by Tracy Grzybowski
Over the past several years, the event technology landscape has continued to expand and become more complex. Meeting planners are using this to their advantage, opting for separate tools that meet their specialized needs rather than trying to shoehorn their organization into a larger, all-in-one solution that may not do everything as well as they need it to. The downside, however, is that as their event technology stack grows, so does the need for integration.
Meeting planners are increasingly looking to technology providers that can connect their event planning tools to help simplify the planning process, reduce data errors and provide a better user experience. For instance, by providing single sign-on (SSO) between the abstract management system and the association management system, a user does not have to re-enter their data. This saves time for the submitter while helping to ensure the data entered into the abstract management system is correct and clean. It also allows the meeting planner to enforce any specific requirements for submitters such as membership or registration status.
Abstract Management: Consolidating Data Into One Central Location
The advantages of system connectivity go beyond workflow and process, however. As we learned at ASAE’s MM&C Conference this past May, integration is also about bringing key data points together that associations may not be fully leveraging. In particular, the abstract management system holds a tremendous amount of under-utilized data that can provide important insights:
- Member engagement information: If you are tracking member engagement levels or scores in your AMS, then whether or not they submit an abstract or proposal to a particular conference can serve as a contributor to this score.
- Early conference performance: Abstract and speaker submissions to a conference can serve as one of the leading indicators of conference performance; specifically, how well current marketing and promotional activities are performing, and how much interest is being generated in the industry.
- Program progress: Your submission data can also provide insight into how strong your program will be, giving you ample time to make adjustments early on. For instance, are the number of submissions up or down versus the same time period last year? Are you receiving the diversity of content you need to create a well-rounded, high-quality program? If not, how can you use your member data to pinpoint and invite specific thought-leaders to fill those gaps?
As you evaluate the KPIs of your association and your conference, don’t forget to look to your abstract management system as a key source of data. If you can connect it to other data points within your association through integration, you’ll be able to better leverage this data to improve conference performance and direct organizational strategy.