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36 . . February 2012October TOP TIPSThese guidelines offer top-line tips to both agency and corporate bookers to ensure that they anticipate the needs of speakers and delegates and maximise any venue in-house IT provisions. Speaker1. Understand what your speaker requires in terms of ITIs it a simple PowerPoint presentation or does it have video embedded into it? Does the speaker need access to the web to conduct an online demonstration? 2. How will the speaker receive questions?Will social media be engaged? In which case, make sure there is a delay on questions appearing and be very prepared for candid questions! Delegates3. What is the bandwidth of the venue?Do be mindful that delegates will all want to check emails throughout the day, therefore ensure that there is suffi cient bandwidth for the number of delegates in attendance. 4. Is social media being used as part of the event?An infl ux of delegates tweeting questions to the main speaker can have a dramatic impact on the Wi-Fi.Encourage the use of a hashtag so that you can keep a track of delegate feedback and the general tone of the audience. 5. Streaming media - is this open access or is it a closed site? Bear in mind the ramifi cations of intellectual property and privacy rights. Also be prepared for up to 70 per cent of the audience using their PDA to view the event as opposed to looking directly at the speaker. 6. Are all common sites, required on the day, such as Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, Google Docs, accessible?Public sector organisations sometimes block these sites, so make sure there will be no nasty surprises and ensure you have administrator access to check that the coast is clear. Venue7. Is the Wi-Fi free?Without doubt bear in mind that free is not a guarantee of quality or size of bandwidth. Invest in the IT infrastructure - any issues will have huge ramifi cations on the whole event. 8. Encrypt your W-FiJust as you will have ensured that your conference is not held in the same venue as a competitor, make sure that you do not label your Wi-Fi network the name of your company. Always use an alpha numerical password and the best encryption possible. 9. Make sure you know who the IT contact is on the dayIf it is the AV person, are they prepared to support a speaker who cannot get online to do a demonstration, or delegates who are unable to access their work emails? Organisers10. Do you plan to work on a computer during the day?If so, you should ensure reliable Wi-Fi access is available in the organiser's offi ce, with a computer powerful enough to handle mass mail-outs if you plan to send out content.The purpose of meetings and events is to get people to engage face-to-face. We are in a transition period whereby conference organisers can benefi t from IT to maximise both delegate retention and also engage with extended audiences across the globe. It is imperative to remember that IT should enhance the event and not to take it over. Events are about face time with colleagues, peers and clients and not worrying about urgent emails which are ready to surprise. By providing reliable networking on site, delegates can monitor and react as appropriate.Maximisingconference face timeLive events technology company Etherlive's Event Director Tom McInerney gives a top 10 guide to help event bookers get to grips with the requisite IT considerations for conferences and meetings

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