For the second year in a row, I attended the Nten conference put on by the Nonprofit technology network. Once again, I met amazing leaders in the nonprofit sector doing terrific work to solve some of our world’s most difficult challenges. I also had the privilege to serve the attendees by presenting a session entitled “Emerging Trends in Annual Reports”. Presenting with me were Sheri Chaney Jones from Measurement Resources (her new book will be released by Wiley later this year) and Yasmin Nguyen from Vibrance Global. Our session covered three ideas:
- Stop counting hamburgers! Sheri explained how to implement a measurement culture that emphasizes strong performance and measurable outcomes.
- Yasmin showed us all a simple way to take and upload video using his iPad, a tripod, and YouTube.
- I demonstrated simple ways to add interactivity to PDFs, and an easy way to post your annual report content online using a basic WordPress installation.
Our session was only one of over 90 sessions, and I wanted to share some new strategies I picked up at the conference and in three of the sessions I attended:
- Probably one of the funniest moments was when the do-gooder finalist video awards were announced, and an award went to Nutiquette, a very entertaining take on a serious subject, aimed at young men and intended to encourage them to do regular checks for cancer to ensure early detection.
- Since we often work with graphs and charts in the publications we design, my favorite session was DataViz!, which was presented by Ann Kemery and Johanna Morariu from InnoNet, and Andrew Means from Groupon. They shared that they typically start with a scatter plot, to look for correlations and trends in the data. Their favorite chart (in general) is a dot blot. They directly label chart elements, avoiding legends. And they remove unnecessary clutter, such as grid lines, rules, and the tick marks that excel automatically includes in charts and graphs. They use color and weight to pop out key findings. They showed a great example of combining quantitative information with qualitative data. And my biggest takeaway was to title charts with the message you are trying to convey. For instance: “In climbing the income ladder, location matters” is far better than “Income by location” in conveying meaning and helping readers to understand the data.
- I attended a terrific SEO session lead by Andrew Garberson SEO Lead at Lunametrics, and Eric Werner, the Search Marketing Manager at The Home Depot. Andrew reminded us that SEO is not a number, a word or a set of links. It is an extension of our marketing not a metric. SEO should drive traffic that should already belong to you. It is measured by non-branded organic search returns. If you do redesign your site, your SEO will take a hit. Try not to change your domain name or URLs or you will lose the authority associated with the page content. And internal linking within a site is incredibly helpful in SEO, as it allows google to move through and index your site more easily.
Next year the conference is in Austin. Hope to see you there!