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.

Best of the Blog 2017: Planning to do More with Your Event Content

(Editor’s Note: Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting the most popular blog posts from 2017.)

Some of our most popular posts this year focused on planning your next conference. Each of these articles offered ideas on how to leverage the single greatest value your event provides: educational content. Whether you are looking to promote your event with social media, find new ways of engaging attendees at your conference or ensure members return to next year’s meeting, take a look at these articles for suggestions on how to do more with your valuable event content.

 


 

Infographic:  Promote Your Event With Conference Content Marketing

You know social media is a great tool for promoting your conference and engaging attendees. But do you know which network is best for sharing specific types of conference materials? Take a look at this infographic to see which social media networks are the best fit for promoting your event with existing conference content.

Start Sharing Content »

 


Call For Papers

Infographic: 10 Easy Ways to Promote Your Call For Papers

Attracting the best speakers to your conference can be tricky; especially if they aren’t aware you are accepting submissions. View at this infographic for 10 easy ideas to help you promote your Call For Papers. Try a mix of these traditional and creative ways to widen the pool of speakers for your next event!

Promote Your Call »

 


State of the Industry

2017 State of the Conference Industry Report

Discover how association professionals increase attendance and engage attendees with content before, during and after their conferences. Read the 2017 State of the Conference Industry Report now to learn which formats your peers use at their conference, the most popular ways they re-use content, and the challenges they face as they use content in an expanded role.

Get The Report »


Bring Conference Attendees Back

6 Tips for Bringing Your Conference Attendees Back

Association professionals want to increase conference attendance, but it takes more than just focusing on attracting new members. Your existing members play an important role, too. Follow these 6 tips to ensure your members return to your organization’s events year after year.

Bring Them Back »

 


Omnipresence

Create Conference Sponsorship Opportunities That Benefit Everyone

Attendees want choice when it comes to your conference materials, but your budget may say otherwise. Learn how sponsorships reduce the cost of offering content in a variety of formats.

Create New Opportunities »

 

7 Creative Ways to Crowdsource Data With an Abstract Management System

 

If your association uses an online abstract management system to collect, review and manage your call for papers, you know just how valuable it is. What you might not know, though, is that the uses for this system don’t stop when your annual conference does. That’s right—the same system that collects your abstracts and papers can be used year-round to crowdsource data that benefits your association.

At its core, an abstract management system is a tool to help you collect and review data from many different sources. Using this tool for more than just abstracts can help save you time and reduce collection-related headaches down the road. Any project where you need to collect information from multiple people can be made more efficient by using a collection system.

Here are seven scenarios where an abstract management system can help you crowdsource data:

Sponsor or exhibitor information

When preparing for your annual conference, you aren’t limited to collecting information for your speakers or presenters. If you’re compiling a directory or program that includes your sponsors or exhibitors, you can create forms to collect all of that information in the same place! This is a great way to consolidate the number of places you collect information for your annual event and make planning much more efficient.

Scholarship or grant applications

If your association presents scholarships or grants, consider using your system to collect those applications. You can have them reviewed as if they were abstracts and even put them through multiple rounds of review to determine finalists.

Directories

Do you publish a directory annually or once every few years? If so, you know how big of a headache collecting reliable information from your members can be. Imagine being able to set up a form to collect member information that you can efficiently organize and pull out for publication later.

Board nominations

When electing new members to your association’s board, getting countless nominations can be cumbersome to manage on paper or in an email. Use your abstract management system to collect and review board nominations each year.

Survey or feedback

Whether you’re looking to collect feedback on your annual conference, your continuing education courses or just general feedback about your organization (or all three!), using your system to conduct a survey is a great way to keep all of that information in one place.

Call for bids

When it’s time to set up a call for bids for a project your association is working on, managing all of the responses can be challenging. Collecting your vendors’ bids through your collection site can help you more efficiently review them and select who to hire. Bonus tip: You can designate certain fields to be required, making it less likely that vendors will submit incomplete bids

Competitions

If you run a competition that requires organizing and reviewing multiple submissions, whether it’s for writing, projects or anything else, your abstract management system can collect all of the documents and files you need to judge each submission choose finalists and select a winner.

 

There are virtually no limits when it comes to collecting, reviewing and managing submissions or information from your association’s members. Because abstract management systems make it easy to crowdsource data, using the same streamlined process to handle these other cumbersome projects can make your job easier year-round!

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

5 Types of Conference Speakers to Improve Your Next Event

 

Conference speakers are one of the focal points of your annual event. They provide insights, research and, most of all, value to your attendees. Speakers set the tone for the rest of the conference—if you invite a really great speaker, your attendees will be even more excited for the rest of the event.

One major challenge event professionals face is finding speakers who are unique and engaging. You want to think outside of the box for your event presenters and invite people who will provide an interesting perspective to start your conference.

Why are unique conference speakers so important?

Attendees don’t want to see the same presentations over and over. There are two major types of “obvious” speakers who present at conferences. The first are people who are prevalent and well-known in the industry—everyone knows who they are and have likely heard them speak at other industry conferences (or yours) in the past. The second are the tried-and-true speakers who seem to be at every conference, even if they aren’t directly related to your industry. Bringing in these types of people may make members rethink returning to your conference next year.

Instead, inviting unique speakers will engage your attendees. Interesting presentations help people retain more information. The best speakers will have people talking about the presentation long after the event, which helps boost your association’s reputation. Plus, nobody wants to miss out on a great keynote, so members will likely want to come to future events to experience it for themselves.

Here are five types of conference speakers who can help improve your event:

  • The Industry Outsider: Oftentimes, unrelated industries face similar challenges to yours but likely tackle them in different ways. Find a speaker from outside of your industry who can provide insights on how to solve the same problems in new ways. Both the speaker and their knowledge will be new to your members!
  • The Fresh Perspective: Similar to the tip above, people in other industries harness similar skills and can offer a fresh perspective. Invite a speaker from outside your industry who can share important skills and how to best develop them. For example, event planners could learn a new method of time management from nurses, who are experts at prioritizing.
  • The Skilled Pro: Sometimes conference speakers don’t think to speak about their skillsets because they use them every day and forget other people don’t have them. Have a speaker talk about a new skill that could benefit people in your industry.
  • The Creative Presenter: Sometimes it’s not what the speakers say, but how they say it that grabs attendees’ attention. Speakers that give their presentations in a fun and creative way can often help members retain more information and entertain them.
  • The Futurist: It’s important for your attendees to know about current events and what will affect them in the next few months. But, if a speaker has a keen eye for future trends and can give a more long-term perspective, attendees will likely be very interested.
  • BONUS! The Unexpected: Just like this unexpected sixth tip, invite someone your attendees would not expect to speak at your conference or who has a really interesting story or perspective. Including the unexpected will interest your attendees and keep things fresh.

If you invite engaging speakers to your conference, your attendees will be more likely to return year after year. Show your members you provide value by booking presenters with valuable insights and skills to share. Don’t let an “obvious” speaker set a boring tone for your event. Ask yourself, what feeling do we want our conference to give to attendees? Make sure to bring in speakers who are unique and will provide that feeling from the start.

What kinds of conference speakers do you like to invite to your events? Leave us a comment!

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

The Countdown to #ASAE16 Continues!

As we’ve mentioned before, this year will mark Omnipress’ tenth trip to ASAE’s Annual Meeting. We love having the opportunity to talk with association planners about the high-stakes challenges that arise during The Life of a Conference:

  • How will you handle the inevitable last-minute submissions?
  • Will you be able to get your materials printed before time runs out?
  • Who will upload and organize all your conference content online?

Omnipress has always been a resource for finding a solution to these kinds of questions, and at ASAE this year, we are ready to share our newest offering to help you source and produce high-quality conference content!

If you will be at ASAE this year, don’t miss the big reveal! Be sure to request an appointment for a one-on-one conversation on how this new offering will help your conference.

Working with hundreds of associations over the years has given us a unique perspective on what it takes to create a great conference. We’ve been working hard to turn that experience into something that helps conference planners collect and manage conference content, and we’re excited to unveil the results with our friends at ASAE this year!

PS: If you are not attending ASAE this year, this blog is the next best place to learn about what’s new! Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing the big news along with plenty of details to get you up to speed on what we’ve been working on. Stay tuned…

We’ve got some great news to share at #ASAE16!

Here we are, already more than halfway through the summer season (if, like us, you define summer as the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day). Which means it’s time to start packing our bags for #ASAE16—one of our favorite events of the year!

As an organization, this will be our tenth year at the ASAE Annual Meeting. Although you could consider us to be event veterans by this point, every year we are amazed by the level of energy, excitement and passion that permeates throughout each session. It’s truly contagious, and reminds us why we love working with associations each and every day.

But what we’re most excited about this particular year is what we will have to share with you. Of course, we can’t reveal too much yet. But we have been very busy over the past several years listening to associations, speaking with conference planners, and identifying opportunities to make the job of sourcing and producing high-quality program content easier than ever. The results of our work will be revealed for the very first time to you, our ASAE friends, at our booth (#724, to be exact). And we can’t wait to share!

Don’t forget to book your one-on-one appointment to get a personalized demo of what’s new.

We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

Book Binding 101 for Conference Materials and Educational Publications

Lesson number one: Saddle stitch has nothing to do with horses or needlework. If you were surprised, please continue.

Whether you’re designing a conference program or syllabus for your next meeting or even a new training manual, there are many different bindings you can choose from. Selecting the best one starts with knowing what they are and when they work best.

 

Plastic Coil Bindingplasticoil-binding

Looks like: Remember the silver coil notebooks we bought as kids at the beginning of each school year? That’s plastic coil binding… Except the only difference is instead of the metal coil, the coils are now plastic.

Why we love it: It lays flat making it perfect for those seminars and training sessions. It allows the user to flip the book in half for easy note taking. They also ship well as the plastic coil is more forgiving than the metal coil. Additionally, plastic coil comes in a variety of colors and has the option to accommodate tabs and dividers.

When to use it: When note taking is key or the book must lay flat on the table. Also, if your room configuration does not have tables, or has theater-style seats with the pull-up half desks. It’s great for those cool conference learning journals that combine the program and pages for note taking.

 

Perfect Bindingperfect-bound-binding

Looks like: Perfect bound books are the soft-cover books from our college days, or the ones we find at our favorite bookstore.

Why we love it: They have the professional look for an affordable price. With the text on the spine, they are easy to find amongst all the other books on a bookcase. Like plastic coil, perfect binding also allows the option for tabs and dividers.

When to use it: Best for proceedings, reference manuals, and educational publications.

 

Saddle Stitchsaddle-stitch-binding

Looks like: Saddle stitch resembles a magazine with two center staples on the spine.

Why we love it: It’s great for lower page counts under 88 pages, and it also lays flat.

When to use it: Conference programs, journals, conference marketing brochures, or other titles that have a limited number of pages. If you desire text for publication on the spine, this isn’t for you.

 

Case Bindingcase-binding

Looks like: The hardcover textbooks we lugged around in college.

Why we love it: Very professional in appearance which normally lends itself to higher retail pricing. It’s ideal for high page counts.

When to use it: Textbooks, manuals.

 

 

Other Binding Types (we don’t favor):

Tape Binding: It’s a lower quality version of perfect binding with a high risk for pages falling out.

Plastic Comb Binding: This is the lower end version of plastic coil spiral binding. Maybe it’s perfect for a college paper, but when it comes to your educational and conference books… It’s “cheap.”

Which binding have you found works the best?

5 Questions to Ask When Selecting a New Abstract Management System [Infographic]

Selecting an abstract management system is an important item on your conference planning to-do list. The right online system not only makes your tasks easier, but can improve your submitters’ and reviewers’ experience, as well.

So how can you quickly tell if a particular collection system will work for your association?

Tech specs are important, but here are five specific questions that will help you identify which solution is the best fit for your organization.

 

5 Questions to Ask When Selecting a New Abstract Management System Infographic

Take Our2022 Training
Trends Survey

Each year, Omnipress collects data from training professionals to benchmark educational content trends. The results will be published in our annual Training Trends Report in early April.

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