Hardware, Software, and Network Connections

The ELUNA Planners try to make sure that everything you need will be available in the meeting room when you need it. You can help them by being familiar with what they will provide and how that relates to what you need.
Hardware

Each of the meeting rooms at the conference facility will have (at least) four things provided:

  • A workstation
  • Projection equipment
  • One or more microphones and a sound system
  • An internet connection

Note: The information on this page is tentative. It will be updated when the hardware and software details are finalized.

The Workstation

Details about the setup of the workstations (installed programs, etc.) are available from your track coordinator. No matter what presentation software you decide to use, you should be comfortable with using it. Make sure you know:

  • How to get your presentation file onto a the workstation (CD, disk, zip disk, etc.)
  • How to open your file in the presentation software
  • How to move smoothly from one slide to another (forward and backward)
  • The version of the software that will be available and the one you develop your presentation on your own laptop

Presenters are strongly advised to use the computer equipment provided in the meeting rooms. Presenters who have used personal laptops in the past have experienced occasional problems connecting their laptops to the projectors and configuring them for internet access. If you have some compelling reason why you must do this, please discuss it with your track coordinator well ahead of time. When you arrive, the supplied workstation will be hooked up. When you leave, it should be hooked up and working as you found it.

Projection Equipment

The workstation will be hooked up to some kind of projection equipment. This equipment can be different from room to room, but it all has the same effect: what you see on the workstation’s monitor is what will project on the screen. There are some differences, however. Colors tend to be more washed out when projected, so fine distinctions can be lost. Lines, characters and fonts that appear crisp on the monitor can be much fuzzier on the screen. If you can, before you leave for ELUNA, try to preview your presentation using a projector so that you know how it will look and can make adjustments as necessary.

Microphones and Sound System

Each room is equipped with at least one microphone and a sound system. Use them! Don’t ask the audience if they can hear you without a microphone, just use one. In the evaluations from past years, attendees have often said they could not hear a speaker clearly, but nobody has ever complained that they heard a speaker too well. It is a courtesy to the hard of hearing and to people in the back to use the microphone throughout the presentation and the question and answer period. There will be a presenter’s orientation session where you will have an opportunity to practice with the microphone if you would like to do that.

Most rooms are equipped with one or more “lavalier” mikes. These are designed to clip onto your collar, lapel, tie, or somewhere near your neck. You may want to think about this as you plan what you are going to wear for your presentation, to make sure you have someplace you can clip one on. These mikes are not designed to be held and they work much better when they are clipped onto your clothes. The mike is at the end of a long, thin cable that is plugged into the transmitting box. The box is designed to be hooked to your belt or slipped into a pocket. You will be more at ease if you do not have to end up carrying the transmitting unit, so wear something to which you can attach it. On the top or bottom (or elsewhere) of the transmitting unit there is a very small on/off switch that controls whether the mike is working. Turn it on to test it before the session begins, then turn it off until you are ready to speak. When you are done speaking, turn it off so it won’t broadcast private conversations.

When you have the mike attached near your throat, your normal speaking voice should be picked up. However, different voices are picked up differently, so you may need to experiment a bit with where to clip the mike and how loudly to speak. Even though you are wearing a mike, you still need to speak loudly and enunciate clearly so that you can be heard all the way in the back of the room. The mike will not pick up your voice if you turn to the side. Presenters often do this inadvertently if they turn to the screen to read their slides or to point out portions of the screen. Pretend you are wearing a neck brace and can’t turn your head more than a small amount without turning your body as well.

For microphone use and other presentation issues, you might want to ask a friend or colleague to help you out, or even ask the whole audience to help you. Tell them you want to make sure they can hear and see, and to please tell you if there are any difficulties. Pay attention to the cues from people in the audience. If someone has a hand cupped behind an ear, they can’t hear very well. Paying attention to cues like that will help make your presentation more effective.
Software

Microsoft Office and a Web browser will be installed on every Windows workstation. Ex Libris clients may or may not be available in all rooms. If you will need anything beyond the Office applications and browser, you should talk to your track coordinator before the deadline.

If you plan to install any special software yourself (such as macro programs, homegrown applications, etc.) you should let your track coordinator know about this, too. If your program needs any supporting infrastructure, you should plan to bring it along, as there will be no guarantee that it will be present on the machine. You should have a backup plan in case you are unable to install the software successfully. You should not plan to install any software that might interrupt the functioning of Microsoft Office or other basic software on the machine.
Network Connections

Some presenters will want a connection to the Internet in order to demonstrate something related to their topic. Every meeting room will have an Internet connection. Although we expect the internet connections in the new hotel to work flawlessly, connection problems can occur between the hotel and a destination server, and servers can be down when you want to access them. If you plan to use a network connection during your demo, you should have a backup plan in case you cannot connect for some reason.

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