Leaflet load­ing

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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 an­drew@lunch.com.au or visit his web­site at www.an­drewk­lein.com.au.

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