Tablets Surpassing Traditional PCs: Another Reason to Move to Responsive Design

Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about the advantages of responsive design on your Digital Publishing Platform. Responsive design, in a nutshell, is being able to have one website that appears correctly on tablets, mobile phones and traditional PCs (Watch John Eisele’s video explaining responsive design). You don’t need to pay big money to have a mobile site, tablet site and regular website anymore. With responsive design, you’re able to save on cost while giving your visitors the best viewing experience possible on any device.

Now, Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, has released a report stating:

“Traditional PC market (is) predicted to decline 7.6 percent as change in consumers’ behavior drives transition to tablets and ultramobiles.”

That’s right, we have been ahead of the curve this whole time, and now we are seeing the true shift from traditional PC to tablets and mobile devices happen right before our eyes.

The report goes on to say that worldwide tablet shipments are forecast to total 197 million units in 2013. That’s a 69.8% increase from the total shipment amount from last year. The extreme growth can be accredited to prices dropping rather quickly in the emerging market.

See the full report here

 

What This Means for Your Association

This means your members are continuing the shift of using devices with smaller screen sizes than traditional PCs. You should be making sure that your Digital Publishing Platform is able to adapt to any screen size that your members are trying to access your content with. That means having a system that has Responsive Design capability that can automatically optimize the viewing and navigation experience for visitors.

We have done our best to stay ahead of the curve and already offer a Digital Publishing Platform that has responsive design in order to keep you and your association ahead of the curve, and in front of your members.

If you don’t have a platform with responsive design, how many members do you think are leaving your site wanting more?

 

Biggest Mistake Associations Will Make in 2013: Postponing Mobile Strategy Development

The adoption rate of smartphones and tablets is not slowing down. In fact, nearly half of American adults own a smartphone, and the number of tablet owners has doubled since summer of 2011, to 18% of American adults
(Pew Research).

Yet, even with the overwhelming evidence that smartphones and tablets are not going away, many associations are still hesitant to implement mobile event apps.

.Why Associations are Putting Off their Mobile Strategies

Some of the greatest challenges we hear associations facing, and why they are hesitant to move forward with mobile event apps for their annual meetings and conferences are as follows:

  • The introduction of wide-ranging technologies. It seems like there is a new technology developing every day, expanding the number of ways you can reach your members at your annual meetings. But how do you determine the best way to reach your unique membership base? Is it through social media websites like LinkedIn and Twitter? Should you develop a mobile event app? Or, maybe you should create an online content library for your members and attendees, which you can also use to attract new members? Moreover, which technology will still be relevant tomorrow?
  • Your membership base is as diverse as it has ever been before (and so is the generational gap). Generations X and Y are tech-savvy, have a short attention span and not only want, but expect information and content when they want it and how they want it. At your annual meeting, they want to be able to access all of your conference content via their smartphones and tablets. And since, undoubtedly, the Internet connectivity is going to be limited at your conference venue, offline access via a mobile app better be available. BUT, if you get rid of your printed conference proceedings and session handouts, you better believe you’re going to receive phone calls from your Baby Boomer members about how they don’t want to download your mobile app to get the annual meeting proceedings; they’d very much prefer them in print. (If only your association budget was endless, right?)

These challenges have left many association professionals at a standstill, sticking to the technologies they know and are comfortable with and ignoring the fact that advancing technologies like mobile are not going away.

Jump Start Your Association’s Mobile Strategy

It is time to stop postponing the inevitable, and start implementing your association’s mobile strategy. Start small by testing out a mobile app for your annual conference. If your members adapt well, you can consider a mobile app for your association later.

Need Help Getting Started?

Check Out Our Latest White Paper

Implementing a Mobile Event App: 7 Steps to Choosing the Right Mobile App For Your Conference
Download Now

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Omnipress has helped associations deliver educational content to their members for over 25 years. We offer print, flash drive, online and mobile solutions. More importantly, we will help you find the right solution for your associations.
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Recorded Webinar – Incorporate Complementary Event Technology with Your Community

Did you miss our latest webinar?

It’s ok; we recorded it!

Online event communities are becoming more popular every year, but many organizations that use this cutting edge service are still years behind when it comes to collecting and distributing content. Learn how you can improve gathering the speaker and exhibitor materials that are stored in your community and how to further shift your content into other appropriate distribution methods with the right event technology.

This 26 minute webinar goes over:

  • Questions to ask to find software that can bring additional value to your event
  • How to identify what to look for when you need to collect materials for your event and community
  • Other important factors when migrate your content to other platforms, whether it’s print, CD or flash drive or a Digital Publishing Platform

5 Ways to Make Pinterest Work for Your Association

Is your association ignoring Pinterest in hopes that its popularity falls stagnant like Myspace or iTunes Ping?

If you’re looking to grow your association’s membership and promote your valuable educational content, avoiding Pinterest could be a big mistake.

I recently saw this great infographic called “Pin It to Win It” that does a great job of breaking down Pinterest for marketers. Here’s what I learned.

Defining Your Target Market

Before deciding to add Pinterest to the list of your association’s social media sites, it’s important to determine if their typical users align with your target market.

Here are a few facts about typical Pinterest users:

  • 87% of Pinterest users are female.
  • The most popular age range is 35-44 (29%), followed by ages 25-34 (27%).
  • The average income of users is between $25,000-$49,999 (37%), followed by $50,000-$74,999 (33%).

If this profile sounds like the members your association is trying to attract, then it’s time to fit Pinterest into your social media strategy.

5 Tips for Targeting the Right Audience on Pinterest

  1. Research your target market. How are the members you want to attract using Pinterest? What categories are they interested in? What content are they pinning? You want to make sure your association is posting relevant content your potential members will find and be interested in.
  2. Utilize the “Pin It” button. Your social media widgets should already be front and center on your association website or digital publishing platform. Simply add the “Pin It” button so users know your association is active on Pinterest, too.
  3. Make your content “pin-able.” Since Pinterest embraces the use of visual content, you should audit the images on your association’s website. Are there images on every page of content? Try to pin each page of content on your website. If an image isn’t available, users will not be able to pin content onto their boards.
  4. Don’t use Pinterest solely for self-promotion. Yes, your ultimate goal may be to expand your brand and increase membership, but Pinterest users don’t necessarily want to be “sold to.” Post content they will find valuable such as past conference proceedings, publications and other content you house in your digital publishing platform. Think of Pinterest as another way to promote your content marketing efforts.
  5. Learn from other associations on Pinterest. Do a search for associations on Pinterest. Who is showing up? How are they ensuring they’re found in searches? What boards have they created that have gained a significant number of followers? Apply some of what seems to be working for other organizations.

How have you seen other associations use Pinterest to attract more members? Give your input in the comments section below!

Continuing Education Training Materials Meet Technology

Do you produce printed participant workbooks, facilitator guides or seminar manuals for instructor-led courses or continuing education training?

If so, I’m sure you also have a strategy to move some of your printed training content to an online platform.

Some reasons leaders and innovators in the training industry are moving content online are to:

  • Reduce distribution costs of printed materials
  • Cost effectively distribute to an international audience
  • Keep up with evolving technology(eReaders, smartphones, etc.) that makes print look boring and dated

If your reason for taking training content online is because it’s sexier than print, you might be interested in reading about some new print technology.

Print and LED Lights?

PC World recently published an article about how Swedish scientists have applied white LED lights to a printed sheet of paper. This means your printed training manuals could have the same LED lights as that Chevy Camero you see driving down the freeway. Yes, LED lights in paper!

This is achieved by applying nanothreads of zinc oxide to a thin layer of polydiethylflourene (a conducting polymer). Scientists indicate their white LEDs would be applied to any sheet of paper through a powder-based process.

While this print technology is not ready to make a mainstream debut, scientists are currently seeking a patent for the printing process.

[Read the Full Article]

3 Ways to Incorporate LED Lights in Printed Training Materials

Whether you’re an advocate of print or online technology, these new advancements sure make the future exciting. Just think of some of the changes this new LED print technology could provide for some of your participant handbooks or facilitator guides?

  1. Company Brochures. Use LED lights in your marketing brochures to really “shed light” on your brand and make it stand out.
  2. Participant Certificates. Use LED lights to make world-class certificates of completion your participants are proud to hang in their office. No spotlight needed!
  3. Corporate Advertising. Allow corporate sponsors to advertise in your participant workbooks to help offset the cost of print and distribution of your course materials. Imagine the sexy attractiveness of an ad with LED lights.

If you have any ideas or would like to share links to other cool topics, please leave a comment below.

 

What’s a Digital Publishing Platform to Your Association Content?

What do you call the website containing all your educational content – the technical papers, recordings, presentations, handouts, and publications? (This is no joke. There’s no punch line!)

Many associations simply refer to this as “putting conference materials online” or “online handouts.” Sure that’s what you’re doing, but what if you had a catchy, memorable name you could market and build your brand on?

What Associations Call “Putting Content Online”

  • eLibrary
  • Library of Knowledge
  • Knowledge Community – (For public facing communities)
  • Proceedings Central
  • Central Repository
  • Online Destination Site
  • Resource Center
  • Digital Library
  • Body of Knowledge
  • (Name of Org) Central
  • Electronic Resource Library
  • Knowledge Library

We call it a Digital Publishing Platform,or eLibrary (or Knowledge Center).

Tomato- tomahto, right?

Sharing your educational content to members and using it to attract new members can be the lifeblood of your association. That’s the most important part.

What’s your “digital publishing platform”?

Does Google Recognize Your Association?

Google the definition of “google.” (I know- it’s pretty much the ultimate google.)

The Merriam-Webster dictionary does not list “google” as a verb for no reason. Chances are when members are looking for answers they aren’t going to go to your association’s website to find them. What do they do? They google it.

Google is recognized and liked by your members, but is your association recognized and liked by Google?

If Google doesn’t recognize your association, neither will your members.

Using Educational Content to be “Google Relevant”

I’m willing to bet your association has a large amount of educational content from years of conference proceedings and training manuals to educational publications. Your valuable educational content is one of the main reasons your association exists. But to survive today in the highly-competitive playing field of the Internet – online existence goes hand in hand with being recognized by Google.

So how can you increase the likelihood of Google finding your association’s brand?

Hint: Google loves content.

Association Digital Publishing Platforms Have A Lot of Content

Many associations are now archiving their educational content in a branded digital publishing platform. Exposing your association’s education content from meetings, publications and more in an online archive is like a pot of gold to Google. You can then interlink your digital publishing platform to your association website so those googling content know who’s behind it. (You!)

Google especially loves content that is continuously updated and changed. This means as you continue to update your digital publishing platform with more educational publications and future speaker presentations from various meetings and training seminars hosted throughout the year (while utilizing various search engine optimization techniques), the likelihood of being found by Google and your members is greatly increased.

Unleashing your association’s content to this powerful search engine helps make your association more discoverable and relevant to your members. So the next time someone googles something relevant to your industry, you can rest assured knowing your chances of being found are a hundred (or maybe even a thousand) times better.

Infographic – Harnessing the Power of Educational Content

Looking for new ways to use your old speaker presentations, training materials or publications?

Out of the 550 responses in our “Capitalizing on Content” survey, associations were in agreement that educational content is key to brand awareness and industry relevancy, yet less than half are actually doing this.

What about creating a usable online archive of all your old conference or training materials and publications making this valuable content more discoverable? How about taking it a step farther and making this content marketable?

Check out our infographic to see what associations had to say about their educational content, and how digital publishing platform can capture and deliver this content.

You can click to zoom, or here is a print-friendly version for you.

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Curious about the rest of our survey findings? Download our free executive summary.

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Free Download: Capitalizing on Content
cover-content

Spin This “ALBUM” – Five Must-Haves for Publishing Content Online

Moving more content online is on every association’s strategy plan. And who isn’t trying to find new revenue sources, improve membership experience and be more findable?

Most associations have online Content Management Systems (CMS) for their main websites or conference sites, and try to push as much content into these systems as possible. Unfortunately, most CMS’ are not designed to act as publishing engines for large collections of content, nor do they allow for
controlling access to content.

So what do you need to put your content online? … ALBUM! (No, I’m not talking about vinyl.)

Publishing Your Content Online with ALBUM:

A – Access Control: This could be the most costly aspect of managing content, but it’s crucial. You need to ensure you have a system than can expose your rich content to the world, yet still offer you the ability to control access. This opens up opportunities to increase revenue and protect member benefits. Additionally, this allows you to create offers and sell your content in the ways users want to consume it.

L – Large Collections of Content: You need a system that allows you to quickly load and manage hundreds if not thousands of files… AND in a cost-effective way.

B – Branding: Content is YOUR asset… and the world should know. Bringing valuable assets to the members and non-members under your brand strengthens your organization as the place to go for information.

U – User and Staff Experience: For the reader, it’s important to make your content easy-to-use and accessible on different devices such as tablets, smartphones as well as desktop computers. For your staff, make sure you’re hosting a solution that isn’t a burden to support. If you need your IT Manager to support the site, then your system is too complex. And if your system frustrates your visitors, they’ll leave!

M – Measure: Measuring performance is the key to success… And doing so in a way that is understandable and actionable is key.

Bottom Line: There is no greater opportunity for associations to grow than to better leverage and extract value from their educational content! Just remember: When publishing content online, make sure you have your “ALBUM” because the right tool at the right time (and with the right components) can make all the difference.

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?

Archiving Educational Content with a Digital Publishing Platform to Spark Association Growth

The speakers have spoken. The attendees have gone home. And as a meeting planner, you are left alone with the conference proceedings you worked so hard to collect, organize and create. While the knowledge that lies within these materials could stimulate association growth, often times after a conference has ended, these materials get lost in file cabinets
and book shelves.

Unleash the Value of your Educational Content

Many associations are failing to recognize that this same content can be archived, repurposed, and monetized to bring ongoing value to your association. Now more than ever, technology has made it simple and cost effective to take conference content and repurpose it to enhance membership value and attract new members. Think of the value in having multiple years of content in a single location that is searchable by members and discoverable by nonmembers. Having an digital publishing platform with archived conference content can extend the life of your conference and leverage the value of your association’s knowledge.

Once your educational content is organized in a single location, it opens up an array of opportunities to market and monetize your educational content. A knowledge center allows you to sell subscription access to content, share content on social media sites such as Facebook and Digg, enrich content using metadata and makes content more discoverable by exposing it to search engines. This all greatly enhances the value of your content for both members and potential members.

You don’t want to miss this opportunity to extend the life of your conference and your conference content, do you?

What You Can Do With a Digital Publishing Platform

Think about your educational content as that box of photos you have collecting dust in your storage area… You’ve been meaning to put those photos in albums for years, haven’t you? (Don’t worry… You’re not alone. We’ve all been meaning to do the same.)

Chances are you already have an archived collection of valuable educational content, but are you sharing it in a way that is organized and usable, or are you letting it collect dust?

Using a Digital Publishing Platform to Share Content

A great way to organize and share content that many associations are now using is through a digital publishing platform. It’s a great way to archive all of your educational content, and utilize it as a marketing tool for your association.

For example, when the Transportation Research Board (TRB) was looking for a way to make more content, more accessible in an eco-friendly way, they created a digital publishing platform to host over 5,000 technical papers and presentations from their Annual Meeting.

A Digital Publishing Platform offers…

  • Various levels of access and price points for users
  • Content in a variety of segments
  • Tracking abilities which make it possible to see what content bundles are the most appealing for different users.

Take a look at your content: How could a digital publishing platform benefit your association?

Want to see how TRB’s knowledge center reached four different continents?
Get the full story here.