3 Steps That Will Protect the Quality of Your Conference Submissions

 

The annual conference is often the first, and sometimes only, in-person contact your members have with your organization. In addition to providing an exceptional overall attendee experience, it’s important that the educational sessions reflect your organization’s standards for quality, integrity and originality. Particularly if your association frequently competes for members’ attention with less discerning free or low-cost resources found through an internet search.

Some organizations have modified their call for abstracts process to ensure submissions are of the highest quality, and to help weed out those that aren’t. Here are a few examples:

Charge a submission fee

While submission fees can help generate some added revenue for the conference, fees are usually modest enough to have little impact on overall revenue. Many organizations use it simply to discourage submissions from those who are simply “phishing” for any available opportunity.  Some find that it also encourages more thoughtful, thorough and complete submissions from even the most legitimate authors.

Limit per-author submissions

Some planners have instituted a limit on the total number of abstracts one author can submit, ensuring they present only their best work for consideration. Others set limits within their abstract management system that prevents a speaker from starting a new submission until their previous submission is complete.

Use plagiarism detection tools

The internet has made it easier to access, and in some cases “borrow” previously published work. As a result, more and more organizations are turning to plagiarism detection tools such as iThenticate as part of their submission review process. Some abstract management systems (such as CATALYST) can integrate directly with iThenticate, using essentially a one-click process to upload abstracts and papers to their database from within the submission form. Results are returned to the conference planner within minutes.

Top-notch event content is one the most important elements your conference can provide. Making some simple changes to your abstract submission process can help ensure you receive the high-quality materials that reflect your organization’s reputation. Not only will great content help generate interest in your next event, but over the long term, it will continue to reinforce your position as the go-to resource for your industry.

Best of the Blog 2016: Using Conference Content Effectively

If there is one topic you can expect to learn about by reading the Omnipress blog, it’s how important content is to a successful conference. Articles this year focused on effectively using conference content before, during and after your event. Whether you are looking for information on planning for a future conference—or a future generation—these seven articles will point you in the right direction to offer the most worthwhile materials to your attendees.

 


Millennials & Print: Voice of an Association Millennial

All the data we’ve seen paints a nice high-level synopsis of how and when Millennials want their educational content; but, if a Millennial were to read the results, could they reaffirm our findings? To answer that question, we contacted a Millennial that is very active in the association industry.

 

Read her interview


iStock_000061878734_SmallIs Your Annual Conference Ready for Generation Z?

Just when you thought you had figured out Millennials, here comes Gen Z! Gen Z (children born from the mid-90s through 2010) will soon begin joining the workforce. Associations that provide education and networking will be of tremendous value to this generation—as long as you can adapt to their needs and meet them on their terms.

 

Learn about Gen Z


Marketing With Conference Content Part 2Marketing with Conference Content: Part 2 – 3 Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd by Using Images

Adding images to your posts is one of the most effective ways to increase the impact of your messaging. Learn the tools to use, so you can easily add some visual interest to your online profile.

 

See how to use images


Avoid Disaster with these 3 Conference Planning TipsAvoid Disaster with These 3 Conference Planning Tips

Planning a live event like a conference means leaving the “undo” button at home. Last-minute issues are bound to arise, but you can avoid some common worst case scenarios by following these three conference planning tips.

Plan to avoid disaster

 


Conference Learning5 Ways to Continue the Learning After Your Conference

The learning we experience at conferences does not have to end when the conference does. By re-using the content you spent months collecting and reviewing, you can help attendees retain what they’ve learned, energize future attendees, and increase the ROI of your conference materials over the course of the entire year.

Use content in new ways

 


3 Myth-Busting Facts about USBs3 Myth-Busting Facts to Challenge How you Think About USB Drives

You know everything there is to know about USB drives, right? Don’t be so sure! USB drives have been a conference staple for years but there are some common misconceptions about them. See if you can separate myth from fact in this list.

Test your USB knowledge

 


Provide value during a conference3 Ways to Provide Value During Your Next Event

Are you constantly looking for ways to provide more value at your next conference? Here are 3 basic ways to ensure you’re engaging your attendees.

 

Get inspired

 


 

How to Collect High-Quality Conference Content with SMART Goals [Infographic]

 

Attendees come to your conference to learn. Having high-quality educational program content is crucial to having a successful conference… if only it were that easy. Sourcing the best material from your industry takes hard work and a strategic focus. Part of that focus relies on setting goals to constantly improve your results.

You have probably heard of setting SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. But how can you use SMART goals to improve the content that is collected for your conference? What’s the difference between SMART goals and DUMB (Don’t Use Meaninglessly Broad) goals?

Take a look at the infographic below and see how SMART goals can improve the educational content at your conference and how they differ from DUMB goals.

SMART Goals Infographic

3 Steps to Simplify Your Production, Fulfillment and Distribution Process

Stop and think about the process you have in place for distributing your educational publications.

How many steps do you have to go through when moving content from the creator to the recipient? And how many logins do you need to manage that those publications?

If you’re like many of the organizations we’ve seen, chances are, the mere contemplation of the process will give you a headache. You use one system to collect content, a different vendor to produce the final product, a third to manage inventory and fulfillment and possibly a fourth to handle e-commerce. Your system has probably developed piecemeal as you expanded your offerings and reach. And now you’re stuck with a complex series of vendors and systems that you have to manage.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just start over and build a fulfillment process with the components you need and the ability to grow in the future? Our latest white paper, “Simplifying the Production, Fulfillment and Distribution of Educational Seminar Content,” addresses the simplicity of a streamlined process for your production, fulfillment and distribution.

Here’s an excerpt that outlines three steps to simplify your process:

Step 1: Understand Your Needs. The first step to cutting costs and saving time with your process is to clearly identify and understand your needs. You need to ask:

  • How many different publications are you managing?
  • How often is content updated on average?
  • How much material do you ship of each publication over a set period of time?
  • Are you dealing only with printed publications or do you need a digital alternative?

You will also need to understand what information you need to manage your publications.

  • Are there specific reports that you will need to understand and manage production runs, inventory and sales?
  • Will you need an online store to allow end users to make purchases directly from inventory?
  • Will you be charging money on your store or will you just be shipping materials?

Step 2: Define Your Objectives. The next step is to define your objectives in reviewing your publication, production and fulfillment process. Having clearly defined objectives is critical to establishing a process that best meets your needs.

  • Do you want to reduce cost, outsource labor, simplify the process or make it easier for a client to order materials?
  • Are you looking for better reporting on sales and inventory or the ability to update content more frequently?

Step 3: Create an Efficient Process. Once you understand your needs and have established your objectives, you need to create a process to meet your goals. This is often the most complicated step. Some organizations involve various vendors to cover different steps of the project. They may choose a printer or CD replicator for production work, a different vendor to manage inventory and fulfillment and an additional vendor for handling their e-commerce site. It can be nearly impossible to determine if it is more cost effective to produce ultra-short runs of 5-20 units or long runs of 200 units if you use multiple vendors.

The easiest change to make is to consolidate your outsourcing into one or two vendors. By using the minimal number of vendors to produce your content, manage inventory and fulfill your orders, you can better define the run lengths based on the specific needs of your publications.

Creating Content and Being Findable Leads to More Attendees and Members

An event blog and must-read content on your web site are powerful tools for attracting members and attendees.

In a recent Hubspot webinar, “How to Use SEO and Social Search for Lead Generation“, I learned that 45% of companies who blog have gotten revenue from that blog. And, those companies who blog increase web site visitors by 55% over those who do not.

Your association or conference is the same as any other business. You are trying to attract more attendees, sponsors and exhibitors to your event, and members to your organization.

With Google being one of the most popular web sites in the world, being found on the Internet is extremely important.

If you’re considering creating a event blog or updating your existing web site, here are techniques (by time period) shared by Hubspot that can help your web site rank higher in Google.

Pre-2000

  • Use a lot of keywords in your title and body of your pages – technique not used much anymore
  • Use meta data descriptions and keywords – technique not used much anymore

2000 – 2010

  • Use some keywords in your title and body of your pages
  • Create useful content (tips, ideas, etc.)
  • Promote content in social media outposts and via email
  • Use call to action on your pages

2010 – Future

  • Publish more and more content (blogs are great – publish 3-4 times per week)
  • Be active in social media, often
  • Build large volumes of followers in social media
  • Use call to action on your pages

In a nutshell, you need a content marketing strategy and you need to keep moving forward with the plan if you want to keep your organization front and center. And, no longer can you hide behind the fear of social media. Rather you should embrace it as your friend as it is playing an important role in your organization being found and staying relevant.

Three Great Resources on Blogging and Creating Content