Planning a Research Conference

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Comments below by Hope Leman, Web Administrator of ResearchRaven

I would like to invite all those planning conferences to send me the info about any calls for papers and any general announcements of meetings so that I can list them on ResearchRaven

We launched ResearchRaven just a few months ago, but it seems to be gaining traction as a free site for advertising the details of conferences in the health sciences and recruiting speakers, presenters and attendees for them.

Here is the call for papers/conferences page

And here is the Find Conferences page

And here is the page that has a form for submitting the details of your own conference:

If you are planning a conference, ResearchRaven is a good place to peruse the listings of those that are coming up in the next few months. Good place to get ideas. On ResearchRaven I list just the basics: dates, general subject matter, venue. But I include a link to the actual announcement of each site so can that you click on that link and see how conference announcements are presented on the actual Web sites of the organizers.

One thing I advise is to be careful that you make sure that you don’t forget to update the year of the meeting each year. Often, I find that the Word document on a site about a call for papers is a year out of date compared to what’s on the Web page where the announcement is listed.

And don’t be shy about asking bloggers and allied groups to list your conference and blog about it. I often learn about a conference in Google not from the site of the organizers but often from blogs (which are often more search engine spider friendly and more search engine optimized than are disease advocacy Web sites, for some reason) and from the events calendars of allied groups.

And always tweet the announcement of a conference, as tweets are more and more getting into Google results and those of other search engines. And try to put a “Tweet this” button next to the announcement on your Web site. That way, visitors can tweet just that item rather than try to copy and paste the announcement and send it to someone via email or tweet your entire site which may frustrate those just interested at that moment in the conference. Also, don’t post info only in Facebook. Many workplaces block it.

And be sure to provide details of the conference in several formats: Word, PDF, etc. Some visitors may download the PDF and email it to someone else. Others may copy and paste the text from a Word document into an email message, etc. The more choices for making your content viral-marketing friendly the better. Try to get it posted on several locations on the Web--though ensure that the same dates and contact info is given in every place.

Also, think about inviting as guest speakers at your conference people like e-Patient Dave. He is not only a compelling speaker, he is widely known and respected in the world of Twitter and as a blogger and his presence at a conference pretty much guarantees that you will be tweeted about quite a bit and blogged about—especially if your conference has a Twitter hash tag. He excels at telling people where he going to appear and that is a good buzz to have given that he is so well known in so many healthcare venues: healthcare IT, social media in health, patient advocacy, Health 2.0, Medicine 2.0. He can also suggest good speakers.

You might even think about a live stream of your conference or some sort of video archive of the proceedings after your conference is over. The more people you can get to attend whether in person or remotely the better.