In this article you will learn how to use presono at trade shows. Of course, there are many different use cases and scenarios. In this article we will hopefully answer all your questions.
1. What types of Presentations can be used at a Trade Show?
In general, there are two options here: either you use an interactive presentation or a linear one. This depends on where the device is placed on your booth and what type of content you want to present on it. Of course, you also need to consider whether the Presentation should be unaccompanied or accompanied. In the unaccompanied case, the presentation must be even more self-explanatory than if, for example, the booth staff or employees are guiding through the presentation.
Interactive Presentations are Presentations that are more comparable to an App or a Website. Touch screens (in combination with a PC) or tablets are best used here at a trade fair/event; navigation with a mouse or (interactive) presenter is also possible of course .
For interactive Presentations, a sophisticated navigation concept is just as important as well-structured content. During the design and development of a navigation concept, interactive navigation elements must be taken into account and firmly planned (e.g. back buttons, home buttons, menus, language changers, hints for users,...). All potential paths must be mappable. The presenter must be able to navigate everywhere, no matter where he wants to go. The navigation must be transparent and easy to understand, so that in the best case no additional explanation is necessary.
Not all Slides/Areas of the Presentation need to be presented every time. They can be used for independent information gathering, for example, by the trade fair visitors clicking through the presentation unaccompanied to gather information.
The "path" during the Presentation is not fixed in advance or is not prepared in advance. The Presentation is operated interactively - there is no classical "forward" or "backward" via Presenter or keyboard.
Of course, there are also hybrid Presentations which are basically linear, but on some Slides, for example, more info is accessible via Overlays or other links. However, these Presentations are not really suitable for unaccompanied use at a trade fair, but rather for a guided Presentation.
If you want to use such a Presentation at your show, remember to include for example back and forward buttons/arrows, a home button or similar navigation elements, so that the user can see the structure and navigation directly at first glance.
You can find even more details about interactive Presentations in this article: Present interactively
Linear Presentations in a Loop
A linear Presentation is a Presentation in the classical sense. During the Presentation, a linear approach is taken, i.e. (almost) all Slides are normally presented one after the other. Presenters (remote control) are often used as devices or a keyboard is used to switch to the next Slide. Another option would be Touch devices, whereby swiping gestures are used to switch back and forth. At trade fairs/events, TVs/screens without any interaction options are often used - the kiosk mode and the autoplay function are then activated. More about this later.
With linear presentations, all Slides are presented and the "path" is fixed when they are put together.
A combination of linear and interactive is of course also an option. So you can have a Presentation play automatically, but you can also "interrupt" it at any time and navigate through the Presentation individually. At the end the Presentation resets itself and starts again in autoplay mode. More about this below at Kiosk Mode.
The Slides in linear Presentations usually do not have any interactive elements (buttons etc.). They are often used on TVs or other screens (again, in combination with a PC) so that information, videos or other material can be run through automatically in the background (tablets are also possible, of course). Please make sure that the playback speed is suitable and that not too much information is included at once per Slide. The visitor should have the possibility to process/read the seen information in the time the Slide is visible on the screen.
In this case it is important to activate the kiosk mode for the trade fair user and use the autoplay option. More about the kiosk mode can be found here: 3. the settings: Kiosk Mode & Config Files
2. What do I need to use presono at a trade show?
Basically, you need four things:
- the corresponding app to be able to present offline
- a device on which presono is installed (e.g. laptop, (mini) PC or tablet)
- preparation time (to set everything up and try it, as soon as possible before the event)
- a user (ideally with read-only permissions & activated kiosk mode)
You can of course use many different devices as well, but the procedure is always the same.
Tip: If you use multiple devices, create a separate user for each device or station, so that you can analyze which content was clicked on/presented most frequently on which device. If you are using the same user on more than one device, please note, that a maximum of 10 devices can be used with the same user.
For use at the trade show or at other events, one of the apps should definitely be used in order to be able to show your Presentations offline. This way you will receive the ideal performance and are not dependent on the trade fair WLAN. There are apps for Windows and Mac as well as for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android).
For all apps, we recommend installing and downloading the content as soon as possible. Updating the content close to the event can be done very quickly and easily in all apps. This is a selective synchronization - only the content which has changed will be synchronized. Therefore, the update usually takes less time than the initial synchronization.
The mobile apps can be installed from the corresponding app stores. You can download the apps for Windows and Mac from our website at https://presono.com/en/apps/ or they are provided internally via a software center or similar.
Please always make sure to install the latest version of the app.
You can use either the desktop or the mobile version of presono. Below you will find the corresponding explanations of what to consider for each device.
Mini PC + (Touch) Screen (Windows/Mac)
For large (touch) screens, you usually need an additional device where the app will be installed. So-called mini PCs are ideal for trade fairs or events. Due to their small size, they can be integrated into the design of the trade fair stand and "hidden" or installed in walls or pillars, for example.
The Mini PCs should have sufficient power and a Windows operating system. They are then connected to the screens with a USB (for touch functionality) and HDMI cable.
Attention: it is recommended to turn off the Windows swipe gestures for touch screens, so that the task manager cannot be opened accidentally when swiping back and forth and the app cannot be closed via this.
Tip: if you are attending trade fairs/events regularly, it might be worthwhile to maybe get a mini-PC (or tablet, of course) and just having presono permanently installed there. When another event is coming up, you only need to adjust the permissions for the user (e.g. change to the appropriate workspace so that he can see the current trade show Presentation) and update once (update the app itself and synchronize the data). And you're ready to go!
Basically, the mini PC can be easily prepared in the office, even well in advance. Just plug it into a normal TV, monitor or even a touch screen. Set up the PC and install the presono app.
After that you have to log in with your fair user and wait for the initial synchronization to be finished (please note that this process may take a while depending on your internet connection and the amount of data).
For trade shows or similar events, it is recommended to create a separate user for each device that is to be used on the show. In this way, the analytics can later be related precisely to every user or device. In addition, the amount of data to be synchronized can be limited (by assigning permissions), when using seperate users.
It is also possible to log in with one user on several devices (max. 10 devices per user). The only thing to keep in mind is that there are some settings that are saved with the user and not the device and are therefore the same on all devices where the user is logged in. These include: the language of the interface as well as the preferred language for content, all kiosk mode settings as well as the favored presentations. Of course, the permissions on the content are also always the same for the user.
You also lose the ability to evaluate on which devices which content was presented most often.
Once the content in your app is synchronized, you can activate the offline mode. At your trade fair/event, you should present offline in any case, so will have the best possible performance. If there are any changes to the content in your Presentation before the trade fair, you can repeat the synchronization or update at any time - of course, this process will not take as long as the initial synchronization but it will require a stable internet connection.
Make sure that you activate the offline mode again afterwards and do not log out. If you then close the app, you will of course remain logged in and the offline mode will also remain active.
Laptop + (Touch) Screen (Windows/Mac)
Of course, you can also use a laptop to play your Presentation. The procedure is the same as for the mini PC. Just make sure that an HDMI and a USB cable are required for the touch functionality.
Attention: with touch screens, it is recommended to turn off the Windows swipe gestures, so that the task manager cannot be opened by mistake when swiping back and forth and the app cannot be closed via this.
When using Android and iOS tablets, there are only a few things to note that differ from using the Windows app.
The main difference is that here the synchronization does not start automatically upon login and all available data is synchronized automatically. With the mobile apps, individual presentations are made available offline manually. This has mainly to do with storage space, because we want to save the internal memory of your tablet.
Thus, there is no explicit offline mode, as with the Windows app. Once you have downloaded a presentation offline, the offline version is used in any case. So the device can have a connection, but the presentation is still offline. Even if your device has no connection to the internet, presono can be opened and the downloaded Presentations will work as usual. Only for login you need a connection, but this is also the case with the Windows app.
Another difference between the desktop and the mobile apps is that the mobile apps were only developed for presenting and therefore no content can be created or managed.
The app is downloaded and installed directly from the corresponding app stores (presono viewer). After that you can log in with your login credentials and download the presentations one by one. Please make sure to have a stable internet connection during the synchronization process. Note that the synchronization may take some time depending on your internet connection and the size of the Presentation.
Once the Presentation has been downloaded, you can update it at any time if the content has changed. When you do this, an automatic notification appears on the dashboard for the downloaded presentations. As soon as the data is up to date again, you can present.
Kiosk mode is also available in the mobile apps - including PIN, autoplay and more.
Tip: when using tablets at trade fairs, tablet steles can be used for a perfect show!
Everything you need to know about installing and using the mobile apps can be found here: Presenting on a smartphone/tablet
3. The settings: Kiosk Modus & Config Files
The Kiosk mode was developed especially for trade fairs and sales use. You can find this directly in the app for your user in the settings. These settings are saved with the user and therefore apply to all devices which you are using with this user. Please note that if you want to make different settings here, you therefore need multiple users.
So go to the settings and to the kiosk mode. You can do this directly in the office in your browser, when logging in using the credentials of the user. If you later install the app on your trade show devices, these settings will already be applied to the corresponding user. Please note that the kiosk mode applies to the user and not to individual presentations. So if you set autoplay or a PIN code, these settings will be active for all started presentations with this user until you deactivate the kiosk mode again.
Then activate the Kiosk mode in the upper right corner, so the corresponding options will appear. Now you can choose for example for interactive presentations, the option to reset the Presentation automatically after a defined period of inactivity. Or you can set your presentations (all presentations started with this user) to autoplay and enable an automatic reset here as well. This can be useful if you want your presentation to both play automatically, but you still want to be able to "interrupt" the autoplay loop and navigate through the presentation yourself. Then, when there is no activity, the presentation resets itself.
A PIN code can also be set, as well as when it should appear.
Especially relevant for trade shows are the following two settings:
Swipe gestures can be disabled in Kiosk mode. With touch devices, you can also control a linear presentation using swipe gestures, i.e. you can switch back and forth like with a keyboard or a presenter. Especially for purely interactive presentations and at trade fairs, this behavior can be turned off, so that you can really only navigate through the presentation by clicking on the Slides. Of course, this is especially useful if it is an unaccompanied interactive presentation. Please note, however, that links must then really be available on every Slide so that the trade fair user does not get into a dead end.
Links to external websites can be disabled in kiosk mode for trade show use or similar (setting on the right). This means that external links can no longer be clicked on and no browser is started on the trade fair device, so that the presentation or presono cannot be left unintentionally. Links in presono, i.e. to Slides, Overlays, Presentations or similar, will of course still work. This setting only affects links to the outside.
All details about the kiosk mode can be found here: What's the Kiosk mode?
A config file can be used to configure a few more things beyond the kiosk mode settings. Please note that a config file can only be used with the Windows app. The mobile apps and the OSX app are excluded. Also, an automatic login with an SSO user is not possible, a regular presono user is required. The config file consists of many different parameters and is inserted directly into the existing config file on the respective device.
In addition to the options offered by the Kiosk mode, the following settings are possible:
- the automatic start of a specific presentation (using the ID)
- the automatic login of a user (mail address and password are required here)
- an automatic synchronization at every start of the app (needs a stable internet connection)
- the app can also be set to offline mode, so you can't exit it without the config file (this can be useful if there is no internet connection at the event).
The app must first be installed and you log in with the trade fair user. As soon as the first synchronization is complete, the Config is set up, i.e. the parameters are inserted into the existing Config file. As soon as the file is saved and you open the app, the Config will always be executed and the parameters set in it take effect. In this case, a small exclamation mark is also displayed at the top right within the app, indicating that a Config is in use. If this is the case, the kiosk mode settings set for the user are no longer effective. PIN codes etc. are then only controlled by the Config.
You can ask for detailed instructions/guide on how to use Config files by contacting your presono contact person directly.
Once you have installed and prepared the app and performed the first full synchronization, you only need to update your data once right before the show so that all changes can be updated. If possible, this synchronization should be done when the final data has been entered into presono.
Please remember to synchronize the app again after the trade show! This is the only way to synchronize your analysis data and the sessions held into the tool!
To do this, open the app and, if necessary, go into online mode. Click on the cloud icon and deactivate the offline mode. Then wait for the synchronization. As soon as all data is up to date, you can switch back to offline mode and start and test your presentation. After that you can bring the device to the show. A last small synchronization can of course also be done directly on site, if an internet connection is available. Depending on when the last synchronization was performed and how much data has to be synchronized, this can take a little time.
Please note that the synchronization must be done on each device individually, so that the data is up-to-date everywhere.
If you have a config file in use, there are several possibilities:
Either in your config file is set in a way that an autosync takes place automatically. Then all you need to do is start the app on the corresponding device and the Config will automatically perform the content update. As soon as your presentation is started, the update is complete and you can close the app again.
If the config file is set so that you don't want automatic synchronization at every start, you have to close the app first. Then you can open the config file, activate the automatic synchronization and save the config file. Then you can start the app and wait for the synchronization. Then close the app and change the parameter in the config file again.
5. presono's Tipps
Based on our many years of experience, we can now give you some tips on how to use trade fairs:
Especially if you are using presono for the first time, we would advise you to test the app, the configuration etc. extensively to get to know the tool and to become familiar with the operation. You can also try out different settings or scenarios to find out what suits your use case best. Then you can focus on other things at the show itself!
2. navigation elements and hints for users
Especially for interactive presentations it has proven to be useful to work with visual and textual hints directly in the Slide to guide the presenters/users through the presentation. The trade show visitor needs intuitive operation, as they are not as familiar with the content as you are. So you can include (animated) cues in your Slides about which elements are clickable or where more information is hiding. Clear navigation elements with learned icons (burger icon for menus, x for close buttons or arrows for forward/back) are of course also good here.
3. one user per device
We always recommend to use one user per device. This gives you many advantages: your settings can differ from device to device (or from station to station), depending on what is needed there. And of course, at the end you can super anaylse what was shown most often by the trade show visitors or booth staff at each station. If you are using the same user on more than one device, please note that there is a maximum of 10 devices which can use the same user.
4. preparation is key
Another tip is to do the first loading of the devices as soon as possible. Once the devices are set up and synced, you can get back to the important things before the show. When the content is ready, you only need to update the devices once and you are ready!
5. when planning the booth: screens should not be too high
When planning the stand, it is also important to ensure that touch screens are not hung too high. If they are still high, you should make sure that all navigation elements in your Slides are installed in the lower section (close buttons, menu buttons, info buttons, etc.).
6. switch off swipe gestures
On Windows devices you can turn off the swipe gestures on the device itself, so that the task manager cannot be opened accidentally during the presentation. You can also disable swipe gestures within presono in kiosk mode (or in the config file). This way you can only navigate through the presentation using a keyboard, a presenter or by clicking/touching on the Slides. This is particularly suitable for purely interactive presentations, especially if they are used unaccompanied.
7. Add presono to your autostart programs
If you add presono to your autostart programs, you get, in combination with a config file, a plug-and-play solution for your show!
8. install TeamViewer or similar for remote access
In case of emergency or if you want to make changes during the show, we recommend to install Team Viewer or something similar on the device. This will give you access to your devices at any time (as long as there is an internet connection). You can also set up a fixed ID with a fixed password per device.
6. frequently asked questions
Can I play presono on a TV via a USB stick?
No, to play presono on a device, the app must be installed or at least an external share link must be opened in the browser (of course only if there is a reliably stable internet connection and all other options are not feasible).
If I have iframes or external links included, will they work when I present offline?
Yes, the app be operated in offline mode, as long as your device is connected to the internet, iframes will still be displayed - the presentation will still be executed offline.
Can I be logged in on multiple devices with the same user?
Theoretically yes, but you lose the ability to control the devices individually with, for example, only specific content or the evaluation of the content shown. And please also notice, that only 10 devices can be used at max with the same user. We recommend using a separate user for each device.
Can I set a presentation which is then automatically started when I launch the app?
Yes, but only using Windows and with the use of a config file. We will gladly provide you with instructions on how to do this. Just get in touch with your contact person at presono. Otherwise, you can simply add the corresponding presentation to the user's favorites, then you will have it directly on the dashboard when you open the app and only need to open and start it.
What are the minimum requirements for the apps?
You can find out more here: Presenting with a smartphone/tablet & here: What are the requirements for the native desktop app?