Conference companies love to brag that they’re “a purely online organisation now” or that they “only do digital”; but has the digital revolution taken the event world a step too far? In the case of traditional event brochures, we think it has. There are several benefits to printing your agenda that simply cannot be overlooked, despite your decreased collateral costs and greater green credentials. Here’s a list of our top reasons why you shouldn’t stop printing:
1. Sponsors are more easily shown off in printed form
Sponsors invest heavily in B2B events, and a key part of your offering to get them on board is simply visibility. However, in online formats sponsor logos suffer, as the resolution of images and logos is compromised. This might be fine if your event only has a few sponsors, and ample brochure space to display their branding, but otherwise they certainly won’t be thrilled to see an illegible version of their logo on your collateral.
2. Generally, people still prefer to read printed media
Despite the advent of smartphones, tablets and e-readers, we still feel drawn to printed text. Perhaps this won’t be the case in a few decades, but right now it’s where we stand. It might be traditionalist, but if your audience is likely to prefer a printed brochure, surely it would be crazy not to give them one?!
3. It brings together all of your event information and ensures accuracy
Just the act of having to compile a single document for print containing every known detail about your event forces you to double and triple check these details, and cover all the bases. And once your prospects have received their brochure, they have only one place to refer back to rather than having to trawl through your website to get to the piece of information they’re looking for.
4. Not all websites are mobile friendly just yet
As we’ve said before, the pressure is on for B2B conference companies to start optimising their websites for mobile. But in the meantime, there’s little use encouraging prospects to view a detailed PDF on their smartphones. You’re in a much stronger position to showcase your upcoming event if people can actually read your agenda!
5. It’s another piece of content for those middle of the funnel leads
A conference brochure is ideally pitched at leads that have shown an interest in your event already, as it acts as a next logical step in the buyer’s journey. Sending a printed agenda to a warm lead will demonstrate that you recognise their interest, and have taken an action to hopefully meet a need of theirs. It’s a fantastic lead conversion opportunity you simply cannot dismiss.
6. A well designed event brochure gives your event gravitas and will make it stand out
In an increasingly competitive industry, B2B event companies must take steps to differentiate themselves from identikit conferences, and comparable competitors. A printed conference programme indicates that your organisation is experienced, professional and invests ample resources into its events. It could be just what it takes to convince your prospects that your company is an industry leader, and that your event is a must-attend.
7. With email click-throughs decreasing, it’s the most effective alternative
Though event marketers love email, their propensity to abuse it has seen response rates, and overall success through this channel, seriously declining. If your database is not engaged, direct mail is another highly effective way to put your event at the forefront of your prospects’ minds, and encourage them to find out more about your brand.
8. A programme denotes a tangible product
Demonstrating how you will add value to your prospects is crucial to selling your conference, but sometimes this can be difficult given that it’s an experience rather than a material good. Offering printed event brochures is the first step in showing the commitment you have to your events, and will reinforce the idea of it as a value-adding service.
9. It makes the perfect first impression
In the B2B event world, the first impression really needs to be the best one you can possibly make it. If you’re reaching out to new prospects, a printed programme shows that you know the industry, and you’re knowledgeable about your audience. You must show that what you’re offering more than meets your prospects’ expectations, and is aligned with your pricing. In this regard, a sleek, professional and informative brochure puts you in a strong starting position in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Now do you see our point?
If you’ve got the budget for it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be printing your conference brochure. Unless you can show that it generates absolutely no business for your event company, you’ll be missing a trick by culling your agenda and conducting all of your event marketing online. Prospects still like to see that conference companies are putting in the effort to win delegates, and there’s no denying the beneficial effects of a beautiful and informative piece of marketing collateral.
Image Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives