. You can spend time watching different speakers and engage in natural networking with others.

Get ideas for your own
presentations

Of course one of the key aspects of going to a conference is the opportunity to take a range of ideas away from it. One aspect of this that is sometimes overlooked is that the fact that you can get fantastic ideas and techniques for your own presentations. Your company may wish to be involved in a conference itself at some point down the line and this can be the perfect opportunity to take down notes on the best presentations you watch. This could be anything from the layout of a slideshow on PowerPoint or the use of technology like an audience response system.

Engage with speakers

There’s nothing that a conference speaker likes more than to have an audience that engages with their presentation. From your perspective this can also be a brilliant way to set up a great basis for networking later on. As you watch the presentation, think of questions to ask at the end so that you can begin a dialogue with the speaker. This can be an ideal way to get more knowledge or even develop unexpected business connections. Remember, speakers will always be flattered by the interest that you have shown in their talk and this can start your conversation out on a strong foot. It is a great idea to forge connections with respected experts too.

CLiKAPAD visit manufacturing plant

Manufacturing plant

CLiKAPAD recently visited the UK-based manufacturing plant where our keypads are created. Here we oversaw the whole manufacturing process. We think it is important to regularly check over the way that our handsets are created to ensure that every keypad we sell is perfect for our customers’ needs.

CLiKAPAD manufacturing devices

It is exciting to see our designs being brought to life. We feel that we get the best value for money by working with our expert UK-based manufacturer. We can rely on them for the exceptional quality of the devices that they provide. We also love to work with other British businesses – all of our software development is completed in the UK as well.

CLiKAPAD manufacturing

We are so sure of the quality of our hardware that we offer a 12 month parts and labour warranty on every piece that we sell.

Manufacturing process

How Can Audience Response Help with Risk Assessment?

Risk assessment is a critical task for many businesses. It is the duty of an employer to ensure that they adequately plan for any risk that could be encountered by their workers. An audience response system (ARS) will help you develop broader and more comprehensive risk assessments, as you are able to involve staff in the creation of the assessment and ensure that all of the bases are covered. Here’s how an ARS could help you with risk assessment.

Fast, accurate data gathering

Risk assessment presentation

Undoubtedly one of the most important resources when creating a risk assessment are your employees. They will have a great understanding of the areas where they are most at risk. Using an ARS, you can quickly and accurately gather data from all of your workers. During a workshop or assessment meeting you can set up questions and staff can respond on the handheld clicker devices.

Take a group approach to risk assessment

An ARS can not only be used to gather data on risk – it can also provide information on potential solutions too. Getting your whole team involved ensures that you are incorporating everyone’s opinions, knowledge and concerns. This allows you to find more effective ways to mitigate risk.

Rather than having to spend a significant amount of time gathering the information from each member of staff individually, you can get all the data simultaneously. This will save you a lot of time and effort as well as providing more accurate results. The results from each vote can be instantly displayed on screen driving discussion in your workshops.

Export your results to Excel and PowerPoint

You can also sync your ARS with Excel and PowerPoint. Exporting the raw data to Excel gives you the ability to instantly update your risk register with the gathered data. The graphs and heat maps generated by the ARS system can be incorporated into PowerPoint to allow you to give highly professional and attention-grabbing presentations.

A more effective plan of action

Being able to gather all the data at the same time ultimately means your risk assessments will be more effective – they will take more worries into account and provide a broader variety of ways to deal with those risks.

Whether you hire an ARS for a one-off risk assessment workshop or you purchase a system for regular assessments, it could be a huge benefit to your business.

Audience Response Systems: To Hire or to Buy?

Using an audience response system (ARS) can be a fantastic way to liven up a conference or allow training sessions and workshops to run more smoothly. But before you can enjoy the benefits of an ARS, you need to make a decision: do you buy or do you hire? Undoubtedly there are advantages to both options and what is right for you will depend on your situation.

The advantages of buying:clikapad hire

  • More choice – there is a greater variety of ARS options available to buy than there are to hire, so if you have very specific requirements for what you need from the system you may prefer to buy
  • Exactly what you need – there’s no need to compromise; when you are buying you are entirely in charge of your purchase so you can choose the exact system requirements that you need
  • Value – if you are planning to make use of an ARS regularly then you will find the better value for money in buying outright, rather than hiring. There are many applications for an ARS so you may well find that you can use in a number of aspects of your business including meetings, training sessions, conferences an workshops
  • No planning required – once you have your own ARS it’s not necessary to go through the process of planning to hire out a system. Instead, it is always immediately available for your use so you can simply set up your ARS whenever you need it

The advantages of hiring:

  • Flexibility – hiring gives you extra flexibility so that you can choose a relevant ARS for the task you need it for. It might not be sensible or possible to buy an ARS that can be used across all of the potential occasions you will use it. If you hire, you can pick one dedicated system for each task
  • Affordability – if you are only using an ARS for a one-off task then the most affordable option will definitely be hiring
  • Range of rental options – if you are renting an ARS you have the choice to either simply hire the equipment for your use or to have additional services such as coaching sessions so that you know how to use it correctly
  • Simplicity – there is also the option for fully managed service, where technicians will be available on site to help with set up and running

Both hiring and buying:

One very popular option is to combine both buying and hiring.

  • Buy and hire – in this scenario clients will outright buy a smaller ARS that covers them for the majority of their usage. Then whenever they have a need to use the ARS on a larger scale they can simply hire additional keypads. This way they can continue to use the system that they are familiar with but take it large events as well
  • Trial rental – often you can ‘try before you buy’ where you rent an ARS so that you get to understand and become familiar with it. Then if you decide to buy, the provider will discount part of the rental cost from the price of buying

How to Impress Guests at a Product Launch

If you’re launching a brand new product it can be a great idea to host a product launch event to generate interest, get people in your industry aware and find new potential customers. But to make the most of your event it’s important to ensure your audience is engaged and actually interested in the product itself, rather than using it as a simple opportunity for free networking. So let’s look at some of the best ways to do this.

Structure the eventProduct launch

A good product launch needs structure. Setting a few tables around with your product on them and simply allowing attendees to wander around and talk to each other doesn’t really encourage them to take an interest. Set out a timetable with activities such as the launch speech as well as product demonstrations and other events.

Also make sure that you don’t allow scheduled moments to coincide. For example, it’s a really bad idea for the serving of the food and drinks to happen at the same time as the main speech. You want everyone to be focused on the product for the majority of the time, but getting them to multi-task will simply divert attention.

Keep the speech interesting

While we’re on the speech – this is one of the most important aspects of the evening that you need to get right. It needs to be interesting and relatable. Don’t talk about the technical details of the product; that might be what interests you, but it’s not what interests your customers. Instead, they will want to know how your product can enhance and improve their lives.

Don’t let the speech do on too long, either. A good speech gets people intrigued but allows guests the opportunity to go and have a look as soon as possible afterwards. Getting bogged down in the background and creation process of the product doesn’t really serve anyone.

Get interactive

Another fun way to get guests engaged with the product launch is to ensure that the presentations are interactive. You can do this by giving each guest a handheld audience response system device. This can then allow them to answer questions during the presentation. If there are multiple colours available, for example, you could seek to establish which is the most popular. Asks guests which colour they are most likely to purchase and then show the results.