Printed Conference Brochure Saves Event

Published by Steve Manicor | Topics: Associations, Conferences, Print

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It seems organizations these days are trimming direct mail from their marketing budgets as a way to save money without really understanding the impact it might have on their events.

Know that I am a probably a bigger fan of e-marketing using social media, email, press releases, than I am a fan of traditional marketing. However, I also realize there is no magic bullet (marketing tool or technique) that works for everyone, every time. Over the years in talking with marketing experts and through my own experience, I have come to the conclusion that using multiple tactics in concert produces the best marketing results.

postcardCase Study – How one association felt the impact of not using direct mail to promote their event

The Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children (Ohio AEYC) is a statewide organization that advocates for the early childhood workforce, quality care and education for young children and families.

This past summer, Ohio AEYC decided to not market one of their workshop events via direct mail. They thought they would just promote their event through e-marketing efforts.  All this in an effort to save money (sound familiar?)

Amy Eldridge, Ohio AEYC Events Director indicates, “we figured that the content was a hot topic and we would get more than enough attendees through e-marketing and posting info on our website.”

After two weeks of promotion, registration numbers were not what Ohio AEYC had desired – they considered canceling the event. “We thought that we were not getting attendees because it was a members only event,” says Eldridge.

Ohio AEYC decided to not cancel the workshop, but to switch to a later date and re-promote the event with a direct mail piece. They sent a simple, economical postcard to their mailing list. The result of the direct mailer was a 50% increase in registrations allowing Ohio AEYC to have the event they had hoped for.

“Direct mail really works!” claims a surprised Eldridge, who went on to say, “having a web presence is important, but you need to know how to reach your members. Using a printed piece is a great way to get in front of our audience.”

Key Points

  1. Know your target audience and best way to reach them
  2. Try different promotional tactics, but be prepared with a backup plan
  3. Know that there is no one way that market an event (use a combination of tactics that fits your budget and time)

Be sure to read my article entitled, “5 Reasons Direct Mail Works to Promote Your Conference” to learn why sending a printed postcard or brochure can still be effective in promoting your next event.


About Steve Manicor

Steve is Omnipress' Director of Business Development. He has over five years serving the meetings and training industry. He leads our product/service leadership and development teams. more



October 1st, 2009Beth Ziesenis says:

Chris, this story definitely needed to be told. Even though I’m a small business owner with a limited marketing budget, I try to mix direct mail and email to get the word out about my company. I’ve found the investment in direct mail can justify the extra expense, and the extra expense is rarely a huge number. If we want to keep promoting, we need to keep mailing.

Great case study.

Twitter: AvenueZ


November 6th, 2009DARRYL says:

Thanks for this wonderful post! I really can’t belive it’s almost Christmas.


November 13th, 2009Albert says:

Hey – whats up. Thanks a bunch for the info. I’ve been digging around looking some info up for shool, but there is so much out there. Yahoo lead me here – good for you i suppose! Keep up the good work. I will be coming back over here in a few days to see if there is updated posts.


January 11th, 2010Paul Wehking says:

Chris, another example of this is a client of mine who is doing a face-to-face event (SociaLex 2010) in D.C. on March 2, 2010 about the legal aspects of using social media. The cool part is that his pre-show marketing is a combination of targeted emails and three post card “register now” mailings to 1500 names. I thought the clients mix of electronic and traditional direct mail marketing for a “social media” event was unique. My client tells me different people respond to different messages. Find the event at

Twitter: paulwehking

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