There are few careers that oversee as much coordination as an event professional. Having to rely on venue staff, caterers, A/V providers, etc. can feel like you are often putting your event—and your professional reputation—in the hands of total strangers. Talk about stressful! Other than working with people you trust, there is not much you can do to take the stress out of certain aspects of conference planning. So, it’s important to make sure that the areas where you are in control are as efficient as possible. These added sanity-savings will come in handy the next time your A/V company tells you they forgot to bring Mac-adapters for the laptops!
Taking control of what you control
One task on the conference planning to-do list that rarely goes as smoothly as it could is collecting content for the conference. In fact, in our 2017 State of the Conference Industry Report, you listed “Managing the collection and review process” as the top challenge in dealing with conference content.
Unfortunately, though, meeting planners tend to put up with their broken content collection workflow rather than try and find a solution. There are two common reasons for this:
The first reason meeting planners stick with their inefficient collection process is because they don’t know there is a better way. Usually they have been using the same time-consuming workarounds for so long, that that just becomes their normal process. Or, maybe this process is the way their association has “always” done it, so that’s the way it is.
A second common reason is the fear of the unknown. In this scenario, a conference planner knows her solution isn’t great but is afraid that making a change will result in an even worse, unknown problem in the future. Not exactly an ideal way to think about a project that you have to do every year!
If you fall into either of these categories, “The 5-Step Test Every Abstract Management System Should Pass” is a resource you should read.
This whitepaper will help you figure out if your current system is helping you stay organized and efficient, or if it’s the source of your content troubles. You’ll also learn which questions to ask and why each of these criteria is so important. Having these questions answered will give you the confidence your need to kick your broken system to the curb once and for all!
Planning a conference is a stressful profession and having the right tools for the job makes all the difference. Odds are you wouldn’t be willing to find a workaround if the vendors you rely on routinely created more work for you. Imagine if your caterer forgot to bring desert every year. Would you be willing—year-after-year—to spend your time buying cookies from the local grocery store? No, you’d hire a different caterer next year! Don’t let a broken abstract management system create more work for you either. Use the tips in “The 5-Step Test Every Abstract Management System Should Pass” to find a system that reduces your workload, not one that adds to it.