5 Strategies to Amp Up your Conference Content

Meeting your mission is about to get easier and more cost-effective! Repurposing content from your conferences and event is top of mind for an increasing number of organizations these days — Here are some tips for doing more with less and making the most of the content you’ve collected already while strategizing about the content […]

Meeting your mission is about to get easier and more cost-effective! Repurposing content from your conferences and event is top of mind for an increasing number of organizations these days — Here are some tips for doing more with less and making the most of the content you’ve collected already while strategizing about the content you’ll be collecting in the future. Hint: the right technology really helps!

One: Design your systems from the ground up with the end in mind.

Remember Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Successful People? The second habit invites you to “begin with the end in mind,” working from the principle that you will never get where you are going if you don’t first define your intention. With content, it works the same way. The best way to get the content your members and mission demand is to get your program committees to think this way from the start. Don’t just evaluate what gets submitted, design your Call for Abstracts or Proposals to only solicit and receive the stuff that advances your field, your mission, your purpose.

Two: Free your staff to make the best possible decisions using real-time data.

Instead of managing and tracking correspondence, creating data bridges between systems, and aggregating spreadsheets, let your staff focus attention on analyzing the stories told by statistics gathered in-system that show both real-time status and trends over time.

A solid content management system provides real-time access to the key statistics you and your teams need to understand the flow of information and content both in and out of the organization. By seeing the big picture and being able to answer critical requests for information more quickly, your teams get more agile at reporting out and build their internal knowledge base. They increase their judgment and learn how to build reports and provide details about the topics, speakers, research, and learning formats that matter most to the future of your field. By analyzing trends over time, your teams have what they need to bring important trends to management level attention — critical, strategic pivot points come to light and you save money by eliminating guess-work from your decision-making. This cycle spins faster the more knowledge and context they have — which leads to maximum efficiency.

Three: Automate accreditation assessments, administration, and reporting.

Whether your accreditation needs are legally required, achievement motivated, or credibility building, they are most often time-consuming and require weeks of processing.

A robust technology tool, like CTI Meeting Technology’s cOASIS, can transform even the most rigorous medical credentialing processes and do wonders to reduce staff time spent distributing, collecting, reporting, and archiving your accreditation program.

Technology can help you by facilitating:

  • direct upload of assessments
  • configuration of testing parameters
  • incorporation of committee-defined criteria
  • in-system and on-app exam administration
  • schedule-level access to exams and applicable sessions for attendees
  • tagging of applicable sessions in online and printed program materials
  • inclusion of applicable sessions in search parameters

In addition, the best systems will include real-time reporting via administrative dashboards, and offer immediate scoring and reporting to the test-takers and accrediting agencies. Offering re-takes is important for many programs, and a tool that supports viewing and printing of certificates of achievement post-event is a plus.

Four: Integrate your systems for collection and dissemination.

When you connect your abstract collection process with your accreditation process, your onsite presentation management process, AND your post-conference resources library, you leverage the power of each systems to their fullest. The sum is greater than the sum of its parts. You stop thinking of your content management as steps on a ladder and begin thinking of them as segments of a wheel.

The ultimate content wheel never stops moving. Instead, it revolves ever onward, supplying the best content you can curate in an effortless flow through its lifecycle. Even content that only lives for one year within your educational system is more efficiently handled when it spends its entire year within a single management solution.

If your systems are integrated, at the end of the conference or event, what you are left with is a seamless record of the entire life of that content within your system. You can view the abstract itself, you can see the presentation slides, you can see any associated hand-outs, you can review the comments and feedback from the reviewers, you can see the evaluation data from attendees, you can review the learning outcomes relative to the assessment scores, and you can even see an actual recording of the presentation as it was given.

And perhaps most importantly, any part of this content record is available for further review and discussion as plans for future years and program quality assessments are made. It is available for publication in a printed proceedings, an online proceedings, an executive summary, research reports, and an online video library like that exemplified by European medical society ESIR.

Five: Feed your engagement and education strategies.

Content marketing is one of the hottest buzz words in both marketing and education circles. Yet anyone who is responsible for these areas of an association will tell you that generating content that meets the “holy three” of engagement (relevance, timeliness, and accessibility) is tough stuff indeed.

With fluctuating labor laws and ongoing cuts to critical federal funding streams for many programs, there is more need than ever to make sure that your association’s engagement strategy is fueled with high-test content that keeps your members attentive and keeps your staff producing more goodies with less effort.

The final (and most visible) segment of a complete conference/event content management strategy should include options for repurposing and leveraging the content generated by your events. Whether these are testimonials that you collect through your evaluation process, are direct exports of abstracts and research to your website, or online libraries that include related whitepapers and other knowledge capital, everything that matters from your events and conferences is potential material for your marketing teams to leverage.

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CTI Meeting Technology solutions make it easy for your program committees to collaborate on session building, themes, acceptance criteria, and definition of desired learning outcomes. The easier it is for them to work together, the higher quality content you’ll curate and be able to use in the future to attract attendees to your meeting, gain press coverage from ground-breaking research, and create sustainable revenue streams with your post-event libraries.

CTI Meeting Technology systems begin with this end in mind and are configured to guide staff through the various workflows required to shepherd your content though its entire lifecycle. Libraries can be searched across years, can include free and monetized content, and offer single sign-on access for members if desired.

With integrated, cloud-based solutions from CTI Meeting Technology, your teams can collect, evaluate, and share the content from your events more easily and systemically than ever before. It’s time to free yourselves from the grind of managing and organizing and move into leveraging and repurposing. With solutions from CTI, the only limitation is your imagination!
Watch and listen to a VODcast version of this post from the Meeting Design Institute’s FRESH17 conference, January 2017 in Brussels.