• 09/08/17 News

    Single-source publication consolidates attendee resources at DDW®

    Each year, more than 15,000 GI professionals flock to Digestive Disease Week® (DDW), the world’s largest gastroenterology meeting. With hundreds of educational sessions, an expansive exhibit floor, and numerous events to navigate, DDW has traditionally provided attendees with several resources to plan their time at the meeting.

    In 2017, TriStar partnered with DDW to create a single-source publication with meeting news, educational schedules, and exhibitor information printed in three newspaper sections. Prior to the introduction of the single-source publication, DDW printed a full agenda book, a schedule-at-a-glance, a booklet-sized exhibit guide, as well as a daily newspaper. The agenda book transitioned to an e-book in 2016, in part because of print costs.

    “I think one of the challenges that DDW has, and a lot of other meetings have, is that we offer so many resources and options to our attendees,” said Crystal Young, Senior Director of Program Operations for DDW. “The single-source publication allowed us to streamline the resources that attendees have to plan their time at DDW.”

    Crystal was one of several DDW staff members who had to be comfortable with the single-source publication before it would be introduced. We asked her, Diedra Crawford, DDW Industry Sales and Operations Director, and Rachel Shubert, DDW Director of Public Relations, about the transition and how it affected the attendee experience at DDW 2017.

    What were your concerns about switching to single-source publication?

    Crystal: We had just transitioned our final program book to an online version so we were concerned about reintroducing a printed schedule at our meeting. During that transition, we also introduced a mobile app. We wanted attendees to continue using the app and were worried they wouldn’t have the most up-to-date information with the printed publication. One of the things I thought was really helpful with the single-source was the time flexibility. We were able to provide TriStar our session information very close to the meeting, so the schedule was a pretty accurate reflection of our program.

    How were three sections beneficial from a sales perspective?

    Diedra: The single-source gives us more advertising placement capability. It allows the TriStar team to package advertising into one, two, or all three sections depending on what the advertiser is trying to accomplish with their message. It gives the TriStar team more flexibility to meet the exhibitor needs. And having the ability to print closer to the event gives us more flexibility with the insertions into each section and gives the exhibitor more time to develop their artwork.

    How was the content affected by the introduction of a single-source publication?

    Rachel: It gave us additional flexibility. We thought about each section and how we could incorporate editorial into each so that the front pages were really engaging and offered interesting content if an attendee just read one section. In the program section, we highlighted sessions that would be of general interest to all attendees. In the exhibit section, we had some fun with it and added some lighter content, like things to do in the city. We really liked that type of content and that we were able to bring in pieces that were a little bit lighter across all three sections.

    Diedra: It also gave us a lot more internal flexibility to ensure we weren’t repeating information over and over again.

    What was the attendee response to the single-source publication?  

    Crystal: Due to a hiccup with registration, I encountered an attendee who wasn’t able to login to the mobile app to see the personalized schedule she had created. I was able to walk her over, pick up a copy of the single-source, and show her that all of her sessions were organized by time so she could quickly find a session she wanted to attend. I actually found her later in the poster hall and asked her if she had the opportunity to login again to the mobile app but she said, ‘I don’t even need that, I’ve got this paper.’

    Rachel: It was really exciting for staff walking around the convention center to see so many people picking up their issues, reading through the different sections, and circling sessions they wanted to attend. I talked to a few attendees who found a lot of value by using it alongside the meeting app. They found a way to use both resources for planning purposes to streamline their experience onsite.

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    Single-source publication consolidates attendee resources at DDW®
  • 08/08/17 News

    TriStar mobile event app wins 2017 APEX Award of Excellence

    TriStar’s 2016 AAFP FMX mobile event app received a 2017 APEX Award of Excellence in the Electronic Media – Special Purpose category.

    In its 29th year of judging publications and communications resources, the APEX Awards competition is sponsored annually by Communications Concepts for publishers, editors, writers, and designers who create print, Web, electronic, and social media.

    TriStar worked closely with Jim Campbell of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), as well as other AAFP staff, to produce the event app for the 2016 AAFP Family Medicine Experience (FMX) meeting in Orlando, Florida. More than 8,000 attendees, including primary care physicians, allied healthcare professionals, and exhibitors, attended the meeting.

    Utilizing the TriStar mobile event for the fifth consecutive year, FMX attendees downloaded 6,768 native apps (iOS & Android) and used the web app version for more than 13,000 viewing sessions.

    FMX attendees used the app extensively to engage with meeting content, recording more than 895,000 session views while adding more than 123,000 events to their schedules within the app.

    FMX industry supporters also enjoyed robust exposure, with the primary app sponsor receiving more than 3 million impressions on its three banner ads within the app. App users clicked through to the sponsor’s full-page marketing messages more than 1,650 times.

    Steve Smyth, TriStar’s Vice President of Mobile Solutions, worked with AAFP to customize the app for FMX attendees.

    “TriStar’s main focus is to provide our event partners with meeting-specific, high-quality content, which we have historically done exceptionally well through our editorial and sales programs, along with the other exhibitor marketing products and services we offer for healthcare association meetings,” he said.

    “At their core, mobile event apps are another distribution channel for an event’s educational and exhibitor marketing content. We focus on making that content highly accessible to attendees with exceptional browsing and search tools, and then layer that functionality with added features that enable extensive engagement — with the content, with the event organizer, and with other users.”

    Click here for more information about TriStar’s mobile event app and event media services.

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    TriStar mobile event app wins 2017 APEX Award of Excellence
  • 07/08/17 News , Video

    TriStar produces the only app designed specifically for healthcare events

    TriStar produced its first event app in 2010, and to this day we produce the only event apps developed specifically for healthcare meetings. We’re constantly enhancing and updating them with new features and functionality to meet the evolving needs of our association partners.

    The American College of Rheumatology’s ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting app is one example. It’s our first app with full text and embedded-image abstracts, and is perhaps the most feature-rich app we’ve ever produced — at least until our next app hits the markets. Like all of our apps, it’s highly configurable and fully optimized for all devices.

    TriStar fully supports all of our event apps. And we know the association industry, unlike other app companies that only know the app business. That’s a huge advantage for our association partners. We’re invested in the success of your meeting app just like we’re invested in the success of your meeting.


    Explore the ACR/ARHP web app

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    TriStar produces the only app designed specifically for healthcare events
  • 06/08/17 Meet TriStar

    Meet the TriStar Team: Danny West

    Danny West is a graphic designer, videographer, and multimedia producer. Before joining TriStar’s creative team, he spent nearly a decade in the action sports world creating award-winning publications and launching the video department at Motoplayground magazine, where he produced video content for web campaigns and television spots for clients like Monster Energy, Red Bull, and Yamaha Motorsports.

    You’re a graphic designer but also a video editor and producer. How long have you been creating videos?

    My passion for film and creating movies began mainly in high school, where I made some short films of questionable quality that mostly starred cardboard robots and mutated bugs — don’t ask! From there I honed my cinematography and production skills at the University of Kansas, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in film studies and made more films … mostly starring slightly better cardboard robots.

    How are print design and video work similar?

    One would assume designing print layouts and producing videos are at the opposite end of the spectrum. One is static, the other has motion. With print and website design, as the graphic designer you have full control of where every piece of content sits and how they interact with each other to produce a visually appealing piece of work. Video is more like a juggling act. There are many factors you must balance — lighting, room sound, microphone levels, etc. And if you have a subject being interviewed, they may unknowingly move out of frame, misspeak, or completely freeze up when the camera rolls and the bright lights go on. With video, you have to be aware of all these little pieces that fit together to produce a quality and captivating product.

    But with both graphic design and video editing, the attention to detail is where a piece of work goes from mediocre to amazing. In the end, the purpose of each format is to convey or tell a story using a visual platform — story is everything. Making sure a text box lines up nicely in a newspaper or making a clean video cut that goes unnoticed by the viewer allows the story to flourish and brings your vision alive.

    What has been your most rewarding project at TriStar?

    The most rewarding thing is really just being able to bring an expertise and skillset to TriStar and having the full support of the team to let it grow and open up new doors that were previously closed for us. There’s a real excitement about the future of video at TriStar because of all the new and creative possibilities we can bring to our clients and partners.

    How would you like to improve TriStar’s videos in the future?

    We are striving to polish and advance the video production department with every project. Increasing our audience is also very important. We have great content and we have high production values, so making it all work together for everyone at an association event is a goal for the video department. The more attendees who see our work, the more an association has to gain from the partnership.

    What do you like to do when you’re not being creative at TriStar?

    Whether I’m in the office or at home, I enjoy being creative. I make music, design screenprinted gig posters, and I recently got back into photography. Traveling is also important to me and my family. Growing up, I didn’t have the opportunity to explore the world so now it’s a top priority and passion.

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    Meet the TriStar Team: Danny West
  • 05/08/17 News , Video

    BEST PRACTICE: Video takes meeting news to the next level

    Ever notice how there’s almost always a related video above the articles on your favorite news site? There’s a good reason for that: Website visitors love video.

    It’s estimated that the average person spends one-third of their time online watching video. And a recent study by Cisco projects that video will make up more than 80 percent of all web traffic by 2019. In the U.S., it could reach 85 percent.

    Make no mistake, video is already a best practice in online content, from news sites to product marketing. It’s also the future of healthcare event news, and TriStar is leading the way.

    Need proof? Hit the play button above and check out some of the other videos we’ve produced at healthcare events.

    TriStar’s professional videos are produced using the same, meticulous standards we use to produce all of our news content. And we do all of the heavy lifting for our association partners — we arrange the interviews, create the set designs, shoot and edit the videos, upload them to the web and stream them on our news sites. All the association has to do is approve the videos before we publish them.

    TriStar’s videos also create another great advertising platform for event sponsors while adding visibility to healthcare events and profits to the association’s bottom line.

    Still not convinced video is the way to go? Here are a few statistics to help you understand how popular video has become in recent years, according to research compiled by Hubspot:

    • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
    • Mobile video consumption grows by 100 percent every year.
    • 92 percent of mobile video consumers share videos with others.
    • Video ads account for more than 35 percent of all ad spending online.
    • Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200 percent to 300 percent.
    • Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80 percent.
    • And according to one digital marketing expert, a single minute of video content is the equivalent of 1.8 million words.

    That last point seems a little hard to quantify, but the message is clear: Video is an increasingly popular online format. Website visitors want video and, more and more, they expect it.

    Let TriStar take your event to the next level with our professional video services.

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    BEST PRACTICE: Video takes meeting news to the next level
  • 04/08/17 Meet TriStar

    Meet the TriStar Team: Brandon Atkins

    Brandon Atkins is a digital marketing and technology evangelist who leads TriStar’s digital department as its Technical Director. He’s a full-stack developer with a tremendous appetite for technical knowledge. His varied skillset includes web development, digital marketing, lead generation, e-commerce, and IT systems administration. He has a long history of building long-term relationships and working with fast-paced, cross-functional teams to develop and implement digital solutions and strategies.

    What is a full-stack developer?

    A jack-of-all-trades in modern web development. Full-stack developers facilitate need or have working knowledge in the following areas:

    • Server administration
    • Development and operations
    • Back end
    • Database
    • Front end
    • Design/user experience
    • Monitoring and logging
    • Application architecture

    What has been your most rewarding project at TriStar?

    Developing digital ad specifications and rolling out an ad server across nearly 40 websites has been both challenging and rewarding. Historically, my experience has revolved around e-commerce and lead generation, so monetizing healthcare news and event sites has been a new experience for me.

    What’s the digital future of healthcare events?

    As compression improves and the pipelines are opened up, we’re seeing the emergence of video everywhere, including the healthcare event space. From remote attendance to social interaction and event coverage, the use case of video and strategies is evolving.

    In the not-so-distant future, I’m intrigued to see how new technologies like augmented reality (AR) and connected devices will be applied to healthcare education and events. I believe AR will become more commonplace after the iOS 11 release in September. This software release is supposed to hit a billion devices and includes ARKit framework, which was discussed during Apple’s WWDC17 earlier this year.

    Lastly, they’re saying blockchain will change the world. As a new use case for blockchain is developed and incorporated into our daily lives, it will be interesting to see its unique application in the industry.

    What do you like to do when you’re not programming the future of healthcare events?

    I love the outdoors. I spend time with my family hiking, camping, SCUBA diving, snowboarding, canoeing, rafting, ATVing — basically anything away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.

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    Meet the TriStar Team: Brandon Atkins
  • 03/08/17 News

    TriStar team members attend Digital Summit Kansas City

    If you’re looking for a learning opportunity filled with digital marketing strategies and solutions, then check out the next Digital Summit conference in your area.

    Several TriStar team members recently attended Digital Summit Kansas City, a two-day conference offering educational sessions, open discussions, and networking opportunities with some of the brightest brand marketers in the country. They left the conference anxious to apply their new knowledge and share several takeaways with the rest of the team and with TriStar’s association partners.

    Here are a few takeaways from “The Art of Providing Relevant, Useful Content Without Selling or Interrupting Your Customers” by Quinn Tempest of Vertical Measures:

    • Relationships today are created with information, not people. Start by educating to develop the trust.
    • Create content your customers are actually looking for. Ask your team members, “What questions do you get asked all the time?”
    • Do your homework: Download Screaming Frog and perform a content audit before defining goals and creating content.
    • Use the HUB and SPOKE model. The HUB consists of one comprehensive piece of content often gated behind a form to drive leads. SPOKES are ancillary pieces of content created from the hub with the goal of driving people to the hub.
    • Blog with quality, not quantity.
    • Seek out an influencer with a built-in network of digital followers to share your content.
    • Know your audience. Find your voice. Share your story. And don’t forget to make it interactive!

    Pro Tip: If you decided to attend a Digital Summit event, we highly recommend taking at least three team members if there are concurrent presentations. Divide and conquer!

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    TriStar team members attend Digital Summit Kansas City
  • 02/08/17 News , Video

    Take a behind-the-scenes look at TriStar’s onsite process

    Each year, the American Society of Association Executives’ Annual Meeting & Expostion showcases best practices in the association industry, from member recruitment and engagement to creating first-class events. If you haven’t attended the meeting, do yourself a favor and make plans to attend at least once. You won’t be disappointed.

    When ASAE wanted to introduce a daily newspaper at its 2006 meeting, it turned to TriStar to create a best-in-class publication to show association professionals everything a daily newspaper could be. Daily Now has won countless awards since then and continues to be a showpiece of TriStar’s capabilities. In 2016 alone, Daily Now swept the highest honors in the APEX Awards for Publication Excellence and the Association of Media & Publishing EXCEL Awards.

    Watch the video above for a behind-the-scenes look at how we do it.

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    Take a behind-the-scenes look at TriStar’s onsite process
  • 01/08/17 Meet TriStar

    Meet the TriStar Team: Jill Hall

    In her role as Director of Business Development, Jill Hall works with many of TriStar’s biggest clients and is also responsible for identifying and securing new business. Although she’s relatively new to TriStar and the associations industry, Jill has more than 20 years of experience in a variety of sales and marketing roles. 

    How is working with TriStar’s association clients different than your previous experiences?

    In all of my past positions, there was a much faster pace to the decision-making process and the sales cycle. Healthcare associations are much more regulated, which definitely explains the slower pace.

    What are the most rewarding and the most challenging aspects of working with healthcare associations?

    The most challenging has been learning a new industry while at the same time experiencing a product shift from print to digital. The reward is helping to shape how that digital shift will change TriStar’s product line and the services we offer to fulfill our association partners’ future needs. It’s a very exciting time in our industry and for TriStar.

    What’s the secret to helping healthcare associations achieve their event and revenue goals?

    Defining the purpose and plan upfront by listening to the association’s needs and then establishing mutual goals. From there, you combine the most efficient, cost-effective products and services with TriStar’s seamless execution to deliver an exceptional experience rather than just a contracted product or service. It’s critical to start off and stay on the same page throughout the process.

    What do you like to do when you’re not developing business for TriStar? 

    I spend as much time as possible with my husband of 28 years and my three kids, as well as extended family and friends. I love to paint and draw. I also enjoy watching and participating in sports activities as much I am still able … lol J

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    Meet the TriStar Team: Jill Hall