Case Study:

A long-running bilingual conference programme that delegates love.

conference-programme-Cannexus

CERIC is a charitable  organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development in order to increase the economic and social well-being of Canadians. Each year, CERIC puts on Cannexus – a conference that provides delegates with a thorough conference programme filled with professional development opportunities.

Project Overview

Cannexus is the gold standard of conferences for Canada’s career development community. The event takes place at the Shaw Centre – a 365.000 square foot facility in the heart of downtown Ottawa. With over 250 presenters in two languages, orientation and communication are two of the primary directives in the production of a bilingual conference programme.

Services

Business Objectives

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Editions
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Pages Published
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Delegate Satisfaction

Obstacles and Objectives

Over the 14-year run of the conference programme, each edition has come with its own set of production challenges. Here are some of those:

Challenges Solutions Results
Production. Limited production window necessitates the need for late revisions. Post-project follow-up meeting used to identify areas of improvement and establish new benchmarks. Reduced development time by 60 hours over two years; similar gains client-side.
Content. Managing content from over 100 contributors in two languages. A Content Style Guide would benefit consistency and eliminate rehashing the same stylistic questions. Removing the emphasis on revision stages by addressing the matter in the pre-production phase saved both money and time. Word count limits improved user experience while reducing the number of pages.
Editorial Revisions. Late-term delivery of content assets allow the client to be nimble with an evolving event, but present time-sensitive production challenges. Stricter project management in the initial stages. Clearly defined roles and accountability to staff. Gains were made in the form of reduced revisioning in the later stages, freeing up time for competing priorities and sanity maintenance.
Accuracy. An evolving event comes with its fair share of revisions. Provide a preformatted spreadsheet for the client that can be imported directly into the latest version of the working publication. Eliminates a manual entry process on the production side and empowers editorial oversight client side.
Environmental. We’re always looking for ways to reduce the footprint on every job. Even small changes can net big gains on jobs of this magnitude. We moved from tête-bêche (inverted publication separating two languages) to smaller runs of unilingual editions. A 50% reduction in the number of printed pages.

Results

Despite facing entrenched competition, it didn’t take long for Cannexus to emerge as the “must attend” event on the career counselling calendar. The Cannexus brand quickly became recognized as an authority in the field, and has contributed greatly to the organization as a whole. The event boasts an impressive return rate of greater than 60%. The conference programme itself has consistently been a centrepiece to informing and coordinating delegates, with a 96% overall satisfaction rating on the conference feedback survey.

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