Director of Training and Publications Dan Loomis

Remember when you were back in school and for each class you had a spiral-bound notebook?

Each class had a different flavor, and you took time to doctor them up with stickers or other cool designs. Then you get a real job and your employer hands you a… you guessed it… a notepad.

Everyone at work is carrying around these notepads, writing on one side only (not green!), flipping pages over the top edge (curling paper!) and tearing pages out (no organization!).

To make ourselves look professional, we buy a leather or vinyl organizer to hold our beloved cheap notepads. I have to say, I’m not a big fan of notepads if you are taking more than one page of notes and plan to refer back to them later.

Sound familiar?

Conference Notebooks | Perfect for Attendees

conflearnjournal_sm1A growing trend with many of our clients is providing their attendees with a program/notebook, usually in the 6×9 format. Sometimes it’s called a Conference Notebook, sometimes a Learning Journal. Regardless, it’s a great on-site tool that usually includes all the conference program and agenda information to help attendees quickly figure out what sessions to attend. It also contains about 30 blank pages for attendees to take notes. Some clients even include a CD with the session handouts on it.

Since we produce conference notebooks for many of our clients, I get the luxury of taking a few for my own use.

Yes, I carry around these little conference notebooks that say, “Meet Different” by MPI, or “2007 Professional Education Conference – MPI.” Hint to association marketers: Your logo and conference info lives long after the event. And, people are always asking me, “Who’s MPI?”

I Love My Conference Notebooks

Here’s why:

  • They’re compact.
  • They have a nice pocket in the back for carrying loose paper or business cards.
  • I can use both sides of the sheet.
  • They don’t take up half the table when the notebook is open.
  • It’s different and I look more professional.
  • Each meeting or note is dated so I can quickly refer back to it.
  • The cover identifies me with my profession (plus, I can draw cool things on it).

How I Use My Conference Notebooks

  1. notebook-cuOne for blogging notes, website technical things, etc.
  2. One for general meetings (many topics in this book).
  3. One that I take to educational conferences – my learning notes never get lost!
  4. My favorite use: I have one for all my hockey practice plans, drills, etc. It’s the best organizing tool that ever happened to my coaching career. I have every practice logged in a single conference notebook which makes it so easy to reference.

When you’re planning your next conference and want to give your attendees something useful and reusable, give them a conference notebook and save your dollars on other things like hotel notepads and fancy leather notepad holders.