We are in the business of printed goods. We are in the digital age. The biggest question we are always asked – is print dead?
Our answer – Of course not!
In fact, there is a resurgence in printed goods, it’s all about how you adapt as a business and adapt your offering. Firstly if we look at magazines as a generic example of printed goods, the magazines who are dying a death are the ones who are still relying on traditional advertising methods, the one’s who haven’t updated their design and lay out, however just last week we were in the best magazine shop ever (Magazine Heaven), where we saw how the magazine industry is absolutely thriving, massively upping their game in print and design. Every genre had beautiful design layouts, sumptuous uncoated papers, it was wonderful to see and it was busy, people were buying.
The biggest resurgence in print is the subscription model, how digital brands are working with print is what it’s all about. Digital is reeling you in the print provides the emotion – absolutely key to buying, much more on this if you keep reading below!
So how is it for invitations specifically in 2019?
There is no doubt there has been a downturn in people wanting printed invitations, that said companies such as Papier and the smaller stationery brands are absolutely killing it with great design and affordable pricing (largely due to either volume materials or, conversely for small brands, small overheads) so there is a downturn in luxury printed invitations, which is a little surprising. This is where digital has hit and people are very happy to send invitations via e mail, what’s app or messenger, they want fast, convenience and if budget’s need skimming the invitation is first to go. Ironic, given that you need people to attend the event!
For corporates there are other issues such as logistical issues with computer systems and databases meaning they simply have to send digital e vites, which is completely understandable.
How can printed goods survive in the event industry?
Obviously we are passionate about print, now so more than ever. There IS a huge demand for it and a necessity for people to still feel that beautiful invitation landing on their doorstep, it’s almost treasured now more than ever, a visceral emotion happens which you simply can’t get with digital. That said we are not going to sit here and not embrace digital, this is our way of life, and boy how convenient and great it is! You can collate RSVP’s so much easier, you can actually get people to RSVP for a start, you can create bespoke design still, you can send to anywhere in the world, we could go on.
We have in fact been making digital invitations for many years alongside our printed invitations, but now there’s a really exciting possibility with this new age of thinking. We have just launched our digital offering page on our website, as of course there is new demand for it, however we want to change the way the event world thinks.
Sending digital invitations are brilliant, we can design them to be bespoke and match all of your ‘on the day stationery’ to it so it is all still seamless and beautifully designed, however there has been something bothering me about our clients guests only receiving digital, and that is the fact they are still missing out on that emotion, that connection, the feeling of self worth that you have been chosen to go to an incredible event (we work with the best of the best in event design afterall) so why would event planners want to downplay their efforts by not doing everything they can to show their guests this will be an event like no other?
All the hours worked in designing and creating, you want ALL the guests to come. There are risks with digital invitations too, some may get lost, some are discarded in spam, it becomes just more white noise in your digital life – there is less VALUE to them.
So what’s the answer?
We need to look at what the digital brands are doing, the Birchboxes, the Harry’s, the Beauty Pies’, The Hush’s etc…these are incredible digital brands and subscription services all lead by online platforms, yet they invest in ALL the print. In the end it’s all about what arrives on their customer’s doorsteps as to whether or not that customer buys again. So they send the product in amazing packaged boxes, they add personal notes, they add incentives, it’s beautifully done, you in turn feel VALUED and want more.
How can print enhance events now?
So for events, why not send a digital invitation, get your core guest list THEN invest in incredible printed goods, follow up with welcome packs, countdown cards to the big day, play between digital and print, use apps for fun chat groups, yet send a beautiful card saying you can’t wait to see them there with a welcome pack and itinerary before the event. Or wait until they all arrive and leave welcome packs on their pillows, mailing itineraries, dress codes, fun tickets that buy them treats over the weekend’s festivities!
One of the best examples we have worked on recently was with The Brand Stylist, Fiona Humberstone. Fiona’s business is very much driven as an online platform alongside her beautiful printed books, but she is the perfect example as to how combining digital and print really adds such emotion, value and most importantly, memory to her events. Fiona’s workshops and retreats are meticulously thought out, focussing on all the senses, the food, the ambiance of a space, the flowers and print plays a huge role here too. Her welcome boxes, which every ‘student’ receives were beautiful boxes of stationery and resources, our laser cut details added to the discovery and overall beauty of her products and of course this all adds value to her Brand.
We’ve created many ‘welcome packs’ for weddings and ‘hampers’ for corporate clients and these really are the future, gifting your clients and your guests are the new invitations.
In short, we need to use digital and print together, then, you create an event that is memorable, and most importantly has created and bought back that emotional connection for your guests.
We would love to hear more on this topic, leave comments over on instagram or connect with us via e mail, how can we help you encourage your clients if you are an event planner, to think differently, your events are amazing, we need to give them the value they deserve. In the mean time take a look at our digital offering and see how we can help you enhance your guests experience, from animated e virtues to adding welcome packs and itineraries.