Now Available: The 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report

 

We are excited to share the 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report!

For the fourth year in a row, Omnipress has tracked the evolution of conference content and the role it plays at an association’s annual event. This year’s Conference Industry Report indicates that while educational content remains a significant source of value that associations provide, association professionals are facing new challenges as they strive to meet attendees’ changing expectations.

To understand how associations are currently using their conference content, we conducted an online survey of 143 association professionals, many of whom are directly responsible for conference planning.

Download the report to learn:

  • How are associations using content to engage members and increase conference attendance?
  • How are associations deciding which formats to offer at their events?
  • Which types of content are associations currently providing at their conference?
  • Are there common challenges that all associations face delivering their conference content?

Takeaway #1: The annual conference remains a central part of the association’s member growth strategy.

With most associations reporting flat membership growth in 2017, the ability to engage and retain existing members is critical. The annual conference provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the association’s value, and increasing attendance continues to be the number one priority for associations.

Respondents provided some specific areas of focus to increase attendance at their 2018 events:

  • Encourage peer to peer engagement
  • Increase conference quality
  • Update technologies to increase engagement
  • Create more networking opportunities

The opportunity for member engagement extends beyond attending the conference. Associations can provide options for members to participate in other meaningful ways by including an open call for their event. Soliciting presentations from within the association allows the organization to recognize the contributions that members are making in their industry and advance their careers.

Read the full report to learn how other associations use content to engage attendees before, during and after their events.

10 Tips for Writing Instructions for Your Call for Papers [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

When your association is collecting abstracts for an upcoming event, you want the process to go as smoothly as possible for everyone involved. But naturally, things can get a little complicated, especially if you’re asking speakers to submit many pages of information and multiple file types. Without clear instructions for your submission process, submitters will likely have some questions or problems that can leave them frustrated (and on the phone with tech support instead of finishing their submission).

Nobody likes working with a system that isn’t easy or intuitive. Writing instructions that are clear and concise can help submitters along the way. It’s very important that your instructions are effective. There’s no guarantee that users will read them in their entirety, but they’ll be there to guide them if they do get stuck.

Write easy-to-follow call for papers instructions with these 10 tips

View a larger, printable .pdf version of the infographic heretips for writing call for papers instructions infographic screenshot

Know your audience

Some submitters may not understand the terminology in your instructions. Keep your audience’s background and demographics in mind so you use language you know they’ll understand.

Keep it short

In the age of the internet, users shy away from reading long, complex paragraphs. To increase the chances that your users will read them through, use short, easy to understand sentences.

Use simple terms

There’s no need to use fancy words when writing instructions for your call for papers. Using simple terms will make sure more people understand the process you are explaining.

Use contextual instructions

Supplement your instructions with tips that appear throughout the submission process. These additional points can be written next to specific fields, or appear when a user places their cursor over a “Help” icon. Having these instructions on the page ensures people see them right when they need them most.

Use numbers and bullets

If you want your submitters to follow the instructions like a recipe, use numbered lists to indicate the steps they need to take. If you have more general or optional instructions, use bullets.

Use the imperative

Vague statements can confuse readers. Use the imperative and write your instructions like direct commands. For example, write “Select one topic below,” instead of “Please pick from this list of topics.”

Use different typefaces and sizes

If you need to call attention to a particular instruction or warning, use bold typeface or consider changing the font style or size. Using a different colored font can also help, but keep in mind that colors can be difficult to read for some users.

Anticipate the length of the process

Give submitters an idea of how long the process will take. For example, your submission process may involve 3 sections and take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. That way, submitters will be able to ensure they have enough time to complete the submission and not be rushed.

Go through a test-run

Because you know your submission program inside and out, you will be less likely to catch instructions that might be difficult to understand. Ask a few coworkers or trusted contributors to go through the instructions and provide feedback before you open the collection site to everyone.

Don’t be afraid to change the instructions

If you think you’ve written clear instructions but you’re still receiving feedback that users are struggling with your system, it’s not too late to change your instructions. Changing them late will still give future users the chance to have a smoother submission process.

Writing instructions for your call for papers may not be as easy as it sounds. When you’re close to a project, providing detailed instructions that external users will understand can be a challenge. But, if you follow these tips, you will produce more effective instructions that can make it easier on submitters!

Now that you have an effective set of instructions for your call for papers, it’s time to get the word out! Read our whitepaper for tips on how to Promote Your Event with Conference Content Marketing.

Do you have any other tips or experiences regarding communicating instructions to your submitters?

7 Creative Ways to Crowdsource Data With an Abstract Management System

 

If your association uses an online abstract management system to collect, review and manage your call for papers, you know just how valuable it is. What you might not know, though, is that the uses for this system don’t stop when your annual conference does. That’s right—the same system that collects your abstracts and papers can be used year-round to crowdsource data that benefits your association.

At its core, an abstract management system is a tool to help you collect and review data from many different sources. Using this tool for more than just abstracts can help save you time and reduce collection-related headaches down the road. Any project where you need to collect information from multiple people can be made more efficient by using a collection system.

Here are seven scenarios where an abstract management system can help you crowdsource data:

Sponsor or exhibitor information

When preparing for your annual conference, you aren’t limited to collecting information for your speakers or presenters. If you’re compiling a directory or program that includes your sponsors or exhibitors, you can create forms to collect all of that information in the same place! This is a great way to consolidate the number of places you collect information for your annual event and make planning much more efficient.

Scholarship or grant applications

If your association presents scholarships or grants, consider using your system to collect those applications. You can have them reviewed as if they were abstracts and even put them through multiple rounds of review to determine finalists.

Directories

Do you publish a directory annually or once every few years? If so, you know how big of a headache collecting reliable information from your members can be. Imagine being able to set up a form to collect member information that you can efficiently organize and pull out for publication later.

Board nominations

When electing new members to your association’s board, getting countless nominations can be cumbersome to manage on paper or in an email. Use your abstract management system to collect and review board nominations each year.

Survey or feedback

Whether you’re looking to collect feedback on your annual conference, your continuing education courses or just general feedback about your organization (or all three!), using your system to conduct a survey is a great way to keep all of that information in one place.

Call for bids

When it’s time to set up a call for bids for a project your association is working on, managing all of the responses can be challenging. Collecting your vendors’ bids through your collection site can help you more efficiently review them and select who to hire. Bonus tip: You can designate certain fields to be required, making it less likely that vendors will submit incomplete bids

Competitions

If you run a competition that requires organizing and reviewing multiple submissions, whether it’s for writing, projects or anything else, your abstract management system can collect all of the documents and files you need to judge each submission choose finalists and select a winner.

 

There are virtually no limits when it comes to collecting, reviewing and managing submissions or information from your association’s members. Because abstract management systems make it easy to crowdsource data, using the same streamlined process to handle these other cumbersome projects can make your job easier year-round!

It Takes More Than Software to Manage Abstracts

 

During the past several years, a number of new abstract management technology providers have emerged on the scene. Some software to manage abstracts is SaaS based, and some is full service. And, many of the technologies—both new and established—continue to become more feature-filled and complex. Yet, the pain surrounding abstract management for meeting planners hasn’t diminished. Which leads me to believe that technology by itself isn’t the magic bullet that some meeting planners had hoped it to be.

Conducting a successful call for papers is really more about having the right processes in place, not just the right tools. So before you evaluate your next abstract management system, it may be helpful to take a look at your current process. Once you figure out where your problems tend to begin, you can start to make adjustments. Here are a few questions to help you get started:

Are you starting with the end in mind?

How did you decide on the list of fields you require from submitters? Is this all the information you will need, or just enough to process their submission? It’s much easier to collect everything you need from a submitter during this initial process than having to follow up with them after they have been accepted. Be sure to ask for everything that you will need for your conference program, app, etc. during this initial phase.

By determining your final materials and working backward, you ensure the right data is going in and will be in the right format at the end.

Do you conduct adequate system testing before opening your collection site?

Do you recruit testers that reflect the age range and technical expertise of your pool of submitters and reviewers? Keep in mind submitters typically wait until the last minute. That adds a level of stress that can unnerve even the most technically savvy person.

Are you collecting your data in the smallest pieces possible?

Do you feature a single name field, or do you break it up into Salutation, First Name, Middle, Last, Credentials? Getting as granular as possible with your fields will increase the likelihood that data is filled in correctly and consistently. Doing so will decrease the need for data cleanup later on.

Do you find you have a “data gap” at some point during your process?

How do you handle content changes that happen after a speaker has been accepted but before your conference materials are produced? To remove any confusion, create a “database of record” before you collect submissions. This “database of record” is the single location where all your up-to-date content is stored. That way, when it’s time to send your content into production, you can be sure that all changes are being made across all materials.

Have you talked to others about your process to manage abstracts?

Have you tried reaching out to a colleague to see how they manage their call for abstracts? Their insights might help you find a new approach to streamline your process. Alternatively, your abstract management vendor should be willing to discuss best practices with you. At Omnipress, for example, our project managers always talk to the customer about their existing workflow. This helps us tailor the system to the customer’s specific needs. It also allows the project manager to point out any potential issues before configuring their system, and importantly, before their call for abstracts opens.

The role of an abstract management system is to help streamline and automate the collection and review process to make it easier for you and your team. But even the best software to manage abstracts can’t solve all of your problems. If you can identify and improve upon the areas of your process that are the most challenging, then maybe we’ll all see different results when we conduct our State of the Industry Survey for 2018. We’ll certainly be watching for it!

5 Tips to Avoid an Abstract Management Nightmare

Collecting abstracts is one procedure where surprises at the end can be a real pain. Managing the submission process is complicated enough when it goes correctly, so avoiding any events that derail the process is critical. This information is used to feed a variety of outputs (your website, printed program book, mobile app, etc.) so seemingly small oversights can become significant headaches.

One of the more frustrating oversights is realizing that—after you’ve started to receive submissions—there is information you need, but haven’t asked for.

Sorry, I should have warned you this was a horror story. I’ll give you a second to collect yourself.

The steps involved to fix this mistake are no less frightening than the original error. You’ll need to reach out to one or more vendors to get the missing fields added into the submission process. Easy enough (if your vendor has good customer support). The real headache will come when you have to reach out to the submitters that have already turned in their information. What’s the S.O.P. on that? Depending on your collection method, you may have to contact them individually, explain the oversight, and ask that they resubmit the missing information.

Not exactly the way you intended to kick off this year’s conference, is it?

Avoiding the unforced errors

The real secret to avoiding surprises like this is to have a clear idea of your final outputs in mind from the start. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you begin building your abstract management system:

Tip #1: Finalize your end products before collection begins

Today’s conference landscape means the information you collect will be used in multiple formats. If you don’t have a full list of the items you’ll need information for, how will you know if you have everything you need? Making these decisions before your collection site opens will allow you the opportunity to plan for any unusual data demands.

Tip #2: Talk with an experienced colleague about your plans

You may have a good idea of what you would like to achieve, but there is no replacement for experience. Enlist the advice of a fellow association conference planner that has actually created the kind of output you are planning to use. They will undoubtedly have insight on what works and what to avoid in your planning phase. Feel free to learn from their mistakes!

Tip #3: Work with your vendor to create an information checklist

Checklists are a great way to prevent anything from slipping through the cracks. Talk with each of your vendors and make a checklist of all the information they need to complete the project. Check off each item as you work through a test submission. This fool-proof way of auditing your collection process will let you see what information is needed. It will also highlight any extraneous data that unnecessarily complicates the collection process.

Tip #4: Make sure each output handles information consistently.

This consideration is especially important if you are working with multiple vendors. Even if you have collected all the information you need, make sure that each platform interprets it consistently.

For example, when asking for a submitter’s name, do all of your outputs support a “credentialing” field? If Joe Smith adds his “PhD” designation in a suffix form, will that information be consistently applied with each vendor you use?

Tip #5: Know which deadlines can slip and which cannot.

In a perfect world, submissions would start arriving the instant you send out your announcement. Hey, we can dream, right? In reality though, your deadlines are going to be tested. We’ve talked before about having advertised deadlines vs absolute deadlines and it’s important to know which deadlines are flexible and which are not.

Typically, mobile apps have a longer development process and some of the earliest deadlines. However, being a digital product, updates to the app can typically be made later, even as the event date nears. Compare that to a deadline for printing conference schedules. A deadline for printing has to factor in time to create the documents and ship them to the event. After a certain date it is impossible to make changes and have the documents delivered on time.

Conclusion

It should be no surprise that the key to a successful abstract collection process can be summed up by these six words: Fail to plan, plan to fail.

It’s essential to know what information you will need before you can begin to collect it. Having a solid grip on your intended outputs is the only way to make sure information gets from the collection site to your conference. And don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced colleague or vendor. Their firsthand experience can help you avoid any missteps along the way.

Do you have any other words of wisdom to share with your fellow planning professionals? What data pitfalls have you come across while adding a new output to your conference portfolio? Let us know in the comments!

Short-Cutting User Testing for Your Abstract Management System is a Risky Proposition

When an organization plans to introduce a new or significantly updated website, the IT department will typically incorporate a healthy amount of user testing into the project plan. Why? Because they know that what looks good on paper does not always translate well into practice. Users of a website are an enigmatic bunch. No matter how “intuitive” a particular web experience is meant to be, they will always use your tools in ways no one would have ever anticipated.

So why do organizations often “skimp” on testing their online abstract management systems?

Given the temporary life span of a collection system, perhaps testing is not considered to be as important or necessary. Or, maybe there simply isn’t enough time in the current project schedule. Whatever the reason, skipping or short-cutting your user testing will likely produce more issues for you, your submitters and reviewers down the road. You can easily avoid this by setting up a quick and simple process that allows you to identify and resolve any potential “sticking points” early on. Honestly, we find that a majority of the time, issues can be fixed through a simple re-writing of the submission instructions.

Who should test your system?

When evaluating an abstract management system, keep in mind that this tool will be used by people in a variety of roles, and with different levels of technical savvy, time, patience (and potentially, command of the English language). Therefore, it’s recommended that you perform a “test-drive” with these variations in mind.

  • Recruit volunteers who reflect the diversity of your submitters and reviewers, including those that may have the most basic comfort and knowledge with online technology
  • This includes individuals who are part of your organization but perhaps not involved in the day-to-day of your conference, as well as individuals from outside your organization (friends, neighbors and relatives)
  • Assign them each a different role, and provide them with a list of basic tasks to complete. Have them document their input into a provided worksheet or spreadsheet and note where they run into problems

How long should testing take?

You will want to build in 2-4 weeks total, which includes testing, compilation of results, as well as making (and re-testing) changes to your collection system before it opens. Here are some general guidelines. Your specific timeframe will vary depending upon how simple or complex your submission process is:

  • Give your testers about a week to complete their assigned tasks, allowing you to be mindful of their schedules while ensuring you get as many completed tests as possible
  • Plan to spend a few days going through the feedback, and compiling notes for your provider
  • Depending upon the nature of the issues, you’ll want to give your provider anywhere from a few days to 1-2 weeks to make the necessary changes
  • Don’t forget to re-test any changes! This can be done with a smaller group, in a matter of days

What sorts of things should we test?

Because “good” user experience is somewhat subjective, it can be difficult to define and quantify. In general, here’s how to identify a well-designed abstract management system:

  • Basic functions are intuitive, and require little to no instructions
  • The page is designed and laid out in a way that makes it easy for users to understand what they need to do, and in what order
  • The process is easy to follow, even for those whom do not speak English as their first language
  • Processes require as few clicks as possible to complete
  • Visual or text-based cues are logically placed throughout the site to prompt users if and when they need assistance

Do you have any tips or tricks on testing your abstract management system? Share them with your peers in the comments here.

Want to know more about setting up your collection and review process for success? We can help? Send us a note.

3 Really Easy and Truly Practical Ways to Stop the Collection Insanity

“To get different results, you need to do things differently.”

Have we all (unnecessarily) resigned ourselves to the fact that a collection and peer review process comes with a certain level of pain? Yes, there are a tremendous number of moving parts to manage. Yes, there will always be late submissions, late-night questions and last-minute program changes. But does it need to really be this difficult, each and every year?

Actually, no.

There are some pretty simple changes that you can make to your collection process that will save you a tremendous amount of pain and hassle in the long run. Here are just a few:

  1. Think about your end products first, not last.

Before you build your collection site, make a list of all your final conference outputs such as your printed program book, proceedings, website, USBs or mobile app. Then, note all of the information you’ll need from your submitters, and in what formats. Be sure to collect this information as part of the initial submission process, rather than hunting down the information later. Not only will this save time, it will minimize the possibility that you’ll end up with incomplete or inconsistent information.

Bonus tip: Also think about the internal information you might want to have, to update your own membership records in your AMS or to market the benefits of membership to non-member submitters.

  1. Set deadlines with the worst case scenario in mind.

It’s extremely common for submitters to work on their submissions up to the very last minute. And, it’s at this eleventh hour that the greatest number of questions and issues typically arise. Don’t set yourself up for late night phone calls. Instead, set your deadline earlier in the week, in the middle of the business day.

Bonus tip: Set a hard site close date based on your conference timeline. Then, set an advertised close date approximately one week earlier. This will help you maintain your conference plan while providing some flexibility to your submitters.

  1. Have a designated “database of record.”

After the collection site has closed, as you and your team are working on your final outputs—a program book, event app, etc.—where and how will you keep track of the inevitable last-minute changes? How do you avoid sending different versions of content to each vendor? Where does the “single source of truth” live after the information has been pulled from your collection site? Set up a single database (which can simply be an Excel spreadsheet) and make sure everyone is using that to track and manage all changes.

Bonus tip: If you can minimize the number of vendors you’re working with for each of your outputs, it also makes this task a lot easier to manage.

We have more tips for you! So if you want to make your next collection a little easier to manage, let’s talk. We’d be happy to help.

Top Challenges That Meeting Planners Face

The meeting planners we meet love their jobs. Working towards a successful conference is rewarding, and the journey from that first planning meeting to the closing reception includes many satisfying moments.

And yet … there are many frustrations that meeting planners deal with, too. In the spirit of fun and friendly competition, the Omnipress team drew up a bracket of things that drive meeting planners crazy. If you’ve followed along, you know that we’re down to the title game!

Conference content is Omnipress’ game, so I’ll give you some ideas to limit your frustration for the four content challenges in the bracket.

  • Managing the process for collection and review of countless abstracts, working with a very clunky system. You’re ready to tear your hair out! Look for an abstract management system that allows you the flexibility to meld it to your process—without the cost of customization. A configurable abstract management is a good compromise.
  • Another presenter gave you their final materials after the deadline, and now you have to call three different vendors to update the app, the website, and the printed program. For the fourth time this week! Doing the same task multiple times can be infuriating. As much as possible, limit the number of vendors you have to call to make a similar change. Some conference printers also provide content websites, USBs, and conference apps, and some may also handle abstract management. Use a single provider to cut down on the runaround when updates need to be made.
  • You’ve called your conference printer three times this week and no one has gotten back to you. There’s no excuse for bad customer service. Agreed! Providers who don’t respect your time and return your calls are the pits. Choose a conference printer that’s big enough to meet your needs—and your deadlines—but not so big that they don’t treat you right.
  • Attendees bring every device under the sun to your annual meeting—except laptops—and your online conference materials only look good on a full-sized screen. Good news—you can completely avoid this situation! Just make sure the provider of your content website can build your site with responsive design. Your site will look amazing on tablets, desktops, laptops, and smartphones.

Your work as a meeting planner is so important—all you do helps your association fulfill its mission. Though there are daily annoyances that drive you crazy, I hope you realize how critical it is to your association’s members to have access to an annual meeting that’s a rich, meaningful experience. Thank you for working hard to make professionals in your industry more successful. We appreciate meeting planners and all they do for their associations!

Make your vote heard! Vote in the championship round for the thing that drives meeting planners crazy. Follow this link or visit our Facebook page and click on the March Conference Madness tab. We’ll announce the results next week!

March Conference Madness is Underway! Vote Today!

Omnipress is happy to bring you March Conference Madness! Last week, 40 meeting planners like you voted on what drives them mad. With their help, we’ve narrowed the field to four options:

  • It seems like everyone you work with has champagne taste—and you’re working with a beer budget. Are you the only one who thinks about managing costs? Sometimes, unfortunately, you have to be “the bad guy” and bring up the budget when a colleague’s eyes are bigger than their stomach.
  • Another presenter gave you their final materials after the deadline, and now you have to call three different vendors to update the app, the website, and the printed program. For the fourth time this week! Those late submissions are enough to drive any meeting planner mad. To make it a little easier on yourself, work with a provider that handles all of your outputs—print, website, and app—so you only have one call to make with updates.
  • A CVB calls you out of the blue and tries to monopolize half an hour with their sales pitch. You don’t have time for that! Unsolicited sales pitches are the phone call equivalent of spam emails—the worst! If you don’t recognize the number, voicemail is your first line of defense.
  • You’ve called your conference printer three times this week and no one has gotten back to you. There’s no excuse for bad customer service. This lack of response would drive anyone mad! Meeting planners need to hear back quickly more than others, because deadlines are always coming at you full-speed. If your printer can’t keep up … well, maybe that shouldn’t be your printer anymore.

Let’s take this madness to the next level: the championship! Here’s the schedule for the remainder of our March Conference Madness:

  • Monday, 3/28 – Vote between the two remaining answers to determine the winner!
  • Friday, 4/1 – Voting closes
  • Monday, 4/4 – Winner is announced

Visit this page to vote, or go to our Facebook page and click on the March Conference Madness tab.

What drives you mad about delivering conference content? In our State of the Industry report, over 150 meeting planners answered the question. See their answers and read the full report!

Back-to-School Sales & Abstract Management

Every year, back-to-school sales seem to hit stores earlier. (The same could be said for holiday merchandise. Don’t get me started.) As hard as it is to admit that summer is winding down, all signs—particularly those in store windows—point towards fall.

Back-to-school shopping is the bellwether of pumpkin-flavored everything; similarly, your association’s selection of an abstract management provider signals the start of a new conference cycle.

Abstract management is the beginning of the process, and if you do it right, you’ll make it easier to manage your outputs as well. As I’ve written before, abstract management is everything!

What do you need from an abstract management system? Is your current provider getting it done? If you have been trying to direct the project from your inbox (in other words, you use email and attachments to manage the process), do you ever wonder if there’s a better way?

Answering these questions will shape your whole conference, not just your call for papers, review process, and collection of final presentations. A comprehensive system can solve problems you didn’t even know you had, with resources like a drag-and-drop scheduling tool and an upload tool that accepts all types of files, of any size.

For the best abstract management experience, make sure that collection is the first step of many—not a one-and-done scenario—with the same vendor. Once your conference content is all in one place, housed in a single system, the time comes to create outputs: printed programs, for example, and online conference materials, USBs, and a conference app.

If you handle those outputs with different providers (whether that means one provider that manages all outputs or—for more headaches—a separate vendor for each), you basically have to start over. You would have to download materials from the abstract management system and distributing them to your vendors to prepare the outputs.

That’s like buying all of the school supplies for your to-be-4th grader, only to learn that you grabbed the 5th grade list for a different school by mistake. Why take that extra step? And why take the steps that follow, communicating with multiple vendors to handle the same set of content?

Omnipress can help you with conference content every step of the way, from your initial call for papers, to outputs like printed and online conference materials, to creating a digital archive with a digital publishing platform. Keep your content under one roof, handled by a team that knows how to communicate with each other and make things easier for you.

Before you take your 12-year-old shopping for a back-to-school wardrobe (good luck!), talk with Omnipress to learn more about our abstract management system. That way, you can get your conference content off to the same great start your kid(s) will have this fall.

Conference Content: The Engine That Drives Your Association’s Annual Meeting

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!

Get Help with Abstract Management: Meet the Team!

No matter which abstract management system you use, it can be complicated to learn. When you first get started—and maybe for weeks, months, and years after that—, you’re going to need some help.

Ideally, that help will come in the form of a dedicated project manager who will work with you every step of the way and be your contact person with questions and any issues that may arise. A dedicated project manager understands your association and your specific situation. They can set up your system to reflect the way you handle abstract management, adding custom fields and setting up a multi-step review process, or keeping the procedure as simple as possible for final paper collection.

You work closely with the project manager and come up with the best course of action for your association. When the two of you develop a strong working relationship, communication becomes easier and more open. Based on post-job surveys and case studies, it’s clear that meeting planners like you value the personalized customer service that dedicated project managers provide.

Omnipress’ team includes three project managers who specialize in abstract management: Brandon Butzler, Jill Taylor, and John Hinch (left to right, pictured above). Each of them brings unique skills and talent to the team, but they have one goal in common—a smooth abstract management experience for you.

They know the system inside out and can explain procedures to you in plain English, not tech-speak, so you can learn how to handle challenges on your own. Or, if you prefer, you can delegate tasks to them.

They can help you make sense of custom reports, help you set up forms to collect all the information you need from a submitter, teach you how to contact reviewers through the on-board email system, and much more. They’re here to help you with anything abstract management that’s troubling you.

Do you have a story about how Brandon, Jill, or John helped you with abstract management? Share your story in a comment below!

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