Conference Organisers – Top 5 Reasons to Create On-Demand Print Edition

Posted on

If you are a conference organizer and have the responsibility of collecting all the papers, reviewing them, and seeing to it that they get published in one format or another, you understand the work involved. With the focus on electronic distribution, it seems clear that you will produce or hire someone to produce your proceedings on CD, DVD, USB or web server. What you’re not expecting is that you should also still produce an inexpensive on-demand print edition. “Wait a second”, you’re saying. “Isn’t print more difficult and expensive to distribute”, and “Aren’t we happy to have left that behind us?” Here are five good reasons to consider making a print edition available to your members, affiliates and the research community at large.

1. Some Still Have a Need for Print: For whatever reason, in a very large world, there are researchers and libraries that still have a preference for print, or even a need for print. It’s true that most researchers are quite pleased with electronic access, and for good reason — articles are in color, titles are indexed and topics and keywords are searchable. There are, however, libraries, research institutes, corporations, and individuals in academia that still request print. Sometimes because they like the feel of a book, and other times because they’re not comfortable enough that “electronic-only” will satisfy all of their needs. In the case of large libraries, there are multiple and diverse audiences to serve, and not everyone is satisfied in the same way.

2. Provide Access to All Segments of the Research Community: Most engineers and scientific authors, as well as the professional societies and associations that they are affiliated with, consider the dissemination of their research as a strategic priority. While electronic format has certain clear advantages with regard to easy distribution, why deny a segment of the research community, just because you chose one format over another. Hidden benefit: Engineering libraries and research institutes, which often prefer print over CD,DVD or USB, are filled with potential new members and potential attendees of future conferences?

3. Only Produce What’s Needed: On-demand printing, by definition, eliminates expensive print runs, overstocked inventory, and wasted trees. On the flip side, it also eliminates “out of print” books. An on-demand print version is simply available for those who need it, when they need it – not more, and not less!

4. On-Demand Model Lowers Complexity and Cost: By definition, print-on-demand (POD) is less complicated and less expensive. A simple search for “conference proceedings printers” should provide many choices of printers who are experienced at printing proceedings. Since the demand for print is shrinking, you will need to look for a printer who will partner with you (agree to do the work in exchange for revenue share of any sales), and has the following capabilities.

  • Pre-press work (create table of contents, author index)
  • Order and Merge articles and paginate
  • Create the title page and cover

There are even printers who will handle order processing, packing and shipping to your members or affiliates…talk about lowering cost and complexity.

5. Re-deploy Your Resources to More Strategic Priorities: For most associations, printing and distributing a few extra copies of proceedings is not high on the priority list. Find a good partner and utilize your precious resources on more strategic tasks.

Start looking for a print-on-demand partner today who can produce the book, promote it, process orders for it, and pack and ship. You’ll get another distribution channel that promotes your society and conference(s). You’ll gain a small revenue stream that is 100% profit contribution and the whole concept supports the notion of disseminating the research, which most professional organizations include as a part of their mission statement. Everyone wins, here: the customer who still prefers print; the printer who is most likely looking for new ways to stay in the game; and you, the conference organizer who would love the many positive results, but needs the time to solve about a hundred other priorities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *