2015: The Year to Take Your Event Content Online

In just a few days, 2015 will be here. As time marches on, your attendees may be wondering: When will your association start offering online access to event content?

Is this the year to get it done? All signs point to yes. As you break open that 2015 calendar, you can think of January as a fresh start for your association. Innovation is an important factor for keeping current and relevant to younger members.

Astute readers of the blog and fans or followers of Omnipress (on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook) may question that statement. Didn’t the Millennials & Print white paper, released last week, make the case that young professionals want printed materials at conferences? Now they want websites, too? Which is it?

It is both, dear readers. It is both. What millennials want more than print—which they want very much—is options. Other generations agree. Don’t just give me a website, or a printed program, or a mobile app, they say. Give me all of it and let me decide which to use when, and for what purpose.

Because after all is said and done, content is what makes your events valuable. Networking is also important, of course, and building relationships with colleagues and new contacts is a quintessential benefit of annual meetings.

But how many people would come if your event was purely networking? Substantially fewer, we’re willing to bet, than the counts you’d see when the content that is being presented is compelling. The most successful events combine the meet-and-greet hallmarks of great networking with the meat-and-potatoes substance of excellent content, delivered in many formats, including educational sessions with talented presenters.

Omnipress is ready to help you move forward in 2015 with an event content website, whether this year is your first or your fifth year doing so. We will help you incorporate an event content website into your current content delivery strategy. The more you work with us, the easier it will be to progress from abstract collection to outputs like conference printing, event content websites, mobile event apps, and USBs and CDs.

We wish you all the best in 2015, from health and happiness for you and your family to your association’s most successful events to date. Cheers!

Visit Omnipress at ASAE Tech!

Next week, Omnipress will exhibit at ASAE’s Technology Conference & Expo. The event, which will take place December 15-17, is held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Steve Manicor, Vice President of Business Development, and Sean Lawler, Product Director – Digital Services, will represent Omnipress.

We invite you to stop by booth 200 next week to speak with Steve and Sean. (For the schedule, including expo hours, click here.) In addition to be great conversations and free white papers, the Omnipress team will be providing fun giveaways, like all-in-one tools and portable phone chargers.

Come to booth 200 with questions about your association content delivery, whether you’re interested in digital or analog products. You can talk to Steve and Sean about:

  • Online abstract collection & speaker management: It all starts with collection. With our system, it’s easy to submit, review, and manage submissions. Moving forward to content outputs is streamlined when you begin with collection.
  • Online event services: Offer attendees the opportunity to connect with your event content where they already spend so much of their time—online.
  • Mobile event apps: The vast majority of your attendees carry smartphones or tablets. Make sure your association has some of the valuable real estate available, in the palms of your attendees’ hands.
  • Scientific posters: Omnipress can collect and print your posters, as well as provide online access to attendees and members.
  • Conference printing: Kick it old-school with a printed program. Surveys have shown that attendees of all ages appreciate reading educational materials in print.
  • CDs/USBs: Physical digital media helps associations—and attendees—bridge the gap between print and online resources. Besides, who doesn’t like a useful giveaway?
  • Anything else event content delivery that’s been on your mind!

Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for posts during ASAE Tech, a.k.a. #tech14. We hope to see you there!

Omnipress’ Event Ecosystem—for Scientific Posters

Omnipress prides itself on being your single-source solution for event content delivery. We can print just about anything you can think of, provide your association with a useful mobile event app, customize an event content website to suit your needs, and give your attendees valuable giveaways in the form of USBs and CDs. We can also collect your event materials, which makes it easier to plan your event and generate all of the outputs mentioned.

All that we can provide for your annual meeting’s full educational sessions, we can also do for poster sessions. Scientific posters have been part of our abstract collection and speaker management system for a long time, but some associations don’t realize that our system is flexible enough to get that job done, too. The same system that hundreds of associations like yours count on for review of abstracts, papers, and presentations can also be used for posters.

Individual poster presenters can work with the Omnipress team to get their poster printed and shipped to their location. Associations can work with us as a preferred partner to offer a discount to their poster presenters and earn additional revenue when a coupon code is entered. (For more information on this program, contact an account manager.) Poster presenters can find pricing and free templates at omniposters.com.

After your annual meeting, you can offer your attendees (and members, if you choose) access to view posters online. This gives the poster presenters additional exposure of their research while giving attendees and members another opportunity to learn about the project, whether or not they were able to see the presentation live.

Partner with one provider for your event content—for all sessions, including posters—and you’ll understand the convenience that comes from getting more done with less hassle. Collection, online access, and printing all takes place under one roof, by an integrated team with procedures in place to make the process run more smoothly for association staff, reviewers, and poster presenters alike.

Striking the Right Balance with your Event Content Website

As an active freelance musician (see the photographic evidence to the right), I am often asked to play “background music.” The coordinator of an event—a fundraiser, a party, a wedding—contacts the French horn choir I’m in and asks if we could come play for an hour or two, to add to the ambience.

For the most part, the horn choir happily accepts these playing opportunities. A gig is a gig, and usually events like these pay their musicians pretty well. Besides, gaining exposure for the horn choir will help us get other gigs in the future, and potentially some new players, too.

In preparation for the performance, we work up some “great music to be ignored to,” because we understand our role. The goal is to play well enough to not cause irritation (a bunch of wrong notes or bad intonation will garner the wrong kind of attention), but not so well that the attendees are more interested in listening to us than, for example, donating to the cause. For that reason, we also can’t play too loud, as we brass players are sometimes wont to do.

Those principles guide our musical selections as well. We don’t want to play anything too familiar; that would be distracting. On the other hand, obscure modern music for horn ensemble can be difficult for the casual listener. So we pick nice enough music that’s not taxing to listen to and not overly familiar. These pieces aren’t hard to find; after all, musicians have been playing background music for hundreds of years.

Striking the right balance—being sufficiently present but not too in-your-face—also challenges associations as they plan their annual meetings. When thinking about how to approach marketing for your next event, how do you decide what tactics to take? How aggressive should your campaigns be?

You want to attract attendees; getting the membership to show up at events is part of what keeps your association relevant. If members don’t know what to expect from your event or why they should be there, you haven’t done a good job getting the message out.

It’s just as easy to err on the other side. How frequently can you send emails to your members before they get fed up and unsubscribe, cutting themselves off from all future marketing initiatives? How many tweets is too many? Try too hard and the push-back will be enough to knock you off your game, and prevent you from getting through the same audience in the future.

Just as it is with musicians, a gig is a gig. To continue the analogy, your gig also lies in finding the right balance between so negligible (background music played too poorly) to be ignored, and being so insistent (loud, for musicians) that what you’re doing wears on the nerves of your intended audience.

What does this balance look like in action? One example is an event content website that is streamlined and easy-to-use, but not filled with ads promoting the event, the association, sponsors, and exhibitors. Be informative, but not overbearing. Provide information, but not reasons for adverse reactions. (Pop-up ads qualify for most of us.)

Omnipress’ event content websites give potential attendees all the information they need to make an informed decision. Let the content speak for itself. Add a few friendly email reminders to drum up interest, but keep the distractions at bay. You may find that your version or playing “great music to be ignored to” leads to attendees who feel empowered and excited, not annoyed or distracted by “loud music” or aggressive marketing.

What do you think? How do you carry out a solid, effective marketing plan for your events? Could an easy-to-use event content website help?

BJSO_Horns

The New Omnipress: Debuting at ASAE 2014

If you read last week’s blog posts, you have a good idea how Omnipress is different than it used to be. Need a refresher? We’re happy to provide one.

More products and services, especially digital ones, are available. The new website might as well leave glitter on your monitor, it’s so new and sparkly. The Omnipress team can help you find the content delivery that’s the best fit for your situation.

What hasn’t changed? Print products look sharp and are delivered to the right place, on time, and customer service is our top priority.

Next month, Omnipress will send a team of four to ASAE 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition. The team will be on hand to give away fabulous prizes, answer your questions, and talk content delivery options. They’ll even take your picture. (More on that closer to the show!)

When CEO Tracy Gundert, Vice President of Business Development Steve Manicor, and Account Managers Holly Meyers and Tony Veroeven head to Nashville, they’ll bring more than prizes, smiles, and answers. They’ll be bringing the new Omnipress to ASAE 2014!

All-in-one convenience is what sets Omnipress apart. Our services are catered to busy association professionals. When event planners and training directors learn that working with Omnipress means fewer vendors to juggle and phone calls to make, their ears perk up. Did yours just do the same?

If you’ll be attending ASAE 2014, you are cordially invited to make plans to stop by booth #203 to visit Tracy, Steve, Holly, and Tony to see the new Omnipress in action. But why wait? Reach out to an account manager now and start the conversation today!

Six Steps to Abstract Management Mastery

Are you the type of employee who comes up with unconventional, creative uses for everything from a coffee filters (which makes a great “bowl” for your afternoon microwave popcorn) to pivot tables in Excel? Then you’re a valuable resource for your association, and someone who can get the most out of an abstract management system. In time, you could even earn the title of Master User.

Our abstract collection system is flexible enough to fit your needs, whether that’s a standard call for papers or something out of the ordinary, like awards nominations or grant applications. The more you use it, the more opportunities you notice where it might be useful.

New to our online collection system? Some suggestions to move you up the chain from novice to Master User:

  1. Request a demo to see how the system works and what processes you can streamline to make your workday run more smoothly.
  2. Try our abstract management system for your next event’s call for papers. See just how easy it can be to stay on track when you use the right tools.
  3. Gather feedback from submitters, reviewers, and fellow staff. Get news from the “front lines” to build a complete picture of the process.
  4. Evaluate the success you experienced and the challenges you faced—before, during, and after the event. How did it go? Was the process easier this year than it had been previously?
  5. Brainstorm other uses for the system. Don’t forget to call on your dedicated Omnipress project manager for help!
  6. Continue to use Omnipress to make collection—of just about anything—easier for submitters, reviewers, and staff.

Follow these steps and you too could be a Master Use of our abstract management system! Got questions? We’ve got answers! Contact us, leave a comment below, or connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.