OmniPresence: The Land of the Lost (Learning)

Last week, our blog featured a subject that is very near and dear to me: 5 Ways to Continue the Learning After the Conference. As the CEO of a business that serves meeting planners, I spend a considerable amount of time attending meetings and conferences myself. I love to get out and meet our customers and industry partners. I love to collect firsthand knowledge about the challenges and opportunities that associations face. And most importantly, I love to learn—from subject matter experts, and from my peers. It’s how I continue to grow professionally, and how I ensure that Omnipress continues to deliver value to our customers, even as the landscape changes.

When I return to my office I feel energized, invigorated, and excited to put new wisdom into practice. But how long does that energy and momentum last after the conference? Unfortunately, not long enough.

I once read that an estimated two-thirds of learning and/or training gained through conferences and other educational sessions will be lost within 6 months without ongoing reinforcement. I can personally attest that, even with the absolute best intentions, we all get caught up in our own daily activities, leaving little time to put the learning from a conference into practice.

Stepping out onto our production floor, peering through the pallets upon pallets of printed knowledge, hot off the presses, it’s evident that there is an incredible volume of content that is developed for meetings. I couldn’t help but think about all of the time that has been invested in developing, packaging and distributing all of this content, and what a shame it is to know that up to two-thirds could be forgotten. Unless….

We work with many associations that have successfully lengthened the shelf life of their conference materials by making them accessible through a dedicated website that houses all past, current and future conference content. They use this website to drive a content marketing strategy that provides ongoing visibility and reinforcement of key topics to attendees throughout the year through while at the same time generating interest for next year’s conference.

How is your association maintaining visibility for your content after the conference? Do you have any tactics that have proven successful? Share the learning here by leaving a comment. Or, if you’re looking to implement a strategy for the first time, let us know. We can share some thoughts on what others are doing.

Manage Costs & Nix Frustration: Use One Provider for Print & Apps

Mobile apps are designed to make our lives easier. Whether or not they succeed depends on a number of factors, not least of which is the app itself. With so many apps keeping things simple to the point of being slightly stupid, as Ernie Smith writes in his article You Can Always Get What You Want: The Rise of Press-a-Button Apps, how do you go about delivering an app with real value?

Start here: Choose a mobile app with features robust enough to make a printed program a bit redundant. This can save you a lot of frustration, while helping you manage costs.

Let me explain:

The more options that are available for people to consume information in general, and event content specifically, the more people tend to develop preferences.

A self-proclaimed “book person” may come to find that an eReader gives them a level of flexibility they’ve always craved. Much to her own surprise, the book person becomes an eBook person. Six months later, she may try an audiobook and decide that she likes that even better. Though her preferences are in flux, she’s not likely to read the same book, no matter how excellent it is, in several different formats.

How does this relate to your event content? Let’s take a look.

Some people may want a printed book, whether it’s out of habit, or to match the other 20 books of proceedings on their office bookshelf, or just because they prefer print. Those attendee may not, however, choose to download your mobile app.

The opposite is also true: A young professional may be excited about downloading your app, but decide to skip the printed proceedings. Others will want a little bit of both—the mobile app for convenience during the event, for example, but printed proceedings to pore over at home, to read deeply and truly comprehend.

If you introduce a mobile event app, some of your attendees will download it right away, consuming all of the content through the app and never giving your printed proceedings a second thought. Millennials tend to fall into this group, though many gen-Xers and even some boomers will also gravitate towards the app.

When it comes time to order your printed proceedings, therefore, you won’t need quite as many, because once attendees have determined how they prefer to consume your event content, they tend to stay the course.

When you work with a single provider for your printed materials and your mobile event app, you can use this knowledge to your advantage. Without the burden of sending your content to two vendors and keeping both on schedule, for example, you can rest assured that all of your content will be ready when you need it.

If you suspect your membership will embrace the app as the sole means of accessing content, mention in a few of your event communications that fewer printed programs will be available this year and use the opportunity to reduce your print quantities. If that seems too risky, conduct a survey prior to your next event to gauge your members’ interest in mobile apps. Ask whether they would consider forgoing the printed program and using the app exclusively to access content.

It may some educated guessing to get the numbers right, but one thing is clear: Working with a single vendor for your printed program and mobile app can help you strike the right balance between information and overload and scarcity.

Does an all-in-one event content provider sound like the right solution for your organization? Contact us to learn more!

How Do Attendees View Your Event? 5 Options

Whether they’re looking for a quick dinner on the road or a different way to view your event’s sessions, people want choices. If they don’t have to work too hard to get them—two restaurants in the same block, for example, or five ways to look at the sessions on one website—even better.

Omnipress’ event content websites offer attendees choices on how to view sessions and plan their time at your association’s event.

  • Track: What constitutes a track? Whatever your association decides—job title, professional development focus, specialty, career stage, or something else entirely. However you want to categorize your events, we can make it work on your event content website.
  • Schedule (Chronological): Sometimes it helps attendees to see a straight-up chronological listing of sessions. Do two potentially-valuable sessions coincide? Is one of them, maybe a small-group workshop, repeated later in the day or the conference? Help attendees plan their days with a chronological list of events.
  • Session (Alphabetical): To decide which sessions to go to when, attendees may wish to toggle back and forth between the chronological listing and an alphabetical one. A list of sessions can also help attendees locate and read more about a must-see session.
  • Paper: Is there a specific area of research that interests some attendees? Are they interested in reading the latest studies and seeing the results presented by the team that prepared them? Start here. Some papers are interesting to read, while others raise questions in the attendee’s mind, which might inspire them to catch the session.
  • Author: Just as content is king for some attendees, people and presentation of the materials is more critical to others. In an attendee’s tenure in this career path, has there been one thought leader whose work they always enjoy? Is there a mentor or former professor they’d like to catch up with after they present a session? That attendees can look for that author or speaker first, and plan to attend those sessions.

Your attendees can plan their best-ever event when they can look at the sessions through different lenses. They want to get the most out of their time out of the office, and they want it to come easily. Omnipress’ event content website can do that, and we’d be happy to help your association give its attendees everything they need to get the most value out of your event.

Learn more about our online event services at Omnipress.com or contact us to schedule a demo!

Abstract Collection Made Easier—For Everyone

As conference season draws near, abstracts are coming in left and right. Having more content to choose from is a good thing, but if your process doesn’t have much forethought behind it, too many papers can spell disaster for your review process.

Your review team is a busy bunch; they get annoyed with inefficient systems. They don’t have time to get lost in endless email conversations and wonder what need to be done and what has been handled already by other members of the team (or even themselves).

Their intentions—to find the best topics and speakers for your conference—are good, but the system is too cumbersome. Even your best reviewers are wondering if they’ll be able to put in the time to work with you next year. How can you simplify the process so it’s not too difficult and time-consuming for your team? Is there a way to get the information you need while making the process easier on others?

Abstract management is a multi-faceted process that requires a comprehensive, robust system to handle all the demands. For all intents and purposes, emailing abstracts out to individual reviewers and expecting them to keep track of the progress isn’t going to cut it. Odds are, one or more of the reviewers will get confused about the process, and your association staff will end up resending many documents and following up with reviewers daily. It’s clunky, and a big waste of your association staff time.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Omnipress has an abstract management tool that will solve these problems, once and for all. An online system that all reviewers can access, with abstracts assigned to them specifically, will simplify the process. Submitters will appreciate the elegance of the system, too. They can turn in everything—abstract, bio, photo, research, and more—in one place, save a draft to submit in the future, and even request A/V equipment.

Your association staff could use a break, too. Omnipress’ Abstract Collection System makes their life easier as well; for example, they can manage multiple collection processes and requirements for the same conference. Your staff can communicate with submitters, presenters, and reviewers with an email within the system. Better yet, technical questions about the submission process are routed to Omnipress directly; you can rest assured that we’ll take care of those issues so you don’t have to. Questions about the event itself go to your association.

Your event has enough T’s to cross and I’s to dot. There’s no reason to add any further confusion to your collection process. Keep the process smooth, streamlined, and hassle-free with Omnipress.

How to Measure Success of Mobile Event Apps

One of the greatest mistakes you can make when providing a mobile event app for your annual conference is waiting until the event is over to try and figure out if your app was successful or not.

Instead, prior to launching a mobile event app, you should take the time to consider what success will look like for your app. Start by reviewing the objective for your mobile event app and then determine how you can measure if your objective was met.

2 Ways to Measure Success of Mobile Event Apps

Here are two simple ways you can determine if your mobile event app objective was met:

  • Ask for Attendee Feedback.
    Include a survey for attendees to take in the app allowing them to share feedback on the functionality and usefulness of your mobile app.
  • Utilize Analytics.
    Track how many attendees download your mobile event app, the most viewed content, the number of visitors to the sponsor module and other important data.

Please note: It is important to talk to your mobile event app provider to understand what data will be available to you.

Using Analytics for Mobile Event Apps

If you collect data, be sure you think about how it can be used. For example, if you have a sponsor list in your app, you can use the data to help gain more sponsors in the future.

mobile-event-app-sponsor-listing

 

Also, if you know that speaker information was a frequently visited module, you can think about how to add or change the information to get the most value, encouraging attendees to check out other modules of the conference app.

mobile-event-app-speaker-listing

The key to determining success is to have the data available to so you can make intelligent decisions on how to improve mobile event apps for upcoming conferences.

How are you measuring the success of your mobile event apps?

 

 

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