Ideas, tips and reports about event display construction and management

Print media I – Types and functions

by welkamro

Despite all the new electronic gadgets and advances: Paper is one of the most important media of communication at exhibitions – a fact that let environmentalists mount the barricades. Tons of paper getting wasted, many flyers and booklets are thrown away from the visitors.
Anyway, the importance of paper for the advertising industry can't be denied.

First, we bother to separate the different types of handouts, because we don't want to throw them all together and mix them up. We separate roughly into „Folders“, „Flyers“, „Booklets“ and „Catalogs“. You can be sure that you will get at least one of these things pressed in your hand at every exhibition – in Japan and in Germany. But where are the differences now?

A classic is the flyer. There was a time, when there was no newspapers and internet, but the flyer already existed. In the 15th century, the flyer was the most popular communication medium. Today, flyers are still popular, its simply a printed piece of paper without a fold, often used for little sales messages or announcements. Another version of the flyer is the „folder“. As the name implies, the folder is a folded piece of paper, which could have various shapes and sizes. In Germany, people often use the word „flyer“ when they mean „folder“.

The „catalog“ is a kind of a folder, in size „DIN A4“. Catalogss are mostly tacked, often it has just a few pages, giving you some information about various goods and services and their prices. Often catalogs contain all products the companies offer.

A „booklet“ is a bounded, multi-paged book, that is similar to a catalog, giving you some information about new products as well as information about the company. It is often used for prestige advertising.

So far, so good. But why do companies use this obviously „old-fashioned“ method to get in contact with their customers? Why not use modern technology like internet or screens for exhibition-commercials? That could be much cheaper.
Well, I think most customers just like it to hold something in their hands, to own it and take it home. There are lots of companies and products to see at exhibitions, its impossible to remember all of them. But maybe later at home, you will find a flyer deep down your bags. You may remember the product, and look it up on the internet – and thats what the companies want.

Because of cleverly placed pictures, text and colors, the message of flyers and booklets runs directly to the customers brain without annoying mouse-scrolling like on computers. Often, this is the point were the customer either gets interested in the company – or not.
When you read the flyer attentive, you will draw the attention of the booth-operators: They see an potential customer in you, and come running to give you more information.

Because nobody should get crushed by this shower of information, we will make a small break now – the second part of this little series will contain the differences between German and Japanese print media.

the Welkam boys Kojichu, Japanese for 'under construction,' is an ongoing notebook of ideas, tips and discoverys we've picked up over the years building displays and managing events around the world.

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