10 Powerful Tablet Strategies for Your Meetings and Events

By Debi Scholar • November 6, 2013

Executives stream through the doors, most with their smartphones or ear buds glued to their ears as they approach the conference registration table. The attendees register and receive their tablet, which is designed to provide them with instant information and collaboration opportunities throughout your meeting. Using their assigned tablet, each executive registers for a one-on-one meeting later in the day and walks into your first presentation. The secure networked environment provides them with presentations and targeted messages. Thank goodness, because they expect to be able to make complex decisions within short timeframes.





  • A provisioned tablet (a tablet with pre-loaded materials and a uniform interface) offers effective and powerful content delivery without the risk exposure of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
  • Tablets can enhance a standard PowerPoint presentation with robust graphics and access to detailed information.
  • Hybrid meetings enable you to push emails, presentations, agendas, one-on-one scheduling, floor plans, local restaurants and entertainment to virtual attendees as though they are in the same room with you.
  • With digital document distribution, attendees don’t have to carry around outdated printed materials and presenters can provide access to a document library during–or after–the presentation.

At the end of the meeting, we learn that many of the executives connected with presenters and used the tablet to ask numerous key questions, to open many of the presenters’ emails, to download important key documents, to attend several important one-on-one sessions, to click on many of the dynamic sponsor ads, and to answer all the surveys. After your meeting, this information is integrated into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, and you learn that most of the executives invested in the services offered in each of the presentations they attended. Your remarkable return on investment was realized in multiple ways.

In an environment where the tools need to match the egos and the expectations, the tablet has captured the audience not only because of its fashionable sophistication, but also because of its practicality. With four generations in our workforce, our fluid environments, and the never-ending pursuit to engage attendees better than our competition, the tablet is engaging all audiences, solving most if not all of these concerns, and is becoming the indispensable tool that your meeting requires.

Do you want to offer more in-depth, engaging education, reach a broader audience, increase your revenue opportunities, and obtain immediate results? You will gain the competitive edge by using these 10 powerful tablet strategies for your meetings and events:

10 Powerful Tablet Strategies for Your Meetings and Events

1. Powerful and Practical

A provisioned tablet (a tablet that includes pre-loaded materials with a uniform interface) provides the equipment and solution for effective and powerful content delivery without the risk exposure of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). If organizations allow BYOD for delivery of meeting content, then data confidentiality, privacy, support and metrics are unavailable. Moreover, attendees multi-task into other device applications. How many times have attendees tried to view presentations on their own device, or worse, have not even downloaded the app? This will not happen when you provision an tablet from the right vendor.

2. Conquer the Quest for Information

When the content is more interactive, your attendees are more engaged. Visionary and theory-developing attendees appreciate the tablet’s ability to present complex data and reports using common applications so that immediate investment decisions can be made. For attendees that appreciate image, spontaneity and collaboration among presenters and peers, the tablet allows for easy networking and communication. Unlike printed material, content may be updated as often as necessary. In the never ending quest for more detail and information throughout a presentation, for speaker bios, or for one-on-one access to presenters, the tablet offers the most up-to-date data and access in an easy-to-use format.

3. Stunning Screens and Visibility

When presenters develop their content, they are held to the onerous PowerPoint rules: large type and up to six bulleted lines. To complement those presentations, your tablets can contain more complex data on an tablet screen that can be magnified so that your attendees get the right information, on the right-sized screen, at the right time. Not only can your presenters project their image onto the tablet, but the attendees may also have access to more detailed information. Imagine the value that your attendees will recognize when they can do a deep dive into meaningful content. The presentations can be locked so that all attendees are only able to view what the presenter wants them to see, or they can be open so that all attendees are able to view the presentation as well as access other applications.

4. Paramount Privacy

Your tablets can be secure so that the connection is on a closed Wi-Fi network with secure firewalls and network segmentation. Partnering with the right vendor, you can have your tablet include various other applications to secure your data. The web application may be set up on a local server inside the environment so that a direct connection to the Internet is not needed.

5. Digital Document Distribution

Your attendees will experience a tremendous advantage by using digital document distribution so they do not have to carry printed, outdated materials. The presenter can provide access to a document library during or after the presentation, and, of course, documents may be updated as often as necessary. In addition to significantly improved security and control over sensitive data, the audit trail offers great insight into investor access. For example, you can pinpoint who opened their emails and the documents that were downloaded. Of course, the presenter can also restrict permissions to presentation requests and downloads.

6. Creative and Consistent Content

Infographics, charts, complex information and business intelligence dashboards are easy to read on an tablet, which allows the content developers and presenters more flexibility in the types of information they can create and share with an audience. Version control, a major pain point when sending presentations through email, is always consistent because the most current version can be uploaded and downloads are date-stamped. As such, if an older version was downloaded, you can immediately identify who may have an older version of the presentation.

7. Simplified Surveys and Feedback

Paper-based surveys, audience response system keypads, and questioning can be streamlined, tracked, and reported using the tablet SmartSource SolutionSuite. In presentations and one-on-one sessions, the tablet may be used for questions and, without trying to read each person’s name badge, the presenter can identify who is in the room.

8. Communications Conduit

Network, network, network. An underlying goal of almost all meetings is to network through spoken and social media communications using collaborative environments. Active learning frequently happens through peer-to-peer communications. Your tablets have the ability to connect people to each other by social media options and to provide attendee contact information. Of course, contact information may also remain private.

The tablet agenda, roster, room information and speaker bio information can be updated immediately so that attendees have the most current data.

9. Radical Reach

With hybrid meetings (those meetings that include face-to-face attendees as well as virtual attendees) becoming more mainstream, you can push emails, presentations, agendas, one-on-one scheduling, floor plans, local restaurants and entertainment as well as other documents to virtual attendees just as though they were in the same room. You can customize information to match the feeling and complexity of your event. It is easy to track the attendee engagement both onsite and remotely. Reporting is available that shows who opened which documents and when.

10. Remarkable ROI and ROE

Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Engagement (ROE) are easy metrics to report because there are savings as well as metrics to prove your success rates. For example, with more in-depth education and engagement, your revenue or investments may occur during or soon after the meeting concludes. It is easy to integrate the activities from the meeting to your CRM system so that your efforts can be tied to the impact. An improved revenue stream may be generated by sponsors who appreciate knowing who clicked on their ads during each presentation. Savings will be recognized by the reduction of paper, audience response systems, and printer rentals. Your post-show meeting metrics will provide you and your team with the rich data needed to improve your next meeting.

11. Bonus – Improved Attendee Satisfaction

The 11th tablet strategy is to develop content that your attendees want and are eager to use on the tablet. A tablet strategy incorporates all of the activities listed and extends the meeting message beyond the actual meeting because you can update information regularly and encourage peer-to-peer and presenter-to-peer communications.

The tablet is quickly becoming the meeting planner’s tool of the year, as it is uniquely suited for marketing, attendee engagement, content delivery, and reporting metrics.


Debi Scholar, president of Scholar Consulting Group (SCG), is a consultant, strategist, speaker, educator and author. Reach Debi at [email protected]. SmartSource, with 21 locations nationwide, offers a turnkey solution which seamlessly provides the tablets, content delivery, wireless network and show crew.

The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Naylor Association Solutions or the Association Adviser eNews and should not be taken as an endorsement of Apple or SmartSource products or services.