Collection: It’s Not Just for Abstracts Anymore

You may know that Omnipress can handle collection for your event. Maybe you even use us for abstract collection already and you also work in an industry that places a high importance on poster sessions.

Did you know that Omnipress can collect posters, too? In fact, we have been collecting posters for many years (Our collection system has been used for other purposes as well, including nominations for awards and even board members).

Poster collection will feel familiar to those who have used Omnipress for abstract management. The four components of the process—collection, review, management, and distribution—remain the same. Submitters, reviewers, and association staff will all get to work with a system that has an easy, intuitive interface with the customer support you’ve come to expect from Omnipress.

We remain flexible with file types and sizes, though often associations will give an exact size, or specify a maximum size, for printed posters. Assigning reviewers to submissions is up to you—posters can be manually assigned by association staff or automatically by topic or track. Scoring criteria can be written and built into the system to guide reviewers.

The association staff members we’ve worked with find the administrative portal of the online collection to be streamlined and easy to manage. In addition to communicating with submitters and reviewers using an on-board email system, association professionals can use the system to schedule the event and collect final posters, disclosures, and releases.

And the best part is, poster collection is just the beginning. Check out the blog later this week, when we’ll feature information about poster printing and access to online posters that you can (gasp!) actually read. To learn more now, visit the Posters page of the new Omnipress.com.

To Collection and Beyond!

Let’s say you’ve been using Omnipress’ abstract management system and love the ease and convenience of managing submissions and the review process. (Thanks!) But did you know how easy it is to move from abstract management to final presentations, to everything else (content-related) that you’ll need for your conference?

Once your review team has chosen the speakers and poster presenters for your event, it’s time to touch base with all submitters, letting them know whether or not their proposal has been accepted by your review team. In that communication, be sure to let the speakers know the due date for final presentation collection.

Now you can move on to scheduling. With our easy-to-use tools, you can arrange accepted submissions into sessions, dates, times, and rooms. Once you finish the set-up and received final papers from your speakers, simply generate the final printed program and indexes for your event with a single click.

Omnipress can handle not just your collection and printed programs for your events, but also your online and mobile needs. Once we have the information for your conference, it’s simple to connect the different channels in the All-in-One Content Ecosystem.

Omnipress helps you move from collection to final presentations to, finally, the big day itself. A truly end-to-end solution, our All-in-One Content Ecosystem means a better conference for attendees—and an easier day for you.

Help Your Conference Speakers Give a Killer Presentation

As someone who coordinates annual meetings or midyear conferences for your association, you understand that the value of your conference lies in your educational content. Attendees love conference learning journals, final programs, session handouts and, of course, speaker presentations.

But what happens when your keynote speaker plasters their entire presentation word-for-word on their poorly assembled PowerPoint and stands in one spot (heaven forbid, behind a podium) using their best Ben Stein voice? Most speakers are the elite professionals in their field, but let’s face it, they may not be the most engaging or the smoothest of talkers.

Donna Kastner, Director of Education & Engagement at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, recently wrote a refreshing article: “5 Presentation Sins Committed by Conference Speakers.” She outlines some of the biggest mistakes speakers make at conferences and events–mistakes that can send attendees running for the door (or into a deep sleep).

What can you do to ensure presenters keep attendees engaged?

Presentation Tips for Your Conference Speakers

So, your call for abstracts has closed, you’ve reviewed the submissions in your online collection system and chosen the speakers for your annual conference. How about sending presenters some public speaking tips?

Times have changed, and public speaking is no longer a one-way objective lecture taking place behind a podium. Speaking at your association’s annual meeting is about two-way communication, engaging attendees with social gaming and fun presentation styles like PechaKucha. That is how attendees learn, retain and implement the content at your conference.

What are you doing to ensure your speakers aren’t committing Donna Kastner’s 5 deadly speaking sins?

Educational Meeting Content: What Hundreds of Associations Are Doing

As a partner to hundreds of associations providing content collection and delivery solutions for educational events, we’ve got a pretty good pulse on things. This isn’t meant to be the perfect “what to expect list in 2011”, but when I asked our representatives what their clients were doing in 2010 and looking to overcome in 2011, this is what they told me.

  1. Conference materials on flash drives – Although CDs are less expensive, providing attendees with flash drives for educational content is on the rise. Here’s why: (a) you can lock the handouts and educational content to the drive which for medical groups is an important thing, (b) users can take notes directly on the drives, (c) many netbook computers don’t come with CD drives, (d) it’s something their sponsors find value in, and (e) wi-fi is not always reliable or available to access the handouts online.
  2. A better system for collecting files – A lot of organizations have had to cut staff over the past few years. This meant doing more with less people. When push comes to shove, there is less time to deal with inadequate online systems for collecting and managing abstracts, papers and reviewers. Organizations seem to want a very customizable system with someone on the other end of the phone who can be their right hand man. Hiring more staff wasn’t allowed, but finding a company who could do both (provide the system and helpful staff) was attractive to them.
  3. More engaging event web sites – The news must finally be sinking in. Boring, flat, one dimensional event web sites are out. Organizations need to attract more people and engage their attendees. Adding social sharing widgets, an online community and a design makeover are just a few things on their list in addition to better meetings and sessions.
  4. Post-conference content strategies – Associations collect and share a ton of knowledge at events, but for years have not been doing much with that content after the event other than dumping the PDFs in the corner of their web site. Creating knowledge centers, communities and a constant flow of educational content keeps attendees connected and brings awareness to their organizations. Being findable (to the search engines) seems to be more important than just allowing event attendees the ability to see the content has greater long-term value.
  5. Streaming event sessions to their members – The concept of “hybrid meetings” quickly surfaced to the top as a means for bringing the event to a remote audience. The big question is how to pull this off. Do you stream everything? What can you afford? Do you charge for the content? 2011 will be a year of figuring this out for many organizations. Many organizations record all their content, but haven’t figured out to make it valuable which leads back to point number four above.
  6. Outsourcing layout, design, etc. – It’s not the printing or online hosting that costs money, it’s the time of taking the content from the presenters and organizing it into something useful and engaging. And most associations don’t have that staff or knowledge to do this well. So many of our clients look for partners to help them with program layout and create fresh designs and user-friendly interfaces for their content.
  7. Providing choice of medium to attendees – By adding a few options to the registration form (e.g., [ ] receive the printed handouts – add $20), event organizers can give attendees what they want. They then provide the orders back to the company producing the materials to quickly turn it around. One hurdle to this approach is time to prepare the content (see #6 above) in the multiple formats.
  8. A desire for mobile access – Our clients realize that a majority of their meeting delegates carry iPhones, Droids or other smart phones. Accessing the event program and even the session materials and resources has value. We have some clients starting to add QR codes to their printed materials that links directly to specific content online.

Tell me what you think

  • How are you managing your education event content?
  • Are you maximizing it’s value?
  • How does your “short on time and staff affect achieving your objectives?
  • Does your audience appreciate it?
  • What can you do effectively inhouse vs outsource?

4 Resources for Anyone Who Collects Abstracts or Final Presentations

Working with presenters to get their materials submitted on time and in the format you want is challenging. Perhaps you are “doing it old school”… using email as your system for collecting information and files from speakers. Or maybe your current abstract/call for papers and online review instructions are so complex you need a PhD to decipher them.

If you’re in charge of your call for papers/abstracts process, online reviewing or collecting final presentations from speakers, you might find these articles helpful:

Communicating with your Authors and Contributing Presenters

Arguments for Collecting Content Online

Promoting your Call for (Abstracts | Papers)

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Is there a challenge not being addressed here?

We help hundreds of associations and meeting professionals collect abstracts, papers and other content from their contributing authors and presenters. Share your thoughts below and we’ll be glad to provide you with insights.

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