Tablets drive about one-third of all mobile traffic today. And as of last August, the iPad accounted for 97 percent of all the tablet traffic in the U.S. It’s time to start considering where the iPad fits at meetings and events. Here are eight things to know.
1. The first-generation iPad works as a presentation machine.
If you or your presenters are using a first-generation iPad, you will need a presentation app to push your content to a projection screen or other external display. Some of these apps include Keynote, eProjector, and 2Screens (I like this one because it allows you to display content from the Internet).
2. The iPad 2 is an even better presentation machine.
The second- (and, now, third!) generation iPad allows for screen mirroring. This means that no special app is needed to send your content to a screen; the external display will show what is on the iPad’s screen (including your home screen, multimedia, or any app being used).
3. You need to know your dongles.
VGA Adapter: You (or your speakers) will need this if your external display is a projector and screen.
Digital AV Adapter: You’ll need this if you are using displays such as LCD or plasma monitors. This adapter can actually send audio to the monitor as well, if it is equipped with speakers.
Composite/Component Adapter: These are generally only used in consumer, or home-theater, systems.
Note: All of the adapters are commonly called “dongles,” so don’t be taken aback or worry about stifling a giggle when your AV technician asks if you have brought the appropriate dongle!
4. Can’t scan it? Take a picture.
Another creative way to use the latest iPads for presentations is as a document camera. For example, if you have a document that isn’t digitized (perhaps artwork or some other paperwork that can’t be scanned), you can use the video camera feature to display the document on a large screen to an audience—think of it as an overhead projector.
5. Channel your inner football coach.
Also very handy is an iPad whiteboard app, which allows presenters to make notations on an image or document. Some presenters have used it as a “telestrator”—achieving the Sunday football x’s and o’s effect.
6. Try a new level of note-taking.
Among the note-taking apps are Notes, Penultimate, WritePad (which converts handwriting to typed notes), and iBrainstorm. A stylus, which generally runs between $5 and $15 and mimics the action of a finger/pen, will come in handy. For the best cloud-based note-taking, try Evernote, which can save your ideas, store URLs, and even clip specific sections from online articles. The best part is that since the app is cloud-based, your items are then synced across all your devices, whether they are Apple products or not. Imagine taking notes on your iPhone at a meeting, then opening your desktop and finding them already there, with no connecting cables or manual synchronization needed. Brilliant!
7. Meet online.
For online meetings or Web conferencing, check out Fuze, Webex, GoToMeeting, FaceTime, Skype, and Adobe Connect.
8. Meet and review documents online.
If you need to review documents with a group (for example, room drawings), but want to make sure everyone is looking at the same thing, use GoDocs to manage and view Google Docs. Or try SyncPad and have everyone log into the same meeting room and share annotations. (You can do this from any Web-enabled device/desktop; it doesn’t have to be an iPad.)
Midori Connolly is “Chief AVGirl” at Pulse Staging & Events and senior tech adviser to 7 Degrees Communications. In addition to owning and operating an AV company, she is a professional speaker and writer. Connolly specializes in providing end-to-end hybrid meeting design, strategic planning, and technological execution. Her passion is to make technology more human, approachable, and sustainable. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter: @AVGirlMidori.