Is It Time for a Paperless Conference

In terms of disseminating information onsite at your organization’s conference, how are you currently doing it? Do you give people printed handouts and booklets when they check in at registration? Do you have a conference app where those materials are housed, but also have printed versions onsite? Do you rely exclusively on a conference app, cutting out printed materials altogether?

All organizations are different, and there’s no one perfect approach (because all attendees are different too!). But ideally, you want to have electronic versions of your conference materials in place, whether that’s in addition to printed materials or not.  

Now you may have some objections in mind, but allow us to address just a few of those…

“Our attendees expect us to have printed materials onsite. They’d be upset if we didn’t.”

Let us ask you this: Do your attendees expect that because that’s how you’ve always done it? And if you gave them enough of a heads up, would they still be upset if you didn’t have printed materials onsite?

We can’t answer those questions for you, but we can say…the only people who know your attendees better than you do is your attendees. Why not ask them via a survey or a few focus groups? Chances are, even if they still want printed materials onsite, they’d probably be open to having electronic versions too (via an event website and/or a conference app).

Plus, the more you do this, the more comfortable they’ll get with going electronic.

“Our attendees wouldn’t use a conference app. They’re not interested and/or not very tech savvy.”

Again, you know your attendees better than anyone, but is that just an assumption or do you know for a FACT they wouldn’t use a conference app? Just because they’re not very tech savvy doesn’t mean having a conference app is a lost cause. With an intuitive, user-friendly conference app (which there are plenty out there!), your attendees should have very little, if any, problems utilizing it.

One more thing: Even if historically your attendees haven’t showed interest in a conference app, more than likely, you’re going to have younger attendees in the future – your new young professional members, for example. They’re probably expecting a conference app to be in place, so just keep that in mind when planning your future events.

“Technology is finicky, and there are too many things that could go wrong with a conference app.”

Sure, with technology, there’s always room for a little glitch. But, if you partner with the right technology partner, they can provide one-on-one technical support.

This is also good if an attendee has a question about the app that you personally don’t know the answer to. You can simply call the app provider (given they’re easily accessible) and get the answer you need.

So if you think you have to be tech savvy to offer a conference app at your event, we’re here to tell you that’s (fortunately) a MYTH!

Thinking it might be time to explore the conference app world? We fully support that! In fact, we have a conference app of our own. If you’d like to learn more about it and how it can help boost onsite engagement at your next event, click the button below!