Content is still king for events
The competition to draw participants to events is increasing, especially as younger professionals, with new demands, enter the workforce.
As a result, organizations are rethinking content curation.
Education content is still the most valued service an association provides, but the survey found association professionals are increasingly struggling with how to deliver content and in which formats.
“Whether it is the number of formats associations are using to deliver conference content, the variety of initiatives designed to increase attendee engagement or the wide-ranging expectations of today’s attendees, associations are managing an increasingly complex content portfolio before, during and after their events,” the report says.
Most of the survey’s respondents indicated increasing attendance at events is a top goal for 2018. And so, they’re offering more opportunities for member engagement by soliciting content from a mix of invited speakers and open calls for presentations. By trying to attract a range of content from various sources, organizations hope to increase the quality of events and offer more networking opportunities.
The ways in which people want to receive content is changing, thanks to the advent of social media and other technologies. Although delivery methods may become more flexible, because associations recognize the important of providing content, 27 percent of organizations in thd survey said their budgets will increase.
Speaker presentations continue to be the No. 1 type of content provided at events – which is useful for continuing education after an event. But, attendees have indicated they want less printed materials.
So comes the debate about providing materials online or via social platforms. Unfortunately, most organizations still plan to provide mostly printed content, even though attendee feedback indicates just the opposite.
That could be a problem, Omnipress warns.
“It’s clear that attendees want to access content in the medium that is most convenient for them,” the report says. “Associations that solicit attendee feedback have a more accurate assessment of these expectations.”
At the same time, an increasing number of organizations plan to repurpose content after an event. The No. 1 reason is to promote the next year’s event. But, 30 percent of respondents (the second highest group) repurpose content for post-event education.
“Developing a content strategy that provides an overview of what content is available and suggestions on how it can be re-used could be shared with everyone that is involved in a
communications role,” Ominpress says.
While many organizations may not be prepared for millennials or Gen Zers, those demographics can help reinforce the value of an association. With technology becoming a more popular demand, Ominpress suggests asking a millennial to document the event on Snapchat or having a Gen Z attendee write a blog post explaining an organization’s value.
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