When it comes to your association’s conference, it can be helpful to think of content as the engine of your annual meeting.
It’s true that all other aspects of your conference are also important—ordering tasty and healthy food and beverage, brokering agreements with sponsors, working with exhibitors, booking hotel blocks, handling speaker requests, and so much more.
But without content? Your annual meeting just doesn’t run without it. Much like the engine of car, your association’s conference content is the critical component that brings it all together and, simply put, makes it go.
Your content engine is far too important to leave untended, therefore, and it needs a good tune-up every so often. When was the last time you gave more thought (much less budget!) to your conference content than you did to food and beverage?
Yet the quality of the content—and the method(s) of delivery you used to get it in the hands of your attendees—is what will really determine whether members will attend next year.
When professionals return to the office after a conference, what do their colleagues ask? What did you learn? Did you catch Dr. Smith’s session? How was it? Can I take a look at your notes? Do you think our boss will let me go next year? The conversation is centered on content. Eventually networking events, venue, and that great breakfast spread will come up, but first and foremost is content.
How are you planning to deliver content for your next annual meeting? Printed programs and/or proceedings? Online? Through a conference app? On a USB or CD? A combination of the above, or all of these methods? How will your session speakers be selected? Have you chosen an abstract management system to keep that process streamlined and under control?
If your answer to any of those questions is I haven’t figured that out yet, but you can describe the opening reception hors d’oeuvres in detail, you may want to think about getting your content engine in for a check-up, ASAP.
Stop by booth 515 at ASAE Annual to consult the Omnipress “pit crew” on your content engine. We’d love to help you look into ways you can get your conference content in good shape and keep it that way for years to come. See you in Motor City!