We are excited to announce that our 2019 State of the Conference Industry Report: Delivering Educational Content has just been released! A new year is here and with it comes new challenges and opportunities for association and conference professionals.
For the fifth year in a row, Omnipress has tracked the evolution of conference content and the role it plays at an association’s annual event. While educational content continues to provide a significant amount of member value, this year’s report highlights some changes on the horizon: emerging themes, new challenges and increased opportunities for organizations.
Delivering Educational Content: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities
For instance, this year’s report indicates that meeting planners they are being asked to deliver conference content in more formats than ever before. On average, associations are providing content in 2.6 formats—up from 2.4 in 2018, and 2.1 in 2017. The most noted increase was in the number of respondents who are providing three and even four different content delivery methods for a single conference. The reason? Attendees have indicated this is what they want.
Conference demographics are more diverse than ever, with four generations now living concurrently in the workplace. Additionally, there are ways than ever for people to consume content, which is creating a diverse set of preferences that don’t always follow generational stereotypes.
While associations look for ways to provide device-agnostic content, budget does come into play—particularly with other internal stakeholders. Few meeting planners have the luxury—nor the bandwidth—to do it all, leading to some tough decisions.
Other conference industry trends from our 2019 report:
- Association membership trends mirror conference attendance trends, which means membership and conference teams need to work together more closely to achieve organizational goals
- While organizations are offering more content formats at the conference, there is still uncertainty on what the content mix will look like in the future
- Emerging learning trends are starting to have an impact at the conference
- Organizations have not yet fully addressed the needs of younger generations
The report compiles data from an online survey of 150 association and meeting professionals to understand how organizations use educational content to increase visibility, extend their value and reach new attendees.
The purpose of this report is not just to present the data, but to help facilitate a cross-team discussion on how to leverage your greatest asset—education—to advance your mission and achieve strategic goals.
Download the free report to read the full results, and use it to spark a conversation within your own organization.