With all of the details, you have to address when planning a conference, reviewing abstracts for potential presentations and panel discussions is probably not at the top of your priority list. We believe that a fabulous abstract can lead to an impactful presentation which will result in highly satisfied attendees. It’s worth the time to review and compare each abstract carefully through a detailed review process. You’re looking for those diamonds in the rough that will net more conference registrations and sales. Here are some do and don’t event planning tips to consider as you manage your review process.
- Set a firm deadline for submission and plan for at least one month for review.
- Compile a list of potential abstract topics or issues that would engage attendees and provide direction for submissions.
- Be proactive in finding potential abstracts by attending other industry or business events and networking with thought leaders.
- Build a diverse panel of reviewers including industry or business leaders, analysts, educators, and journalists, as well as your event planning committee.
- Screen for potential conflicts of interest before assigning abstracts to reviewers.
- Draft a scoring guide for each reviewer to use as they review abstracts. By using the same metrics, you will be able to quickly reveal favorite submissions and outliers.
- Choose abstracts that solve a common problem or address a pain point for attendees.
- Forget to add the submission timeline to your strategic marketing plan. You will need to promote this need just like you promote your conference registrations.
- Choose an abstract based just on content. Make sure the author is a good public speaker and can demonstrate industry or related business experience as well.
- Forget to check references and citations for accuracy.
- Ignore bad grammar, misspellings or industry lingo used incorrectly.
- Select abstract topics that are too similar to each other. Strive for diversity in your programming.
- Draw the review process out more than thirty days. Time is ticking!
With these event planning tips, you may actually find the abstract review process to be insightful and illuminating. Think of it as a treasure hunt. You could find the next big disruptive idea. Now that would be successful conference!