Digital meeting agendas that can be downloaded onto mobile devices not only save trees but offer new flexibility for attendees and conference organizers.
But Ed Bernacki’s Conference Navigator notebooks make a good case for not tossing paper out entirely. Bernacki, director of The Idea Factory, a Melbourne, Australia–based company that specializes in innovation consulting and training, has worked with banks, insurance agencies, scientific associations, and other organizations to create spiral-bound conference journals that are integrated with meeting goals and agendas.
The custom journals give attendees a place to record their own thoughts and reactions, and also offer them a variety of suggestions as well as a framework for organizing conference content. Depending on that content, attendees might find support for mapping out post-conference collaborations with other attendees, or planning the steps to put ideas heard during a session into action.
The notebooks have been a big hit with Bernacki’s clients, he said — sometimes unexpectedly so. The custom notebook he published for a symposium presented by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative was so well received that the foundation sponsoring the symposium ordered 400 more after the program was over. “One of the obstacles I now face is that some people think a paper concept is old-fashioned,” Bernack said. “But I think the Navigator is far more powerful than many digital tools to deliver on the idea of bridging the gap between ideas and their execution.”