Affordable Meetings Goes Green

Published by Steve Manicor | Topics: Training

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HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings National event in DC is next week. Since 2002, we have been serving George Little Mgmt on all three HSMAI Affordable Meetings events (West, National and Mid-America).

greenlightWhen we started in ’02, we helped take their loose handouts and consolidate them into a coil bound book (adding structure, etc.) to end up with what they have called the “meeting handbook.”

It was exciting because while exhibiting at this event, attendees would rave about having all the handouts in one place (not loose) — A convenient, educational resource if you will. Not to mention for us, it was easy to explain what we did (while in the booth)…

Me: “We produced the handbook.”

Attendee: “OMG, great job, I love it!”

…Which led to further conversations on helping them with their materials.

Greener Meetings

Times have changed… fast forward to 2008. HSMAI has decided to green their conference materials and take a different approach — the “Paperless Meeting.” It’s not my favorite approach, but I am excited since this will make a great case study.

Attendees will only receive a printed Conference Learning Journal and handouts will only be available online for download (posted only the day before the event). This kind of makes sense, as this is a free event, but I wonder how attendees will have time to download this content. Note: There’s not a formal print kiosk on site, but the show offices will have printers for those who want to download and print handouts.

Conference Recording Adds Value

So we have decided as a sponsor of the event to record the the educational sessions. Then offer the sessions via online with synchronized audio/slides about one week after the event (available to attendees only). We felt, dropping the handouts without giving something back wasn’t wise.


As a guy who cares about our earth, I am happy to grow green with this event. As a marketing guy, I am curious to see how this all unfolds (success or not) as we will have access to stats (on downloaded handouts, viewed recorded sessions and direct feedback from attendees). As a guy who attends educational meetings to learn, let’s just say I feel there’s less value for the attendees.

Remember, the five myths of the paperless meeting I wrote about before. Perhaps this is just another case study in the making. Look for my post-show follow up later this month.

My opinion… Maybe I should have entitled this post, “Affordable Meetings Cut Costs.”


About Steve Manicor

Steve is Omnipress' Director of Business Development. He has over five years serving the meetings and training industry. He leads our product/service leadership and development teams. more

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