Affordable Meetings Goes Green
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.
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.”