It’s one of the great debates in trade shows and exhibitions: Do you ditch traditional printed marketing materials in favor of digital alternatives or downloads?
The answer, according to a recent report from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, is clear. Printed brochures, catalogs or other marketing materials still have a place in the trade show industry, but are now joined by other digital options.
According to those surveyed, 85 percent of exhibitors still typically share product information via printed brochure or catalog distributed at the event. Yet, only 58 percent of attendees prefer to receive information in this form.
CEIR notes that one in three attendees actually prefers to receive product or service information via a digital format, such as on a USB drive.
What about an email follow up? The trade show industry is the second largest generator of waste (behind the construction industry) with more than 600,000 pounds of discarded materials generated each year, including thousands of pounds of marketing materials taken and then left on site or in hotel rooms. The growing trend of post-show email follow up makes sense from a sustainability perspective. It also means attendees don’t have to carry around a bulging bag of literature as they travel from exhibit to exhibit.
Yet, it’s a habit that seems hard to break.
Less than half of trade show attendees (41 percent) prefer to receive information via email follow up even though 70 percent of exhibitors typically share product information this way. QR codes are slightly more favored by exhibitors (19 percent) than attendees (14 percent) as a means for obtaining information, but rank near the bottom among all options on the survey.
Technological advances impact effective marketing strategies, and this will continue with the increasing use of smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices. But this survey also shows that traditional marketing materials remain a preferred option among attendees, at least for the near future.
Marketing materials are an important part of the face-to-face marketing experience, whether distributed on paper or via electronic means. The key is in understanding the best method to reach your market with the most effective information. Contact Us to learn more.