The Evolution of Content Delivery
Let’s take a 360 degree view of association content delivery—past, present, and future. How did we get here? What is “here,” anyway? Where are we going next? What’s the best way to keep up with these changes, without overspending the budget or staff time?
Well, let’s take a look at Omnipress’ history to learn where we’ve come from and how to move forward.
When Omnipress started working with associations in 1982, five years after its inception, print was the “be all, end all” of content distribution. Omnipress was known as the proceedings printer for good reason: providing a complete record of association event content was—and continues to be—our passion.
In the early 1990s, floppy disks were a popular addition to printed program books and proceedings. This distribution was short-lived, though, and rather cumbersome. Imagine a binder full of content … and 25 floppy disks as a digital copy! It’s comical to picture, but when you think about it, this marked the first foray into content delivery on additional platforms.
Physical digital media took hold in the mid-‘90s. Associations welcomed the idea to offer USBs and CDs as tangible gifts to attendees. An additional avenue to view and interact with content, these tools were also branded reminders of a happy conference experience. Some associations still offer these products to attendees, and with many enhancements since 1995, like note-taking and many convenient, useful options, we can hardly blame them!
In 2001, Omnipress began helping associations collect abstracts and other submissions online. Though this content was still distributed in print and using physical digital media, online collection made for a smoother process for associations. They could produce their content where it was collected, streamlining the process and eliminating the need for additional vendors. We still offer this ease and convenience. Collect with Omnipress and let us handle the content delivery as well. Consider online abstract and speaker management the first piece of your hassle-free association content puzzle.
Online collection spurred the need for online distribution of event content, which also began in 2001. Now that more attendees were bringing laptops to conferences, and using computers extensively during the workday, it made sense to offer association content online. Members loved accessing the content online and associations appreciated having a central hub for all important information.
What online access to content offered in convenience, it lacked in portability. Smartphones and tablets were becoming de rigueur at events, and we took the cue to create a mobile event app in 2012. Attendees could access the program schedule, speaker bios, venue maps, Twitter feeds, and more. Ever since its release, we have been improving the app to reflect the needs you’ve expressed to us, and we continue to do so.
The present state of content evolution relies heavily on online and mobile distribution. Print remains a major component at many events and in continuing education training, while we have seen a sharp decline in physical digital products (CDs and USBs).
Does the current picture represent the future as well or is this just a snapshot of what’s happening in this singular moment? History teaches us that the latter is true. But don’t worry if mobile event apps and online publishing makes your head spin. You’ve got a vendor partner in Omnipress, and we will follow you into the future, taking the advances in content delivery as they come.