Increase The Educational Value Of Your Event With Digital Content

How you deliver conference content to your attendees is changing. Thanks to on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, the idea of omnipresent content—content that is available whenever, wherever, and in the format that is most convenient—is now the expectation. Associations typically offer some form of digital access to event materials, but the idea of providing a single digital format is no longer enough to provide attendees with the user experience they expect.

Feedback from attendees is prompting associations to look for ways to meet these new expectations. Rather than choosing one format, offer your attendees access to a variety of digital content to create a seamless, accessible experience that can heighten the educational value of your event.

Different digital format provide different benefits

It’s common for conference professionals to assume all digital conference products provide the same features, benefits and experiences. In reality, online conference proceedings, mobile apps and USB drives each bring their own unique set of benefits to your conference attendees.

Online Conference Proceedings

Online conference proceedings make conference materials accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Attendees can easily search by session, track and speaker to select the material that interests them prior to the conference.

With online conference proceedings, you can offer a preview of your event’s sessions. These previews can help people decide whether or not they want to attend your conference based on tangible examples of the information you provide. And, by hosting all of these items in one central location, you create a great online resource for attendees to return to after the conference has ended.

Conference App

A conference app is best for portability and on-site information. Your conference attendees can use your mobile app to navigate around the conference using GPS technology, maps and can build their own personal schedule that fits right into their pocket.

Apps also help drive engagement during your conference. Features like live polling, social timelines and direct messaging between attendees and speakers facilitate one of the main reasons your attendees come to your conference year after year: networking.

USB Drive

Relying on the venue’s WiFi is never a good idea, which is why USB drives are great for storing conference materials. The devices are small and easy to carry, especially when they are stored in unique shapes or useful objects like pens and keychains.

One of the biggest perks of USBs is that they make it convenient to access information. While web addresses might be easily forgotten, a physical keychain or item on your attendee’s desk at work will remind them of your association, conference and the information they learned from you.

Why you need a comprehensive approach

Since each digital format has its own set of unique benefits, using multiple options at your event will give attendees the most flexibility in how they engage with your materials. Don’t think of them as a replacement for each other, but rather think about how each option fills a different role in creating a seamless educational experience.

Here are a few examples to illustrate why your conference should offer a comprehensive mix of digital content formats.

Scenario 1

John is interested in attending your conference and goes online to find example conference materials to get a better idea of what your association offers. When he sees your conference proceeding sneak peeks, he registers and uses the online conference proceedings to figure out which sessions he wants to attend. When the day of the conference arrives, John wants to reference the conference materials, but cannot access the venue’s WiFi. Fortunately, he can still pull up materials using the USB keychain you provided at check-in.

Scenario 2

Mary likes to be able to reference conference materials during break-out sessions, but does not want to be weighed down by her laptop all day during your event. Instead, she accesses the conference materials available through your mobile app. During breaks, she also uses the app to post about her experiences on the social timeline and sends a question to a speaker she didn’t get the opportunity to speak with. After the conference is over, Mary deletes the app to free up space on her phone, but is able to log onto your online conference library to reinforce the information she learned at the event.

Scenario 3

Susan is traveling from out of state to your conference and is uneasy about being in a new city. Fortunately, she has downloaded your mobile app, which provides her with GPS directions to the event location and helps her navigate the city during lunch and breaks. However, she finds it difficult to find the exact conference paper she’s looking for on her small phone screen, so she pulls out her laptop and uses the USB your association provided to access and search the materials to find the paper she is looking for.

Give your attendees the format freedom they desire

Providing content in multiple formats can be a challenge if you don’t have a strategy for managing them. One common pitfall is keeping data updated and consistent in multiple places as your content changes. The best way to avoid a data gap is to create a single source of record that is always up to date.

Updating content in multiple places and coordinating with multiple vendors is another scenario that can make managing multiple formats difficult, so consider working with a single vendor that offers all the formats you need.

By offering digital content in a variety of formats you’ll give your attendees the freedom to access materials whenever and wherever they want. All of the digital formats work together to increase the educational value of your event and create a top-notch conference experience.

 

Now Available: The 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report

 

We are excited to share the 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report!

For the fourth year in a row, Omnipress has tracked the evolution of conference content and the role it plays at an association’s annual event. This year’s Conference Industry Report indicates that while educational content remains a significant source of value that associations provide, association professionals are facing new challenges as they strive to meet attendees’ changing expectations.

To understand how associations are currently using their conference content, we conducted an online survey of 143 association professionals, many of whom are directly responsible for conference planning.

Download the report to learn:

  • How are associations using content to engage members and increase conference attendance?
  • How are associations deciding which formats to offer at their events?
  • Which types of content are associations currently providing at their conference?
  • Are there common challenges that all associations face delivering their conference content?

Takeaway #1: The annual conference remains a central part of the association’s member growth strategy.

With most associations reporting flat membership growth in 2017, the ability to engage and retain existing members is critical. The annual conference provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the association’s value, and increasing attendance continues to be the number one priority for associations.

Respondents provided some specific areas of focus to increase attendance at their 2018 events:

  • Encourage peer to peer engagement
  • Increase conference quality
  • Update technologies to increase engagement
  • Create more networking opportunities

The opportunity for member engagement extends beyond attending the conference. Associations can provide options for members to participate in other meaningful ways by including an open call for their event. Soliciting presentations from within the association allows the organization to recognize the contributions that members are making in their industry and advance their careers.

Read the full report to learn how other associations use content to engage attendees before, during and after their events.

The ABCs of USBs: 26 Reasons To Include USBs At Your Next Event

 

Your conference attendees receive a lot of information during your annual event—so much so that it may be daunting to try to take notes or remember it all. But when you give your attendees a USB drive loaded with all of the content from your conference, you’re giving them an easy-to-use way to revisit what they learned and keep your association top of mind.

There are so many reasons why associations continue to hand out USBs at conferences, it’s as easy as A-B-C!

A – Access to Content: Attendees come to your conference to learn, but they might not be able to remember everything they’re presented with. USBs give them access to your conference content during and after the event so they can revisit it as often as they’d like.

B – Banner Ads: By creating an offline site on your conference USB drive, you can showcase banner ads to promote other events or continuing education programs your association members might be interested in.

C – Custom Options: Your USB drive can be customized for your needs. Choose specific colors, shapes and forms, such as a pen or business card USB.   

D – Diverse Documents: You aren’t restricted to only offering one type of file on your USB. Your drive can hold everything from abstracts to program content PDFs and media files.

E – Engagement: Because the USB holds all of your content, your attendees will be able to routinely engage with and revisit it again and again.

F – Full-Text Search: A full-text search option allows users to easily find the content that matters to them by searching through the entire document text.

G – Giveaway Item: Everyone likes getting freebies. USBs at conferences are a great functional giveaway item that your members can continue to use after your event.

H – Hierarchy: Your conference content can be grouped in many different ways to allow your attendees to find it more easily. Organize content by track, session or author.

I – Interactive: USBs are the perfect way to let attendees search your content and explore what is most interesting to them.    

J – Justification: If you’re still on the fence about USBs, remember that your attendees value your association for your content, and a USB is giving them continued access to it. You can also look for sponsors to help defray the costs.

K – Keywords: Keywords are an important way that attendees will search for content after the event, and full-text search helps them find the content most relevant to what they need.

L – Logos: The exterior of the USB drive can show your association or event’s logo to remind your attendees of your organization. And, banner ads and logos on the offline site can also be branded to match your association.

M – Memorable: A USB isn’t something attendees will just throw away after your event is over. They’ll hold onto it because of its functionality, then remember who gave it to them because of the branding.

N – Navigation: Setting your USB up like an offline website provides intuitive navigation that makes it easy for attendees to find what they’re looking for quickly.

O – Offline: Your attendees won’t need an internet connection to access your content, which comes in handy since event venue wifi is rarely reliable. They’ll be able to find what they need on-the-go, no matter what.

P – Power + USB: The newest addition to the Omnipress USB family is a combination USB and mobile device charger that can charge attendees’ phones and other devices. A combination that is perfect for those jam-packed conference sessions!  

Q – Quickly Find Content: An easy-to-use interface, hierarchical content and full-text search make finding your content quick and easy.

R – Reusable: Your attendees can use your USB giveaway after the event to store their personal or professional data, making it a long-lasting gift. And, your branding will be there to remind them of your association every time they use it.

S – Sponsorship Opportunity: Giving away USBs at conferences can provide you with an opportunity to generate revenue for your association through sponsorships. Put your sponsor’s’ name or logo on the USB device or a banner ad. They’ll love the ability to get exposure to a defined audience on a physical product.

T – Take Anywhere: You won’t find another giveaway item as functional, small and portable as USB drives are. Your attendees can easily take your USB drive with them wherever they go!

U – User-friendly: Navigating technology can sometimes be tough, but your attendees will appreciate the clean, easy-to-use interface and quick search options that help them find what they need.

V – Video: Your conference USB can even hold videos if you’d like to add recordings of past sessions, extra content or even a fun thank you video!

W – Web-like Experience: You can set your USB up to look similar to an online web page. Your attendees with appreciate the familiar web experience without needing an internet connection.

X – XL for All Your Content: If you have a lot of content to store, there’s no need to fret! USBs come in many sizes and offer as much storage as you need.

Y – Your Attendees Love Them: There’s a reason so many associations giveaway USBs at conferences: their attendees love them, and so will yours!

Z – Zilch: The number of reasons not to offer your content on USB!

Now that you have 26 new reasons to give USB drives to the attendees at your next conference, why don’t you see what’s so great about them yourself? Request a sample Power + USB drive from Omnipress and be one of the first to test it out.

New Product Preview: Power+ USB™

 

This month, I am very excited to unveil a new, Omnipress-exclusive product: the Power+ USB™. Just as the name implies, it combines USB flash storage and a mobile device charger into one, making it a valuable giveaway item for your attendees.

As a company that serves meeting planners, we attend a significant number of meetings ourselves. Two of the more popular and well-received giveaway items we would commonly see at conferences are USB flash drives and portable power banks. Recently, however, we have noticed an increase in the number of organizers, sponsors and exhibitors who are giving away both items. In fact, back here at the office, some of our own customers are doing the same. Which got us thinking…

Power+ USB™

Omnipress was founded on a culture of innovation, providing services that meeting organizers so desperately needed, but weren’t widely available at that time. Back then, we were pretty much the only printer who could receive hundreds and thousands of abstracts and papers as disparate content, collate and format them into a book of proceedings, and print and ship to the conference both cost-efficiently and within incredibly tight timeframes. How did we do this? We re-configured the standard printing process and developed proprietary equipment that didn’t exist at that time. Fast forward to today, we continue to look for opportunities to help meeting planners in ways that no one else is. Whether through CATALYST®, our newest online abstract management system, or the Power+ USB.

When we noticed an opportunity to potentially combine two very popular products into one, we started by doing our research and quickly found there really weren’t any widely available. And those few we did find were cost prohibitive. So we set out to create our own.

More than just an impressive giveaway or sponsor opportunity, the Power+ USB is a convenient way to distribute your conference content to attendees. With a web-like interface, attendees can browse by content track, schedule or author, or search by specific keyword to continue the learning long after the conference ends.

If you’re interested in seeing a sample before your next conference, let us know. In the meantime, we’ll keep looking for new and innovative ways to help you “Deliver Your Content. Deliver Your Value.”

These Are The Opportunities That Event Sponsors Love

 

Associations are always on the lookout for event sponsors that can help defer some of the expense that goes into the annual conference. And, as luck would have it, businesses in your industry are looking for a cost-effective way to communicate with the attendees at your event. Offering a variety of conference materials at your event is one of the best ways to create the in-demand sponsorship opportunities that these businesses are willing to pay for.

Conference materials like printed program guides, USB flash drives, online conference materials and mobile apps provide opportunities for sponsors to connect with the attendees at your event. View the image below to learn which types of sponsorship opportunities each of these materials provide, along with the benefits they offer to your event sponsors.

 

Turn Conference Materials into Conference Revenue

 

From the Graphic

Title: Turn Conference Materials into Conference Revenue

Sponsorships can have a huge impact on your event’s bottom line. Make sure you know all your options when you talk with potential sponsors!

USBs

Location: Logo Directly on Device Case

Benefit to your sponsors: Provide branding opportunities that last long after the event ends

Print

Location: Inside cover of program guide

Benefit to your sponsors: Attention-grabbing image in a high visibility location

Location: Ads in on-site program guides

Benefit to your sponsors: Promote messages to targeted audience at the event

Mobile App

Location: Activity Feed

Benefit to your sponsors: Creates opportunity for interaction with brand

Location: Push Notification

Benefit to your sponsors: Enables ability to reach every attendee with the app

Location: Sponsor Listing Page

Benefit to your sponsors: Provides recognition for making your event a reality

Online Content Library

Location: Above the site banner

Benefit to your sponsors: Ad can be viewed year-round

Location: Next to content

Benefit to your sponsors: Provide direct link to sponsor’s website

For more ideas on how to turn your conference materials into conference revenue, talk with us today! justask@omnipress.com

7 Things to Consider When Choosing Conference Giveaways

Choosing useful, effective conference giveaways that provide value and fill a need for attendees is a tall order. There’s no limit to the options available; your inbox is likely full of marketing messages from companies selling promotional items. And let’s face it—95% of them are junk. Keep your association’s educational objectives in mind as you search for items to fill that goody bag.

Here are seven qualities to think about when choosing conference giveaways:

  1. Relevant: Does the item help creatively communicate the value your association or the sponsor brings to the attendee? Don’t give out a widget for a widget’s sake! Make sure it helps to support your key messages.
  2. Portable: This may be common sense, but it’s good to keep this consideration top-of-mind. Can attendees take the giveaway home without trouble, or will it take up valuable real estate in their carry-on?
  3. Branded: Increased awareness of your association’s brand is a major factor when choosing a conference giveaway. If the item can’t bear a legible logo, what’s the point?
  4. Sponsorship opportunity: Sponsors are always looking for useful ways to contribute to your event. Choose a giveaway that lets you promote your sponsors, too.
  5. Cost-effective: Some relevant, portable, memorable giveaways might be perfect for meeting those needs…but don’t pass muster for staying within your budget. If sponsorship can’t help out, you may have to make another choice.
  6. Intriguing: Take a risk and try something new and creative! The gold standard is a clever giveaway that provides value beyond the first week or two after the conference.
  7. Usable: Think about how attendees would use your giveaway. Will it live on their desk, often in sight and in mind? Or will it get a few uses for the fun of it and then live out its days in the bottom drawer? Novelty will only get you so far.

Your association stands for professional development and lifelong learning. Why not support your mission with a giveaway that checks all of the boxes and provides attendees with access to conference content?

USBs fit the bill. Conference content is relevant to attendees. A flash drive is portable, even if a novel style like a slap band is used. USBs provide ample space for branding and are attractive giveaways to sponsors. Custom options are memorable and intriguing, offering initial excitement and lasting value. And, compared to other trinkets that won’t make it home with attendees, the per-unit cost is affordable.

Curious how USBs could work as a giveaway at your association’s next meeting? Contact us to start the conversation and request a sample!

Why USBs Are a Happy Medium

Say a certain portion of your association’s membership is a little behind, in terms of adopting new technology, while others eagerly embrace—and even demand—it. The first group is reluctant to change; printed conference proceedings suit them just fine. They find it distracting to read abstracts online. In their minds, screens just don’t lend themselves to the deep reading that professional content deserves, whereas the second group expects to find your conference materials online or in a mobile app.

Does this describe your association? As demographics shift, so do content needs. It’s a good thing that your association serves a wide variety of industry professionals, but it does present a challenge: How do you satisfy the content needs of all attendees?

USBs are a perfect in-between, serving as a bridge between printed and digital conference materials. Content appears similar to print, but on a screen, which is a low bar for print devotees to clear.

The USB content is searchable, which technology natives will appreciate. The online companion site, which is essentially a connected version of the USB, allows for digital content like videos and podcasts, as well as opportunities to share content on social media.

It’s important to understand that the USB is not merely a file dump. With search capabilities and intuitive navigation (see the image above), a USB behaves more like a website than some “conference content sites” that include nothing more than a list of PDFs of meeting presentations.

What’s more, attendees of all stripes like receiving these free, useful giveaways that double as a valuable sponsor branding opportunity for your association. USBs have played an important role at conferences for quite some time, and continue to appeal to technophobes and early adopters alike.

Visit our website to learn more about your USB options. Like what you see? Contact us to request a sample!

USB Types: Custom, Clever, Cost-Effective

 

Over the past few months, we’ve shown you different custom options for USBs. We’ve heard from you that these ideas are, to put it plainly, super cool. You won’t hear any arguments from us!

Custom USBs are clever, creative giveaways that will make attendees chuckle. Later, when the device actually makes it home from the annual meeting and is inserted into an office computer (!), it will make them think, too. And that’s the real point of delivering content on a USB.

So we’ve established that custom USBs are great and attendees may actually use them to learn and further their careers. Excellent!

USBs are great sponsor opportunities, but sometimes, the association itself is put in the position of paying for flash drives themselves. That means that clever options, while the most fun, are not be the most affordable. This struggle is real; sometimes, you have to deliver the best you can, even if it’s not the best there is.

Never fear! We have other types of USBs that are useful and still somewhat clever, while remaining more budget-friendly.

  • Card-style: Easy for attendees to carry around in the pockets, purses, or wallets.
  • Pen-style: A crowd favorite! It’s a pen and a USB. So useful!
  • Keychain: Attendees can keep their car keys and conference content, all in one package.
  • Swivel: The gold standard for protecting content and saving space in your carry-on.
  • Capped: Prevent damage to the valuable files on the USB with a fitted, protective cap.

A quote to sum up: Shoot for the moon (custom USBs to match your association’s industry and/or conference theme)! Even if you miss (i.e. you don’t have the budget or sponsors to pay for the best option), you’ll land among the stars (a pretty cool type of USB).

Whew! Thanks for following along with that twisty metaphor. Point is, there are affordable options if you want to provide USBs to your attendees. Want to see one for yourself? Request a sample!

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.

 

7 Reasons USBs Should Make an Appearance at Your Next Conference

There are so many options available to associations for getting conference content in the hands of attendees, it’s hard to choose which one to use for your next conference. Optimally, you’d offer as many options as your budget allows and work with one vendor to provide all of them.

In the real world, you run into issues at every step and sometimes it’s just not possible to get it all done, whether you’re managing four vendors or just one. Budgets may not be quite as tight as they were in recent years, but your association could hardly be considered flush, either.

USBs might not be the first solution that comes to mind, but maybe they should be. In some ways, USBs represent the perfect middle ground for meeting planners. Besides which, they may even pay for themselves at your next conference!

  1. USBs can be used offline. Even with the recent FCC ruling that blocking WiFi isn’t allowed, signals can be unreliable and/or expensive on site. The option of plugging in a USB, which work with many tablets in addition to laptops (though adapters may be needed), and getting to work is attractive to many attendees.
  2. USBs are portable and convenient. As readers of the blog are well aware, I’m fond of reading print. But everything has its time and place, and carry-on bags are only so big. USBs are tiny, compared to the average conference program.
  3. USBs open up content possibilities. In addition to giving attendees access to abstracts, handouts, and presentations, USBs are conducive to other types of content, including videos, audio files, and websites. Include all relevant content on your USB and it becomes that much more valuable.
  4. USBs play nice with online materials. When you work with Omnipress to offer your attendees USBs, you’ll also get a companion website that users can access when connectivity isn’t an issue. The USB and website are built to work together, so users won’t feel lost or confused moving between the two.
  5. USBs are easily searchable. Content is well-organized. If your attendees can’t find what they need by navigating, the search capabilities can help them locate the right file.
  6. USBs are brandable. Got a logo for your association? Of course you do! For your conference? Probably. Get it printed on your USBs to expand your brand!
  7. USBs are attractive to sponsors. You couldn’t put on your conference without help from sponsors. Many of them want to provide more than money. Ask an organization to sponsor USBs, a tangible, educational giveaway that can carry their logo. You’ll see some sponsors raise their hands!

For these reasons and more, USBs continue to be a viable option for conference content delivery. Custom designs make them fun and memorable, too! Reach out to us to learn more about how USBs can make a difference at your next conference.

5 Signs That Your Conference Content’s Check-Engine Light Is On

Last week on the blog, you learned how to tell if your content engine needs a tune-up. In other words, it would be a good idea to take a look under the hood. It’s not urgent, though. You should do it, but your content engine will still run if you don’t get around to it right away.

When your check engine light is on, however, you’ve reached critical mass. Action must be taken. There are several reasons why those lights on your dash illuminated, from the innocuous to more problematic causes. It could be something simple, like a loose gas cap, or something more serious, such as a catalytic converter that needs to be replaced. Regardless of what the ultimate cause is, you shouldn’t ignore it.

When it comes to your conference, there are a few surefire signs that your content engine needs immediate attention.

  1. You overhear conversations about content outputs at your conference. Two colleagues lament the loss of the printed program, for instance, or voice complaints about the new app. Like it or not, people are more honest in conversation with each other than they are in surveys with you.
  2. You find yourself trying to convince the board (again) to budget for additional formats to deliver conference content. Does your association’s board need to be reminded that content is the engine of the annual meeting? A shift in priorities may be in order. That shock of recognition you’re feeling? That’s the light on your dashboard.
  3. You have noticed that your attendee demographics are shifting. Do you cater to more millennials and fewer baby boomers than you did in the past? According to a survey we conducted, millennials prefer to learn from printed materials. Have you welcomed more international attendees in recent years? They may find printed materials cumbersome; their capacity for additional carry-on space may be limited. Perhaps online conference materials are the best choice for them.
  4. You have learned that attendees have a strong preference for one type of output (say, online conference materials) … except for those who show an equally strong preference for a different one (say, print). As the famous quote goes, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” (John Lyndgate) Trying to win with everyone is a losing proposition, so just do the best you can to offer multiple outputs to your attendees—printed materials, online conference materials, USBs/CDs, and a conference app.
  5. You know fellow association professionals (say, the ones you’ll meet up with next week at ASAE) who have had success with offering multiple outputs. We have found that in the association world, it helps to know how other groups like yours are handling their content. Hearing success stories from colleagues (or reading case studies) may have you wondering if you should make a change.

When signs like these point towards potential danger, it’s best to take care of things right away. Conference content is too important to take for granted, or continue on autopilot because it’s easier than making a change. Attendee satisfaction does depend, in part, on whether content comes in the format they prefer—and everyone is different. The best solution is to invest in your conference by providing as many different ways to consume the content as you can.

The Omnipress team will embody the automotive theme we’ve been using in recent blog posts at ASAE Annual 2015 in Detroit. Stop by booth 515 to learn more and pick up a USB that includes our newest white paper, Your 19-Point Conference Content Inspection. We hope to see you soon!

Conference Content: The Engine That Drives Your Association’s Annual Meeting

When it comes to your association’s conference, it can be helpful to think of content as the engine of your annual meeting.

It’s true that all other aspects of your conference are also important—ordering tasty and healthy food and beverage, brokering agreements with sponsors, working with exhibitors, booking hotel blocks, handling speaker requests, and so much more.

But without content? Your annual meeting just doesn’t run without it. Much like the engine of car, your association’s conference content is the critical component that brings it all together and, simply put, makes it go.

Your content engine is far too important to leave untended, therefore, and it needs a good tune-up every so often. When was the last time you gave more thought (much less budget!) to your conference content than you did to food and beverage?

Yet the quality of the content—and the method(s) of delivery you used to get it in the hands of your attendees—is what will really determine whether members will attend next year.

When professionals return to the office after a conference, what do their colleagues ask? What did you learn? Did you catch Dr. Smith’s session? How was it? Can I take a look at your notes? Do you think our boss will let me go next year? The conversation is centered on content. Eventually networking events, venue, and that great breakfast spread will come up, but first and foremost is content.

How are you planning to deliver content for your next annual meeting? Printed programs and/or proceedings? Online? Through a conference app? On a USB or CD? A combination of the above, or all of these methods? How will your session speakers be selected? Have you chosen an abstract management system to keep that process streamlined and under control?

If your answer to any of those questions is I haven’t figured that out yet, but you can describe the opening reception hors d’oeuvres in detail, you may want to think about getting your content engine in for a check-up, ASAP.

Stop by booth 515 at ASAE Annual to consult the Omnipress “pit crew” on your content engine. We’d love to help you look into ways you can get your conference content in good shape and keep it that way for years to come. See you in Motor City!