Best of 2015: Online Conference Materials
7 Reasons to Offer Online Conference Materials—Even If You Already Have an App
When it comes to conference content, your association has accepted that many attendees prefer digital distribution. In a digital world, a printed program alone just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Attendees seem to bring smartphones everywhere they go, so a conference app felt like the best choice. You’ll still distribute some printed programs to cover your bases for attendees who don’t download the app or want to read content in print.
So now you’re covered, right?
Not so fast! Apps bring many benefits to the table, including a personal itinerary for the annual meeting and tools to engage with others, but there are numerous reasons to offer online access to conference materials as well.
- Better search:The search tools available online, including full-text and faceted search, are superior to the basic keyword search on the app. When attendees are looking for a specific presentation, it matters!
- Post-meeting access:Apps are most useful during a conference. Many attendees don’t use it at all once they board the plane home, though the content is still relevant and worth a second look. Viewing materials on a computer, when back in the office, is easier.
- Better reading experience:Deep reading is challenging on a small screen. That’s why many attendees choose to pore over new research on a full screen, rather than using the app.
- Long-term access:Most apps have a 12-month license. Once it’s time to release the 2016 app, all of the digital materials from 2015 will be removed and … well, then what? If you offer conference materials online, however, you can begin to build an archive of content that extends through the years.
- Search engine accessible:Websites are accessed by search engines; apps are not. To increase your SEO (search engine optimization), which helps new members find the association, and give presenters and authors maximum exposure, online is the way to go.
- Responsive design:Websites built with responsive design appear differently, depending on the size of the screen used to view them. If an attendee brings a tablet to your conference, as many do, viewing conference materials online will trump an app. Setting up an itinerary, receiving push notifications, and connecting with other attendees, however, are reasons to keep the app as well.
- Non-dues revenue:As you build your association’s conference content archive, you can plan to charge access for past years. You can also restrict access for current content to attendees and/or members. Generate non-dues revenue and control access online.
More avenues to the quality content from your annual meeting is better than fewer. When each format brings key benefits like the seven outlined here, it’s clear that investing more time and effort in conference content will pay off in the long run.
To keep the conference content process clean and streamlined for your association, choose a single-source solution. Omnipress can provide everything you need, from abstract management to all outputs—conference printing, USBs, conference apps, and online conference materials.
For more on simplifying conference content, from start to finish, read our white paper, Best Practices in Conference Content Planning & Production.
Honorable mentions of 2015 online conference materails posts:
Before & After: How Attendees Use Online Conference Materials
3 Reasons to Offer Online Conference Materials + 5 Features Attendees Love