Sharing Conference Materials After an Event… Missed Opportunity?

 

The chairs are folded. The hum of the fluorescent lights has come to a halt. Attendees, sponsors and speakers have gone back to their associations and offices. And just like that, your conference is over.

Nothing remains of the conference which took so long to prepare for…except all of the content you spent months collecting!

Are you missing an opportunity here?

What is your association doing with your valuable conference materials after an event? Many organizations fail to repurpose event content and thus, miss a major opportunity to keep the event at the forefront of attendees’ minds.

Don’t let your content fall to the side. Here are four creative ways you can share conference materials AFTER the event.

House material on a searchable website

In addition to handing out conference materials to each attendee at the event, it’s good practice to upload the materials online where all attendees can access it after the fact. Putting your content online allows attendees easy access to whatever materials you’d like to share, whether that’s this year’s materials or all event materials from the past.

Sharing conference materials online also increases the chances of someone discovering your association. Google searches can pull up your content, meaning more people will have the ability to find out about your organization. Even if your content is gated with a password, potential members and attendees looking for industry-specific information will come to know that your association is the place to look and may even join to gain access to it.

Use content to promote your conference on social media

Many of your attendees, speakers and potential members are active on social media, providing you with easy-to-use, free platforms to keep them engaged. The possibilities for sharing conference content on social media are nearly endless; you can summarize key points or interesting facts, provide eye-catching graphics and share links to content hosted online to remind attendees of your content and keep them interested.

If you want to learn more about sharing conference content on social media, our whitepaper,  “Promote Your Event with Conference Content Marketing,” has many more tips and concrete ways to use these platforms.

Repurpose event content on a blog

If your association hosts a blog, it can be the perfect place to repurpose event content and keep the conversation going. Blogs can easily be used to post transcripts, video or audio of the conference, or even just takeaway points from the speakers. Blogging is great for marketing your event, as well. Those who didn’t attend can read about what happened to give them some insight on what they missed.

The content doesn’t just have to come from you, either. Invite industry experts to write a wrap-up of the event or to provide further information about a topic that they discussed.

Create a webinar based on popular themes from the event

A webinar or web series is a way to provide another layer of depth to a particular topic of interest from the event. Use feedback from event surveys to find out what topics your attendees were really interested in and create a webinar about how this topic applies to a current event in your industry or deep-dive into one specific aspect of the topic.

This is also a great way to expand your event’s reach. Your association can decide to offer the webinar or web series to a larger group than those who attended your event, meaning non-attendees can access it and hopefully become interested enough to attend next year.

Sharing conference materials extends your event

You spend months collecting and reviewing content to distribute at your annual event, but it doesn’t have to end once your conference does. Avoid missing an opportunity for engagement by repurposing your event content and sharing it with attendees and non-attendees alike.

4 Reasons Your Conference Printing Should Start—But Not End—With Advance Programs

One of our central tenets at Omnipress is that different media are better for different purposes. That’s why it’s important to have a multi-faceted approach to your conference content. Online conference materials are a great resource for accessing abstracts and papers before and after an annual meeting, for example, whereas conference apps help attendees optimize the networking and social aspects of the event.

In our extensive work with hundreds of associations each year, we have found that one of the best uses of print media is marketing your conference using advance programs. Why should your association send out advance programs?

Printed materials have serious impact.

Have you noticed how you’ve become more excited about mail, and less so about email, over the past several years? The same is true of your members! What’s old is new again. A high-quality, colorful printed preview of your association’s conference can make a big splash!

Packing and shipping the advance programs doesn’t have to be your concern.

Omnipress isn’t just great at printing your programs; we can get them where they need to go, too. For final programs, that’s usually the conference site. For advance programs, it’s the members’ offices or homes. Just give us a list and we’ll take care of the rest.

Branding starts long before your attendees arrive at the conference.

You start your annual meeting’s Twitter hashtag before attendees walk through the convention center doors. Do the same with all of your branding, starting with your advance program. Incorporate the colors, logos, and themes of your association and your conference. Build your brand from the first communication and, for best results, stick with the same provider for your content outputs for the greatest consistency.

Advance programs are, as the name suggests, just the beginning.

Omnipress can take care of all of your conference content needs, including all of the following: abstract management, conference printing (advance and final programs, proceedings, brochures, handouts, pocket agendas, and more), USBsonline conference materials, and conference apps. Yes, all of that from a single company!

Advance programs provide that sneak-peek that potential attendees are looking for. Long-time attendees get excited about the annual meeting that’s right around the corner, and first-timers or past attendees who are on the fence can see the educational and networking opportunities they have in store. That may be enough to push them to register and maybe talk some colleagues into doing the same.

3 Ways to Increase Mobile Event App Downloads

 

Conference halls are full of attendees obsessively checking their email, Facebook and Twitter accounts, frantically searching for a power outlet to charge their dying iPhones and asking about Wi-Fi access and passwords.
According to Pew Research, as of September 2012, 45% of American adults own a smartphone and 25% own a tablet.

The fact attendees are captivated with their smartphones and tablets should not be a deterrence from your annual meeting; it should be yet another opportunity to reach your attendees through a mobile event app.

The Challenge of Mobile Event App Adoption

There is no question; mobile event apps are going to continue to increase in popularity. In fact, in Omnipress’ 2012 Mobile Event App Survey, 80% of organizations stated they will provide a mobile event app within the next two years.

The challenge many associations and organizations that hold meetings are facing is how to market their mobile event app. In other words, how can meeting professionals increase the adoption rates of their mobile event apps, in turn, maximizing their ROI?

3 Ways Associations Market Mobile Event Apps

  1. Make sure your mobile event app is live 30 days before the conference.
    Of course, there is no exact number of days before your meeting that your mobile app should launch. It will vary depending on what your mobile objective is, but having your app available early will allow for more time to build interest and engage attendees around your event. Remember: You can always update content easily as you get closer to your conference.
  2. Optimize your mobile event app for all devices.
    Unfortunately, technology is taking attendees in all different directions: iPhones, Android phones, iPads, Kindle Fires and countless other devices. In order to make your mobile event app accessible to your attendees, you need to make sure it is optimized for the devices your members are using. While it may not be realistic to optimize for all devices, make sure your mobile app is optimized to reach the majority of your attendees.
  3. Include a call to action on your conference website.
    Include a large call to action (CTA) on the homepage of your conference website to make sure visitors know you have a mobile app for your conference. Your CTA should link directly to the place(s) where they can download the app.

Does your organization use a mobile event app? How do you get members to use it?

5 Reasons Google Webmaster Tools are Essential for Conference Websites

Take a moment and think about how many times a day you use a search engine.

Do you Google? According to Experian, out of approximately 15 billion searches done every month, 65% of those are done on the search engine powerhouse, Google. That’s fewer than 10 billion searches every month that Google processes and puts in front of searchers.

Google Webmaster Tools are essential tools you must use in order to give your conference website the best chance to rank highly (other than good SEO practices, of course). All you need to do is simply install a small piece of code or upload a small file to your site, and Google is handing over some extremely important information.

Here is some of the great information Google Webmaster Tools provides:

  1. Search Query Stats
    Ever wonder how well your conference website is doing on Google? Webmaster Tools tell you how many impressions your site gets, as well as how many clicks those impressions generated. You can also see which keywords are generating the most traffic to your site.
  2. Sitemap Submitter
    You can submit a sitemap directly to Google. This means you’re giving the “boss” of search engines all of your information and asking them to “take a look.”
  3. Crawl Errors and Stats
    Webmaster Tools supplies you with in-depth information about the errors on your conference or annual meeting website, such as “Not Found” errors. It also gives you helpful graphs showing how many pages the Googlebots have been active on in the last 90 days.
  4. Links to Your Site
    This great tool allows you to see where you are getting links from and how many exist. In SEO, this is huge because incoming links from well-respected sources are a must for high rankings.
  5. HTML Improvements
    Webmaster Tools will allow you to see improvements you should make in accordance to SEO rankings. In other words, Google is actually telling you what it wants you to do to increase your search engine rankings.

Using Google Webmaster Tools will help your organization better understand your website and its search engine rankings. To help your website get in front of as many potential members as possible, try these tools out for yourself!

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Get Attendees to Network Before Your Conference

I recently read a fantastic article by Bernie Mitchell entitled, “5 Ways to Break the Ice with Social Media at Events,” which talked about how meeting and event professionals can get attendees to network and “break the ice” before the conference with social media.

In short, Mitchell suggested:

  1. Creating a unique Twitter hashtag and promote retweeting
  2. Recording speaker video interviews or a podcast and write blog posts
  3. Collecting attendee Twitter handles and reach out individually
  4. Asking questions on Twitter to get attendees engaged and interacting
  5. Making sure attendees know about the hashtag before the conference

Yes! I couldn’t have put it better myself, but I do think we’re missing a #6, which might make 1-5 a little easier.

6. Create an online event community for attendees to network.
Online event communities are the one stop shop for all your attendees’ conference needs. Give your attendees (and speakers, sponsors and exhibitors) an online hub where they can create user profiles, develop their personal conference itineraries and connect with other attendees who are scheduled for the same sessions. Then, post the conference final program and session handouts onto the branded homepage of the event community next to your Twitter wall and blog posts, and there you have it a one-stop social media shop!

Online Event Communities – Help Attendees Avoid the Awkward Silence

Social media has been a gift to meeting planners and attendees alike. Social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have provided attendees a virtual place to get the introductions out of the way. Attendees no longer need to go into an annual conference not knowing anyone (which is a blessing if you’re anything like me and a little shy). Plus, this increases the quality of conversations at the actual meeting, allowing attendees to get right into the conference content.

Not sure if an online event community is exactly what your association is looking for, but you still want a place to put speaker presentations or proceedings online? Read here to find the right place to put conference materials online.

 

Learn About Using Social Media for Events

Yes, this is an advertisement for Engage365.org, but let’s move beyond that.

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. It might have something to do with people enjoy watching videos. Creating fun little videos like this is a bit more entertaining, yet it shares the same message as this:

<be sure to hum a dramatic tune while reading>
Currently meeting planners and associations are having to deal with a decrease in event attendance. And that makes people a bit nervous. Using social media is proven to help increase event awareness and attendance. But, many meeting professionals don’t understand social media or how to use it effectively for their events. They need help understanding social media for events and how to engage attendees. Engage365 is a great resource for meeting professionals.

Engage365.org – Social Media for Events Community

YouTube makes it easy for your to tell a story… It’s called YouTube search stories. If you’ve ever “googled” anything, then you’re qualified to create these free videos. Pretty neat, eh?