The chairs are folded. The hum of the fluorescent lights has come to a halt. And your conference is over.
Wait… (If this is what your most recent conference was like, stop reading. Please see: Five Meeting Design Principles: Inviting Innovation and Intellect.)
Moving along… Your conference is over. Attendees, sponsors, and speakers alike have scattered in their own directions back to their associations and offices, and just like that, nothing remains of the conference which took so long to prepare for.
Are you missing an opportunity here?
Once your conference or event is over, what are you doing with your valuable conference materials? How do you keep your conference at the front of your attendees’ minds for months after the event?
Four Creative Ways to Share Conference Materials AFTER the Event:
- Online Event Communities: Continuing conference discussions through online communities is a simple way to share conference materials after an event. Include informal content such as pictures, video snippets and slides, as well as more formal content like technical papers and session handouts. You can have specific conversations around sessions and point to your online handouts or knowledge centers.
- Password-Protected Websites or Knowledge Centers: Like online communities, conference websites can be a place to share both formal and informal content from the event like handouts and recorded sessions, but password-protecting the website make it easier to control who sees what information. Communicate via email bi-monthly in your member newsletters or to your attendee list including just a few topics in each message to keep everyone thinking about your event.
- Learning Management Systems (LMS): The biggest advantage of placing content (particularly more formal content) into an LMS is that it can then be tracked and credit can be awarded. In an LMS, you can take your recorded content or technical papers and create a resource that is relevant to your members.
- Blogs: “When in doubt, blog it out!” Blogs can easily be used to post transcripts, video or audio of the conference, or even just takeaway points from the speakers. Blogging is great for marketing your event, as well. Those who didn’t attend can read about what happened to give them some insight on what they missed. Don’t have a blog? Ask industry bloggers to do it for you!
The most important thing to remember is to think and plan ahead! Before your event even begins, you should have a plan for sharing content after the event is over. You don’t have to do it all at once. Even if you start small, sharing a little bit more each year adds up and will bring extra value to your event that members and attendees are looking for.
What are the best ways you have discovered for sharing content after an event that brings the most value to your event, its attendees and your members?
Special thanks to Jeff Cobb and Christopher Uschan for their insight!