Two Extremes Of Conference Content Capture: Bite Size Best

2013.04.18_Early morning fishing, Inle Lake, MyanmarDo you provide content capture of your conference sessions?

If you do, are your conference recordings experiencing a decline in consumption, especially those synced to PowerPoint?

If not, I predict it’s just a matter of time before your royalties evaporate.

Learning Re-enforcement and Attraction

Capturing content at your premier face-to-face conferences is a must!

Capturing and sharing premium conference content serves three primary purposes.

  1. If an attendee could not make a session, captured content gives them the Cliff Notes version.
  2. If attendees want to apply the learning to their job, captured content helps them develop their plan.
  3. For members, customers, or prospects that didn’t attend, nothing helps communicate what they missed more than a sample of the premium content — especially when it is delivered in bite-sized/shareable pieces or when social enabled.

Two Extremes

However, attendee palates for content consumption, have evolved and are going to two extremes:

  • Hi-tech
  • Low-tech

Audio synced to PowerPoint is caught in the middle and losing ground. There are two primary reasons for this:

  1. People prefer content in bite-sized chunks.
  2. People prefer learning that includes a social component.

Hi-Tech Content Capture

Hybrid meetings, where live-session content is streamed to a virtual audience, is what everyone’s talking about these days.

Many attempts at hybrid have not met expectations. This often is due to the fact that the presenter(s) did not design an experience for the live and virtual participants that is social in nature. It’s often a one-way broadcast.

​To improve your next attempt, it’s critical that you coach your presenters on engagement techniques for both audiences. After the conference, drip out scheduled replays one session at a time. Be sure to have the presenter(s) develop a plan and show up to make the replay social. Refrain from scheduling multiple replays on a single day. On-demand viewing is much less engaging and valued less by your customers.

​Another hi-tech approach is to capture sessions on video and edit the best portions into shareable clips that are between two and 15 minutes in duration. Alternatively, you can also test the waters by offering commute-friendly podcasts (30 minutes, max) of your best content.

Low-Tech Content Capture

Believe it or not, low-tech is the low-hanging fruit for many conferences.

Well-written session recaps or key learnings can have incredible reach and effectiveness. Conferences that do this well have a content-marketing strategy that shares these nuggets via print publications, e-zines, newsletters, blogs, and social-media outposts. What once served as the only method for sharing the best of conferences is coming back in style, just with new twists in distribution strategy.

Bite-Sized and Social: The Graphic Facilitator

One of the coolest, low-cost capture ideas in the low-tech arena is a graphic facilitator.

During a session a skilled graphic facilitator uses large-scale imagery to storyboard the key points. Some conferences will put these works of learning art on display in public spaces to serve as a social object or conversation igniter. These can also be shared beyond the conference walls via your content-marketing strategy. If the graphics are provocative enough, they have a high tendency to go viral.

What’s your experience with content capture and your conference customers?  What have you seen that is working successfully?

Adapted from Dave’s Forward Thinking column in PCMA’s Convene. Reprinted with permission of Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association. ©2013.


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  1. John Pollard says:

    I like the graphic facilitator idea. That works well with the brain research discussing how people retain graphic information more readily. So, great way to summarize and help attendees remember key points – hopefully they will then put them into action.

    Now if you want to mix retention, graphics and social all together, have your attendees draw key points themselves (stick figures ok), upload them with Instagram, and then hopefully continue the conversation online.

    1. Dave Lutz says:

      ‘@john, thanks for adding your thoughts to the graphic facilitator idea. No question that images (even stick figures) help inspire conversation. I love your idea about encouraging attendees to share their images from learning!

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