Visual Impact: The Power of Print

Published by Gina Wentling | Topics: Associations, Conferences, Print

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publicationsLet me start by recognizing the irony: an article about the power of print, presented in an eNewsletter and blog. If Omnipress really believed in print, one could argue, why not embrace it on all fronts?

But you’d be kidding, because in the modern, digital world, eschewing a digital presence would be virtual suicide. It’s common knowledge that the world lives online and if you want to reach your target audience, that’s where you need to be, too.

Still, print is not so washed up that it should be absent from your 2014 event content plan. There are still plenty of opportunities for printed pieces to factor in to your event’s success, despite advances in websites and mobile apps.

Face it: Print has power.

Studies have shown that the brain interacts differently with print than it does with screens. Guess which one is better for learning retention? Score one for print. Which, when used for advertisements, leaves a deeper impression? Print – 2, Digital – 0. Which is better suited to a conference with no WiFi? Call on the analog, no-connection-required printed program.

Sponsors and exhibitors will be grateful you’ve decided to keep the printed program in circulation. Full-page, glossy ads grab attention, in a much less annoying way than ubiquitous pop-up ads on apps and websites.

These gentler invitations to connect are compelling, often inventive, and usually beautiful. There’s something striking about a big graphic image used to convey a concept or showcase a product, with a bit of text to complete the picture. It draws the eye, captures the imagination, and earns the attention it receives.

Some print ads tip the hat to digital ads by printing a QR code, so readers can interact with bonus content online. Techniques like that bridge the gap, with nods to both the power of print and the reader’s compulsion to interact online.

A successful event content strategy is multi-faceted, incorporating print, online, mobile, and social components. Each hammer, screwdriver, and wrench in the toolbox gets part of the job done, and in the end, the project can only be completed with the contributions of each.

The same goes for your event content: Each type of content delivery brings something different to the table, speaking to a different audience, perhaps, or being the right tool for the right attendee at the right time. To get the most out of your content, use all the tools at your disposal.

If your budget doesn’t allow for all three, we still recommend holding a place open for print. Rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated. The role of print is changing, just as the role of digital content is, as best practices continue to evolve.

Leafing through the program right after on-site registration, or seeing the slick room sign as you round the corner for the keynote, or receiving the advance program in the mail as you start planning your conference itinerary—these are quintessential conference experiences. Keep those moments alive by including printed materials as an important part of your event.


About Gina Wentling

During her time as Marketing Communications Coordinator (2013-16), Gina wrote hundreds of blog posts for Omnipress. Her work has also been published in association publications. Read More.

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