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?

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