Printing materials for your association’s annual meeting is one of the last pieces to fall into place. And it’s not for lack of planning—it’s a necessity. Speakers are notorious for getting final presentations in at the last minute. When the last one hits your inbox, the scramble begins to get programs printed and shipped so they’ll arrive at the venue in time.
Do you ever wonder if conference printing have to be this hurried and stressful every time? You’re right to question the process. You haven’t been doing conference printing wrong, but there is room for improvement, even if you can’t get presenters to submit their materials on time.
We have been printing conference content for 40 years, and we’ve developed best practices along the way. For example, we recommend that you start the conversation with your printer before you start collecting content.
You might think that collecting materials and printing programs have nothing to do with each other, but that’s not true. When you talk about collection with your printer first, they can give you suggestions on how to structure your collection process to make the organization, formatting, and output of content into print-ready files as easy as possible.
What else can you do to set yourself up for conference printing success?
Read Managing Print Projects: Five Tips for Success, our new whitepaper, for more tried-and-true recommendations. Leave a comment to let us know what you think!
Does your association hold a fall conference? We have found that October and November are among the busiest months for annual meetings, though many take place in September as well.
So, not to bring up a sore subject, but how is it going putting together conference content for the fall meeting? Do you have a printer set up? Are you planning to give away USBs, but haven’t chosen a vendor yet? Are you going to offer an app this year?
I’m sure you need no reminder that this is crunch time. What I’d like to offer is a solution to your conference content woes: a company of people who work as hard as you do.
Omnipress turns around projects so fast, you’ll wonder why you ever chose a different provider. We can’t make any promises until we hear the details of your situation, but if you need it yesterday, odds are that Omnipress can make it happen.
What do we do especially fast? So glad you asked!
- Conference printing: Got print-ready PDFs of your conference materials? We can get them on press and out the door to your meeting site in days. Let us show you where quality and quickness intersect.
- USBs & CDs: Our duplication software makes quick work of creating physical digital goods for your meeting’s goodie bag. Reach out to us today to get the ball rolling!
- Conference apps: Our proposal cites a lead time of 4-6 weeks for apps, but we’ve been known to get them ready faster, if we expedite the approval process. If you are looking to add an app this year but fear it’s too late, give us a call. There may still be time to get it done for you, to your attendees’ delight.
Online conference materials and abstract management usually require longer lead times. You’re probably all set for them this year, if you used them.
But what about next year? If Omnipress customer service and responsiveness impressed you on a fall conference program, just imagine how easy the whole process could be if you worked with us from start to finish.
If your conference is right around the corner and you need help ASAP, consider Omnipress your saving grace. We have served other associations that were under tight deadlines and surpassed their expectations.
We would love to do the same for you.
If you’re preparing for a fall conference, you barely have time to read this post. You may be feeling overwhelmed and lost. You might wonder how you’re going to get everything done and still get home in time to tuck your kids in for bed, and that’s a very frustrating position to find yourself in.
The more you can push off your plate, the better, even if it’s going to cost a little more than you were planning to spend. Isn’t your sanity worth it?
Take formatting of printed materials for your conference, for example. If the thought of setting margins and fighting with image resolution makes you want to throw your computer monitor at the wall, you’re not alone.
Help is available! Your conference printer may offer formatting services. They’re going to have all of your content anyway, especially if you also worked with them for abstract management. Formatting is just one more step that you can entrust to your helpful provider.
Omnipress can handle the whole process—abstract management, formatting and/or design, and conference printing! Why should you ask us for help with formatting?
- Because organized information is important to you and your attendees. No one likes getting lost in the small print. A streamlined organizational structure will save time.
- Because a clean appearance speaks volumes. It’s hard to find the materials you need if your desk, or your conference program, is messy.
- Because Omnipress employs a team of experienced professionals. Nothing beats the advantage that experience provides. The Omnipress team has seen it all and can help make your conference materials look their best.
- Because a cooperative relationship with your print provider yields better results. Waiting for a provider to get back to you is the worst! Well, no, trying to come to an agreement on printed materials when your vendor just doesn’t get it—that’s what really frustrates you. Skip both roadblocks—work with Omnipress. Customer service is our thing. We know what it takes to get the job done so everyone comes out of the project with a positive result.
- Because better readability will help your attendees get more out of the conference content. How useful is your content, really, if it’s difficult to read? If formatting is more of a hindrance than a help, you’re doing a disservice to attendees. Great formatting makes content better, simply because it’s easier to read.
It’s crunch time for your fall conference. You need help, and you need it now. Improving your final product is the icing on the cake that Omnipress can provide. Your peace of mind and relief at getting out the door for some much-needed R&R is the primary objective.
Let us help you! Contact Omnipress today to get help with formatting and printing of your conference materials.
There’s no doubt about it: conferences are changing, and delivery of content is part of that evolution. Few are the annual meetings where you receive a printed programs on arrival and that’s the end of the story.
Digital delivery is gaining ground, with very good reason. The convenience factor is huge; downloading an app is so much easier for attendees than carrying a printed program everywhere you go during a conference. Apps also help attendees connect with each other, through a social timeline or person-to-person messaging. Building a schedule and referring to it on the phone that already lives in the palm of their hands is a no-brainer.
In Ernie Smith’s recent Associations Now article, The Secret Benefits of Ditching Paper at Events, he suggests that the time has come for paperless conferences. He refers to a 2008 Omnipress white paper—Debunking the Myths of the “Paperless Conference—as an example of a resource that suggests that attendees aren’t ready to give up print. Much has changed in the interim, as Smith concedes, and maybe 2015 is the right time to stop printing and start using apps to share conference content with attendees.
He makes many good points in favor of apps in the article. And yet. Just because you can move to a paperless conference doesn’t mean you should. The role of printed conference materials in an evolving, digital-obsessed world is changing, certainly, but it has not evaporated completely.
We have found, as we provide both printed and digital products to associations, that there are compelling reasons to consider all types of formats—including print—for your conference content.
- Marketing: Many of our customers use save-the-date mailers and advance programs to drum up excitement and entice members to attend the annual meeting. What’s old is new again—sometimes postcards, delivered to mailboxes that see less traffic these days, command more attention than a marketing email in a crowded inbox.
- Learning: Many professionals (including millennials) prefer to read printed materials when they need to learn. Comprehension and retention is better when reading a physical book, compared to a screen. What do your attendees want? Conduct a survey and learn. You might be surprised!
- Posterity: Surely you have some members who have been attending your association’s annual meetings for decades, and have a bookshelf of printed proceedings to prove it. And that’s not just for looks! Print is the best choice for posterity. PDFs in a digital folder just don’t have the same staying power. Just ask that pile of floppy disks in your basement!
- Integration: Print plays nice with other formats. QR codes can lead attendees to download the app or access online-only supplements, like videos and audio content. Long after the app is deleted from the phone by attendees, printed conference materials will have a place at association events.
Before you throw out the (printed conference materials) baby with the (paperless conference) bathwater, think twice. Should a paperless conference be the goal? Maybe not.
Could there be a place for printed materials at my next conference?
Yes, there could.
Yes, there is.
Download our white paper, Millennials & Print, which highlights the results of a 2014 survey of young professionals (age 22-33) who express their preference for reading printed materials for learning.
In case you missed it (ICYMI): Millennials prefer print when they read educational materials.
According to whom, you ask? Young professionals themselves! We worked with a third party to administer a survey to 548 men and women, age 22-33. Here’s a sample of the questions we asked. Want the answers, too? Download the white paper!
- When you read something you need to learn, which do you prefer: print or digital?
- Is it easier to learn from print or digital?
- How much do you agree or disagree with this statement: Printed materials are better for reference.
- How much do you agree or disagree with this statement: When I attend a professional conference, I want a printed program book.
At the risk of belaboring the point, I want to reiterate that the respondents were not in any way connected to Omnipress—or even the association industry at large. Their feedback is real and the results are solid.
Several survey-takers shared quotes, including this one, on the subject of note-taking:
I prefer printed materials because I am able to highlight, mark up, and jot my own notes down next to things that are important. Print materials, I think, are also less strenuous on the eyes. [I] definitely prefer to physically hold something (sounds odd, but I do the same with music—buy the CD then copy to PC so I have both formats). I don’t think you’re able to get the same effect with something in a digital format.
As you head forward into 2015, we invite you to reframe your thinking about event content. Young professionals—the very future of your association—have come out in support of printed educational materials. Get the full story: read the white paper. Comment below with your feedback, or reach out to us and let you know what you think.
We look forward to working with you in 2015! All the best to you, your loved ones, and your association colleagues this year.