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Saying Goodbye to PDF Submissions and Hello to an Abstracts Software

Saying Goodbye to PDF Submissions and Hello to an Abstracts Software

Let’s say that you are an executive director planning an abstracts conference. What are your two biggest goals? If it were me, it would be to maximize revenue and maximize registration. Two simple goals. But why does this appear so challenging at face-value?

We once had a potential client who came to us with a problem. We took one look at their website and were completely aghast. Even as a fairly well-established association in the nonprofit sector, they were still collecting applications for their annual conference using a downloadable PDF on their website! And wait for it…it wasn’t even fillable! Applicants had to download this form, and either fill it out by hand, scan it back, and send it as an attachment on an email – or spend hours on Microsoft Word trying to push columns and text-boxes here and there to fill out the application. They knew that they needed a solution, after their submissions were dwindling year after year.

The solution was simple. An Abstracts Software that cuts manual hours spent on the program on both the submitters and the reviewers side. Here’s what we pitched to them.


1. An Abstracts Software lets you cut manual hours spent on the program

What are the most time-consuming tasks in your program? Is it possible to automate these tasks? Chances are, the answer is yes.

By automating administrative and other repetitive tasks with abstracts software, your key team members can spend time on other, more pressing tasks. For example, team members can spend time recruiting new entrants rather than fulfilling tasks to serve the individuals who have already entered. Or, if it makes sense for your program, you can eliminate some staff members and save money for the program in the process.

Of course, you must consider what makes the most sense for your program. And, once you do, you’ll find many manual tasks you can automate as part of your next abstracts conference.


2. Making things mobile-friendly = More submissions 

Users browse the Internet from mobile devices and computers alike. If your registration process is only friendly for computer users, you’re leaving entries (and revenue) on the table.

An Abstracts software makes cross-device submissions dead-easy. Most importantly, it means entrants won’t hesitate before submitting their entry because they can do so regardless of which device their on. After all, some potential entrants might find your registration page and consider entering – but if they can’t do there and then, chances are they won’t return to complete their submission. Don’t make this a problem for you.


3. Streamline the Entire Conference Process

Streamline, Streamline, Streamline! An Abstracts software worth its buck is all-inclusive, including features that serve all parts of the conference – from the call for papers to the judging period and the conference organization/speaker scheduling process . As such, it adds efficiency to your entire process and streamlines processes that might have otherwise slowed you down and cost you revenue.

Abstracts conference success is about your entire program working together as a cohesive whole. With software supporting the process, you can focus on submissions and maximize revenue you would otherwise spend managing the program and encouraging submissions.


4. Abstracts Software is the Simplest Way to Increase Revenue and Registration

Every organization wants to increase registration and revenue. More entrants often lead to greater member retention and, of course, more money in the organization year-round.

With abstracts software, you can accomplish these goals and stay more organized during the process, from the call for papers well after the conference itself.


5. A Branded Secure Application Platform completes any Submission Process

The biggest issue that we saw with most abstract conference websites (including the one we were looking at with this association) was that the page itself to submit an abstract took several too many clicks to get to – and sometimes, downright impossible to find. An OpenWater secure application platform leads applicants to a one-stop secure platform that applicants can log into using their credentials for the website, and submit their works to multiple programs (if they want to!) – all on a branded submission platform that takes on the look-and-feel of the website.

Sometimes the most challenging part about planning is dealing with the status quo. People are always going to be more favorable to the way things have been done in the past, making it difficult for someone whose goal is to take something to the next level – which is to boost revenue and registration.

An Abstracts software is a good way to minimize friction on both ends for a situation like this. Not only does it add efficiency, organization, and speed to your program, but it forces people to look at things from a different angle – allowing you to cut back on manual tasks, refocus and re-prioritize staff, and reap the benefits that doing so has to offer.



Already with OpenWater’s Abstract Management Software? Have you checked if your organization is OpenWater certified? Hurry! Check out our calendar to find out about upcoming webinars and certification programs.

Read more: 5 Silly Mistakes People Make when writing an Abstract

Read more: Build a Better Conference with an Abstracts Software