Why USBs Are a Happy Medium
Say a certain portion of your association’s membership is a little behind, in terms of adopting new technology, while others eagerly embrace—and even demand—it. The first group is reluctant to change; printed conference proceedings suit them just fine. They find it distracting to read abstracts online. In their minds, screens just don’t lend themselves to the deep reading that professional content deserves, whereas the second group expects to find your conference materials online or in a mobile app.
Does this describe your association? As demographics shift, so do content needs. It’s a good thing that your association serves a wide variety of industry professionals, but it does present a challenge: How do you satisfy the content needs of all attendees?
USBs are a perfect in-between, serving as a bridge between printed and digital conference materials. Content appears similar to print, but on a screen, which is a low bar for print devotees to clear.
The USB content is searchable, which technology natives will appreciate. The online companion site, which is essentially a connected version of the USB, allows for digital content like videos and podcasts, as well as opportunities to share content on social media.
It’s important to understand that the USB is not merely a file dump. With search capabilities and intuitive navigation (see the image above), a USB behaves more like a website than some “conference content sites” that include nothing more than a list of PDFs of meeting presentations.
What’s more, attendees of all stripes like receiving these free, useful giveaways that double as a valuable sponsor branding opportunity for your association. USBs have played an important role at conferences for quite some time, and continue to appeal to technophobes and early adopters alike.