Going paperless is an idea that event and conference planners have been working towards for several years. Aside from being environmentally friendly, going paperless is also much more affordable and less stressful. Organizing a conference is demanding enough, especially when you have to print large quantities of programs and hand-outs on tight deadlines. Why not go paperless and alleviate some of this pressure by offering your attendees all of the information they need electronically using a smartphone or tablet? They may even thank you for not handing them tons of stuff to carry around! Here are four ways to help you organize a paperless conference.
Create a Mobile-Optimized Event Website
Think about what information is typically handed out at a conference: the program schedule, a list of attendees, information about the speakers and sponsors, and materials to reinforce discussion topics. Your conference website should include any conference materials that would normally be printed on paper, so attendees can view or download useful materials before, during and following the conference.
Provide a Conference App
Replace your printed program with an interactive conference app. There are many vendors offering apps today for conferences of all sizes and budgets that include features such as an interactive program schedule, venue and exhibit hall maps, notifications for important announcements, session evaluations, and networking tools so attendees may connect with one another. Look for an app that is intuitive for users to navigate, is simple to manage, integrates with your event registration system, and offers customized branding to match the look of your conference website.
Create Virtual and Reusable Signage
We challenge you to cut down your next signage order! Here are several ways to do so:
- Many hotels and conference centers now offer built-in electronic signage outside of meeting rooms. Find out what your hotel or venue offers, and make good use of it!
- Rent flat screen TV monitors to display your conference schedule, sponsor logos, and other important information near your registration area. Information can be updated at a moment’s notice.
- Reduce waste and create re-usable directional signs that have your association’s logo at the top with enough space to attach a plastic sleeve below. Simply insert program details or arrows printed on a sheet of paper into the sleeve and you are good to go.
Tell Attendees in Advance
It should be no secret that your conference is going to be paperless. Beginning with the very first email, you should be making guests aware that there will be no printed materials. Inform them that materials will be provided electronically and provide information on how to access your conference app or materials on your website.
The advantages of going paperless at your conference are endless. It is a way to provide information at your attendees’ fingertips, it is affordable, and it is environmentally friendly. Before your next conference, consider the benefits of going paperless!