Archive for the ‘Meetings’ Category

BenQ’s SP890 Presentation Projector

BenQ SP890There has been an increasing demand in the workplace recently for high resolution data projectors. One such projector is the SP890 from BenQ. The SP890 is a 4,000 lumen 1080p DLP projector which is specifically designed for use in presentations and meetings. Where this device differs from other 1080p projectors is that it has a 50,000:1 contrast ratio which makes it perfect for displaying pictures and other images on a big screen. The color is more accurate as well and a 1.5:1 zoom with an H/V lens shift makes installation really easy. Dual 5W speakers are great for a conference room setting.

There are a lot of great features with the SP890 that make it stand out above some of the other projectors of its kind currently on the market. Like I mentioned above, the SP890 has a resolution of 1920×108 giving you full 1080p HD. It also has a max lumen output of 4,000 lumens which is far greater than your typical 1080p projector. There is a 50,000:1 contrast ratio and the black levels are very impressive. Shadow detail is extremely well-defined and high-contrast scenes are presented accurately. Foregrounds seem to pop out of backgrounds and you get a clear sense of depth in high-contrast material.

In terms of color, the SP890 has a Red Gain of 49, Green Gain of 53, Blue Gain of 49, Red Contrast of 47, Green Contrast of 50 and a Blue Contrast of 49. One cool thing about the SP890 is that even though it is a business machine, it has all the flexibility of a home theater projector. Since the SP890 has a 1.5:1 manual zoom/focus lens with H/V lens shift, it makes it easy to place the projector in a lot of common room configurations. Two built-in 5W speakers come with the SP890 and are capable of producing some serious sound quality. At just 50% or 75%, these speakers deliver enough sound to be clearly heard by everybody in a small business meeting or conference. If sound is extremely important, however, then you will want to get an external sound system.

You will find a comprehensive connection panel on the back of the SP890. You will have no problems hooking this projector up to anything, whether it be your new laptop or your mom’s old VCR. The SP890 has HDMI, composite video, VGA, component video, monitor-out, RJ45 wired networking and USB. Unfortunately, you will not find dual HDMI but BenQ wasn’t trying to hide that.

Overall the SP890 is a strong presentation projector ideal for applications requiring high resolution  like photography or even medical imaging and light video use. It is important to know that this is NOT a home theater projector and getting it for that reason alone will waste a lot of your time and money. However, the 50,000:1 contrast ratio is clearly represented on the screen and the accurate colors really make photographs pop. This device is also capable of being used on a very large screen and if you need a bright 1080p projector for data display then you will definitely want the SP890.

Source: Projector Central – BenQ SP890 1080p DLP Presentation Projector


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5 Ways a Projector Can Boost Your Meetings

business meeting projectorThere are a lot of different projectors out there that can help your company’s meeting process go a lot smoother. Many of the big name brand projectors out there offer a ton of different abilities and specs that can really make your meeting stand out, but this article is going to focus on five ways a projector can boost your meetings.

1.) Presentation – Projectors give your presentations a more professional look and feel and can also be seen by potential customers as a serious commitment. A projector allows you to conduct your presentations in a variety of ways giving your audience a larger visual picture as opposed to handing something out. This also gives your meeting a more professional feel as opposed to a stiff boring one.

2.) Staff and Strategy Meetings – Projectors are great when entertaining current or prospective clients but they are also great for your in-house meetings with your staff as well. Projectors keep you from having to hand write things on a whiteboard where your handwriting may be messy and illegible. A projector also allows you to type notes into your presentation directly from the meeting and add ideas from your employees.

3.) Training – Projectors are perfect if you need to train current or new employees about how things work around the office or if you are training your customers in your products and services. Show off keystrokes and mouse movements from a computer in a clear manner so everybody learns what they need to. Don’t just explain how to do something or how something works, show them by demonstrating it on a projector screen.

4.) Teleconferencing – A projector is also a great way to connect people who are either in a different office or who can not physically come to the meeting at hand. They allow for everybody to feel like they are in the same room, even if they are hundreds of miles apart.

5.) Boardroom Presentations – Most people in the corporate world expect presentations to be delivered via projector or some other kind of technology. That is why it is important to have a good projector system for your meeting room. If you want to impress potential clients or higher-ups, then you need to have the right equipment.

A projector is definitely nice to have but is also a must if you want to keep up with the fast pace of the business environment. You can see that there are many ways a projector can benefit your meeting room and presentations, so why not get one for your meeting room?

Source: Ezine Articles

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Technology’s Role in Strategic Meeting Management

meeting technologyIf you want to have a strategic meeting management program then you definitely need to be well versed on the latest technology. Thankfully, the Groups and Meetings Committee of the National Business Travel Association has addressed this in a new white paper which is the fifth in the group’s “Framework of Success” series on meeting management issues.

The first part of the 11-page paper is titled “Choosing the Right Technology in Support of Your Strategic Meetings Management Program”.It discusses how technology facilitates all the different elements of an SMMP. It includes everything from cost-avoidance reports to proper meeting approvals. A simplified version from the author states that an SMMP should do a few things specifically:

  • Collect Meeting Data. This should include expenses across departments in order to report a consolidated view of your company’s meeting activity which can then be analyzed by vendor and meeting type.
  • Automatically notify legal or procurement departments if RFPs are of a certain size.
  • Include a searchable supplier database that can easily be found online which directs users to your company’s preferred suppliers.
  • Create a full slate of reports both customizable and standard.
  • Integrate with your company’s meeting-planning software for attendee registration and housing or, at least, have these capabilities itself.
  • Route meeting requests through the approval process and track meetings that do not receive the approvals necessary.
  • Help planners create, submit and compare RFPs as well as save all of the bids for future references.

Aside from that, the paper also considers the best practices when buying or even building a tech system. Overall, the author leans more towards the off-the-shelf systems. According to the author, “In recent years, with more visible products on the market and a growing understanding of the overall cost to maintain such systems, it has become widely considered a best practice to buy an SMMP technology solution, rather than build one.”

The paper talks about key selection criteria, including security, the ability of integration with other company systems, scalability, brand issues and ease of use as well as support for the customer as all things you should take into consideration when researching a potential meeting management technology.

Source: Meetings Net

A Copier Rental is a quick way to mass produce important documents for potential customers at an event or conference. Renting office equipment is simple and easy and it can also save you loads of time and money. Rentacomputer.com has been offering copier rentals to more than 1000 cities worldwide for over 20 years.

Collaborative Meeting Technology

Meeting CollaborationCollaboration in meetings is key, but it isn’t always easy. There are many different collaborative technologies that have been designed to help groups work with computer-based information in the meeting room. By utilizing such technology, widely dispersed work teams can share information without a hitch. With so many organizations focusing on teamwork today (and with good reason) easy access to all the vital information is what can help you succeed or fail.

One such technology is the SMART Board interactive whiteboard. This device allows you to access computer-based information directly from the meeting room and even record meeting information using a simple whiteboard interface. The board can improve not only your meetings but also the general productivity of your entire team.

The SMART Board Interactive whiteboard gives you control of computer-based information as well as the capability of the whiteboard you are familiar with all at your fingertips. It has a touch sensitive surface so when you project onto it you can control it by touching the surface of the board. Your finger becomes the equivalent of a mouse on a computer. If you want to open a Microsoft Windows document all you have to do is press the open document button on the whiteboard. Double-tap an application’s icon to run it or to do a number of other interactive things.

Another cool thing is the fact that since the SMART Board is pressure sensitive, you can pick up a dry-erase marker or interactive pen and write on the board. Your text will then be projected in digital ink from the projector. You can see what you have written on the SMART Board because the projector is projecting the computer monitor image onto the board.

There are a lot of benefits to using the SMART Board interactive whiteboard. It gives you access to important documents whenever you need them, allows you to deliver a presentation from the head of the room where you are the most effective, allows you to make changes to CAD/CAM drawings, documents or spreadsheets during the meeting as an immediate result of group collaboration and discussion, allows you to access live web sites during your meeting or even connect via Microsoft NetMeeting software to your colleagues in another location allowing notes and other information to be seen by others in a different location.

If you are looking for a great piece of technology to make collaborating within your meeting easier and more interactive then the SMART Board interactive whiteboard is definitely a good investment.

Source: Effective Meetings


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Making Your Meeting Room Wireless

Wireless Meeting RoomsWireless technology is finally making its way into meeting rooms and offices, and it’s about time. But before you go incorporating it into your office or meeting room, you need to know all the details. I mean, what good is going into a wireless meeting room if you have no idea what anything is or how it works?

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

If you want to know about wireless technology then you have to know about Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth was developed by a Swedish phone company, Ericsson, and became an industry standard available to everybody.

Bluetooth products contain very small short-range radios that allow products like cell phones, printers, laptops and projectors to “talk” to each other without the need of wires. There is a 30-foot range on Bluetooth and it doesn’t draw a lot of power from your device.

Wi-Fi is also a radio technology. Wi-Fi is faster than Bluetooth and has a range of 75 feet to 150 feet in an office and up to 1000 feet in open areas. The only downside is that it requires a greater amount of power. Both of these technologies allow you to use any kind of technological device without the use of cables or wires.

Wireless Benefits

While both technologies are great and offer similar solutions, there are a lot if differences you should look at before implementing one or the other into your meeting room.

Bluetooth is great for cable replacement due to the small amount of power it consumes and the shorter range it has versus Wi-Fi. You don’t need any more cables for your mouse, printer, keyboard or other peripherals.

Wi-Fi is better for connecting large devices due, in part, to the longer range and the larger power consumption. In bigger devices, the larger power draw allows you to exchange data without a noticeable change in speed and users can be further away from the modem.

Price is also a factor. Bluetooth has been traditionally cheaper. It is expected that adding Bluetooth to your meeting room will only run you around an extra $10 per product whereas Wi-Fi would be about $35 per product.

Currently in production there are over 800 licensed Bluetooth solutions and over 500 Wi-Fi ones. Big name companies, like Intel, Microsoft and Toshiba, offer products that already have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth installed.

By slowly integrating wireless products into your meeting room, you can have the fastest, cleanest and most efficient meeting space in the entire company.

Source: Effective Meetings

Power Point Projectors
Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector. Visit the Worldwide Technology Rental Company…Rentacomputer.com

Creating an Electronic Meeting

Electronic MeetingsMeetings are some of the most important interactions that take place in a company. They are a place where all the top people in the company come together to discuss all the latest information about the company and what they need to do to improve on certain areas of business. One thing a lot of business are doing nowadays is transferring over to an electronic meeting.

But what exactly is an electronic meeting? An electronic meeting process is a guide that takes you through the the various stages of a meeting by using a productivity software. This specific software has been designed to assist you with the preparations and follow-up stages of your meeting and even the actual meeting itself.

Many meetings have an agenda that is distributed to all the people involved. Meeting productivity software takes this process one step further and allows you to store meeting goals, agenda items and relevant files in an electronic workspace. You can then send this workspace to all the people involved in the meeting via e-mail prior to the meeting.

During an electronic meeting you can access the meeting workspace to go through agenda items, goals and attached files. If you want, you can even get software that has timers incorporated into it that guide you through all of your agenda items which will help you stay focused.

If you have ever been in a meeting where a big decision was made and nobody was held accountable, then this software offers you a solution. In most meetings, time is set aside to record all of the decisions that are being made, the tasks that are assigned and their deadlines. You can even get some software that integrates the assigned tasks into the task feature of your e-mail system. Once the meeting has concluded the electronic workspace, as well as a record of everything that occurred, can be e-mailed to participants.

There are also a lot of benefits to having an electronic meeting. By implementing an electronic meeting process, you can shorten your meeting times by nearly 50%. If that isn’t enough for you, then you can also consider some other benefits like:

  • Having all your meeting materials housed in one location
  • Having all decisions and tasks recorded
  • Having permanent records of meeting files
  • Having easy access to past meeting files
  • Having all meeting workspaces kept private and secure

If you work at a company that meets on a regular basis then an electronic meeting is perfect for you. It is also perfect if you generate and share information, need to follow up on tasks easily or strive to make your time used more efficiently.

Source: Effective Meetings

Power Point Projectors
Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector. Visit the Worldwide Technology Rental Company…Rentacomputer.com

New SMART Interactive Whiteboard and Interactive Display

SMART 885ix Interactive Whiteboard System and SMART Board 8070i Interactive DisplaySMART Technologies recently announced two new interactive products designed to allow businesses the ability to enhance interactivity and collaboration. Both the SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard and system and the SMART Board 8070i interactive display support common multitouch responses that are recognized in the Microsoft WIndows 7 operating system. This enables multiple users to create and interact with digital content simultaneously.

Both the  whiteboard system and the interactive display, using SMART’s patented Digital Vision Touch technology, deliver a fantastic touch experience which supports multitouch, multiuser writing and object awareness. Object awareness enables users to interact with digital content by utilizing their fingers, fists, pens or erasers interchangeably. It also allows users the ability to work simultaneously on the interactive whiteboard system or interactive display.

The SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard is fully integrated and very easy to use. It includes an 87″ widescreen interactive whiteboard with a 16:10 aspect ratio, ultra short-throw projector and extended control panel. The SMART Board 8070i interactive display gives users a high definition 70″ display that has a 16:9 aspect ratio as well as a sleek, contemporary design to complement a high tech business environment.

Both of these devices are shipped with SMART Meeting Pro software. This software is specifically designed to facilitate meeting management as well as effective and efficient multitouch collaboration. By using both SMART Meeting Pro technology and SMART Bridgit conferencing software, meeting participants can connect from anywhere in the world automatically, allowing them to share and interact with digital documents and minimize travel needs and expenses.

According to Amin Ladha, Systems Analyst Corporate IT Operations at Enbridge Incorporated in Calgary, Canada, “The SMART Board 8070i interactive display is a beautiful, powerful, yet simple solution for meeting spaces at our corporate headquarters. The integrated design, intuitive SMART Meeting Pro software, object recognition and multiuser support really compliments the way our staff wants to interact and collaborate.”

Nancy Knowlton, CEO of SMART Technologies, had this to say about these two products, “As organizations around the world continue to adopt interactive technology products to support their business activities, they require easy-to-use, intuitive tools that promote collaboration and make the most of meeting time. Both the SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard system and the SMART Board 8070i interactive display are designed specifically for business users – whether they meet in the same room or remotely from around the world – enabling better collaboration for better results.”

These two devices definitely aim to make meeting collaboration and creativity much easier and smoother, and if they can nail the hardware and software aspects of it, then they shouldn’t have any problems at all. Look for both the SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard system and the SMART Board 8070i interactive display when they go on sale globally by the end of January 2011.

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Choosing the Right Projector for Your Meetings

When it comes to technology, many people like to think they are well-versed. However, ask anybody about projector technology and all that knowledge they thought they had goes right out the window. Projectors are a rare field of study for most tech enthusiasts and with all the different sizes, styles, brands and qualities out there, picking the right one can be difficult. But what if your boss gives you the task of finding the perfect projector for your company’s newest meeting and conference room? Do you think you would be able to pick the right one?

Picking the right projector for your company’s meeting room is never easy, and if you get one that lacks substance, quality and performance, you may find yourself in the doghouse with the boss. If you are planning on acquiring a projector for your company’s meeting room, then you have to take a few things into consideration first. Knowing the ins and outs of projectors and how they work is key.

Brightness
When dealing with brightness, you have to consider a few things. You need to know how big of a picture you need to produce in order for everybody to see it clearly and whether you are going to use it with the lights on or off. This will help you determine the brightness level required of your projector. Brightness is measured in ANSI lumens with the average everyday projector running anywhere from 500 to 2100 lumens. If you are running the projector in a well-lit room, then you obviously need more lumens.

For a quick reference 500-1000 lumens is good for a 5′ to 6′ screen in a small room with no lighting. 1000-1500 lumens is good for a 8′ to 10′ screen size in a medium-sized room with dim lighting. 1500-2000 lumens is good for screen sizes between 12′ and 25′ in a large meeting room and more than 2000 lumens works well with 12′ to 25′ screens in large rooms with dim lighting or smaller rooms with bright lighting.

Resolution
If you want the clearest picture possible, then you have to go for a projector with good clarity. The key to clarity is finding a projector with a high resolution. Your projector’s resolution is directly linked with the resolution of the computer you have the projector connected to. Your projector resolution must be equal to the resolution of the monitor you are using. Your average desktop has a resolution of about 800 x 600 pixels with your average laptop coming in at 1024 x768 or even 1280 x 1024. Another thing to consider is whether or not you want your projector to accommodate guest laptops. If so, then you will need to find a projector that has XGA resolution as opposed to SVGA resolution.

Brands and Pricing
Thankfully for you, the price of multimedia projectors has been on a steady decline for the past couple of years. The price of a multimedia projector in today’s market can be as low as $2000 or as high as over $11,000. Brand names like Toshiba, InFocus, Sharp, NEC, Sony and Panasonic will cost you more .

Ceiling Mount
Another thing you need to consider is where you will be placing this projector.  In meeting rooms projectors are most often mounted on the ceiling. If this is the style you are looking for, then you need to be sure and pick up a certain type of projector. If you are going to ceiling mount it, then you need a projector that is first of all able to be mounted on a ceiling, and secondly, you need to make sure that it has an inverted lens so your picture doesn’t end up displaying upside down.

Demonstrations
Before you commit to a projector, be sure to ask the sales clerk if you can see a demonstration of the product. If you want to, you could even ask for a side-by-side demonstration of multiple projectors that you may be interested in. Seeing a variety of different projectors displayed in front of you is the best way to tell if you are getting what you want and need.

So there you have it, a simple list of a few things to consider before acquiring a new projector for your company’s meeting and conference room. If you follow these simple suggestions, then I guarantee you will find your boss’s approval awaiting you at your next meeting.

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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.

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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.