Control Issues and Online Abstract Collection

When we say that meeting planners have control issues when it comes to managing their online collection process, we mean no disrespect.
We’re talking about who needs access to the system to be able to manage the online abstract collection process. Often we see challenges when only one person (usually the overworked meeting or educational coordinator) has to do everything in the system.
Or sometimes anyone and everyone has access to the abstracts, reviews and other information, and that can cause chaos.

Some meeting coordinators try to coach other power users of the system on how to use a part of the site and tell them to not access other areas. But this system relies on a number of leaps of faith, including trust, competence and honesty. The more control you have, the less special instructions you need to give and the lower the risk you take by not giving someone the keys to the entire system.

Here’s a list of questions to ask when you’re putting together the guidelines for system access to your online collection system for your call for presentations or abstracts.

  • Do you need to provide different levels of access to different people within the system?
  • Does your administrator need to be able to do everything, while your intern only needs to be able to access reports?
  • Will you have Program Chairs who only need access to their sessions or tracks?
  • Can you easily provide access to the public, or instead restrict access to only invited speakers?
  • Can you easily revoke access if needed?
  • How will you handle adding late submissions (after the deadline) when the site is closed without opening the entire site to everyone?

These access considerations should be determined up front. List out your different roles and what they will need access to. Will the system you use support this? It’s rare to find anyone willing to do custom programming to allow and limit access to sections of your system. It’s best to start with a system that offers flexibility upfront with roles and access.

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