Why Offer Printed Materials When You Have Technology?
This seems to be a question organizers in the meetings industry wrestle with a lot lately.
Today, I am working with EventCamp Twin Cities leaders on the layout and content for the printed conference learning journal. If you’re not familiar with EventCamp Twin Cities, it’s about social, innovation, experimentation, collaboration and technology. This event is very non-traditional, so why offer a traditional printed Program/Notebook?
Better question, why is the organizer and one of the key speakers excited to have an on-site printed tool for the attendees? Why provide something in print when attendees could just access the web site? Here are a few reasons why you should consider offering printed materials at your event.
- It’s tangible
- People learn differently
- It helps attendees follow along
- It’s easier to take written notes on paper
- It’s something one can refer back later for learning
- You don’t need to login or connect to quickly access it
- It doesn’t get lost in the 200 other web sites you have bookmarked
But let’s address the real reason. Money!
The Cost of Printing a Book Pales to The Other Costs of Attendance
It costs money to produce and deliver printed books and materials. That costs ranges from just a few dollars up to $15 depending on the amount of content and quantity to produce. Even if it’s expensive, $15 cost to an attendee is chump change comparing it to the cost of travel, lodging, registration and time out of the office. Think about it. If my total cost to attend an event is $1,455 or $1,470, it’s irrelevant if my time and learning at an event is maximized.
Organizers of meetings should be thinking of ways to enhance learning at events. Not everyone carries the iPad around. Nor do laptops have the battery power to be on all day… And outlets are not always in the most convenient places. And yes, attendees forget to go online to download and print their handouts.
Why is there a such passion to go paperless?
Somethings just aren’t same as it used to be with paper.