3 Ideas to Turn Your Conference Program Book into a Learning, Engagement Tool

The conference program book has historically served as a useful on-site resource for attendees to manage their conference experience. Event-goers can quickly browse the schedule, note sessions of interest, learn about speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors, and find important event details. Today, however, many events also provide this information online and in a mobile event app. Rather than eliminating a printed piece altogether, some organizations have opted to give it a new role at the conference as a tool to support learning retention, facilitate peer connections, and increase attendee engagement.

Below are three examples of how the program book is being used in new ways, taken from and/or inspired by actual conferences that we’ve attended in the past year.

1) From Conference Program Book to Workbook

Meeting planners are always looking for creative ways to reinvent the conference format to promote active learning and collaboration. Your printed book can be used to support this strategy. Instead of including pages for notetaking at the end of the book, turn your entire program book into a hands-on workbook. Include activities from the speakers directly in the book, instead of as separate handouts. Pose questions throughout the pages, such as One new thing I’m going to try is… or Three things I need to share with my colleagues back home are… This will help attendees think about how they are going to apply their newfound knowledge once they get back to the office.

And don’t be afraid to get fun and creative. Many of us admittedly draw and doodle while sitting in a meeting—not because we’re bored, but because, according to some studies, it helps our focus and memory. So, give attendees a place to doodle. Leave some whitespace throughout your pages and let them know that’s what it’s there for.

2) Pass the Book

Small group activities and breakout discussions during a conference session are one popular way to get attendees talking to and learning from each other. The downside to this format is that not everyone in the group participates equally. There will always be those few who happily speak up, the few who hang back, and then everyone else lands somewhere in the middle.

The “pass the book” approach requires every group member to contribute ideas. During the small group activity, each member of the group takes a turn and poses a question, challenge, or situation to their group members they would like peer assistance with. Rather than providing ideas aloud, fellow group members take turns writing their answers in their fellow group member’s conference workbook. The discussion happens after all ideas have been captured. This is not only a unique way to facilitate small group activity, but it also gives each group member a more memorable take-home piece.

Want to inject some more fun into the conference? Take this same “pass the book” idea and give it a high-school yearbook spin that encourages attendees to sign each other’s program books and provide short notes and contact information. Done well, this can create a more meaningful relationships-starter than handing out a business card.

3) Supplemental Learning Material

Take learning beyond the conference by providing access to supplemental educational materials within the program book. Include QR codes (yes, they’re back!) that link to videos or related articles and session materials. You can also turn this into an opportunity to increase engagement with your organization by including videos from your association’s key staff promoting and linking to additional educational resources such as training courses, webinars, and publications.

If you’re looking to make an easier transition from print to digital—while still providing the tactile experience of print—add a companion digital program flipbook to your conference content offerings. Digital flipbooks have become more relevant in recent years, as it’s now easier than ever to incorporate dynamic content such as embedded audio, video, and hyperlinks within printed text.

As you’re thinking about how to structure your next conference to engage participants, create more networking opportunities, and facilitate better learning, think about how you can re-invent and re-imagine your existing tools—such as the conference program book—to play a supporting role.

Tips for Designing an Inspiring Conference Program Booklet

 

Your annual conference is so much more than an agenda of sessions, speakers and networking events. It’s an exciting, energized community of attendees, where innovative ideas are shared and new relationships are forged.  You go to great lengths to convey this excitement and energy on your event website and in your marketing and promotional materials. But the program booklet—as one of the last items checked off a meeting planner’s to-do list—often takes on a more practical and utilitarian format. This may be a huge missed opportunity.

One of the first interactions attendees have with your conference is with the program guide. This booklet, while providing all necessary logistical information for attendees, also sets the tone of the meeting, and helps the attendee prepare for what’s to come. How are you hoping to engage attendees at your event? Do you want them to actively participate in sessions and interact with the content? Collaborate with speakers and each other? Do you want to challenge them or pull them outside their comfort zone? The design of your program book can help promote and facilitate these objectives.

What Inspired Program Book Design Looks Like: An Example from ASAE

asae xdp program book 360 live media
Photo credit: 360 Live Media, www.360livemedia.com

We’d like to give a shout-out to ASAE’s newest conference, Xperience Design Project (xdp). This event for meeting planners focuses on helping attendees re-think their own meetings and find new and innovative ways to deliver educational content.  The branding and promotion of the event certainly communicated this. But as an attendee, I didn’t realize just how different this event was until I started paging through the program book when I first arrived.  I could tell immediately this was meant to be a fun, energizing meeting. This extraordinary program book, designed by 360 Live Media, included design elements such as non-linear text, bold typography, graphic cues and on-page interactive elements, the xdp program book made it clear I was being expected to actively participate in my own learning. I was excited to be there even before the first speaker took the podium.

The takeaway: it’s not just about delivering relevant information to attendees, it’s HOW that information is delivered. Challenge yourself to think about how you can present the schedule, session descriptions, speaker bios, etc., in a way that really makes a lasting impact on attendees and sets the tone for the event, getting them fired up before the first session.

Six Design Pro Tips for Your Conference Booklet

First and foremost, your program book needs to be easy for any attendee to navigate. Think of it as user experience (UX) for printed materials. Beyond that, here are six aspects of your booklet design to consider.

Font and Typography

There is a documented psychology behind font choices and how they trigger ideas and emotions. Serif fonts, such as Times New Roman, convey a feeling of class and heritage, making them appear formal. Sans serif fonts, like Arial and Helvetica, convey a straight-forward, simple and no-nonsense attitude. Modern fonts, like Futura, convey feelings of intelligence and chic style and have been reported to attract the attention of Millennials. The font choice you make throughout your program book should support the overall “vibe” of your meeting.

Also, don’t be afraid to go big and bold with font size in unexpected places. This is a great way to provide an assertion of key ideas and themes that attendees will expect to hear, gaining their buy-in before the meeting starts.

Color and positioning

Within your brand palette, do you have any secondary colors that provide an interesting contrast?  Use these colors to highlight key aspects of your meeting content, make a statement or direct attendees.

Iconography

Icons have emerged as a popular element of design, particularly on the web, because they provide quick and sometimes complex visual cues quickly while minimizing the amount of text needed. Incorporating iconography into your conference program booklet provides consistent visual cues throughout the book that help direct the reader.   Depending upon the icon style being used, you can interject a bit of whimsy to make a more formal-looking program book feel approachable and conversational.

Interactivity

One of the top trends in meeting design for the past several years has been providing a more interactive and collaborative approach to the learning process. Conferences are no longer a place for attendees to simply consume learning; they are active participants. Your conference booklet can help facilitate and promote this approach as well. Sure, providing dedicated pages to take notes is always handy, but can you take it a step further? Provide thought-provoking questions and space to answer them. Include short workbook-like activities in your program book. Or, give them a specific place to take notes about people they’ve met.

Maximize Branding Opportunities Wherever You Can

cesse conference program bookletOne of our own fan-favorite program books features a simple, but impactful change from the previous year—we happen to know this because they are also one of our customers. The Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE) incorporated tabs in their book to make it easy for users to navigate. Taking it a step further, they used what is often blank space to extend their event branding. The flood of bold color and graphics on what is traditionally a blank page helped to reinforce the perception that this is a high-quality, professional conference.

Find Inspiration Outside of Your Industry

Some of the most cutting-edge event designs come from cutting-edge conferences, such as Adobe’s 99U and the Facebook Developer Conference. Take a look at how they are presenting program information and then see how you might be able to scale the execution to fit your audience.

Your conference booklet can—and should—do more than simply provide logistical information. By incorporating a more inspirational design you can help shape the attendee experience well before the opening session begins.

User Experience and Printed Conference Materials

 

The concept of user experience (UX) is most often associated with online or web-based interactions, not printed conference materials. However, the actual definition is much broader than that, and encompasses all aspects of an end-user’s interaction with a company and any of its products or services—whether online or offline.

As meeting planners and event marketers, we take great care to ensure attendees can easily navigate our online conference tools. From finding relevant schedule and session information on the website, to making online registration as simple as possible, to providing the ability to search and download the appropriate conference materials before, during, and after the event.  We understand that every touchpoint we have with an attendee helps shape their opinion of our conference, and affects whether or not they choose to return. So why limit the focus of UX to just their online interactions? To illustrate this concept even more, we dig into managing the user experience of a large piece of printed conference content that we are all familiar with – the conference program booklet.

User experience and your conference program booklet

Your printed conference program booklet is more than just another way to capture sponsorship revenue. Most attendees use this printed content in tandem with digital tools, such as a mobile conference app, which allows them to access content while also being social with other members.  Just like an app or website, attendees must be able to access the information they’re looking for quickly with your printed program, and use the materials as they were intended.  If this is accomplished, you are on your way to having a good user experience with your program book.

Program booklet graphic design

 When managing a print project like a conference program booklet, it goes without saying that the overall design of the book is a key component to usability and the attendee’s experience with it. Layout and formatting should be done in a way that helps guide readers through the material, provides consistent visual cues, and appropriately reflects your brand. Other key aspects of the conference program book’s design that aren’t always top-of-mind are size, fonts, paper, and binding, which all affect user experience.

Before you start the design and production of your next program booklet and other printed conference materials, here are some questions to take into consideration that will help you incorporate UX into your conference materials:

What is the purpose of the conference program booklet?

If it includes abstracts or other content designed for in-depth reading and ongoing reference, creating a book that is thick enough to have a printed spine will help ensure it becomes “bookshelf material” for the attendee after the conference ends.  At the same time, be sure it’s easy to pack in a suitcase for the return trip.

Conversely, if the program guide is meant to serve as a quick-reference tool while on-site, a smaller thinner, or even a pocket-guide piece may be preferable.

Who is your average conference attendee?

If the demographics of your conference tend to skew older, be sure to use a larger font size that is easily legible, even in dimly lit rooms. Avoid pairing colors that don’t have enough contrast, which also decreases legibility.

Some attendees tend to prefer a booklet that is more portable, keeping it in their pocket rather than a briefcase or bag, which may make smaller booklets a smarter choice.

Are you providing added value with your printed conference materials?

If your attendees love having the program booklet as a place to take notes during the conference, then paper stock and binding type matters. Use an uncoated stock for notes pages, as they are easier to write on. Additionally, ensure your piece lays flat. Coil binding works better than saddle-stitch for this purpose.

If your program is a source of revenue for your conference, then you want to give your sponsors (and exhibitors) a chance to stand out, while providing the information that attendees are looking for.  Advertising space should be large enough to feature a meaningful message and help attendees find them on-site.

How much content do you have?

If yours is a large, multi-day and or multi-track conference with a significant amount of content (sessions, speakers, special events, exhibitors, etc.), you want to make your program booklet as easy for users to navigate as possible. Consider including a table of contents at the front, so users can find relevant information easily.

You can include tabs to break up sections of content. Physical tabs sit out further from the book, making them easy to see. However, sometimes this makes the book harder to store. Bleed tabs provide a graphic reference to each section while remaining in-line with the rest of the book.

User experience applies across all attendee touchpoints of a conference. As you’re reviewing and evaluating your online and digital tools, be sure to apply the same scrutiny to your printed conference materials, such as your program booklet, as well.  Doing so will help ensure that attendees have a positive user experience with all aspects of your conference.

To Those Planning Spring Conferences: We’re Here to Help!

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s already time for the March edition of Omnipresence! As the weather outside gets warmer and the days get longer, for those planning spring conferences, the deadlines are getting noticeably shorter.

Every one of us here at Omnipress knows this can be a hectic time of year for meeting planners. If you need materials printed for your spring conference, it’s not too late for us to get it printed, packed and shipped to your event. How can I be so confident we can meet your conference printing deadline? Watch the video to find out!

 


VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

If you’re a conference planner getting ready for your spring meeting, we’re here for you.

What we provide at Omnipress is we provide that 40 years of experience and over 30,000 meetings that we have produced materials for. And we know that it’s more than just taking a print-ready file, putting ink on paper and binding it and getting it to the conference.

We work on tight deadlines, because we know everything is a tight deadline. So we structured our whole business around that. From our project managers working with you on a schedule that fits your needs, to our project techs being able to turn a proof quickly, to our production team being able to take those print-ready materials and move them through our shop and get them to your meeting on time.

Everyone here is passionate about what we do. We work with over 500 associations per year and we understand meetings and how they work and our project managers don’t just take your materials and produce them for you, we’re here to help. So if you have questions for us, we will give you suggestions on how you can do things differently, how you can do things a little bit better, based on the experiences that we’ve had with our other customers.

 

7 Reasons to Choose a Printer That Works With Associations

 

Conference printing is one of the last tasks you have to tackle before your annual meeting begins. And who can blame you? It’s not like speakers wait until the last minute to submit their final presentations, right?

Backed up against a deadline, many associations think their only option is to choose a local printer to do the job. After all, aren’t all printers are the same? Not so fast!

Associations preparing for an event have different needs than other types of organizations. A printer that works with associations recognizes this and offers services that offer faster turnaround times, higher-quality results and more consistent branding designed specifically for an event.

In other words, a printer that works with associations:

Understands that your deadlines are tight.

It only takes one late delivery for associations to understand the value that a specialist printer can provide. Event professionals always run up against the deadline, but printers that work specifically with your kind of organization have production processes in place to handle the quick turnaround. When you work with us, you know that your materials will be delivered on time.

Recognizes that last-minute changes are common, necessary and largely out of your control.

Whether you set the date for final collection a month or a week before your conference, you’ll still get entirely too many late papers. Omnipress gets it. To get your materials to your event on time means there does need to be a final cut-off when materials must be received, but we can push this date later than most providers can. We are experts in dealing with an influx of last-minute changes.

Knows the basics of how conference materials are laid out.

If your program pages come to us print-ready, that’s great! Many associations need help getting there, though, and our team of designers are happy to provide formatting services to make it happen. Just send us a sample of last year’s program and we’ll do our best to match it. We work with hundreds of associations each year, so we’ll have a good idea of how you want your materials to look.

Has seen many variations on the standard conference program.

If you’re looking to create something a little different, odds are, Omnipress has seen it before. But, if you do bring something brand-new to the table, we’ll be well-equipped to handle it. Over the years, our project managers and production team have built up an impressive portfolio, meaning you can have your materials customized and printed in a wide variety of formats.

Knows you have many plates spinning, and that conference content isn’t always your top priority.

Conference planners have many different priorities, but that’s okay, because our top priority is delivering your content. We can help you manage the process with little input from you. We won’t make any major decisions without your approval, of course, but our project managers can take a lot off your to-do list while you’re taking care of other tasks.

Realizes that some people who work with you are volunteers or work part-time.

Coordinating schedules can be tough, even when everyone is in the office at the same time. When volunteers and part-time workers are thrown into the mix, it can be even harder to stay on the same page (sometimes literally!). We understand if the ad pages are being produced on a different timeline than the abstracts, which are trickling in on a schedule all of their own. We are flexible and can revise the program as more pieces are added until everything is ready.

Understands that content is the most valuable asset your association has.

When it comes right down to it, your association’s content is what keeps attendees coming back to your conference every year. When those conference programs or proceedings land in the hands of attendees, your association’s reputation is on the line. It all has to be right, or it’s all wrong, and Omnipress can help you deliver perfection.

 

Does every printer truly understand the specific needs of associations? According to our clients, the answer is no. Associations trust us because we know conferences and can empathize with busy meeting planners, executive directors and other association professionals.

When you choose a printer that works with associations,  you’re investing in the success of your conference, and making your life easier in the process. Learn more about how you can get started working with a specialty conference printer.

Now Available: The 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report

 

We are excited to share the 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report!

For the fourth year in a row, Omnipress has tracked the evolution of conference content and the role it plays at an association’s annual event. This year’s Conference Industry Report indicates that while educational content remains a significant source of value that associations provide, association professionals are facing new challenges as they strive to meet attendees’ changing expectations.

To understand how associations are currently using their conference content, we conducted an online survey of 143 association professionals, many of whom are directly responsible for conference planning.

Download the report to learn:

  • How are associations using content to engage members and increase conference attendance?
  • How are associations deciding which formats to offer at their events?
  • Which types of content are associations currently providing at their conference?
  • Are there common challenges that all associations face delivering their conference content?

Takeaway #1: The annual conference remains a central part of the association’s member growth strategy.

With most associations reporting flat membership growth in 2017, the ability to engage and retain existing members is critical. The annual conference provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the association’s value, and increasing attendance continues to be the number one priority for associations.

Respondents provided some specific areas of focus to increase attendance at their 2018 events:

  • Encourage peer to peer engagement
  • Increase conference quality
  • Update technologies to increase engagement
  • Create more networking opportunities

The opportunity for member engagement extends beyond attending the conference. Associations can provide options for members to participate in other meaningful ways by including an open call for their event. Soliciting presentations from within the association allows the organization to recognize the contributions that members are making in their industry and advance their careers.

Read the full report to learn how other associations use content to engage attendees before, during and after their events.

Quick Tips for Managing Conference Program Printing

 

Conference program materials are often one of the last items to be checked off the event planner’s to-do list. With a very narrow delivery window, there is little room for error. What steps can you take to streamline the printing of your next conference program, avoid common pitfalls and increase the return on your investment?

Take a look at this infographic to learn some quick tips to reduce the stress of your next conference program printing project.

And for more ideas and advice, be sure to read our whitepaper, Managing Conference Print Projects: Five Tips for Success. You’ll get access to the knowledge we’ve gathered from printing conference content for over 40 years. These best practices and tips are the same ideas we share with customers to reduce the stress of this important part of conference planning.

conference print projects

 

Conference Print Projects: From the Infographic

Conference print projects are often the last items to be checked off the conference planning to-do list. Keep these Four facts in mind as your conference program comes together to avoid any last minute surprises.

A Big Pay-Off: Save Money with the Right Paper Stock

A heavier-stock cover separate from the body pages adds expense.
Save money by using a slightly heavier stock for the entire piece, including a self-cover.

Don’t Get Caught In A Bind: Know Your Binding Options A Head of Time

Perfect Bound: Text on a flat spine makes it easy to find on the shelf
Plastic Coil: Lays completely flat, great for notetaking and can contain up to 1,300 pages
Saddle Stitch: An economical option but limited to a maximum of 104 pages

Go Smaller for Bigger Page Counts: A Smaller Finished Size Can Save Your Budget

Double your page count without affecting your budget by turning an 8.5” x 11” piece into 5.5” x 8.5”

Add More Color to Your Piece (without Adding Much Green): The Price of Full-Color Printing Has Decreased

New technology has made conference program printing in full-color significantly less costly in recent years.

 

 

 

 

These Are The Opportunities That Event Sponsors Love

 

Associations are always on the lookout for event sponsors that can help defer some of the expense that goes into the annual conference. And, as luck would have it, businesses in your industry are looking for a cost-effective way to communicate with the attendees at your event. Offering a variety of conference materials at your event is one of the best ways to create the in-demand sponsorship opportunities that these businesses are willing to pay for.

Conference materials like printed program guides, USB flash drives, online conference materials and mobile apps provide opportunities for sponsors to connect with the attendees at your event. View the image below to learn which types of sponsorship opportunities each of these materials provide, along with the benefits they offer to your event sponsors.

 

Turn Conference Materials into Conference Revenue

 

From the Graphic

Title: Turn Conference Materials into Conference Revenue

Sponsorships can have a huge impact on your event’s bottom line. Make sure you know all your options when you talk with potential sponsors!

USBs

Location: Logo Directly on Device Case

Benefit to your sponsors: Provide branding opportunities that last long after the event ends

Print

Location: Inside cover of program guide

Benefit to your sponsors: Attention-grabbing image in a high visibility location

Location: Ads in on-site program guides

Benefit to your sponsors: Promote messages to targeted audience at the event

Mobile App

Location: Activity Feed

Benefit to your sponsors: Creates opportunity for interaction with brand

Location: Push Notification

Benefit to your sponsors: Enables ability to reach every attendee with the app

Location: Sponsor Listing Page

Benefit to your sponsors: Provides recognition for making your event a reality

Online Content Library

Location: Above the site banner

Benefit to your sponsors: Ad can be viewed year-round

Location: Next to content

Benefit to your sponsors: Provide direct link to sponsor’s website

For more ideas on how to turn your conference materials into conference revenue, talk with us today! justask@omnipress.com

Finding the Right Mix of Conference Materials is a Juggling Act

 

Congratulations! You have successfully sourced, secured and scheduled all the session content for your upcoming conference. And from the looks of things, this conference is going to be one of the strongest yet. With one challenge behind you, it’s time to focus on another important decision: finding the best way to get this content into the hands of your attendees. As we’ve seen in our 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report, for many conference planners, this is not as easy as it sounds.

Content Mix Uncertainties

Forty-five-percent of respondents surveyed in the report listed “Offering a mix of formats to meet the needs of all members,” among their top content-related challenges. Digging further into the data, the reason for this seems pretty clear: Meeting planners must juggle the expectations of legacy attendees with the perceived preferences of newer (and sometimes younger) attendees. All while keeping their conference budgets in line, of course.

Unfortunately, having more options for distributing conference materials creates a new question in the minds of planners: Are we offering the right mix? For instance, 85% of respondents currently offer printed conference materials today, but only 42% plan to continue to offer them in the future. Meanwhile, 69% admit that their attendees still want printed content.

And the issue isn’t just limited to print. The report also indicates that planners intend to replace web-based digital content with content delivered via mobile apps. Is this the right decision for the 66% of respondents who report that their attendees want content made available on a website?

Complicating matters even more, attendees themselves aren’t always the best at telling you what they actually want. We have seen many of our customers remove an option from their content mix, believing it to have a low perceived value because of feedback received from attendees, only to face a surprising amount of backlash after the event.  So how do you know what is truly most relevant to your attendees?

Capturing better, behavior-based data

Some of the associations we work with have developed some simple yet effective ways to gauge attendees’ conference materials preference based on observed behaviors. Here are just a few examples that we found worth sharing:

Opt-in to print. Rather than printing program books or proceedings for every attendee, require them to indicate their print preference during registration. Plan to have a handful of extras on-site for those that will inevitably request them after-the-fact. Between the two, you will have a more accurate measure of the true value of your printed materials. Some associations even go so far as to charge a small fee for the printed piece to help offset the production cost.

Set up analytics and conversion tracking for your online materials. You’ll be able to see how many people access content online and when (before, during or after the conference). You can also see how many attendees download session presentations, handouts and other support materials.

Observe attendee behavior in real-time. As any researcher will tell you, the distance between “stated preferences” and “actual behaviors” can be a mile wide. If you can, recruit volunteers or junior staff to observe and record how members interact with content throughout the duration of the conference.

If you’re like most associations, you are catering to the needs of a diverse membership. Which means there may be no single, magic formula to create the conference content mix that appeals to every attendee. But, there are steps you can take to better measure the true value of your conference materials. Doing so can help you make even better decisions moving forward.

Omnipress Feature – John’s Story

At Omnipress we have always valued our people. One of the people at Omnipress that has been here from the very beginning is John Troia.

John has been working at Omnipress in the production department for 33 of the 40 years that we have been in business, so he is a very valuable part of our team.

In fact, there is a picture of him running the Omnimatic printing machine from the early 80’s featured on awall in our office and it is only right that he gets to explain what it means to him.

We hope that you enjoy hearing his story!

Video Transcript

This picture was taken in approximately 1984. If you look at the picture it does speak a lot of volume. The equipment behind me is no longer available. It was cutting-edge technology at the time in the offset you know printing world. If you look at the equipment today compared to what we had back then, 33 or 34 years ago it’s just phenomenal.

Which brings to you know the point of Omnipress what makes it so interesting. Technology we had back then, we are constantly evolving. You have to you know do it so you know the evolution of it to stay on that cutting-edge.

With that being said how it makes it interesting there’s so much difference from day to day let alone year to year, decade to decade. So much of the offset as you see in that picture, the offset process is obsolete.

Everything has gone to digital and even beyond that. So with that being said, there really isn’t a boring dull day at Omnipress technology wise. You know the people are great, good time all around.

Millennials & Print Infographic

Millennials are known for being tech-savvy individuals that are constantly keeping up with the latest technology. It can be easy to assume that this group views printed materials as old news and that you need to deliver your content digitally to gain their attention. In a recent survey, we asked hundreds of Millennials to give us their preferences on print versus digital content at conferences.

Before swapping out all of your printed materials for digital content, take a look at the infographic below to find out if print is still valued by your association’s youngest members.

For a more detailed look at the results of the Millennials and Print survey, download our free whitepaper.

 

Millennials and Print: How and Why Your Youngest Learners Read from the Page

We surveyed 548 young professionals to learn how they prefer to receive conference content. Think you understand Millennials? You may be in for a surprise!

Millennials still value print despite being raised with technology.

  • 89% of Millennials consume print for educational and professional content
  • 50% prefer print when consuming material they need to learn
  • 60% say the type of content dictates how they consume materials

A vast majority of Millennials choose to consume at least part of their content in print.

  • 55% prefer to learn with print and digital content
  • 23% like a combination of print, digital, and audio
  • 9% would choose print only
  • 2% prefer a combination of print and audio
  • 11% prefer other forms of content

The brain processes print and digital content differently, so it is a good idea to offer options to your learners. (Source: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-18/your-paper-brain-and-your-kindle-brain-arent-same-thing)

 

Despite the fact that they grew up with the internet, Millennials are still dedicated to print. In fact, they read more printed books than those 30 and older did in 2014. 88% of Millennials read printed books compared to 79% of those 30 and older. (Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2014/09/PI_YoungerAmericansandLibraries_091014.pdf)

 

Key Takeaway: Give Millennials Options! Millennials still value print, and even sometimes prefer it. It is in your organization’s best interest to give them options when it comes to educational and professional materials.

3 Ways to Provide Value During Your Next Event

People pay a lot of money to come to your events, and that doesn’t even include travel expenses, lodging and time out of the office. It’s a huge investment for anyone to attend a conference, even if it’s a local chapter. Showing clear and evident value is so important these days.

One of the most effective ways of showing clear value and leaving a lasting impressio–so those who attend will come back next year and those who didn’t will see the value–is through your conference content. Providing educational material they can take back to the office and try right away is extremely important. Not only must they be able to learn from the material, but they must be able to access it easily.

So, as attendance continues to slip at conferences across the country, what can you do to make sure those who invest in your conference are getting a return on the investment?

Here Are 3 Ways to Provide Value During Your Next Event:

1) Pre- and Post-Show Access: Your conference material took a lot of time for your speakers and presenters to put together, and there is a lot of value in the lessons they are meant to purvey. So why would you only grant access during the show? Give attendees the opportunity to come prepared by giving access to the materials via a digital publishing platform.

Also, after the event is over, they’ll be able to access the content when they’re back in the office and need a refresher. The best part is, you can allow access to anyone you’d like, whether that be attendees and members only, or the general public.

2) Easy-to-Use Mobile App: Mobile event apps are an absolute must at your conferences these days, but the difference between a successful app and one that simply causes more headaches is ease of use. If your attendees can’t download and be using it within a few minutes, what good does it do? They must be able to share pictures, access and update their itinerary, search venue maps and more without having a doctorate in Mobile App Development. Some of the best apps also make it possible to access valuable conference and speaker materials.

3) High-Quality Printed Materials: Advanced and final programs, conference schedules and conference proceedings are all staples of any conference, but are yours truly high-quality? Those materials with your association or organization’s logo all over them is a direct representation of your company, whether you printed them yourself or not. Make sure your materials are printed on a sturdy stock to last the entire conference, as well as the trip back home.

What are some other unique ways that you offer value to your attendees? I’d love to hear any that have worked well for you and your organization!