2018 Omnipress Report: More Associations are Repurposing Educational Content to Increase Conference Attendance

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According to an annual survey of association professionals by Omnipress 2018 marks the first time that associations report a substantial year-over-year increase in the usage of their educational content beyond the conference. Associations and other organizations are primarily using their content to promote next year's event in an effort to attract new (and often younger) attendees.

Omnpress 2018 State of the Industry Report

2018 State of the Industry Report

In recent years, one of the greatest challenges associations faced [relative to their educational content] was how to break down internal silos and leverage that content for the greater good of the organization. Today, they're telling us they've figured it out.

Shifting membership demographics and the perceived ease of access to information and knowledge through the internet have presented increased challenges to associations. Among them, how to maintain a position of relevance and thought-leadership, while attracting new members. Which makes expanding the reach of their educational content an important initiative for associations. For the first time since its inception, the annual State of the Conference Industry Report published by Omnipress indicates a substantial year-over-year increase in the percentage of associations that are re-using their conference content beyond the meeting itself.

Omnipress, provider of print and digital content solutions for associations and other organizations, conducted an online survey of 143 association professionals, a majority of whom are primarily responsible for conference planning, to understand the current state of conference content, predictions for 2018, challenges, and how well organizations are positioned for the future. The goal of the report is to shed light on common trends facing associations, while helping them take action.

“We are seeing that more associations have figured out how to break down internal silos and build a more effective content ecosystem that will benefit the entire organization,” says Omnipress’ General Manager, Jonny Popp. “It’s more than simply distributing final handouts and speaker presentations to attendees after an event. A conference is a huge investment of time and resources. Our customers are looking for solutions that help them extend the reach, shelf life and value for new and existing members.” Forty one percent of organizations indicated they use the content to promote next year’s event. Adds Popp, “This is a smart move for associations, who are competing for the attention of Millennials and Generation Z. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is extremely powerful. And what better way to generate FOMO than to actually show them what they’re missing.”

“There is an interesting dichotomy at play right now,” states Tracy Grzybowski, Omnipress’ Director of Marketing. “As associations use their content attract younger members and attendees, they now have to cater to the needs of a very diverse audience, which is presenting a new set of challenges for conference planners.” According to the report, the average number of formats associations use to deliver conference content is rising, despite the fact that budgets are remaining flat. Continues Grzybowski, “Thanks to technologies such as on-demand and streaming services, attendees are starting to expect conference content to be essentially omnipresent—accessible in whichever format is most convenient for them at that particular moment in time.” This preference for device-agnostic content can lead to some tough decisions for associations.

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Tracy Grzybowski
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