The Value of Physical Media at Trade Shows

It’s easy to notice that the trade show world is beginning to revolve more and more around advances in technology. Non-physical forms of marketing are beginning to reign at events. For example, many exhibitors are starting to utilize QR codes and other forms of electronic advertising to supplement or substitute the use of promotional items… but are we forgetting the value of physical media?

According to Forbes, while marketing and advertising are becoming more and more digital, “customers and prospects alike are still human–and as such, the need to arouse the sense of touch will always be present.”  However, to what extent do we still need tangible media?

Millward Brown, a branding company, recently sought out to answer this question.  In a recent report, the organization found that “physical media left a ‘deeper footprint’ in the brain.”  While the study focused on direct mail, its findings certainly apply to the trade show industry.

Millward Brown’s research revealed that:

-“Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations,”

-“Physical materials produced more brain response connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater ‘internalization’ of the ads,”

-“More processing is taking place in the right retrosplenial cortex when physical material is presented. This is involved in the processing of emotionally powerful stimuli and memory, which would suggest that the physical presentation may be generating more emotionally vivid memories.”

It’s clear that these conclusions are not only connected to direct mail; instead, Millward Brown’s analysis reveals much about the physical side of the ad world in general.  According to Forbes, “…There will always, ALWAYS, be the need to factor in the human side, the living, breathing human element when trying to reach your target audience.”  So at your upcoming event, don’t skip the trade show giveaways.  Your branded giveaways could be the key to your company’s next big venture.