Trade Group Uses CD-ROM-Booklet for Conference Book

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A national trade association representing small local exchange carriers was pleased with a mini-brochure it used in place of a conference proceedings book at a trade show earlier this year.


Instead of its traditional book of conference proceedings, the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies distributed a cdOneBook from OneDisc.com Inc. OPASTCO represents 550 small, independently owned local exchange carriers and their affiliate telecom companies.


The cdOneBook is a full-color booklet that includes a CD-ROM inserted into a flap in the back. It was distributed at OPASTCO's 41st Annual Summer Convention and Trade Show in July in Calgary, Alberta.


The booklet offers "a better form factor than a big conference book, and it is more likely to be kept as is," said Tom Vanderpool, CEO/chief technology officer at OneDisc.com, St. Paul, MN, a digital marketing company specializing in CD-ROM production as well as packaging.


OPASTCO had distributed a 1- to 1 1/2-inch thick, 30- to 45-page book at each of its two annual conventions. The books cover information such as the convention schedule, the group's board members, speaker bios, an exhibitor directory at the summer show and ads from sponsors.


It normally prints about 500 copies, which must be shipped to the convention. OPASTCO also had produced a CD-ROM in-house containing copies of the conference's presentations. These also were shipped.


"The shipping costs are expensive, and, in general, we find that most people, when they get a big [conference proceeding] book, do not want to carry it around, and end up throwing it away eventually," said Kathleen Kelley-Riesett, director of education and events at the Washington, DC, group.


So this year, OPASTCO used about 500 22-page cdOneBooks for the Calgary event.


"It included everything that we normally include in our [convention book], plus we included copies of the presentations of all the speakers on the CD-ROM," Kelley-Riesett said.


Attendees offered positive feedback about the cdOneBook, she said.


OPASTCO also ran ads in the booklet, though they had to be downsized.


"One of my concerns was that our advertisers might have a problem with this," she said. "But as long as we gave them enough lead time, they were fine with it." She said the sponsors created the smaller ads, sent them via mail or e-mail to OPASTCO, which forwarded them to OneDisc.


OPASTCO did not send the cdOneBooks through the mail, though Vanderpool said they can be sent at the First-Class or bulk mail rate. A cdOneBook weighs less than two ounces with the CD-ROM.


The cdOneBook comes in two types: A full-color, 5 1/8-by-5 1/8-inch booklet with a full-size CD inserted, and a full-color 3 1/2-by-3 1/2 booklet with a mini-CD-ROM.


Minimum order for both varieties is 1,000, but 3,000 is the average. The larger version with CD inserted costs $1.75 per piece for a 3,000-count order while the smaller costs $1.39 each for a 3,000-count order. OPASTCO did not pay for OneDisc's service since OneDisc is a member. The work was considered an in-kind sponsorship.


Alumni Group Uses cdOneBook to Keep Graduating Seniors Involved


The Northwestern University Alumni Association plans to offer a cdOneBook to graduating seniors in June containing information about the association.


The CD-ROM will give contact information for the university club network nationwide and alumni who have volunteered to be career networkers in a specific region. It also will let the Northwestern clubs nationwide present their benefits, plus offer information and discounts from the association's affinity partners such as loan consolidators, credit card companies, short-term medical insurance companies and movers.


"The graduating seniors will be able to log onto our partners' Web sites from the CD-ROM, which will recognize them as Northwestern alums and give them discounts on their services," said Jim Kaczkowski, director, marketing and communications for the alumni group in Evanston, IL.


"These offerings will be very relevant to the graduating students, and those are precisely the prospects that our affinity partners want to target."


Graduating students also could e-mail alumni and link to club Web sites through the CD-ROM.


The CD-ROM is the key to this project while the booklet will be "a positioning tool and will offer a really short intro on what's on the CD," Kaczkowski said.


The association decided to use the book after getting exceptional results from distributing an interactive mini-CD from OneDisc to the incoming Northwestern freshman class at a barbecue in mid-September. The CDs, which included an HTML presentation about the association, aimed to familiarize students with the group.


At the end of the presentation was a link to the association's Web site where freshman could register to win an iPod. The association gave away three iPods and got a 47 percent response rate within 72 hours, Kaczkowski said. Response was defined as freshman registering to win the iPod.


Also, of the 47 percent of students who registered for the iPod promotion on the site, 60 percent gave the association permission to send them e-mails and 30 percent gave permission to send text messages over their cell phones.


Associations are just one target group for OneDisc.com, said Tom Vanderpool, its CEO/chief technology officer. Also targeted are other users of promotional CDs, which include other nonprofit groups, Internet service providers, convention companies and financial groups.


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