There’s a lot to consider when you’re getting ready to call for abstracts for your conference, and there’s even more to consider when it comes to choosing the right abstract management software. You want to find a solution that will make your job easier and will do all the heavy lifting so you can focus more on the content than the logistics. Let’s take a look at five things you need to keep in mind when choosing your abstract management software.
Look for an All-Inclusive Solution
It almost goes without saying that you want software that will handle all aspects of abstract management. After all, who would want to have to switch between different applications to manage submissions, assign reviewers, and so on? But finding an all-inclusive software solution should be a top priority.
The best software should be able to handle every step of the process, from setting up submission guidelines to accepting submissions to assigning reviewers and creating review guidelines.
Integration with Event Management Software
Along the same lines, you will want abstract management software that integrates easily with other event management software. Once you’ve completed your abstract submission and review period, you won’t want to have to export all of that data and then import it into an entirely different system. Having a complete event management system will save you time and effort when it comes to bringing all the different parts of your event together.
Luckily, there are many event management platforms that include abstract management, and the best solutions integrate it seamlessly into other event management tasks, such as session scheduling and speaker management.
Keep Everyone on Task with Notifications
Making sure that everyone involved meets deadlines can be like herding cats, but with a strong abstract management solution, you should be able to set up tasks and reminders. Look for software that lets you create tasks specific to user groups, so you can create separate to do lists for submitters versus reviewers, since their tasks will be quite different.
The system should also allow you to send notifications to certain groups of users. If you need to remind submitters who have already registered but haven’t finished uploading their abstract, you want to be able to send them a message reminding them to complete their submission before the deadline. Same goes for reviewers: if they haven’t completed reviews of their assigned abstracts, you need to be able to remind just those reviewers to finish up their tasks.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
In the same vein, the abstract management software you choose should have a built-in communication system, not only to send reminders but also to stay in contact with your event planners and reviewers. Not only is it much easier to manage communications within a single system, but it also gives you a record of all of those communications saved within the system.
Instead of having to search through your email sent folder to make sure you sent a particular message, a good abstract management system should give you quick access to all the messages you’ve sent.
Finally, you should look for a system that gives you flexibility in how you set up your abstract collection and review parameters. Not every event fits into a particular model of how abstract management should work, and so the software you choose should give you many options for customizing your particular setup.
A solid abstract management system will give you the ability to define reviewer groups, for example. If you want to make sure that a reviewer won’t have any conflicts of interest, the software should have options for defining certain characteristics that would preclude a reviewer from being assigned certain abstracts or working with certain subjects.
Choosing the right abstract management software for your event can be an onerous task, but it’s much easier when you know what features to look for. Try making a list of must-have features so when you’re in the thick of your software search, you’ll be able to refer to it and know exactly what your event needs. Contact CadmiumCD for information about Abstract Scorecard, our fully integrated abstract management system.
I am a freelance writer who enjoys dipping my toes into a wide variety of writing subjects. I have an M.A. in English but found that teaching wasn’t for me, so I’m applying my training to writing instead. I’ve been blogging for ten years and have written everything from book reviews to pop culture essays to business topics. In my spare time, I enjoy writing fiction, playing games, and learning new crafts. I live in Corvallis, Oregon, with my husband, daughter, and dog.