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  • 20 Jul 2016 6:31 AM | Anonymous

    This week the ITRA is pleased to showcase Brightbox Inc in its company spotlight!

    Brightbox Inc is a New York City based end-to-end technology and consumer services company that provides secure, fully connected mobile phone charging stations that we place and operate in venues of all types — hospitality, healthcare, entertainment, retail, events and more.  Brightbox provides a best-in-class secure mobile charging station that is designed to attract, engage, and retain valued customers.  Making sure people and businesses can stay on the go and fully charged is a key to Brightbox’s success.   Brightbox is hands down the most secure Interactive Digital Signage and ReCharging amenity available on the market today to event rental operators.

    Brightbox Inc provides their services and products to both AV companies and Event Rental companies.  They are also keen on expanding their market so they can reach more events each year as these events tend to crossover allowing for opportunities to expand client bases.  Several ITRA members are Brightbox event partners including InCharged and Vernon Technologies.  Brightbox is looking for additional partners so please if you are in the event or are in the experiential field contact us today.  Their offices are located in New York City, Denver, Miami, and Orlando allowing them to work with customers across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Additionally, Brightbox is looking for importers and operators around the world where because of the global appeal because of the business they have from South Africa to the UK.

    Brightbox is currently expanding their new offerings as to the features on the Brightbox M3. The models include USB-C charging, a remote secure digital signage platform, and several use modalities for events including RFID, mag swipe branded cards (loyalty cards, credit cards, select compatible room keys,) secure pin code for use ( a telephone number plus a code ) to secure and retrieve a mobile device.

    To reach Brightbox Inc you can go through the ITRA representative: Joel Martin

    Phone Number: 646-647-5512

    Company Website:

  • 08 Jul 2016 6:56 AM | Anonymous

    This week the ITRA Features Smart Technology Rentals, INC in its company spotlight!

    Smart Technology Rentals, Inc is a technology company that provides equipment from computers to AV equipment.  This range includes “AV light monitors”, sound, lighting, and small projectors to Notebooks and ipads.  Smart prides themselves as a servicing company providing local equipment to their customers.

    Smart focuses their clientele on trade shows and conventions to corporate and legal events.  This allows for Smart to provide excellent service with certified technicians and fully stocked warehouses located in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.  This allows Smart to service all through the greater Texas area specifically around the South Central location.  Smart will always be willing to work with their customers budget to be sure to provide quality service with excellent gear, no matter what the event.  

    To reach Smart Technology Rentals, inc you can contact their representative: Robert Lowry

    Company Phone: (888)323-9133


    Written By: Nathan Kallen

  • 05 Jul 2016 6:27 AM | Anonymous

    With new 4k video monitors now on the market, there comes the question of if it is worth upgrading from 1080 to 4k.  The largest difference is that the 4k monitors have a 4 times better picture quality.  However, there are many other factors that may influence buyers to stick with 1080 at least for a while longer.

    Pricing - The largest factor that may not allow many companies to buy the 4k monitors is simply the price.  4k monitors are typically about double the amount you would pay for the same size monitor with only 1080p compatibility.  While prices of both 4k and 1080p monitors are continuously falling, the payoff for getting a 4k and renting it out typically is not currently substantial enough to reason buying 4k monitors.

    Content - A key factor that goes into purchasing a 4k monitor is the content that you are able to actually use the monitor with.  In order to use the 4k monitor to its fullest potential you need the content, be it a television show or internet browser, to be compatible with 4k technology.  Many television and streaming services offer a limited selection of 4k content.  This means that in many instances you may be looking at images that are the 1080p because of the lack of motivation of certain companies to be pushed to upgrading to 4k technology.

    Consumer/Professional model - There are currently 2 different kinds of 4k monitors that are marketed for different audiences.  While both are equipped with the 4k resolution, the difference in amount of usable ports and connectivity options varies greatly.  The consumer model is advertised more towards, consumers, in the sense that these are households where there is only need for a few ports of connection.  This is perfect for a customer who needs 4k resolution, but does not want the highest end model.  The professional grade 4k monitor instantly goes up in price, but has much more variability in its integrated USB hub and vastly more connectivity options from HDMI 2.0 to MiniDisplayPort 1.2

    Overall, when looking in the market between standard 1080p and 4k, both types of monitors are falling in price and 4k will always be more expensive.  But as more content is available and more models of monitors are released, the decision will ultimately end up coming down to if the customer is in need of the highest end monitor or if they are able to use the consumer grade which costs substantially less.

    Written by: Nathan Kallen

  • 22 Jun 2016 8:51 AM | Anonymous

    Internet connectivity is one of the primary business tools oriented with technology rentals.  When you do not have access to an existing wireless network you need to use a cellular network.  Here are some considerations when it comes to cellular connectivity.

    Network - This is the carrier that you will get your cellular data from.  A key to finding the carrier is looking at their coverage areas.  For example, if you have a meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska will the carrier you choose be able to to provide adamant coverage.

    Contract v no contract - Data companies will often offers plans where you buy the cellular devices directly from them.  This is an example of a contract plan where you pay less upfront for a device, and in turn, you are locked into a 2 year contract with the company.  This allows for a cheaper device and data, however it also means that even if you may not be using all the data for the plan you are still charged as if you have.  Alternatively, you can use no contract where you buy the device for full price and then buy the data plan separately.  This makes both the device and data more expensive, but you are only charged for the data you use and are not locked into any contract.

    Quantities of connection - With any type of show there is variance of size, thus differing options.  For small events with a few devices the best option will typically having a cellular plan for each device especially if they are spread out.  In the case of many devices in a mid size area your best option will be a cellular hotspot.  This is when you use a company’s network and send it out through a hotspot to multiple devices.  In the case of an extremely large event you will want to use a cellular array, this is when hundreds to thousands of devices will need to have connectivity.

    Data Management - This is a dashboard feature that allows you to see how much data is being used on each device.  In cases of users abusing data, this can be used to shut off data usage for specific data making sure that there is no excessive usage from any devices.

    Written by: Nathan Kallen

  • 13 Jun 2016 7:43 AM | Anonymous

    This week the ITRA is proud to feature A.V. Rental Services, Inc. in its company spotlight!

    A.V. Rental Services, Inc. specializes in audio visual equipment for a variety of events from staging to large corporate events.  Additionally, they have stock for both staging and stage lighting available for rental!  Large pharmaceutical companies and large corporate events are where A.V. Rental Services, Inc. focuses on creating top tier quality.

    A.V. Rental Services, Inc. bases their office out of Philadelphia, PA.  This puts them in the perfect counterpoint to serve the North Eastern part of North America.  Currently A.V Rental Services, Inc. has a special deal with free delivery from Monday to Friday!  Be sure to check out their website to learn more about the company and how you can get into business for the best in audio visual rental equipment.

    To reach A.V. Rental Services, Inc. you can go through the ITRA member: Bruce L. Johnson Jr.

    A.V. Rental Services, Inc. website:

    Company Phone: 800-695-5943

  • 01 Jun 2016 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    A key factor to any successful company in today’s world is coming up in the top search results for their given field.  This may be anything from common phrases like “Scanner rentals” to “Technology Rental Companies”.  If your company comes up in these searches anything after the first few pages, odds are possible customers will never even see you as a possibility simply due to there being so many companies coming before yours.

    The first major way to get your company at the start of search engines is by using Google AdWords.  This is a service provided directly by Google that allows you to pay for your company to come up first based on keywords, per click.  Each month you are able to set up a budget for how much you are willing to pay during the duration of the month.  Once you hit your limit, your ad will no longer be up because you are no longer paying.  The only time you are charged is when someone actually clicks on the link to your website meaning that these are generally leads that will result in a profit.  This is key if your website may not be on the very first page in the keywords that may relate directly to your company.

    In order for your company to become the top search result for varying searches you need to optimize your website.  Website optimization has a variety of aspects starting with activity and new content.  Your website must be active in order for it to be boosted to the top.  This can consist of activities such as writing blog posts, updating pages, or adding new content to your site entirely.  It is not enough to simply have a website with information if you are striving to be in the top of your given technology market.

    Finally, your website needs to be able to be usable on mobile devices.  Many websites will open and work fine on any given computer, but when tried on mobile devices they experience problems and can sometimes be unusable.  These mobile devices are now used to search the web nearly as much as computers are.  This means that there is a high probability that your possible clients may even be seeing your mobile site as a first impression.  Google has made it so that your site simply will not be in the top search results if there are noticeable problems, thus not even giving possible future clients the chance to know about your company.

    It is no longer enough to simply get by off referrals or marketing events.  If a referral is not able to find your site or navigate it once they are there, that is a huge blow especially since they are looking for a company dealing with technology.  In order for you to maximize your sales, and allow yourself for the most opportunities at deal, you need to first optimize your company for search engines.

    Written by: Nathan Kallen

  • 27 May 2016 1:03 PM | Anonymous

    Microsoft has put out their latest operating system called Windows 10.  Companies and clients have, for the greater majority, skipped windows 8 due to user preferences and ease of use.  This means that most computers and devices using Windows stayed with 7.  Following will be a few reasons why it may be time to embrace the new Windows 10.

    The primary difference between Windows 8 and 10 is the user accessibility.  Microsoft completely changed their user interface on Windows 8 which left many users struggling to understand how to use the Operating System to its fullest extent.  With Windows 10, the core structure is much more similar to 7 with new and more accessible app screens surpassing what Windows 8 strived to do.

    Applications:  It is clear that for Windows 10 Microsoft has a much larger focus on applications and developers.  This is the first time that Microsoft is beginning to try and create a platform for universal apps that can be used across different operating systems like Android and Linux.  The universal apps on Windows 10 will allow the user to run the exact same app on any device from a laptop to a Windows 10 phone.

    During the first year that Windows 10 is released the company is offering a promotion where if you have Windows 7 or above (and your system meets the core requirements) you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free.  Additionally, there are multiple versions of Windows 10 to fit various devices such as the Raspberry Pi and various mobile enterprises.

    Overall: Windows is essentially a newer 7 with many new features that are easy to use while also being free if you are able to upgrade.  In the near future, it would not be surprising for many clients looking to rent computers with Windows 10.

  • 18 May 2016 10:30 AM | Anonymous

    This week the ITRA features Hartford Technology Rentals in its company spotlight!

    Hartford Technology Rentals specializes in renting Lenovo and HP laptop and desktop computers, thousands of iPads and other tablet devices, iPhones, Virtual Reality Gear, Scanners, Printers and various other event technology. This large depth of inventory allows for Hartford to supply technology to corporate customers across the country ranging from the East to West coast along with Canada and Europe. Customers use the technology for large trade shows and corporate events, specialized training classes, and short term projects.

    Hartford prides themselves in service excellence and have fully staffed and stocked distribution centers and warehouses with techs and sales representatives on all their physical offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC and New York City. This allows for service and attention in all parts of the country. Currently, Hartford is running a rental special on their iPhone 6 which is open to all ITRA members!

    To reach Hartford Technology Rentals you can go through the ITRA representative: Dan Kallen

    Email address:

    Company phone: 847-721-6149

    Hartford Technology Rentals website:

    Written by: Nathan Kallen

  • 13 May 2016 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    Here are some helpful tips in becoming a better presenter.

    1. Powerpoint - In any presentation you will want to have visuals in order to have your audience be more familiar with your content.  This does not mean simply copying your speech onto slides with pictures.  This can be distracting and take the audience away from what you are saying making for a weak presentation.  The most effective ways at making your powerpoints meaningful is having a few pictures that help illustrate your point matched with bullet points on topics you can expand on with your speech.  This provides the audience with an idea of what to pay attention to while keeping their attention on you, as the speaker.

    2. Videotape yourself - Practice makes perfect and it isn’t any different for presentations.  Simply practicing your speech to peers or yourself in the mirror is half the battle of perfection your presentation.  If you videotape yourself and are able to look back and point out parts you may stumble on or have trouble with, you’ll know specifically where to put more emphasis on for practicing and during your actual presentation.  Additionally, this can help you see where you may want to provide more or less emphasis when an important point comes up that the audience needs to pay attention to.
    3. Make it your own - More times than not, you won’t have a copy of exactly what you want to say in front of you to look at.  Writing out a notecard with key words or ideas that will assist you in keeping on track is what many professional presenters recommend.  Alternatively, if you have a Powerpoint you can briefly look back and direct the audience's attention to your Powerpoint while you look at the points you have written as a reference.  If you are not able to have any sort of ques while you are presenting, the best remedy for this is to simply practice your speech until you are comfortable enough to do it without any sort of outside help.
    4. Give yourself time - In the case that you are using technology of any sort, be there early to ensure it is working properly.  The worst feeling can be when you are ready to present and you are unable to work the computer or projector.  Be there early to have everything prepared and get yourself familiar with your surroundings.  If possible it is recommended to practice where you will be presenting so you feel comfortable and ready even if there may not be any people in the area when you are practicing.
    Written by: Nathan Kallen

  • 28 Apr 2016 12:07 PM | Dennis Pugh (Administrator)

    Meeting Tomorrow Origin Story

    However over the past 12 years, Meeting Tomorrow has grown into an industry leader that executes more than 9,000 events annually while also remaining dedicated to its core values of commitment, kindness, and humility.

     Mark Aistrope started out as a traveling software salesman who gave presentations all over the U.S. and Canada. Every time he flew into a new city, he would have to locate a projector locally in order to do his presentations. Although this was very difficult for him, Mark saw an opportunity to provide a nationwide solution. So in 2003, he decided to start his own business out of his basement with just 15 projectors that he bought on eBay--with only the occasional cockroach infestation. He built a website that advertised for nationwide projector rentals and set a goal to simply get at least one order per day. It was then that Meeting Tomorrow was born.

     Mark started the business in Columbus, Ohio while his wife, Marla, was attending business school. Marla laughs and shakes her head remembering how Mark would often drive around chasing down the last FedEx truck of the day because he would never turn down an order. Soon after Marla had graduated, Mark and Marla moved Meeting Tomorrow to its first office located in Chicago. In less than a year, MT went from a makeshift, 600 square-foot apartment office of six people (and one dog!), to an actual office with eight additional employees.

    Mark in the MT Office during construction

     Growth forced the company to move yet again, but with hardly any time passing, employees began to have their desks set up in the kitchen due to the fast paced growth. As crowded as it was, Jamie Doligosa, who started as a college intern and has been with the company since it moved to Chicago, looks back to all the fond memories she had during those crowded office days. She recalls having to take turns cleaning the bathrooms when there was no maid service and having companywide meetings at the nearby pub due to lack of office space. She laughs remembering the office with no AC or heat and how the employees would go in shifts on the worst Chicago winter days in order to warm themselves up at the bowling alley down the street.

    Mark Aistrope and Phil Hamstra

    Throughout all those years in interesting work conditions, Jamie remained convinced she hit the jackpot working for Mark: “Whenever the company would lose money on an order or something would discourage the employees, Mark would always tell us that it wasn’t so bad and would continue to focus on the positive.”

     As the company continues to grow, it is easy to see that the employees still see the people, Mark included, as the best part of working at Meeting Tomorrow. The About Us page of Meeting Tomorrow’s website includes pictures of all of the company’s current full-time employees. Employees list what they love most about their jobs and describe what they do. Almost every single person lists the people as what they love most about Meeting Tomorrow.

    The MT Team at the annual company Whirlyball tournament.

     One big challenge Mark faced was coming up with a mission statement that encompassed everything great about the company’s employees and culture. “I didn’t want to have the mission statement be about things we strived to do, but something we are already doing and are already doing really well,” Mark said.

     After a couple of weeks meeting with his team to figure it out, he finally realized his mom, Gail Aistrope, had said it best: “Mark always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but he didn’t want to build a place just to work; he wanted to build an environment that fostered respect and affection.”

    “I wanted to create a place where Monday was just as great as Friday because you loved coming to work, and that starts with the people,” Mark said. Therefore, he decided to make the company’s mission to build a company that fosters a culture of respect and affection. He wanted to make sure everyone felt the desire to protect Meeting Tomorrow’s core values of commitment, kindness, and humility, so he put those words on the wall of the office and encouraged employees to leave notes for others about how their work has demonstrated those values. “Once it’s stated, there is an accountability there that isn’t there without it. When you have it written where everyone can see it… everyone is rowing in the same direction.”

    The MT Core Values Wall

     Today, Meeting Tomorrow has a 15,300 square-foot loft-style office with more than 60 full-time employees (and two dogs!), about ten times larger than its original team of six. The company has expanded far beyond renting presentation equipment. Meeting Tomorrow is now providing full-service audio visual production, webcast production, and event technology rentals.

     The growth of Meeting Tomorrow did not only come in square footage, but in partner relationships as well. Mark’s desire to fill every potential client need led him to reach out to more and more partners. Originally, he did this by looking in the local Yellow Pages. Today, their ever increasing Audio Visual network includes 2,000 partners around the country, many of them members of ITRA. Thanks to the wonderful partners Meeting Tomorrow works with all over the United States and Canada, more and more clients are provided with successful events every year.

    Kelsey and Fudge, the MT office dogs

    Focusing on growth is important, but doing so does not just mean jumping into the next big thing; it means constantly reevaluating processes and how to get things done efficiently. Meeting Tomorrow finds it essential to not only see what other services we can provide, but also, how we can make our current services more efficient. In order to do so, employees constantly challenge the way things are accomplished. In fact, Meeting Tomorrow recently reorganized its entire warehouse to accommodate its updated equipment inventory. The new layout enables the warehouse staff to fulfill large quantities of iPad, laptop, and monitor rentals more efficiently.

     *MT Warehouse Video

     Meeting Tomorrow now executes more than 9,000 successful events annually. For more than a decade, the company’s Event Services Team has been developing quality-control and logistics processes to ensure that clients have “worry-free events”.

     Visit to learn more about Meeting Tomorrow.

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