What would the business world be without the presentation of products and services? In the past, presentations involved the need to get to the customer, the laborious task of inventing new ways of presenting and the need to creatively devise new forms of visual communication. And what does presenting look like today? Of course, it is much simpler, however, presentations are often the highlight of every employee's day, not just an occasional event.
We do more of them, watch more of them, and as a result, it becomes more and more challenging to surprise us positively. Fortunately, nowadays we do not have to be so creative, because there are clever tools and conference presentation software which can be useful for a trade show, industry event, or in everyday team management. Here is a list of the best and most interesting ones in our opinion! Let's get started!
What is the best conference presentation software?
Conference presentation software is a program or web application that allows you to present and combine text, graphics, video, charts and tables into slides using convenient templates that you can then display to your audience. It is also possible to select a slide template or create one ourselves, allowing for a uniform look to all slides that we know and like. Contrary to popular belief, the forerunner of presentation software was not Microsoft!
In fact, the most popular conference presentation software, PowerPoint (by Forethought), was acquired by Microsoft in 1987 from the manufacturer of software for Apple PCs. However, one cannot deny Microsoft the dexterity with which it promoted this, by far, the most popular and best-known conference presentation software ever! Since 1990, it has set the standard for presentations in business and education all over the world. However, the creators perhaps felt a bit too comfortable in their leading and monopolistic position as one must admit that in the era of new possibilities and presentation software, this program seems to be lagging behind a little.
Despite the updates, there are many presentation tools available that allow for easier creation of content, give many interesting new options and modern layout. Yet, more about this in a moment. Now let's think about what conference presentation software ought to be like in our times?
What makes good conference presentation software for a trade show or industry event?
PowerPoint certainly merits recognition for its simplicity and ease of use and spread. It is an easy to use software and almost anyone, regardless of skill level, can master its functions in no time. However, it is this simplicity and lack of room for creativity that has made this presentation software somewhat outdated. So what should modern presentation software be like?
Below, we would like to present what, in our opinion, are the most important functions and features of presentation software tailored to our times.
- Modern presentation software should be available both online and offline.
- Modern presentation software should offer sharing capabilities, so you can email materials to prospects and leads directly from within the application. It also comes in handy when working in groups, as it allows you to share presentations with other users and allow them to edit the materials at the same time.
- Modern presentation software should have an extensive project library – modern presentation software should offer many templates, images and other media.
- Modern presentation software should include alternative formats for sharing content and engaging audiences, rather than just standard slides.
- Modern presentation software should be easy to use. Most users are not design experts, so the software should be user-friendly enough for anyone, regardless of their background, to use, with additional options for advanced users.
- Modern presentation software should be compatible with various devices and systems. Most people and organizations use many different brands of devices so, when creating and displaying presentations, it is necessary to choose a presentation software compatible with various hardware.
Based on these parameters, we have prepared a list of the top five presentation software available today. Maybe not every one of them has all the features and functions mentioned above, yet at least some of them do. We have selected for you the true crème de la crème of presentation software nowadays!
Our picks: best conference presentation software
Starting with our unquestionable favourite, which meets all the above-mentioned requirements. We are obviously referring to Crescendo App, which is equipped with a theming engine that allows you to visually change the entire application as well as individual cases in a remarkably simple manner.
It allows for the creation of a uniform set of documents created for a given industry or client. That makes the application feel branded, which bears the hallmarks of a custom corporate product but does not require such an investment of time. Another important issue in the context of presentation at conferences and trade shows is that it also works offline and allows access to the content briefcase on a mobile device.
Moreover, Crescendo has a super fast search, which operates offline as well. Due to this, you can search even large amounts of PDF files in a split second and find not only the whole document, but also the section of the file you need, or make annotations in the pdf without changing the original document. Crescendo also gives you the possibility to share content conveniently. In short, it is a truly modern product which meets all the requirements of our time and of presenting at trade shows or conferences.
Prezi is yet another useful conference presentation software for conferences and trade shows. It is an online tool that allows you to create an interactive presentation in the form of a mind map. It is a different convention than a traditional slide show because here images or texts are not presented one slide after another, but instead, you can display them in any order, skipping between them, zooming in and out to see the whole as a peculiar map.
This makes the presentation streamlined and attractive to the viewer. In this way, it is easier to show ideas and concepts. It is something that will definitely appeal to a younger audience and lends itself well to a less formal industry environment. However, it could not do without its downsides. Prezi is available in a free and paid version. The free version has one significant limitation, namely that presentations can only be shared with other Prezi users online.
Next up on our roster is Canva, a veritable crank for modern graphic designers. Canva is an online tool providing a rich library of templates, including presentations, for various projects and industries. It offers ready-made shapes, charts, elements, images, backgrounds, photos and videos. Presentations can be shared via a link and worked on collaboratively. Comments are possible. We have 1 GB of space in the cloud for files.
Canva is often praised as a product aimed at aesthetes. It is not only because of the interface, but also the special effects which can be obtained there. It is perfect for people who are more passionate about graphics. Canva scores with many templates to choose from, among which you can find real gems. In addition to such basic features as changing colours, backgrounds and fonts, Canva includes a huge range of graphics and editing options, as well as powerful tools for creating charts and infographics. However, it is a web-based application that does not work offline.
LibreOffice provides a free suite of the most necessary office tools. It is available on all the most popular operating systems Windows, macOS, and Linux, which is an excellent alternative to a bit pricy, Microsoft Office.
Inside this package, you will find LibreOffice Impress enabling you to design presentations. It may seem a bit complicated to navigate at first, however, that is due to the many possibilities LibreOffice Impress offers. It won't take too long to get familiar with the system, and after a while, you will know how to add music, backgrounds or charts. It is a program with which you can easily prepare a presentation for a trade show or a conference, but it must be said that it is inferior to Crescendo in terms of sharing functions and to Prezi regarding aesthetic appearance.
We can find Google Slides among other online applications of the Google Docs package. It is simple and clear, has the most necessary functions and is available for free. To use it, you need to sign in with your Google Account. One of the advantages of Google Slides is that it allows you to insert photos directly from the Photos app, where many people have albums or archive photos from their smartphone.
The presentation is stored in Google Drive. When you log into the app, you will also see the most commonly used templates, which greatly reduces and automates the entire development process. However, it is, by far, our least preferred option as it does not allow you to work offline, and features are almost the equivalent to PowerPoint.
As you might have noticed, there are many presentation software options on the market. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, so when preparing for your next conference or trade show, study them carefully, try them out and pick the software you like best! And if, in the meantime, you would like to expand your knowledge of marketing then feel free to check out our blog!