The ABCs of USBs: 26 Reasons To Include USBs At Your Next Event


Your conference attendees receive a lot of information during your annual event—so much so that it may be daunting to try to take notes or remember it all. But when you give your attendees a USB drive loaded with all of the content from your conference, you’re giving them an easy-to-use way to revisit what they learned and keep your association top of mind.

There are so many reasons why associations continue to hand out USBs at conferences, it’s as easy as A-B-C!

A – Access to Content: Attendees come to your conference to learn, but they might not be able to remember everything they’re presented with. USBs give them access to your conference content during and after the event so they can revisit it as often as they’d like.

B – Banner Ads: By creating an offline site on your conference USB drive, you can showcase banner ads to promote other events or continuing education programs your association members might be interested in.

C – Custom Options: Your USB drive can be customized for your needs. Choose specific colors, shapes and forms, such as a pen or business card USB.   

D – Diverse Documents: You aren’t restricted to only offering one type of file on your USB. Your drive can hold everything from abstracts to program content PDFs and media files.

E – Engagement: Because the USB holds all of your content, your attendees will be able to routinely engage with and revisit it again and again.

F – Full-Text Search: A full-text search option allows users to easily find the content that matters to them by searching through the entire document text.

G – Giveaway Item: Everyone likes getting freebies. USBs at conferences are a great functional giveaway item that your members can continue to use after your event.

H – Hierarchy: Your conference content can be grouped in many different ways to allow your attendees to find it more easily. Organize content by track, session or author.

I – Interactive: USBs are the perfect way to let attendees search your content and explore what is most interesting to them.    

J – Justification: If you’re still on the fence about USBs, remember that your attendees value your association for your content, and a USB is giving them continued access to it. You can also look for sponsors to help defray the costs.

K – Keywords: Keywords are an important way that attendees will search for content after the event, and full-text search helps them find the content most relevant to what they need.

L – Logos: The exterior of the USB drive can show your association or event’s logo to remind your attendees of your organization. And, banner ads and logos on the offline site can also be branded to match your association.

M – Memorable: A USB isn’t something attendees will just throw away after your event is over. They’ll hold onto it because of its functionality, then remember who gave it to them because of the branding.

N – Navigation: Setting your USB up like an offline website provides intuitive navigation that makes it easy for attendees to find what they’re looking for quickly.

O – Offline: Your attendees won’t need an internet connection to access your content, which comes in handy since event venue wifi is rarely reliable. They’ll be able to find what they need on-the-go, no matter what.

P – Power + USB: The newest addition to the Omnipress USB family is a combination USB and mobile device charger that can charge attendees’ phones and other devices. A combination that is perfect for those jam-packed conference sessions!  

Q – Quickly Find Content: An easy-to-use interface, hierarchical content and full-text search make finding your content quick and easy.

R – Reusable: Your attendees can use your USB giveaway after the event to store their personal or professional data, making it a long-lasting gift. And, your branding will be there to remind them of your association every time they use it.

S – Sponsorship Opportunity: Giving away USBs at conferences can provide you with an opportunity to generate revenue for your association through sponsorships. Put your sponsor’s’ name or logo on the USB device or a banner ad. They’ll love the ability to get exposure to a defined audience on a physical product.

T – Take Anywhere: You won’t find another giveaway item as functional, small and portable as USB drives are. Your attendees can easily take your USB drive with them wherever they go!

U – User-friendly: Navigating technology can sometimes be tough, but your attendees will appreciate the clean, easy-to-use interface and quick search options that help them find what they need.

V – Video: Your conference USB can even hold videos if you’d like to add recordings of past sessions, extra content or even a fun thank you video!

W – Web-like Experience: You can set your USB up to look similar to an online web page. Your attendees with appreciate the familiar web experience without needing an internet connection.

X – XL for All Your Content: If you have a lot of content to store, there’s no need to fret! USBs come in many sizes and offer as much storage as you need.

Y – Your Attendees Love Them: There’s a reason so many associations giveaway USBs at conferences: their attendees love them, and so will yours!

Z – Zilch: The number of reasons not to offer your content on USB!

Now that you have 26 new reasons to give USB drives to the attendees at your next conference, why don’t you see what’s so great about them yourself? Request a sample Power + USB drive from Omnipress and be one of the first to test it out.

Provide Value and Attendees Will Come (and Return!)

Is “Corporate Social Responsibility” important to your events?

Are attendees important your events?

Yes is the answer!

However, when I learn that events are dropping printed educational materials to “be more green”, what I am really hearing is, “We need to save money/reduce costs.”

We know that travel has the largest negative impact on the planet. We know the per cup rate of coffee at some meeting locations are in the range of $10 to $15 per cup. And, we know that attendees are looking for increased value for the hundreds to thousands of dollars they have invested to attend your meeting.

So, why do meeting professionals and educational leaders cut printed conference materials attendees find useful?

Let’s just suppose there is an option to increase value to help justify the current or even a higher price an attendee pays!

MPI to Drop Printed Conference Journals. Really?

After learning that my dear friends at Meeting Professionals International (MPI) wanted to take a more “responsible” approach to their WEC event by not providing their attendees with a Conference Learning Journal, I was shocked.

Let me make this known: I’ve been a MPI member and sponsor since 2004, and I am an MPI fan! And, as an attendee and avid conference go’er to many events each year, I had to respond to what is right.

Here are some excerpts from my email to MPI that I encourage you all to consider when planning your event:

Hi (name withheld to protect the brave MPI-er here),

Thanks for the note. I understand MPI’s thinking on this but I respectfully disagree. Please indulge me for a minute or two on this…

I actually think we should come at the CSR issue in the context of “what is the best attendee experience we can deliver” and then offer things that meet this objective in a responsible manner. I truly think that MPI is doing a disservice to its attendees by removing minimal yet useful tools from the on-site offering.

— Attendees need something to navigate through the event so they will likely print out (on paper) the conference schedule and bring it with them.
— They will likely want to take notes in some of the sessions they attend, which causes them to buy, bring or borrow a note pad to do so (again, paper).

I think a great stance for MPI is to present a value in the form that anticipates an attendees needs and then fills those needs… so attendees come away with the thoughts of, “Wow, they thought of everything and gave it to us in a responsible manner.”

A small printed journal using all recycled materials helps do this and helps attendees walking away with this thought… “Geez, this event is offering less value every year.”

How MPI Responded

MPI thought it over and decided to proceed with a useful, on-site printed tool that will enhance the attendee experience. Now that’s gutsy because it reverses an earlier decision to not produce any printed materials and at the time of their decision when they were only 5 weeks out from the event. Nice work MPI!

Here Are 3 Ways To Better Your Meetings

  1. Design your events to meet your attendees objectives first while considering other guiding principles like CSR, diversity, etc. If you don’t know their objectives, ask them!
  2. Be open to advice from trusted sources, even if it is at the last minute (that’s one of the many things I like about MPI!)
  3. Be open to change, change for the better.

I’d like to hear your stories of how you are maintaining… or better yet, increasing value to your event attendees while still meeting higher level objectives for Corporate Social Responsibility, Green and Diversity.

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