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Now's the Time for a Paperless Office

By Corbin Ball


More than ever before, meeting technology is picking up speed. It’s an exciting time to see rapid changes and new opportunities appear that will help you improve business processes and provide a greater attendee experience at your events. Two major trends that have been developing and working together to assist meeting and event planners are social media and mobile technology.


Most everyone now carries around a smart phone; as such, all social media tools have become mobilized. Social interaction at events is now a cornerstone thanks to this phenomenon. Attendees are able to be much more interactive—whether they are onsite or participating from home—with polling capabilities, mobile networking opportunities and event documents preloaded to their phones and tablets. This also extends to a planner’s workday as well.

We’ve been talking about the paperless office for years—since 2010 to be exact, when the iPad debuted. In much the same way the iPod and iTunes revolutionized the music business and the iPhone startled the telecommunications industry, the invention of the iPad and other tablets have started to take hold of the corporate world and provided our first chance to go fully paperless thanks to a large screen that lets you actually interact with documents. For meeting planners looking to keep up with today’s trends, the paperless office is where our industry is headed.

It benefits planners in many ways, most specifically providing the ability to eliminate the conference bible and three-ring binders that attendees have lugged around for decades. Paperwork, even contracts and event orders with your vendors, can be immediately accessed and edited and then stored right on your tablet in three quick steps:
  1. On your desktop, convert all your documents to PDFs (there are plenty of free converter programs online).
  2. Once converted, drag all the files you want synced up with your tablet into a cloud based storage system (I like Dropbox because it operates with other apps).
  3. On your tablet, use a PDF annotator (I suggest PaperPort Notes or Goodreader) to access Dropbox. Your files will now be synced and you can open up your documents, edit and put back onto Dropbox.
This seamless process allows you to sync 1,000s of documents, have them in your hands onsite and be able to share with your team back in the office in real-time. It’s like having your desktop at your fingertips. Now more than ever, it can be done.

Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, MS is an international speaker, writer and consultant with 20 years of experience who helps clients use technology to save time and increase productivity. He is the only person to have received both the MPI International Supplier of the Year and the MPI International Chapter Leader of the Year awards.

See Corbin’s keynote address at the Unique Venues marketing conference, October 7-8 in Chicago!

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