HERE’S my final conference confession of the year. And this one is directed specifically to conference sponsors and exhibitors: I never read your colourful, beautifully designed brochures, leaflets or flyers that you hand out from your exhibition stands. Same for the ones you stuff inside our conference satchels. And I suspect this confession applies to most delegates at most conferences.
Lindor Balls are eaten and appreciated. Drink bottles with your logo on the side get used by my kids at basketball games. And USB sticks are always utilised.
But the truth is that most brochures get chucked out at the first opportunity, without much more than a cursory glance. Sponsors – please don’t take this personally, I’m not being rude and I DO genuinely appreciate the fact you have decided to support the conference and invest in the industry.
It’s just that in this day and age, aside from books (which despite the nay-sayers, are still doing well) we don’t have the time or energy to read printed things even if they are glossy, nicely folded brochures with cool font and professional photos – they simply do not get read, by anyone, any time, anymore.
The ones that banks leave in their branch brochure holders – no one reads them. The booklets that super funds and insurance companies are obligated to send out with a covering letter – either get chucked out or placed in a file somewhere until they get tossed out (unread) 7 years later in a summer clean-up.
So the brochures at conferences are really just corporate junk-mail.
I’m not exactly sure what the solution is for sponsors or exhibitors who understandably wish to get their corporate messages out to their target audience. Active networking, old-style conversations, video messages and innovative corporate promo style toys and games perhaps are all much more effective options of engaging your audience.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is HUGE value to be had in sponsoring a conference attended by your target audience. But when it comes to the paper give-aways, I genuinely think you are all wasting your money and should give serious thought to more effective, innovative ways to get the most out of your sponsorship dollar. The days of reading stuff in the paper are basically over.
Except BEN of course, everyone reads BEN.
Happy Holidays Everyone. See you at a conference in 2017.
If you are looking for an MC for your next conference or a speaker/trainer on presentation skills or pitching skills, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.andrewklein.com.au.