Weekly News & Insights: To Print or Not to Print?

Photo: iStockphoto/Kelley Garner

Photo: iStockphoto/Kelley Garner

In this week’s #ExpoChat on Twitter, the topic was whether traditional marketing still works for trade shows. Even though digital marketing tools abound, many ExpoChatters agree that there’s still a place for old-fashioned print marketing. Direct mail postcards and brochures have the opportunity to stand out vs. a sea of e-mails and text messages. The key is in how you blend the old and new tools to best connect with your particular audience. You can read a transcript of the chat here. (If you’d like to join in on future chats, follow the hashtag #ExpoChat on Twitter. Chats take place every Wednesday at 3 PM ET.)

According to a recent study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 85 percent of exhibitors still have printed brochures and catalogs on hand in their booth, and attendees still rank those as their most preferred method of receiving product information. Perhaps because we’re all so overwhelmed with the flood of digital information, holding a piece of paper in our hands provides a sense of significance.

In other news, the Licensing Expo and the International Home + Housewares Show will be teaming up to promote each other’s events. The two shows saw an alignment in audiences, so they will be cross-marketing and offering co-hosted seminars. Licensing Expo’s 15,000 attendees will be invited to see the latest home decor and kitchen products at the International Home + Housewares Show at McCormick Place in March, while that show’s 2,000+ exhibitors will be invited to showcase their products for potential licensing deals at the Licensing Expo at Mandalay Bay in June. So is this an indication of partnerships to come?

Meanwhile, the Javits Center scheduling controversy may be nearing a compromise. It seems a tentative deal has been proposed to slightly adjust the dates to minimize the effects on all the other shows affected, including the New York International Gift Fair and the National Retail Federation Show. Seems that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo didn’t realize the ramifications of his announcement …

And finally, with all the discussion of paper vs. digital bits and bytes, here’s a list of The Best Tech Gadgets for Event Professionals. Check it out, then come back here and weigh in … what tech devices can you not live without? And do you still see a value in printed marketing materials?

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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