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.

6 Tips for Bringing Your Conference Attendees Back

 

Having a successful conference is a top priority for meeting planners. But what makes a conference successful? As part of our recent industry survey, we asked association professionals what they viewed as their top conference goal. “Increasing conference attendance” was by far the most popular response. (The complete results of the survey are available for download in our 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report.)

“Increasing conference attendance” can’t be done by focusing solely on attracting new attendees. You need to make sure that your previous conference attendees return, as well. Yet, many associations fall into a pattern of repeating the same things they’ve done in the past. This type of “conference rerun” can deter members from returning to your events. Don’t stick with what you know! Here are 6 tips to get your members excited to return to your next conference.

Bring in new speakers with an open call

According to our report, 27% of associations use an “invite only” speaker selection process, as opposed to open calls. Holding an open call for papers doesn’t just help you find new and up-and-coming speakers, it can also help your members stay engaged and active in your association by giving them the chance to play a role in your conference.

Don’t just invite the same people back year after year. Bring in new types of conference speakers with diverse job functions or points of view to keep your presentations fresh.

Provide fresh content and messages

No one wants to return to a conference that covers the same material as the previous year. Industries are always changing, and to stay relevant, your conference content should keep pace with those changes, as well. Choose timely topics that have groundbreaking research or are in the news. Highlight new regulations, trends, best practices, or case studies.

Aim to teach your attendees something brand new each year by dedicating a part of your conference to a new and trending idea.

Give your attendees a voice, too! After your next conference, ask attendees what they would like to learn in the future.

Use different themes for each year’s conference

Having a special focus lets conference attendees get in-depth information on a particular topic. Themed conferences can help differentiate one year’s conference from the previous year and make your event memorable.

To come up with a theme, choose a broad topic that is relevant to your industry and that generates wide interest. For example, a restaurant association may hold an event with a food safety theme.

Offer new ways of delivering your conference content

Changes in technology mean that content formats are always shifting. Association professionals see this shift in the changing preferences of their attendees. What worked in the past is not guaranteed to be the best option in the future.

Take a new approach to how you deliver content at your conference. In addition to traditional printed materials, offer content on a mobile event app, digital content library or USB. This blended approach allows conference attendees to choose the format that best suits their learning style. You may even want to send a survey to your past attendees to see what kinds of formats they prefer or would like to see in the future.

Change up the way you run your sessions

Conferences provide attendees with a lot of information. Sitting and listening can be tiresome. Keep your conference fresh by offering a variety of session formats, such as workshops and roundtables.

While you’re asking your attendees about their content and format preferences, ask what other types of sessions they’d like to see next year. This can add another layer of engagement and may help your attendees feel like a part of the process.

Use your conference content to market for next year’s event

The life of your our content doesn’t have to end with the event. Re-use these educational materials year-round to stay on your attendees’ radars. Ask speakers to help promote your event on social media before and after your conference by providing new content specifically for your marketing purposes.

Only 55% of associations currently re-use content from their conference for any purpose. Don’t miss an opportunity to generate awareness and build excitement for next year’s event.

A quick survey of your previous conference attendees can provide some great insights on how to tailor your event to the most important people in your organization—your members—and increase return attendance from year to year.

Read the full 2018 State of the Conference Industry report to learn other best practices and challenges that conference professionals face before, during, and after their event.

Is Your Annual Conference Fulfilling Your Attendees’ Needs?

Conference attendees expect a lot out of your association’s annual event, don’t they? So, how do you make sure you are not only meeting your attendees’ expectations, but exceeding them?

If you took a Psych 101 class back in college, I’m sure you learned about Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” theory states that human motivation is based on individuals seeking fulfillment and change through personal growth. Further, Maslow explained that an individual could not achieve needs at the top of the hierarchy before meeting the basic needs at the bottom of the hierarchy.

As a meeting professional, you understand planning an annual conference is about more than booking a venue and choosing a caterer. It’s about creating an experience where industry professionals can take away vast knowledge from experts to share with and improve their organizations.

Conference Attendees’ Hierarchy of Needs

Here’s how Maslow would explain how to create the full attendee experience at your annual meeting:

Hierarchy of conference attendee needs

5 Steps to Fulfilling Your Attendees’ Hierarchy of Needs

Step 1: Physiological

This is the no-brainer. In order to meet your attendees’ most basic needs, you need to provide food, beverage and rest. Food and beverage can be taken care of by booking a caterer, but are your conference sessions scheduled back-to-back? Make sure you add 15-minute breaks throughout the day to allow conference attendees to get a drink of water, recharge their brains or use the restroom without having to miss out on speaker presentations!

Step 2: Safety

Again, this is a meeting planning basic. You need to provide a shelter for your annual conference to give your attendees a sense of safety and well-being. Choosing a safe venue with nearby lodging for overnight stays in critical. And, as you know, holding your actual conference at a hotel where attendees can stay ensures their ultimate comfort and safety.

Step 3: Belonging

Once the basic needs are met, it’s important to fulfill your attendees’ social needs. One of the main reasons attendees go to your annual meeting is to network with other industry professionals, so make sure you are scheduling plenty of networking time!

Step 4: Esteem

Next, you need to make sure attendees feel confident, accomplished and respected. You should always be looking for opportunities to allow attendees to contribute to your conference. Sessions should consist of two-way conversations between the speakers and attendees. They should engage with games, surveys and break-out sessions. Your conference should also have an active Twitter hashtag for the event along with an event mobile app to get attendees to participate and contribute virtually.

Step 5: Self-Actualization

Are you providing your attendees with innovative ideas and knowledge that they can bring back and implement in their organizations? The knowledge doesn’t end when the conference does, which is exactly why your session handouts, recorded sessions and conference proceedings need to be made available in a digital publishing platform. If attendees can access conference materials online year-round, they are more likely to implement what they learned. By providing innovative ideas that advance their organizations, attendees will reach the ultimate self-actualization.

 

How is your association making sure you are fulfilling all the needs of your conference attendees? Let us know in the comments section below!