The newspaper has made way for digital newspapers or e-papers. From the New York Times to The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal to The Independent, every major print media organization has switched to e-paper. Not entirely of course but the fact that many have started charging for online subscriptions just go on to show how significant their digital audience is. The most popular magazines in the world have also responded to the demands of the digital age.
As an event planner, manager or organizer, a company or an individual that needs to host an event, you may wonder if you should go all out with digital content or if you should still hold onto those paper handouts. The dawn of e-papers has not made the newspaper irrelevant or nonexistent. Newspapers are not yet extinct. Likewise, paper handouts or the brochures, fliers, inlets, leaflets and countless other types of printed material have not gone extinct. They are still relevant, useful and have an impact. But the extent to which they matter has diminished over the years.
There is a fine line segregating the need of paper handouts and digital content. There are certain contents which the attendees of an event will want in the digital form. There are certain contents that they would rather have a paper handout of. Let us explore some of the differences that form the fine line.
- If you have to share a white paper, a large study, data pertaining to what is being showed or discussed at the event, a ton of information, illustrations or a whole booklet of literature, then the attendees would prefer if it is digital. Very few people would like to receive and carry a book. Very few people will want to reach through even fifty pages unless it is in a doc or spreadsheet format allowing them to go to a specific page, search for relevant keywords or just highlight certain portions of the material without much manual labor.
- There are certain materials that are still best exchanged or circulated as paper handouts. The schedules or the itinerary of an event, business cards, company brochures, any kind of document that needs to be vetted or a photocopy of a document that has been issued by a significant authority, are best provided in printed form. There is an element of class and elegance in paper handouts that cannot be matched by its digital brethren.
Wherever possible and appropriate, try to have soft and hard copies of the content you have to share or circulate. Having a choice empowers the attendees and makes them feel important. It augurs well for the organizers.