Conference Content Distribution Is a Challenge, Says Study

Author: Casey Gale       

How content are event organizers with the content at their events? According to a recent report, they are struggling to manage the shifting content landscape.

For the fifth consecutive year, content delivery company Omnipress has published its “State of the Conference Industry Report,” which collected and analyzed responses from 150 association professionals, many of whom are directly responsible for planning events.

For the first time ever, managing last-minute content changes was cited in the report as respondents’ most common challenge when it comes to managing and distributing conference content (51 percent), topping managing the collection and review process (44 percent). Other challenges included leveraging content after the conference (38 percent) and offering a mix of formats to meet the needs of all members (36 percent).

“Last-minute changes to content and schedules is nothing new,” the report notes, but managing changes across multiple formats, including printed materials, web-based materials, and mobile-friendly materials that may involve multiple vendors “becomes an increasingly time-consuming endeavor.”

However, the study also concluded that once content is finalized, only a slight majority of meeting professionals — 55 percent — reuse conference content for other purposes. That figure is the same as last year’s report. “With the focus on increasing attendance, most conference planners are using their content to promote next year’s event [42 percent], creating a fear of missing out” or FOMO, according to the report. While the report acknowledges that FOMO is a particularly effective strategy in prompting younger members to participate, it shouldn’t be the only engagement strategy. Younger members also look for professional-development opportunities throughout the year, the report points out.

Only around one-quarter (26 percent) of meeting planners said that they reuse conference content for reinforcing learning after the conference, while 25 percent reuse the content for ongoing content marketing for the association.

“As organizations look to shift the demographic profile of their conferences, there is opportunity to use this content to extend the conference experience beyond the venue.”

The full report can be downloaded at Omnipress.