2004 Information Highways Conference Summary
Information Highways Conference 2004 – Summary Report to Exhibitors, Sponsors and Partners
Thank you for participating in the 2004 Information Highways Conference and Showcase and for helping us celebrate our 15th anniversary. We are pleased to report that the conference had another successful year. Registration was up 15% over last year and over 75% of delegates agreed that the conference was a valuable, worthwhile experience, indicating that they would attend the event next year. The conference’s continuing success is due, in large part, to the ongoing support of our exhibitors, sponsors and partners, who help promote the conference, support it financially and create the dynamic atmosphere that is so important for the overall experience of delegates and visitors. In total, the conference played host to over 600 participants, a significant achievement, especially when considering that key industry conferences continue to fail and fold.
The report’s findings provide valuable insight into how attendees view the conference and its programs and will provide a basis for determining your level of support for the 2005 conference.
This year we developed an online delegate survey that was promoted to delegates in the days immediately following the conference. We received survey results from almost 50% of the registered delegates and therefore are confident that the results are strongly representative.
Showcase and Exhibits
* Over 90% of respondents visited the 2004 Exhibit Hall and Showcase.
* An overwhelming majority of respondents reported that the exhibit area and/or the information gathered from speaking to vendors would be valuable in their workplace. Less than 10% expressed the opinion that the exhibits did not match their company’s focus.
* Over 90% of respondents indicated that the Showcase area was visually attractive, well laid out and effective.
* 50% of respondents attended the SolutionStops presented in the exhibit area and of those, 65% said that if they were offered they would attend them again. From their additional comments most people appeared to understand the intended purpose of SolutionStops but were disturbed by the ambient noise. “Good sessions, but the noise factor was disturbing” is representative of the comments we received. Since they were positively received it is likely that the conference will offer these sessions again but will make significant adjustments to the way the theatre is constructed and where it is placed.
· 73% of delegates agreed that the conference sessions were informative, interesting, well produced and The topics covered were reflective of industry trends.
· Over 70% indicated that they learned about solutions and tactics to implement in their workplaces and were impressed with the practical nature of the sessions.
· 80% of respondents felt that the keynote speakers were engaging and enlightening.
This is the first year that the Information Highways conference used the Holiday Inn on King Street. On the whole delegates were satisfied with the accommodations and facilities offered by the hotel.
· Over 80% of respondents felt that the seminar rooms met the needs of delegates and speakers
· 78% of respondents felt that the hotel was a suitable venue for the conference
Some respondents felt that the pillars in the keynote sessions made it difficult to see the keynote speakers and some would like us to consider theatre rather than banquet style seating.
Marketing and promotion for the conference was handled somewhat differently this year. In addition to the printed marketing brochure we devoted significant additional resources to strategically managing our email marketing and communications by partnering with a local company called ThinData. ThinData’s services allowed us to reduce the volume of promotional email messaging we dispatched but offered us significantly improved capabilities for targeting and personalizing communications. We were able to create html-based templates giving us a more unified, polished and professional image than is possible with straight text-based email. Thindata also allowed us to be more sensitive to issues of privacy and permission-based email. We continued to solidify our co-marketing relationship with key related industry associations such as AIIM, ARMA, SCIP, SLA, AIMS, CATA and SIIA and were successful in tapping into their membership. We made extensive use of our in-house database which continues to grow as professional members join the Institute to receive HotBytes and Information Highways magazine. The conference Web site benefited from improved design and navigability as well as from the ability to register and pay online in a secure environment.
What exhibitors said
Overall most exhibitors indicated that the conference and its ability to generate lead/sales contacts and profile for their company was good and most indicated that they felt the show was well run and promoted. Those exhibitors who ran SolutionStops had similar opinions to those of the delegates. Most liked the idea and understood the opportunity but had comments that will help us refine and improve them for next year. Exhibitors overall impressions were positive. Here are some of the comments that we received on the exhibitor evaluation forms.
“Enough good leads mixed with some “so what do you do” visitors to make it worthwhile”
“Thanks very much, an invaluable conference as always”
“Good show, good prospects, well planned & timed”
“As good as it can get”
“Good networking opportunities”
“Good, plenty of pre-show marketing”
Developing the 2005 Conference
We have already held our first planning meetings for the 2005 conference and anticipate holding the Institute’s Advisory Board meeting in early June. Representatives from the Institute’s key focus areas are invited to sit on the Advisory Board and help guide the development of the conference program and the magazine’s editorial. Focus areas include: content/records/knowledge management, information management, e-learning, business intelligence and IT/IS.
A call for papers/submissions will go out in late June and once again in September. The Conference programming team has already begun to identify potential programs and speakers.
The exhibitor prospectus will be available in August.
You will begin hearing from us about the 2005 conference within the next few weeks.
About the Information Highways Conference and Showcase
Produced by the e-Content Institute since 1989 the Information Highways Conference and Showcase is the pre-eminent learning and networking vehicle for Canadian strategic thinkers, decision makers, business managers and professionals in the areas of knowledge management, customer relationship management, enterprise content management, information services, e-learning and business intelligence. Held annually at the end of March the conference has an established reputation for creating high quality, market responsive and strategic programming aimed at the organizations and professionals who buy, use, manage and create e-content solutions.