Using Dropbox, Google Drive, or other online file storage options for your meetings and events.

The use of online storage platforms has become a hot topic now with clients feeling more secure storing their media offsite.  There has been less news and concern regarding the security of data online and vendors for these platforms take this matter as a top priority for consumers.

 

With this being said, is it a good idea to store your powerpoint, keynote, and other presentation materials with an online platform provider for collaboration, or would using a portable external drive be in your best interest?  Read on to see which data storage is best for you!

When deciding upon an online platform versus local storage of your data there are a few considerations to take into account.  First, will you be collaborating with anyone on this project?  If so, will they be within your office or direct place of business on a regular basis?  Of course, there a more personal feel to direct collaboration with colleagues that you just won’t get while working online.  

Now, let’s discuss some of the pro’s and cons of using an online platform for your collaboration.  Mike and Steve are handed an assignment from their professor to be completed the next day.  They go over the instructions for the project and decide to tackle certain portions of it on their own and combine it into one file the next morning before handing it in.  Mike decides to work at his local coffee shop on his portion of the project while Steve goes back to his dorm room and begins his section.  Each of them puts in about 4 hours of work and is satisfied they have completed their section to the professors satisfaction.  The next morning, they meet up for coffee and begin to copy Steve’s section of the project into Mike’s.  After creating the one file, they review the entire project and discover that there is some overlap between them and also some of the instructions have been missed.  They frantically update the combined document to fix these errors and just make the deadline given by their professor.  

This is a common scenario and just one of many pitfalls that can be avoided with online collaboration of projects.  A perfect online platform for this assignment would have been Google Docs.  If you have a Google email address, this is included free of charge.  With the ability to offer simultaneous online collaboration, Steve and Mike would have been able to see what each of them were working on and match each others writing styles as well as not have overlap or missed bullet points of the assignment.  In addition to offering the ability to work on documents at the same time, Google Drive offers online storage that includes 15gb of space.  This platform also accepts all Microsoft office and Apple document file formats.

If you are just looking for online storage of your content and not requiring the ability to collaborate on the same document with others, there are a number of platforms that we would recommend.  One of our favorites here at NHAV is Dropbox.  They offer 2gb of space on a new account and have applications for both desktop and mobile devices for syncing all of your data in one place.  There are a number of other online storage platforms, but these are the most popular free user friendly options in the market space.  

Of course there are pitfalls to using online storage for working on projects.  One that we have seen time and time again is access to fast internet.  Sarah is about to present her keynote presentation at this years annual conference.   She has worked on perfecting her discussion in Google Slides all night and is now minutes away from the big moment.  She powers up her laptop and connects to the hotel wifi only to find out that it is extremely slow.  Her presentation has high definition videos and large images embedded making it around 1gb.  As she frantically begins to download the content she quickly realizes it will not be ready in time.  

The best practice in this situation would be to download the presentation in Microsoft Powerpoint format before arriving.  She would want to run the presentation in full making sure that there are no formatting errors and all of her videos/images function accordingly.  Also, a backup of the presentation on a USB stick would be an appropriate safeguard.  

Be sure to check our blog next time for a discussion about presenter audio visual needs and how to relay them to your conference planner.  Thank you for reading!

 

Google Drive – Free

Dropbox – Free

Google Docs – Free

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