Back to school apple icons shape over paper sheet background. EPS10 vector file organized in layers for easy editing.Every year, back-to-school sales seem to hit stores earlier. (The same could be said for holiday merchandise. Don’t get me started.) As hard as it is to admit that summer is winding down, all signs—particularly those in store windows—point towards fall.

Back-to-school shopping is the bellwether of pumpkin-flavored everything; similarly, your association’s selection of an abstract management provider signals the start of a new conference cycle.

Abstract management is the beginning of the process, and if you do it right, you’ll make it easier to manage your outputs as well. As I’ve written before, abstract management is everything!

What do you need from an abstract management system? Is your current provider getting it done? If you have been trying to direct the project from your inbox (in other words, you use email and attachments to manage the process), do you ever wonder if there’s a better way?

Answering these questions will shape your whole conference, not just your call for papers, review process, and collection of final presentations. A comprehensive system can solve problems you didn’t even know you had, with resources like a drag-and-drop scheduling tool and an upload tool that accepts all types of files, of any size.

For the best abstract management experience, make sure that collection is the first step of many—not a one-and-done scenario—with the same vendor. Once your conference content is all in one place, housed in a single system, the time comes to create outputs: printed programs, for example, and online conference materials, USBs, and a conference app.

If you handle those outputs with different providers (whether that means one provider that manages all outputs or—for more headaches—a separate vendor for each), you basically have to start over. You would have to download materials from the abstract management system and distributing them to your vendors to prepare the outputs.

That’s like buying all of the school supplies for your to-be-4th grader, only to learn that you grabbed the 5th grade list for a different school by mistake. Why take that extra step? And why take the steps that follow, communicating with multiple vendors to handle the same set of content?

Omnipress can help you with conference content every step of the way, from your initial call for papers, to outputs like printed and online conference materials, to creating a digital archive with a digital publishing platform. Keep your content under one roof, handled by a team that knows how to communicate with each other and make things easier for you.

Before you take your 12-year-old shopping for a back-to-school wardrobe (good luck!), talk with Omnipress to learn more about our abstract management system. That way, you can get your conference content off to the same great start your kid(s) will have this fall.