Keys In Producing Great Conferences – THE CLICKER EDITION
When it comes to managing a conference, many would focus on the latest LED wall or projectors. However, the smallest details are often the most important and as this article’s title implies, we will be touching on the topic of the Clicker.
The Clicker or also known as the Wireless Presenter is setup to work seamlessly with the speaker’s choice of app such PowerPoint or Keynote. Once in presenter mode, the speaker will just need to click (thus the name) and the slide will automatically switch.
Plug and play. Dead simple.
However, not all clickers are created equal. Steve Jobs, attention to details as he was with chamfered edges had a clicker malfunction during his Macworld Conference 2007. Check out the video below:
Screenshot from YouTube
So, after experimenting with several clickers, we have selected the most common and what works best for your upcoming conference:
The Fail-Safe : Logitech R800
Photo from Logitech Singapore Website
Top Ten Reviews reviews the Logitech R800 as ‘The Logitech R800 wireless presenter is an outstanding electronic device that can help you excel in any presentation.’ One of the key features of the R800 is the battery indicator so that you will not be caught off guard halfway through a keynote address. The range as advertised by Logitech of 30m should be taken with a pinch of salt. If there are pillars and walls in between the USB receiver and the clicker, the range will be affected.
This being said, if you are organising a small to medium sized conference between 50 pax to 150 pax, the R800 will serve you well. It is inexpensive at S$129.00 each and works out of the box. However, if you are organising a conference at a large ballroom such as the Fairmont Ballroom in Raffles City Convention Centre, you may want an upgrade to Perfect Cue (read below)
The Budget: Logitech R400
Screenshot from Amazon
To be honest, I bought the Logitech R400 out of pure cost saving. The cost difference between the R400 and R800 is almost double and I felt that I did not have a need for the LCD screen.
I was sadly mistaken to discover that during a testing in the Azalea Ballroom (Shangri La Hotel Singapore) where the room is longish, the R400 had difficulties keeping up with the presenter and some clicks failed to register.
One ways of countering the range of the R400 will be to move the laptop closer to the podium or the speaker.
So, what’s the ultimate clicker?
The Ultimate: Dsan Corp’s Perfect Cue.
It looks uninspiring but we would rely on the Perfect Cue for our most important conferences and meetings. International Keynote speakers swear by Dsan’s Perfect Cue and are often feeling more confident with the presentation powered by Dsan.
The transmission range is seamless between a speaker and the laptop with the receiver connected via USB. Optional of using CAT5 or XLR cable are available as well and we usually prefer the CAT5/CAT 6 cables for our setup. Perfect Cue has an extended antenna to assist in long range transmission.
We have used Perfect Cue for numerous venues including the Island Ballroom of Shangri La, Fairmont Ballroom in RCCC and The Westin Singapore. All venues worked without a hitch.
The biggest conference from Adobe each year: The Adobe MAX Conference (Screenshot from YouTube)
This being said, Dsan’s Perfect Cue is not easily purchased in Singapore. There is no authorised retailer locally and on the price point, each set depending on which configuration you opt for, ranges somewhere around USD$1,700.00 without shipping. Link >
Avoiding pitfalls with Clickers:
With all things wireless, there is always a chance of interference. It can happen unexpectedly particularly with different types of wireless transfers taking place in a venue.
Some examples of interferences:
- Wi-Fi network (running on IEEE’s 802.11 network)
- Bluetooth connections
- Wireless Microphones, Lapel and Skin Microphones etc
The magic here will be time. With ample time for testing, issues can be ironed out. Our protocols includes 2 Perfect Cues as well as the Logitech R800s running on different frequencies as part of our conference kit.
So there you have it. Questions about managing a conference? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or scan this QR Code here: