Slide Sharing: Good or Bad for Conference Organizers?

Deutsche Version

In our organization, we have a discussion currently that maybe some of you might share: To what extent do we want to make the presentations that were held at our conferences available to everyone?

On the one hand side, we charge a lot of money for delegates, hence so far, we protected the slides with a password and made them available on our website, but only for participants. We have seen this as an additional justification for the price they paid.

On the other hand side, the relevance of a conference grows when the content is shared and spread on social networks. Provided you have great content, this will help you in marketing the next event. And probably, it will not keep anyone from attending, just because they can download the presentations without having been there.

I’d like to hear your experiences on this subject. How do you as a conference organizer handle this? Do you sell the presentations? Publish them as a book or online? Make them available for download from your website? Do you use slide sharing services?

I have compiled a list of slide sharing services that facilitate easy sharing and social media functionalities:





A particularly interesting service for conference organizers is This service combines video with slideshows, and it allows embedding on your website, social bookmarking and sharing, and it even offers a shop solution so that you can charge for the content easily. Click on the image for an example (in German language, but you’ll get a good impression of what the service can do for you).

The beauty of the service is that it makes it quite easy to upload both video and the slides, and that you can jump within the presentation while the video moves in sync with the slides. Quite unique, and overall an affordable solution.

You can either just use the web platform and upload and sync your video files and slides yourself, or you ask the company to provide full service including video capture at the event.

The company EventCast offer a comparable solution:

5 thoughts on “Slide Sharing: Good or Bad for Conference Organizers?

  1. Michael, I certainly understand the discussion around this topic. These are things that conference producers worry about all the time. My thoughts are this. If you are just posting slides don’t do it. Because if the presenter is any good and not doing “death by power point” the slides will have no meaning. My slides are bold images with maybe just a few words. They are there only to to give the audience a visual reference to what I’m saying. Posting my presentations on the conference website would be pointless.

    Now, if you are posting the actual presentations along with the slides then by all means go for it. The way I see our conference content…once it’s been delivered it’s old news. You come to a conference to hear new information, get educated and network with your peers. I don’t think posting content that was delivered at your event in any way detracts from the event itself. Sure, some people could just wait until the conference is over and get the info for free off the website but by then they are behind the curve and also missed out on all the great connection making going on at the live event.


  2. I believe they should be made available to attendees and to students for research purposes. However I protect the content from being easily downloaded and thus copied, primarily because I live in a country where copyright laws are not enforced.


  3. I generally concur with Traci. Scientific, medical, or technical talks likely have slide decks with design and content very different than what Traci or I might create for our talks, so the implications may be somewhat different.

    I actually think there might be a broader question here (one I think I will blog about) which is: What are the various roles and formats of content to be shared before, during, and after an event? When people put their full presentation decks up prior to a conference (something many events now encourage if not require) I flash back to the days when people would run from room to room and grab handouts without attending the session.

    I often design and post a “preview” deck meant to give people enough info to attend the session without giving all the content away … similar in spirit to a movie trailer. And because my slides are often image heavy with only headline text, I might then do a recap deck with more detail and/or post a full deck, but with some notes for the slides. Quite honestly I don’t do it all the time because it requires a lot of extra work, but it does make that content more valuable. Right now merely dumping all the decks online often has very limited utility.


  4. Thanks for your thoughts and input! This year at the World Newspaper Congress in Vienna, we decided to combine various things:
    a. the slides will be uploaded to Slideshare as soon as possible after the sessions
    b. our blogger team will do short 30-90 sec Youtube video interviews with the speakers after their presentations
    c. our PR team will write session summaries
    d. all those elements will be put together on our live event blog and shared via our social channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

    I think this way we might be able to feed the social channels while not giving away too much. But we’ll see – I keep you updated.


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