Yes, Virtual Events Need Printed Materials

Over the past few years, there’s been a trend in the events industry to reduce the amount of printed materials at meetings and trade shows. Mobile apps have made some of these printed items obsolete, but not everything can be replaced with an app.

Print for Virtual?

Now, with the majority of events taking place on virtual platforms for at least the next four to six months, where has this left print?

CustomNEWS recently produced one conference preview issue and two conference highlights issues that were printed and mailed directly to attendees’ homes and offices.

View the IDWeek highlights issue here.

Future of the Program Book?

Before COVID toppled our industry, many meeting organizers eliminated the print program book. While mobile apps were becoming common-place, CustomNEWS found that many attendees still sought out print materials for daily schedules and the exhibitor list/floor plan. We saw that show dailies were a great complement to the mobile app.

Mailing a Program Book?

Associations Now recently wrote about how an association mailed program books to attendees.

Exhibitors miss out on the interaction of live events. Providing advertising opportunities that directly connect them with attendees will be very appealing.

And attendees may find that the program book offers a bit of normalcy to their event experience.

  • They can review the program book while away from their computer or mobile device.
  • Need to check on the day’s schedule? Flip through the program book for a quick schedule check.
  • Will sessions be available on-demand after the live event? This will help attendees identify sessions they will want to watch when time allows.

Get Creative

Mailing the program book may seem like an extravagant expense. But before you abandon the idea, ask about ways to get creative.

  • Look at different options for page size, beyond the traditional letter-size program book.
  • Ask your print partners about paper stocks that may be the most cost-effective.
  • Polybagging the program book creates additional opportunities for advertising revenue through loose inserts.

For more information on CustomNEWS’ print and digital publishing services for virtual, hybrid and live events, please contact Jenn Waters,

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