Now Available: 2018 Training Trends Report

Educational programs provide a tremendous source of value for associations and other training-based organizations. That’s the takeaway from our 2018 Training Trends survey. The majority of respondents in this year’s survey (67%) look to capitalize on this fact by increasing the number of programs they offer. The focus on core strategic initiatives in the coming year, including program and content development, however, may need to come at the expense of other tasks.

How will this outlook impact those responsible for developing and implementing educational programs? We conducted an online survey of 111 continuing education (CE) and training professionals to understand their challenges, opportunities and priorities in the coming year.

Download the 2018 Training Trends report to learn:

  • How much time do CE professionals devote to program development tasks?
  • How effective are these programs in helping organizations reach their goals?
  • What percentage of the budget will be allocated to on-site training vs. online training in 2018?
  • What is the most common way for educational content to be re-purposed?

Takeaway #1: Continuing education takes place in a variety of formats.

Eighty-four percent of survey respondents indicated they offer multiple options for learners to participate in seminars, courses and workshops.

Offering learners choice on how they receive their training means CE professionals must also provide their course materials in a variety of formats. Print retains its lead as the most common format for course books and study guides, with online training materials coming in a close second. Mobile resources for training saw limited use in 2017, but with trends like microlearning on the rise, it will be interesting to see how these numbers evolve in the next few years.

Read the full report to learn how CE professionals balance developing new course content with other top training priorities.

7 Reasons to Choose a Printer That Works With Associations

 

Conference printing is one of the last tasks you have to tackle before your annual meeting begins. And who can blame you? It’s not like speakers wait until the last minute to submit their final presentations, right?

Backed up against a deadline, many associations think their only option is to choose a local printer to do the job. After all, aren’t all printers are the same? Not so fast!

Associations preparing for an event have different needs than other types of organizations. A printer that works with associations recognizes this and offers services that offer faster turnaround times, higher-quality results and more consistent branding designed specifically for an event.

In other words, a printer that works with associations:

Understands that your deadlines are tight.

It only takes one late delivery for associations to understand the value that a specialist printer can provide. Event professionals always run up against the deadline, but printers that work specifically with your kind of organization have production processes in place to handle the quick turnaround. When you work with us, you know that your materials will be delivered on time.

Recognizes that last-minute changes are common, necessary and largely out of your control.

Whether you set the date for final collection a month or a week before your conference, you’ll still get entirely too many late papers. Omnipress gets it. To get your materials to your event on time means there does need to be a final cut-off when materials must be received, but we can push this date later than most providers can. We are experts in dealing with an influx of last-minute changes.

Knows the basics of how conference materials are laid out.

If your program pages come to us print-ready, that’s great! Many associations need help getting there, though, and our team of designers are happy to provide formatting services to make it happen. Just send us a sample of last year’s program and we’ll do our best to match it. We work with hundreds of associations each year, so we’ll have a good idea of how you want your materials to look.

Has seen many variations on the standard conference program.

If you’re looking to create something a little different, odds are, Omnipress has seen it before. But, if you do bring something brand-new to the table, we’ll be well-equipped to handle it. Over the years, our project managers and production team have built up an impressive portfolio, meaning you can have your materials customized and printed in a wide variety of formats.

Knows you have many plates spinning, and that conference content isn’t always your top priority.

Conference planners have many different priorities, but that’s okay, because our top priority is delivering your content. We can help you manage the process with little input from you. We won’t make any major decisions without your approval, of course, but our project managers can take a lot off your to-do list while you’re taking care of other tasks.

Realizes that some people who work with you are volunteers or work part-time.

Coordinating schedules can be tough, even when everyone is in the office at the same time. When volunteers and part-time workers are thrown into the mix, it can be even harder to stay on the same page (sometimes literally!). We understand if the ad pages are being produced on a different timeline than the abstracts, which are trickling in on a schedule all of their own. We are flexible and can revise the program as more pieces are added until everything is ready.

Understands that content is the most valuable asset your association has.

When it comes right down to it, your association’s content is what keeps attendees coming back to your conference every year. When those conference programs or proceedings land in the hands of attendees, your association’s reputation is on the line. It all has to be right, or it’s all wrong, and Omnipress can help you deliver perfection.

 

Does every printer truly understand the specific needs of associations? According to our clients, the answer is no. Associations trust us because we know conferences and can empathize with busy meeting planners, executive directors and other association professionals.

When you choose a printer that works with associations,  you’re investing in the success of your conference, and making your life easier in the process. Learn more about how you can get started working with a specialty conference printer.

Quick Tips for Managing Conference Program Printing

 

Conference program materials are often one of the last items to be checked off the event planner’s to-do list. With a very narrow delivery window, there is little room for error. What steps can you take to streamline the printing of your next conference program, avoid common pitfalls and increase the return on your investment?

Take a look at this infographic to learn some quick tips to reduce the stress of your next conference program printing project.

And for more ideas and advice, be sure to read our whitepaper, Managing Conference Print Projects: Five Tips for Success. You’ll get access to the knowledge we’ve gathered from printing conference content for over 40 years. These best practices and tips are the same ideas we share with customers to reduce the stress of this important part of conference planning.

conference print projects

 

Conference Print Projects: From the Infographic

Conference print projects are often the last items to be checked off the conference planning to-do list. Keep these Four facts in mind as your conference program comes together to avoid any last minute surprises.

A Big Pay-Off: Save Money with the Right Paper Stock

A heavier-stock cover separate from the body pages adds expense.
Save money by using a slightly heavier stock for the entire piece, including a self-cover.

Don’t Get Caught In A Bind: Know Your Binding Options A Head of Time

Perfect Bound: Text on a flat spine makes it easy to find on the shelf
Plastic Coil: Lays completely flat, great for notetaking and can contain up to 1,300 pages
Saddle Stitch: An economical option but limited to a maximum of 104 pages

Go Smaller for Bigger Page Counts: A Smaller Finished Size Can Save Your Budget

Double your page count without affecting your budget by turning an 8.5” x 11” piece into 5.5” x 8.5”

Add More Color to Your Piece (without Adding Much Green): The Price of Full-Color Printing Has Decreased

New technology has made conference program printing in full-color significantly less costly in recent years.

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Provide Value During Your Next Event

People pay a lot of money to come to your events, and that doesn’t even include travel expenses, lodging and time out of the office. It’s a huge investment for anyone to attend a conference, even if it’s a local chapter. Showing clear and evident value is so important these days.

One of the most effective ways of showing clear value and leaving a lasting impressio–so those who attend will come back next year and those who didn’t will see the value–is through your conference content. Providing educational material they can take back to the office and try right away is extremely important. Not only must they be able to learn from the material, but they must be able to access it easily.

So, as attendance continues to slip at conferences across the country, what can you do to make sure those who invest in your conference are getting a return on the investment?

Here Are 3 Ways to Provide Value During Your Next Event:

1) Pre- and Post-Show Access: Your conference material took a lot of time for your speakers and presenters to put together, and there is a lot of value in the lessons they are meant to purvey. So why would you only grant access during the show? Give attendees the opportunity to come prepared by giving access to the materials via a digital publishing platform.

Also, after the event is over, they’ll be able to access the content when they’re back in the office and need a refresher. The best part is, you can allow access to anyone you’d like, whether that be attendees and members only, or the general public.

2) Easy-to-Use Mobile App: Mobile event apps are an absolute must at your conferences these days, but the difference between a successful app and one that simply causes more headaches is ease of use. If your attendees can’t download and be using it within a few minutes, what good does it do? They must be able to share pictures, access and update their itinerary, search venue maps and more without having a doctorate in Mobile App Development. Some of the best apps also make it possible to access valuable conference and speaker materials.

3) High-Quality Printed Materials: Advanced and final programs, conference schedules and conference proceedings are all staples of any conference, but are yours truly high-quality? Those materials with your association or organization’s logo all over them is a direct representation of your company, whether you printed them yourself or not. Make sure your materials are printed on a sturdy stock to last the entire conference, as well as the trip back home.

What are some other unique ways that you offer value to your attendees? I’d love to hear any that have worked well for you and your organization!

Optimize Your Conference Print Process with These 5 Tips

Printing materials for your association’s annual meeting is one of the last pieces to fall into place. And it’s not for lack of planning—it’s a necessity. Speakers are notorious for getting final presentations in at the last minute. When the last one hits your inbox, the scramble begins to get programs printed and shipped so they’ll arrive at the venue in time.

Do you ever wonder if conference printing have to be this hurried and stressful every time? You’re right to question the process. You haven’t been doing conference printing wrong, but there is room for improvement, even if you can’t get presenters to submit their materials on time.

We have been printing conference content for 40 years, and we’ve developed best practices along the way. For example, we recommend that you start the conversation with your printer before you start collecting content.

You might think that collecting materials and printing programs have nothing to do with each other, but that’s not true. When you talk about collection with your printer first, they can give you suggestions on how to structure your collection process to make the organization, formatting, and output of content into print-ready files as easy as possible.

What else can you do to set yourself up for conference printing success?

Read Managing Print Projects: Five Tips for Success, our new whitepaper, for more tried-and-true recommendations. Leave a comment to let us know what you think!

Relief in Crunch Time: Consolidate Formatting, Design, & Printing Services

As you’re preparing your conference materials for print, you are also juggling countless other tasks. Conference printing is one of the last tasks you have to tackle before your annual meeting begins. And who can blame you? It’s not like the speakers submit their final presentations more than a day or two before the deadline. That leaves you scrambling to get the pages set up and ready for print, or pushing an expensive freelance graphic designer to get the job done at the 11th hour. Every single time!

What’s a busy meeting planner to do? See if you can cut out the middleman. Ask your conference printer if they have in-house graphic designers. This can be especially useful if you’re working with a printer that specifically works with associations, because their design team has probably handled projects just like yours in the past.

Whether you need full design services or just a little formatting assistance to prepare your conference materials, it makes sense to talk to your printer to see if they can help. Using one provider for design, formatting, and conference printing means you have fewer calls to make to keep the project on track, less hassle when the deadline is looming, and a provider you can trust to get the job done right.

To learn how Omnipress can help, visit our formatting and design page. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think!

Got a Fall Conference? Count on Omnipress to Handle Your Last-Minute Needs!

Does your association hold a fall conference? We have found that October and November are among the busiest months for annual meetings, though many take place in September as well.

So, not to bring up a sore subject, but how is it going putting together conference content for the fall meeting? Do you have a printer set up? Are you planning to give away USBs, but haven’t chosen a vendor yet? Are you going to offer an app this year?

I’m sure you need no reminder that this is crunch time. What I’d like to offer is a solution to your conference content woes: a company of people who work as hard as you do.

Omnipress turns around projects so fast, you’ll wonder why you ever chose a different provider. We can’t make any promises until we hear the details of your situation, but if you need it yesterday, odds are that Omnipress can make it happen.

What do we do especially fast? So glad you asked!

  • Conference printing: Got print-ready PDFs of your conference materials? We can get them on press and out the door to your meeting site in days. Let us show you where quality and quickness intersect.
  • USBs & CDs: Our duplication software makes quick work of creating physical digital goods for your meeting’s goodie bag. Reach out to us today to get the ball rolling!
  • Conference apps: Our proposal cites a lead time of 4-6 weeks for apps, but we’ve been known to get them ready faster, if we expedite the approval process. If you are looking to add an app this year but fear it’s too late, give us a call. There may still be time to get it done for you, to your attendees’ delight.

Online conference materials and abstract management usually require longer lead times. You’re probably all set for them this year, if you used them.

But what about next year? If Omnipress customer service and responsiveness impressed you on a fall conference program, just imagine how easy the whole process could be if you worked with us from start to finish.

If your conference is right around the corner and you need help ASAP, consider Omnipress your saving grace. We have served other associations that were under tight deadlines and surpassed their expectations.

We would love to do the same for you.

 

Formatting Your Conference Program Got You Down? 5 Reasons to Ask for Help Today

If you’re preparing for a fall conference, you barely have time to read this post. You may be feeling overwhelmed and lost. You might wonder how you’re going to get everything done and still get home in time to tuck your kids in for bed, and that’s a very frustrating position to find yourself in.

The more you can push off your plate, the better, even if it’s going to cost a little more than you were planning to spend. Isn’t your sanity worth it?

Take formatting of printed materials for your conference, for example. If the thought of setting margins and fighting with image resolution makes you want to throw your computer monitor at the wall, you’re not alone.

Help is available! Your conference printer may offer formatting services. They’re going to have all of your content anyway, especially if you also worked with them for abstract management. Formatting is just one more step that you can entrust to your helpful provider.

Omnipress can handle the whole process—abstract management, formatting and/or design, and conference printing! Why should you ask us for help with formatting?

  1. Because organized information is important to you and your attendees. No one likes getting lost in the small print. A streamlined organizational structure will save time.
  2. Because a clean appearance speaks volumes. It’s hard to find the materials you need if your desk, or your conference program, is messy.
  3. Because Omnipress employs a team of experienced professionals. Nothing beats the advantage that experience provides. The Omnipress team has seen it all and can help make your conference materials look their best.
  4. Because a cooperative relationship with your print provider yields better results. Waiting for a provider to get back to you is the worst! Well, no, trying to come to an agreement on printed materials when your vendor just doesn’t get it—that’s what really frustrates you. Skip both roadblocks—work with Omnipress. Customer service is our thing. We know what it takes to get the job done so everyone comes out of the project with a positive result.
  5. Because better readability will help your attendees get more out of the conference content. How useful is your content, really, if it’s difficult to read? If formatting is more of a hindrance than a help, you’re doing a disservice to attendees. Great formatting makes content better, simply because it’s easier to read.

It’s crunch time for your fall conference. You need help, and you need it now. Improving your final product is the icing on the cake that Omnipress can provide. Your peace of mind and relief at getting out the door for some much-needed R&R is the primary objective.

Let us help you! Contact Omnipress today to get help with formatting and printing of your conference materials.

Forget-Me-Not: Poster Sessions

Think about your conference content—the whole process, leaving nothing out. Maybe you start with a call for papers, you work with one vendor to get your printed program squared away, another one for your online conference materials, and maybe a third for a conference app. All of the papers and abstracts have been collected and the wheels are turning to get them delivered to attendees, in print, online, and through an app.

So … you’re done, right? Everything is under control and there’s nothing else to worry about coming up to your annual meeting.

The answer is … maybe. If your association operates in the scientific, engineering, or medical field, you may be leaving an important aspect of your conference to chance—poster sessions.

Your focus may be on choosing session speakers and getting their content ready for distribution, but poster presenters bring valuable research to your annual meeting as well. Though these individuals may not be ready to support a full session, their findings are nonetheless important and worth a little time and attention.

Thankfully, Omnipress can be your single-source solution for poster presentations. (We can do the same for your accepted sessions, too.)

  • Poster collection: Use the same system to manage all submissions—abstracts, posters, final presentations, and more. The review process can help your committee determine which professionals are ready to develop a full session and which deserve some recognition, but on a smaller scale, like a poster presentation.
  • Poster printing: If you’ve ever looked around at posters and wished that quality standards were kept, you’re in luck. Recommend Omnipress as your preferred poster printer and your presenters will receive a discount off the prices found at omniposters.com (when they enter a special code). Your association can also receive a portion of the purchase price. (Contact us for details.) Codify the look of the posters and you’ll be pleased with the results when you walk through the hall where these presentations take place.
  • Online viewing: Give attendees the opportunity to see posters again after the conference, or a chance to see those they didn’t see in person. Presenters will appreciate the additional exposure online viewing provides.

Simplify your conference content tasks—for session and poster presentations—by working with one company that can handle it all. For more information on Omnipress’ suite of services for poster presentations, download the white paper!

Why Print-on-Demand Makes Sense for Associations

Innovation is important in your industry—and in every industry, as a matter of fact. As an association training professional, innovation often starts with you. Updated content keeps your courses fresh and forward-looking. However, if you choose large print runs for your books, revisions can really cost you.

If you expect that your course content will need frequent revision, whether that’s due to impacts of emerging technologies or legislation that’s coming down the pike, you should consider printing your training materials on demand.

You’ll avoid two types of waste: leftover books that are no longer relevant (or correct at all) and money on the table. Large print runs usually mean price breaks, but how much do you really end up saving if you throw hundreds of books away?

Omnipress encourages print-on-demand solutions for some associations because it tends to be a better fit for organizations whose content is dynamic. To be a leader in your industry, as most associations strive to be, stagnation is the enemy. If you keep training content constant as the industry is changing, you may be doing a disservice to your learners.

When you print on demand, you estimate how many volumes you’ll need on hand based on past enrollment. As learners order course books, the inventory begins to deplete. A micro-inventory is kept on hand (often with your fulfillment partner, if applicable) to cover any extra orders that may come in. If none do, your bottom line isn’t impacted; you only pay for the volumes that were ordered. Inventory reports are available online, 24/7, so you can keep an eye on stock and request more course books as needed.

Think about how your training program has evolved over the past five years and where you see it going by 2020. Not much change? That’s fine, and Omnipress can help with traditional print runs, too. On the other hand, if you see differences in content and class offerings on the horizon, you should take the time to ponder whether print-on-demand is the right choice for your association’s training program.

New Research Favors Printed Training Materials

We have determined, over the course of our nearly 40 years helping associations deliver knowledge, that print is a best practice for educational materials. It has been fulfilling to find research that supports our position. Last month, the Washington Post published Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading in Print. Yes, You Read That Right. In the article, author and linguist Naomi S. Baron discussed the research in her new book, Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World.

Millennials prefer printed books for many reasons, including the lack of distraction (compared to reading on a connected device). In our own survey/ of millennials, we learned that 59% agree that it’s easier to learn from printed materials, but the Washington Post article notes that young adult readers like print best for both learning and reading for pleasure.

Printed books have many advantages to their digital counterparts, especially when it comes to educational materials. Readers have a tendency to skim on screen. (I suspect, without judgment, that you may be doing that right now!) Distraction is inextricably linked to reading on a screen. If the ding! of an email notification or text message doesn’t draw you away from the task at hand, there’s always cat videos waiting on YouTube, just a few clicks away.

As a result of the skimming and the distractions, as well as other factors more neurolinguistic in nature, both comprehension and retention are compromised when reading digital materials. And that’s the real crux of the matter. It’s important to consider the end result of using printed materials or digital resources. eLearning is still relatively new, and little is known about the long-reaching effects of reading online and retention over time.

Some instructors and providers of educational materials are pushing their learners towards online resources, citing short-term benefits like cost savings, the ability to update materials more easily, and even physiological effects, like the impact heavy backpacks have on posture and back strain. The longer view—including drawbacks to using digital resources, like lower comprehension, retention, and overall learner experience—isn’t being carefully considered. There may be serious consequences to pushing learners to read course material online, and we ignore it to our detriment.

As you decide how to deliver training content to your association leaners, keep these issues in mind and challenge your own assumptions about young professionals. The common perception may be that millennials grew up online and insist on digital resources, but this isn’t what the research—our survey and other sources like the Washington Post article and Baron’s new book—is telling us. To improve retention for your learners of all ages, printed training materials is the right choice.

What Does Fulfillment Mean to You?

What does it take for you to feel fulfilled in your life and your career? For some, a sense of purpose leads to fulfillment. With a job in corporate training, though, you probably realize that the work you do matters. Many employees and other professionals are able to move forward in their careers thanks in part to the training courses your company coordinates and provides.

Sometimes fulfillment refers to a process that brings your course books and learning guides from Point A, a warehouse, to Point B, your training site. At Omnipress, we have row upon row of shelves filled with program books for conferences and educational materials for training. Hundreds of organizations count on Omnipress to deliver knowledge each year.

For others, fulfillment is the feeling of pride that comes with a job done well. When a training director sees that a new course earns positive feedback from learners, that person feels fulfilled. That moment and that feeling are deeply rewarding; it represents the reason most training professionals decided to pursue a career in continuing education in the first place.

Does packing and shipping boxes (done by you personally or members of your team) lead to a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment? If I were the betting type, I’d wager not.

You probably didn’t go into continuing education so you could spend your work day sending out course books and learning guides. Moe likely, you got into the business to bring important information to professionals in your field, to help them succeed and grow in their careers and do your part to make the world a better place through sharing this content with people. That’s where fulfillment comes into play for most training professionals we have met.

To improve your personal fulfillment at work, leave the print and fulfillment of your organization’s training materials to Omnipress. Believe it or not, we do get satisfaction from packing and shipping your training materials to learners. It’s the small part we play in the process that leads to your fulfillment and your learners getting the information they need to do a better job. We all fulfill an important function in delivering knowledge to professionals.

Increase your fulfillment, at work and in life, by trusting Omnipress to take care of order fulfillment of your training materials. We are happy to help you fulfill your educational mission while leaving you and your team the time you need to create content, provide instruction and manage courses. We hope you’ll find Omnipress to be more than a fulfillment partner—we want to be your partner in achieving your own vision of fulfillment.

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