Go Digital With Your Next Event: 5 Reasons to Use Online Conference Proceedings
Annual meetings are an important revenue source for most associations. The events typically include an extensive educational program resulting in a proceedings book (a compilation of all presentations and/or research papers). Not too long ago conference proceedings were delivered in print but this method created thick, heavy books that were costly to produce and transport. Many attendees preferred to leave them behind rather than carry the proceedings home with them.
During the past decade the association industry has made major advancements through the use of technology and began placing conference proceedings on CDs or USB sticks. These are great eco-friendly alternatives to print especially because both are so much smaller and lightweight than traditional bookforms, however, they can get lost or even destroyed. In one instance, an attendee’s dog loved her conference CD so much he chewed it up!
Solution: Place proceedings online and on CD
Placing educational content online in addition to CD makes a lot of sense for most planners, but being green is only one aspect here are 5 additional benefits.
5 benefits of online proceedings:
1. Real-time proceedings:
Many times speakers cannot deliver their presentations in time to be published on the CD. But their presentations can be easily uploaded into the online proceedings anytime prior to, during and after the event. This makes the online proceedings the most up to date location for conference educational materials.
2. Attendees are able to plan better:
By being able to read the presentations online prior to an event, they can better plan which talks will most benefit them, increasing the likelihood that they'll find value in your event. Without this benefit, attendees are planning their week based on presentation titles and abstracts which is not as effective as reading through the entire paper. A good online proceedings provider will help you send an email to your attendees letting them know conference papers are now viewable.
3. No more wasted paper:
Attendees love the green aspect of online proceedings because they only print the papers they are most interested in. Proceedings are in a sense customized to match each attendee’s educational preferences.
4. Great marketing tool for you:
As an event planner, placing proceedings online offers you multiple reasons to get in touch with your members. You can send emails to them prior to and after the event letting them know when additional presentations have been uploaded. This keeps your association and event in front of the attendee for longer periods of time increasing your chances of additional revenue especially if you have a "store" on your website.
5. Viewable on any smartphone:
Online proceedings can be downloaded and viewed on any smartphone such as iPod®, Blackberry®, etc. making this proceedings format extremely convenient and portable.
By placing conference proceedings on CD or USB stick and online, association event organizers can inexpensively provide increased value to their attendees while at the same time making their events more eco-friendly through the reduction of printed materials. The benefits of online proceedings to the attendees such as real-time educational content, improved planning capabilities and portability make this a natural technology to add to any event, while the increased marketing capability provides an added benefit to the association. In short, when going digital, all parties win.
Author: Eva Montgomery, published author and Midwest Sales Director for CadmiumCD, www.cadmiumcd.com, a multi-media company specializing in conference proceedings in online, CD and audio formats, web-based speaker management tools and audio slide synchronization services. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-443-421-0059.