The golden rule of content management

Some conference organisers see apps and abstract management in isolation. The necessity of gathering abstracts is clear but the app is often an afterthought.

But these are the two ends of what is, basically, a publishing process. Abstracts are submitted, collated, reviewed and accepted… and then they must be published to the conference delegates either in print or, nowadays, as an app.

It's vital to have this in mind from the beginning and make sure that your data is held in a format that allows it to be used for different purposes. Ideally you should keep your abstracts and programme in a database and generate your publications from there in whatever format you need, print or electronic. Even Excel will do as a data store.

The golden rule is: Take Care Of Your Data

All too often we are offered a PDF of the conference programme for loading into the app. Unfortunately PDFs may look very nice but there's no reliable way to extract the information in a usable format - table structures collapse, words move around... it's a mess. Maybe there was a spreadsheet or database at some stage in the process but final changes are all too often made directly in a PDF. This means that your data can't be re-used without spending time and money re-entering it.

Let's hear it again: your data is precious, please take care of it.

One good way to look after your data is to get us involved earlier in the process, not at the end. We can advise on best practice and when it comes to build the programme our scheduling software will save time and effort and will generate a styled Word document that you can use as the basis for your printed programme.