As some of you know, I take part in a lot of author events. It’s a new development for me as a writer (has been happening in the past two years and it’s going to happen more in the future). Whether you attend book fairs and author convention or other industry events, you might have the same problem I have when printing out brochures, post cards, bookmarks, and any other stuff you’d like to put in goodie bags or hand out at the event. You have to personalize them for each and every event!
Of course, if you are a huge company, you don’t much care about having small batches of printed material for each event. Although, cost effectiveness is a concern for any type of business. I for one would love to print out more postcards and bookmarks at once, as bigger numbers mean lower prices. But each event needs its customization. If I run a special sale for event participants, that has to be added in. Anything from promo codes to the name of the event should be included in the design.
If an event happens before a book’s release day, it will have different marketing purposes than an event that happens afterward. Not to mention that you always print more than you need and you end up with a stack of obsolete materials that you just have to throw away.
As I kept looking for solutions, I ran across something that might help me out. Self-adhesive labels that come in all shapes and sizes. So instead of customizing an entire design and print new stuff, I could go with something more simple that can fit several events, then get any shape, size, or number of these stick labels to snap on top! They even work on the books themselves to add event-specific pricing or to signal discounts.
I add new books to what I promote to author events, but the old books always make a comeback. So this would help with a third to a half of print materials that don’t get used one year and might be re-used the next time I attend a similar show. As the size and design are customizable, the self-adhesive labels can match the tone and style of your products or that of the event.
I talked a lot about books and print materials, but these work on a lot of other products you might bring along at trade shows and industry conferences: product boxes, the products themselves, promotional goodies like cups or notebooks, and pretty much anything you can think of.
At this point, I only wish I’d thought of it right from the start! It would have saved me a lot of headaches. Like the time when I accidentally printed the wrong promo code on my bookmarks 😀