Most business transactions, meetings, and services are transitioning from in-person to online. It’s logical to think that virtual tradeshow materials would follow suit.  

Because online networking and community engagement don’t hold the same power as in-person meetings, a printed guide for virtual event attendees creates greater engagement and value. In addition, printed items such as direct mail invitations can help build excitement for virtual events. 

People Like Printed Materials 

Studies show that people spend more time with printed materials (leisurely turning pages, looking at all the elements of the page). Is it because they like printed materials or they like them more than digital?  

One explanation is that today’s online experience usually involves multiple popup ads, which is annoying. The constant exposure to other ads interrupts the time your conference-goer spends absorbing the material and explains why they prefer print to digital.  

Build Excitement for a Virtual Tradeshow 

People enjoy receiving tangible printed materials, even for virtual events. Direct mail invitations such as postcards are a great physical reminder, easy to prop next to a computer screen or put on the fridge. These materials can include all info and a signup link, created to your exact specifications.

Our variable data printing services make it easy to create pre-addressed mailers to get more people to your event. Artisan can help create direct mail postcards, brochures, or other types of invitations to your previous attendee or recent sign-up lists. Read more about our variable data printing services.

After the invitations have been sent out, focus on the event itself.

Maintaining Engagement Online 

Printed Agendas and Catalogs are Essential for a Virtual Tradeshow virtual meeting with prints on the table webThis is difficult to do with virtual attendees, even those who pay for the privilege of attending your event. During a time where most professionals work from home, a bored toddler, sad-eyed puppy, and dirty dishes can all be the distraction that draws your audience away from conference sessions.  

Plus, a primary goal for most conference-goers is to network with keynote speakers, session leaders, and fellow professionals. This is difficult to do when you are attending a conference virtually.  

This is how a well-written conference agenda or catalog can keep attendees engaged to get the most of your event.  

Keep Your Audience Engaged in a Virtual Tradeshow

Online ads and agendas serve their purpose but studies show that readers absorb information differently in print. According to a recent study completed for the U.S. Postal Service, printed materials have several advantages including keeping your audience’s attention longer.  

If you provide a tradeshow roadmap in the pages of your catalog, your attendees can follow along with the online sessions and you offer another point of engagement.   

Virtual tradeshow booklet tedx web

The tangible aspect of printed materials forces your audience to engage more with a printed agenda. A digital catalog allows your audience to scroll without paying much attention which increases the likelihood that important conference information will be missed.   

Printed materials encourage your audience to engage. Imagine a conference-goer picking up the tradeshow catalog – their eyes widen as they take in the colors and design; the corner of their mouths curl up in delight as they feel the materials brush against their fingertips.  

People are interacting with your material on different levels. It is tactile. With the right design, messaging, materials, and quality, your printed agenda will get the engagement you need for your virtual tradeshow.  

Advertisers Should Prefer Print 

PhxDW Posters Conference Materials Printed by Artisan ColourBecause of its perceived value and the audience’s preference to spend time with print, advertisers and sponsors for your tradeshow should prefer a printed catalog versus digital. If you demonstrate the clear benefit of print versus digital, it can be easier to sell your advertising space. 

Pictured here are the conference posters Artisan printed for the 2020 Phoenix Design Week virtual conference.

PHXDW 2020 was digital, but thanks to the help of their partners and vendors, attendees could still experience that sweet swag they’ve come to expect! The Keepsake FUSE Swag Pack as well as individual items such as posters, t-shirts, tumblers, and buttons were available at the official PHXDW Brand Store. Attendees were able to choose items and have them shipped directly to their door.

As you’re planning your next virtual conference, engagement will be an important goal. With the right commercial printer, your next printed agenda, promotional materials, and conference catalog will help you create an engaging virtual event, from start to finish.

Are you planning your next event – virtual or in-person? Let us show you how print can maximize your exposure and make your event a smashing success! Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation

Need help planning? Check out our detailed Guide: Event and Tradeshow Planning Timeline here: