Technology can make or break an abstracts conference. In fact, technology is the foundation upon which most abstracts conferences are planned and executed. And, without always adapting to new, emergent trends, you run the risk of becoming obsolete or, at the least, putting on a less captivating conference than your competitors.
But there’s a problem: It’s difficult to tell which technology will be most instrumental in helping your organization achieve your goals. Moreover, it’s all but impossible to stay abreast of the latest technology 24/7. Actually, it’s exhausting.
When you need to find the right technology but don’t have time to spare, there are a couple steps you should take to get organized:
- List your problems, so you know which solutions you’re looking for; and
- Understand what you need from a company, so you have the support you need should something go awry
Let’s talk about these two steps in greater detail.
Step 1. Listing (and Understanding) Your Problems
Any technology you invest in should solve a problem. If you’re working with a limited budget, it’s important that you prioritize your problems in a way that makes the greatest impact on attendees.
As a conference manager, you should evaluate your potential technology solutions with a handful of considerations in mind:
Here’s an example:
- Time Management – Conference managers never have enough time. Luckily, technology providers understand this and have provided ways where you can save time and add efficiency to your program in other ways too. Project management tools, or an abstracts management system, can make it simple to save time by fostering team collaboration, centralizing communications, and making it simpler to stay on task.
- Budget – The best tools don’t have to be the most expensive tools, either. More importantly, you may want to choose just one tool that has multiple features your organization can benefit from. Abstracts management systems are a great solution if you’re on a limited budget and need one platform that solves multiple problems.
- Data – Technology should make it simple to sort, manage, and utilize the data you need throughout your conference. An Abstract Management Software is designed to do just that.
Step 2. Understanding What to Look for in a Technology Provider
Many conference managers evaluate technology in a vacuum, meaning they don’t consider where the technology comes from but instead only consider what it does.
It’s important you have high expectations from the technology provider you choose because you will likely need them at one point or another. As such, you should take the following considerations into account:
Here’s how that’s done:
- Integration With Other Solutions – How well does your new piece of technology integrate with other technology you use and need to maintain? This is a question the technology provider can help you with because their professionals will be able to help you purchase and implement its technology without interfering with other processes.
- Innovation – Innovation is vital, especially when you invest in a piece of technology. If the company has allowed its product to stagnate, it’s better to take a pass.
- Accessibility – Regardless of where you conduct business, it’s important that you can access both your technology, and support staff, when you need them. Many companies offer 24/7 support, which is critical when you’re getting close to your conference and need last-minute advice or assistance.
- Ease of Use – Technology should be intuitive. While you should expect some semblance of a learning curve, it’s important that you find it easy to use. It’s easiest to do so when you request a demo and get more familiar with the interface.
- Security – Your entrants will provide you with a lot of sensitive information. Any technology solution must be safe, secure, and meet all necessary compliance standards. If it doesn’t, you’re better off searching for a different solution.
Find the Technology You Need Faster Than Ever Before
It’s important that your organization always be searching for the next piece of technology that will make your conference more efficient, user friendly, or meet one of countless other potential needs.
By using the process above, you can ensure you aren’t wasting time or money on solutions that won’t work and instead, focus your time and energy on something that does – like a robust Abstract Management System.
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.