December 2013

Going paperless at your next event

Going paperless at your next event is important for both the economic and environmental bottom lines (and it’s also an easy first step when adding a technological component to your meetings). There are, however, a few things you should know beforehand to make your endeavor a success.

  • Do your research. Gain buy-in for your paperless shift by talking to your internal stakeholders (manager, CEO) in terms of potential cost savings.
  • Prepare your audience for change. Communicate early with attendees and key stakeholders such as sponsors to let them know what items will be shifting to paperless and how the systems will work.
  • Roll out any new technologies, such as a conference app, in advance of the meeting so people have a chance to get comfortable with the new paradigm.
  • Know your facility’s Internet capabilities. Check the bandwidth at the meeting venue to make sure it can accommodate the amount of applications you are proposing.
  • Design the applications or systems with your attendee demographics in mind. How tech-savvy are they? What kind of phones, tablets, computers, etc. will they have with them at the event?
  • Do without if possible. It is not always necessary to convert paper into the digital format. It may be that some items are no longer needed such as flyers in the conference bags, tickets to meals, or large conference programs with abstracts.
  • Don’t forget about good old e-mail. Registration receipts, certificates of attendance and attendee lists can all be sent by e-mail after the event.

Carole Garner
Director of Conference Management

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