Every once in a while, we all need a reminder that just because something isn’t new and “shiny” anymore doesn’t mean it’s old-fashioned and obsolete. In fact, in some cases, the tried-and-true solution is the better choice.
Take, for example, the Mason jars seen in this picture. You probably know some people who have started using glass containers instead of plastic, especially if the food will be reheated, to prevent chemicals from leaching into the food. Glass and ceramic containers are much safer containers for reheating food than plastic. The classic solution is the best.
The same can be said of printed conference materials. Does every attendee want a printed program book? Probably not. But if you stopped printing conference programs altogether, you would find that many people would be disappointed.
The permanence of print is attractive to some attendees; other learn better from print than online resources or mobile apps. Some may not even be able to put a finger on exactly why it would be upsetting to have to access conference content online. Surely spotty or expensive WiFi at the venue and/or hotel doesn’t help matters any. Maybe it’s something as simple as missing the next volume of association proceedings to join the volumes from the last 15 years on the office bookshelf.
Whatever the reason, printed conference materials are important to attendees, and not just the baby boomers!
In a survey of over 550 millennials, conducted in December 2014, we found that 53% of young professionals (22-33 years old) agreed that “When I attend a professional conference, I want a printed program.” (Only 17% disagreed with the statement; the rest had no opinion.)
Answers were much more split, however, on this statement: “When I attend a professional conference, I prefer to look at a website or app for information.” Only 30% agreed, while nearly a third (32%) disagreed and the most frequently given answer was “disagree” at 38%. (To read more about the millennials and print survey, download the white paper.)
Printed conference programs are no longer the only game in town, and there are many reasons to consider adding a conference app or event content website to the mix. But be sure to note the phrasing: adding is the operative word.
Preserve the print—your attendees want it, so you should provide it. But make way for new ways to access conference content, too. After all, online conference materials are helpful for building a personalized itinerary before the conference, and poring over abstracts once you’re back in the office. Conference apps foster attendee engagement, especially when you make use of features like person-to-person messaging, live polling, and a social timeline.
To make it easier for you to try a new technology in addition to print without breaking your content budget, Omnipress is offering a special promotion! If you work with Omnipress for your printed conference materials, you can get up to 75% off a conference app or online conference materials. To learn more and register for the promotion, visit omnipress.com.
Hurry—an offer this good won’t last long! A signed proposal is due back to Omnipress by June 30th. Register today!