Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Guide Was Missing #WEC11 (Updated 8-6-11)

Cleaning up always solves problems.  I am here cleaning my desk at 4AM on a Sunday morning.  I just came across my conference guide for Meet Different.  Aha!  That is what the World Education Congress was missing.  Yes, we had an App for that, but it was not as good as the Meet Different Conference Guide.

First it lays out the theme.  Where BOLD Meets Business.  Word for word, not the best slogan but it looks pretty cool so that gets you jazzed.  Open it up and you have conference at a glance.  Much better on 8.5 by 11 pages than a cellular phone.

I know it is not particularly green to be asking for a carbon rich glossy conference guide but we have to find a happy medium.  I turn a couple more pages and I see the conference map of Moon Palace (Which was huge).  Guess what else was huge.  Orlando Conference Center and the partner sites around the hotel. Attendees could have used a really nice map in their hands where anyone and everyone could reference it.

The daily schedules are much easier to interact with when laid out on paper as well.  What is the solution?

How do we get rid of the need for the conference guide but still provide that quality experience?

Print the conference guide online in PDF Format.  Develop it but never print it.  That way attendees have access through laptop, business center or mobile devices to see the full scale docs.

In addition to that also invest (let me say that twice).  INVEST, in a fully operational and truly awesome app.  Do not use something that is even just a step above cookie cutter.  If you have a huge conference spend the money, focus the sponsorships on that killer app.  Your attendees and your sponsors will thank  you because it will become a part of the positive story.

I enjoyed the app but it had so many limitations and bugs that you complained about it more than you thought it was cool.

Any thoughts on Conference Apps vs. Conference Guides?  Please post below.  Thank you!

Here are a few photos of the Z-Cards and the MeetDifferent Conference Guide.
Meet Different Conference Guide Map of Resort and Conference Sites

Meet Different Conference Guide

Meet Different Conference Guide Map of Resort and Conference Sites

Meet Different Conference Guide

Meet Different Conference Guide

Meet Different Conference Guide
WEC Z-Card Program Descriptions

There were four separate cards "Friday-Sunday", "Monday", "Tuesday", "Maps/General Info" -- One thing you lack up front is a table of contents.  Looking for a particular program where do you look.  The WEC App was a potential solution. 

WEC Z-Card

WEC Z-Card (I did not look at this map until conference was over.  oops.)

WEC Z-Card Map

WEC Z-Card - More fold out Program descriptions.