Popular Printed Materials to Transform Your Event Marketing Success

Tips on how to make your event go with a bang and generate valuable connections

Event marketing is an important tool used by a wide range of business sectors. Whether producing your own event or presenting a display or exhibit at a trade show, conference or other occasion, event marketing is an opportunity for some crucial face-to-face engagement with customers and other industry professionals.

Flyers, brochures and data collection sheets can all be used boost customer engagement, reinforce a brand and generate leads.

Here is a guide outlining why companies might choose to attend an event and the essential printed material that it would need to produce.

Why use event marketing?

E-mail campaigns, webinars and virtual events can only take you so far. Large-scale events have the benefit of introducing your product to a wide audience while affording the opportunity for some face-to-face interaction (contact).

  • Upselling: Introduce existing customers to products they might not know about.
  • Drive demand: Put on a show and draw attention to your business.
  • Increase product knowledge: Educate customers about products beyond the standard description.
  • Brand building: Put yourself across in the exact manner you would like to be perceived.
  • Customer engagement: Keep loyal customers engaged and on board with some one-to-one interaction.
  • Lead generation: Make the most of an event that attracts interested parties. Take down contact details and follow up.

Events such as trade shows and exhibitions offer a great opportunity to put a personality to your brand. They also allow prospective customers to expand their knowledge of your products beyond the limited product description or FAQs. Take this opportunity to accommodate interested parties by spending time answering questions as comprehensively as possible. And if you don’t have the answers to hand, take down some contact details and promise to get back to them at a later date.

Types of event requiring printed material

A whole host of events require printed material in one form or another. Below is a list of common situations where firms can greatly benefit using banners, gifts and other forms of branded material.

  • Trade shows
  • Festivals
  • Exhibitions
  • University events
    • Open days
    • Student union events
  • Conferences
  • Concerts/gigs
  • Seminars
  • Business meal events

Let the web support your live events

The physical, tactile ability of printed material to connect with prospective customs cannot be denied; however, in order to get the most out of any live event you must ensure that as many people as possible attend. Communicate with your audience using a well-planned e-mail campaign combined with a heavy social media presence and other public relations work. Don’t forget to inform trade journalists early so they can write you into their schedule. Writers interested in your product are also likely to pick up and take away any free printed material on offer, which they will use to inform their piece. Keep this in mind when designing brochures and flyers — the more clearly set out the information, the more likely a journalist is to use and expand on it in their article.

Printed material that works well at events

The primary task of any printed material at such events is to convey information. Whether it’s increasing the visibility of your stall with an eye-catching banner, or outlining your products and company ethos in a smartly conceived and produced brochure, trade shows, seminars or even business meals are an opportunity to increase knowledge of your services and reinforce your brand in the minds of the public.


A flyer is one of the easiest ways of propagating information in a live setting. Use every inch of your limited space to convey as much information as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean in terms of volume — flyers covered in ‘busy’ script can seem like too much effort to read — it could be simply using the appropriate imagery or design in order to send the correct message about your company and product.

How to get the maximum impact from your flyer:

  • Make it eye-catching. Your flyer is guaranteed to be one among many, so make sure the artwork stands out or it may end up in the bin.
  • Use a relevant headline. Let people know what this flyer is for immediately. Riddles can be an annoyance, so be clear from the outset.
  • Include a call to action. Spell out to the reader what steps to take next, whether it’s visiting the website, making a call or popping in to a physical store.
  • Offer a sweetener. An added incentive can be all it takes to make a reader fold up your flyer and keep it for further inspection at a later date.


These may at first seem like a novelty, but stickers can have a surprising number of uses. If you are one of many stalls at a trade show, stickers worn by visitors to your pitch tell people that your company is of interest and something to look out for. If you are organising a conference or seminar, they can be used as an identity tag by which members of a group can find each other.

Why stickers are different to other forms of marketing:

  • Personal endorsement. Some marketing can seem intrusive. Stickers, on the other hand, are usually worn by choice and come across as an unbiased recommendation. The average person doesn’t like to turn themselves into a walking billboard unless they wish to genuinely support a business or product.
  • Word-of-mouth. Research by global marketing firm Nielsen shows that word-of-mouth is still the most trusted form of recommendation, with 83% of people around the world saying they trust this marketing method the most.
  • Free gift. Maybe it’s a throwback from our childhood years, but many of us still like to receive free stickers. And more often than not they’ll be popped on a lapel or jumper, either as a genuine act of endorsement or simply as a wry joke. However, once they are being worn, it’s job done.


Banners will usually be your largest promotional piece of equipment at an event. They can be visually striking and reach a large audience. Things to think about when producing a banner include:

  • Most are made from a vinyl material, though they can be paper, fabric or plastic.
  • Indoors or outdoors. This will impact on how durable they should be, how they are secured, whether they intend to be reused.
  • How it is hung. Vertical or horizontal, between poles or against a wall, left up over time or frequently moved, these factor need to be assessed before the banner is commissioned.
  • If the banner is simply replicating your organisation’s logo, make sure the colours on the end product match your original designs. If you are creating a new design, think about its visual impact, as well as any messages you put on it.


Brochures are a versatile form of marketing that carry large amounts of information. They can be inexpensive or plush, posted to customers or left to be picked up. They can include large colourful pictures or contain lists of worthwhile data, and they can be made to last and intended only to be kept a short while. Some of the benefits of brochures are:

  • Exclusive advertising. Unlike sharing space in a magazine, brochures offer exclusive ad space for your product or organisation. The key is to fill it with content that people will want to read, while supplying information that will give you a return on your investment.
  • Not a website. Not everyone likes using the web or even has access to the internet. Brochures can feature large volumes of information which people can take away and reference. Make sure you include a contact telephone number.
  • Customer interaction. Another reason to meet your customers face to face and form a bond that can’t be made online.


An important consideration for many types of event, tickets can be purely functional or they can be designed to give the impression of prestige and exclusivity.

Tickets can also be used as a tool to promote future events, as well give money off products and services within the event itself.

Business cards

This small piece of printed material can convey huge amounts about your organisation. Business cards are often for keeps, so make them durable and ensure they contain as much contact information as possible.

Data collection sheets

The aim of many events is to generate leads. Collecting marketing data is key to this element, so think carefully about your collection plan. Prize draws are one way of enticing visitors to part with this precious resource. Alternatively, members of the public looking for extra information about products and services may be happy to give details for you to follow up on.

Think about the questions you wish to ask — don’t make them answer pages of questions as you run the danger of boredom setting in and potential leads losing interest.

Branded gifts

Everyone likes something for free. Any branded item that is taken away is a free piece of marketing put into the public domain. Whether its mugs, pencils, hats or stress-release toys, the general public’s willingness walk away with armfuls of freebies is almost limitless.

The printed material taken by a business to an event will speak volumes about the type of organisation it is. Plan ahead and formulate a cohesive strategy that will work together to showcase what’s on offer and most importantly, what your organisation can do for its customers.


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