New Affordable Way to Put Conference Materials Online

Looking for a way to make your conference proceedings, session handouts and speaker presentations for your annual meeting available at the click of a mouse?

Omnipress has just announced the launch of their new Online Knowledge Center Lite solution designed specifically to help associations manage and distribute their educational materials for their annual meetings and conferences.

Omnipress now offers two Digital Publishing Platforms. The more advanced
version, Knowledge Center Professional,
is designed for associations looking to create a
multi-year archive of educational content.

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Is Your Call for Papers Process Causing Outdated Conference Sessions?

The best part of the meeting planning experience is watching it all come together the day of the annual conference.

Attendees are flocking around the registration table to pick up their conference schedules. They’re eagerly picking out their sessions for the day, excited to learn about the newest trends in the industry (if they haven’t already done so on the conference website, that is).

But are your conference sessions featuring the most up-to-date educational content if you’ve chosen the accepted contributed sessions six months in advance?

Is Your Collection Process Preventing Innovative Conference Materials?

Velvet Chainsaw and Tagoras recently surveyed 245 association professionals to learn more about coaching professional speakers for events and found:

75% of associations use a call for papers process that closes 9-10 months before the annual conference.

The Problem: Attendees and members don’t want to learn about the industry trends from 10 months ago, they want to learn about the industry trends that will occur 10 months from now. So how do you provide timely conference education to attendees?

Invite Key Note Speakers Later

I talked briefly with John Eisele, one of our resident Online Collection Experts who said many of his clients invite new speakers into the system once the collection and review processes are nearly finished.

Once you’ve completed your call for papers, review and call for final presentations, consider inviting new speakers into your system to provide specific, timely content for your conference.

These speakers are usually well-known, innovative leaders in the industry who have the knowledge and experience to keep your conference timely.

Offer a Late-Breaking Call for Papers

Another way his clients have maintained current topics is to open a “late-breaking call for papers” just a few months before the event. Have a few session placeholders where there would be a limited number of submissions and the review is expedited.

Perhaps you have wanted to do this before, but technology is preventing you from working with one system to do so. Technology should not be a barrier. If you have a flexible system for your call for papers process, your system should facilitate this process and strengthen your conference session. It comes down to making sure your speakers are submitting their presentations on time and reviewers are reviewing on time.

How do you make sure your conference isn’t outdated before it even begins?

Beyond Technology: Supporting Your Abstract Management System

Let’s just start by assessing your abstract management system to make sure it can accommodate your needs.

Your online system should be flexible enough to:

  • Collect abstracts, final presentations and other information from speakers
  • Collect, manage and review files
  • Communicate with speakers easily
  • Organize submissions to create your program
  • Provide customized reports
  • And much more

Yes, the technology is flexible, but what about the company supporting the technology?

The big question is: Are you leading the support team for your abstract management system, or are they leading you?

Three Questions to Ask About the Company Supporting Your Abstract Management System

  1. Does your abstract collection support team schedule a planning call? Even before your “call for abstracts” opens, your collection support team should be discussing big picture needs and tactical next steps.
    Does your collection team ask about:
    -Past collection experiences: How many times have you collected before? Things to watch for?
    -Goals for collection: What are the final outputs? Will you need data for other things?
    -Site setup and form specification: What information needs to be included? How will that data be used?
  2. Does your abstract management support team proactively lead each stage of the collection process? From your first call for papers through the review process and collection of final files and presentations, your collection team should help you at each step of the way.
    Does your support team:
    -Send you how-to guides for each stage of abstract collection, review, scheduling and final file collection
    -Follow up with the initial schedule throughout the collection process to ensure everything is still on track
  3. Does your collection support team have a standardized process and set of planning tools? Every member of the collection support team should be using the same process and tools, kept in a localized place, following the same standard procedure. This way if one member goes on vacation, the rest of the collection support team isn’t scrambling to find materials like standardized output emails, setup forms and your schedule.

Your Experience with the Company Supporting Your Collection System

I hope you were able to say “Yes! My collection team does all of this for me.” That means your collection team is proactive and leading YOU through the process of collecting, reviewing and managing abstracts and final presentations.

If your collection team is often missing data or having to go back and update the system, we’re sorry; they may be more reactive, making the process of collecting, managing and reviewing speaker files unnecessarily difficult, time consuming and frustrating.

So back to the big question: Are you leading the support team for your abstract management system, or are they leading you?

The “Bases” of Being a Successful Leader

With a baseball in hand, sporting a blue Marshall baseball t-shirt and matching hat Paul Wehking, Omnipress’ Vice President of Strategic Accounts “ignited” his audience at ASAE’s 2011 Annual Meeting by welcoming attendees…

“Hello everyone, and welcome to the ballpark!”

This year ASAE featured two blocks of
Ignite sessions
where presenters were forced to think outside the box and inside the head of their attendees. In Ignite sessions, speakers were allowed 5 minutes to present 20 slides which automatically advanced every 15 seconds.

This new learning format required speakers to find a unique way to gain attendees’ attention while keeping their presentation concise. This format also served as a live experiment for associations looking to bring life into stale program formats.

Leadership Lessons – A Quick Trip Around the Bases

Wehking’s session entitled, “Leadership Lessons Learned While Coaching Little League Baseball “defined the leadership role in an organization by taking attendees to the ballgame.

Follow Wehking as he takes attendees from first base (aka “communication”) to home plate (aka “celebration”) teaching the leadership lessons he learned coaching little league.

*Unfortunately, the video of Wehking’s presentation does not show his presentation slides. If you’d like to see the 20 slides which accompanied his presentation, you can view them here.

For more Ignite sessions, check out asaecenter.

May’s Big Ideas We Love

Check out some of our favorite May articles by industry professionals…



  • Conference 2.0
    Adrian Segar discusses the rise of Conference 2.0, and how
    its growth is similar to that of Web 2.0. Is it time to speed up the transition?

Help Attendees Search Conference Materials Online

Having an online archive of all your conference proceedings, recordings and other materials for conference attendees, association members or even the general public is great, but if all you did was dump 10 years of technical papers and presentations on a website, it’s not exactly going to help your users find what they’re looking for, is it?

Think about it… You go to a website to seek a quick and easy answer.

No member or attendee is going to spend 30 minutes digging through a sea of 4,000+ speaker presentations to find one paper. It’s a needle in a haystack, and you’re lucky if they spend 30 seconds looking before moving on.

The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) ran into this issue- A collection of knowledge wrapped up in years of conferences papers both online and on CD, but absolutely no organization. (See, you’re not alone… We all struggle with organization.)

Q: When you’re seeking answers online, what do your eyes automatically look for?
A: The almighty SEARCH button- The answer to our “crazy-busy-gimme-answers-NOW” lives.

Making Conference Proceedings Searchable

Giving users the ability to search through your online archive (aka digital publishing platform) allows them to find what they need quickly. The key to a successful search is finding the most relevant information as quickly as possible. Using key words and full text search is very helpful, but to really find the content of interest metadata is invaluable.

Metadata allows your users to set up filters such as author name, publication date, event name or subject to narrow down the results to the information that matters most to the user. Providing a metadata search filter gives users a guided tour through the digital publishing platform leading them to exactly the technical paper or speaker presentation they are looking for.

Additionally, creating indices using metadata can not only lead users to the technical paper they are searching for, but it also points out additional related content.

What others ways can you make your digital publishing platform more searchable?

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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