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  June 11, 2010

Conference and Seminar Takeaways – on flash drives!


If you’re an event planner who regularly schedules and sets up seminars, workshops and conferences, then you know the nightmare of ensuring that all the meeting materials end up in the hands of attendees.
In the past, this meant shipping hundreds of pounds of printed materials to the conference site, finding table space to lay it all out and having enough staff on hand to ensure that each attendee got all the materials.

More often than not, it was a sea of printed matter, along with CDs, DVDs and other takeaways that were expensive to produce, expensive to ship to the conference and expensive for attendees to take with them.
Flash drives are a delightful alternative, saving you time, money and space. It also saves your attendees money on the flight home, since they don’t have to pay often outrageous additional bag fees with airlines to lug all the materials home. They can even carry your flash drive on the plane with them and spend the trip home reviewing everything they learned.

Since the material can be created so that it is searchable, flash drives also offer the recipient the chance to review materials as they wish, rather than having to thumb through linear pieces of printed matter to locate the one thing they really wanted to know.

Best of all, everything can be stored in one portable medium, from the meeting notes and speaker presentations to video demos, Q&As and more. And if your attendees are willing to wait for their drive, you can even pre-load videos of the each presentation onto the drive along with candid photos of receptions and conference events.
Additional items can include:

– Presenter biographies
– Technical papers and white papers
– Links to post conference content on the web
– A directory of all attendees and presenters
– Sponsor links and marketing materials
– Information on other upcoming conferences, seminars and workshops

Feedback forms
This is really just the tip of the iceberg and the actual materials included on the USB stick can really be anything imaginable.

You could even send the USB flash drive to the attendee along with their registration confirmation ahead of time and include all the pre-meeting information they need, the schedule of events, speaker bios, a map of the meeting facility, suggestions about what to bring, etc.

Once attendees arrive, they can return the USB flash drives to you on the first day, giving you time to reload new information onto them that is specific to the meeting. Or you can send them after the event with all the keynote videos and photo memories.

This has the added benefit of allowing you to double the branding potential of the promotional USB flash drive, sending the drive to the attendee, letting them use it until the meeting for their planning purposes and then returning it to them at the end with new information on it.
If you do use the before-after approach with USB flash drive information, be sure to let your attendees know ahead of time so they don’t load additional information onto the drive they are bringing to the meeting. This also has the added benefit of not having to reunite USB flash drives with specific attendees, saving you invaluable time and money.

Just be sure to bring additional USB flash drives with you. There’s always those in attendance who forget to bring theirs with them and you don’t want to be caught short. Usually, having a 10% overage is sufficient to cover the forgetful ones.