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  1. 4 essential print collateral items for the 2019 trade show season

    We’re about halfway through winter; which means the season for industry conferences, exhibitions and trade shows is almost upon us. And as always, it promises to be the perfect opportunity to get your brand out there, and connect with exciting new partners and opportunities.

    But is your business ready for the show floor? Whatever line of work you’re in, it’s important that your booth design and handout materials reflect the business you are today, and the goals you have for the new year.

    Here’s 4 essential items for your trade show presence in 2019 - and our tips for making the most of your print collateral investment.

    Display Banners

    The display graphics of your booth are arguably the most important thing to get right about your trade show presence. You’re competing with hundreds (if not thousands) of other show vendors, so your booth needs to command the attention of exhibition attendees - even from a distance. It’s a good idea to have a range of display banners of various different sizes. For example, you might choose to place a large banner along the back of your booth, and surround it with smaller roller banner units on each side. Not only does this give you more options for customising your brand’s presentation and increasing your booth’s visual impact; it also gives you the flexibility to adjust your display to different exhibitions. For example, if you’re cramped for floor space, you could simply bring a couple of roller banners with you. Alternatively, if you have a lot of room in your booth area, bringing along larger banners can help you take maximum advantage of the space you have available.

    Catalogues

    A high-quality catalogue isn’t just a showcase of the products/services you have to offer - it also serves as an indicator that you’re a well-established, successful and professional company that attendees can trust with their money. Your choice of paper stock for your catalogues can actually play a big part in how your brand is perceived by attendees. Remember, the higher the GSM of a paper stock, the thicker and more sturdy the paper will be - consumers tend to associate these higher GSM grades with luxury and quality. Likewise, adding gloss lamination to your catalogue prints will give them a shiny, smooth finish which readers will often perceived as lavish and luxurious. (Alternatively, picking a matt finish for your catalogues can be useful for positioning yourself as a no-nonsense or eco-friendly brand.) And don’t forget to print twice as many catalogues as you think you’ll need - there’s nothing more embarrassing than having to turn booth visitors away empty-handed! Business cards - and business card dispensers Not everyone wants to carry around a small novel of a catalogue with them - particularly if they’re more interested in collaborating with you than buying from you, and/or they’re already carrying catalogues from other exhibitor booths. For these attendees, make sure you have some pocket-sized handouts ready to go; such as flyers, leaflets and business cards. It’s a good idea to have a card dispenser set up too, printed with a friendly ‘please take one’ message - that way, visitors who are too busy to stop and chat can still pick up your materials and find out what you’re all about.

    Business cards - and Business card dispensers

    Not everyone wants to carry around a small novel of a catalogue with them - particularly if they’re more interested in collaborating with you than buying from you, and/or they’re already carrying catalogues from other exhibitor booths. For these attendees, make sure you have some pocket-sized handouts ready to go; such as flyers, leaflets and business cards. It’s a good idea to have a card dispenser set up too, printed with a friendly ‘please take one’ message - that way, visitors who are too busy to stop and chat can still pick up your materials and find out what you’re all about.

    ‘Practical’ handouts

    A lot of exhibitor handouts will simply be filed away or dumped by attendees once they get back from your trade show. Once way to prevent your marketing materials ending up in the bin is to make them useful to your booth visitors - for example, giving them a desk calendar to help them manage their to-do list, or a pen pot to store their stationery in. Not only will attendees be more inclined to keep these around, but they’ll think of your company every time they use them - perfect for encouraging repeat business.

    And finally - a few general design tips…

    • Make sure your promotional materials communicate the message of your brand. Abstract and mysterious designs are good for grabbing attention, but if they don’t reveal who you are, what you can offer the consumer and what sets you apart from your competitors, attendees will just be left scratching their heads.

    • Set out your goals for your exhibition appearances, and let those goals inform the design of your print collateral. Are you looking to sign up X amount of new customers to your services? Bring X amount of new traffic to your website? Make sure your calls-to-action drive attendees to take the action you want

    • Don’t show up to exhibitions with the same old displays and print designs year after year - regular show attendees will just start passing over your booth in favour of new exhibitors. Your business (not to mention the market around you) is always changing, so make sure your booth reflects the company you are now - not who you were five years ago!

    Need custom-printed marketing collateral for your next conference or trade show? Get in touch with Better Printing on 023 8087 8037 to find out how we can help you!

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  2. To pay VAT or not to pay VAT That is the question.


    Indeed, that is the question. When you’re looking to create your printed material for distribution to your customers, undoubtedly cost is a critical factor in your decision making. What you may not know is that not all printed marketing material is VAT chargeable. VAT is value added tax added to most goods and services.

    VAT Rates:

    When it comes to printing, you will either find products that are standard rate (20% VAT) or zero rated (0% VAT). So it’s worth taking the time to understand which items are categorised as zero rated and standard rated.

    Zero rated items include:

    • advertising leaflets
    • printed booklets
    • printed brochures
    • catalogues
    • pamphlets
    • magazines
    • programmes
    • printed flyers
    • printed leaflets

    It is important to note that there are some exceptions to these zero-rated products. Leaflets are a particularly complicated item to categorise. Generally they are zero rated as long as there is a significant amount of text on at least one side of the leaflet, it must also be no larger than A4 and it must also be a single self-contained item and not part of a larger package. It also must not be printed on paper heavier than 230gsm.

    Additionally, if a flyer is designed to obtainPrinted Flyers and Leaflets pay no VAT discounts on good or services, to obtain admission or entry to a place, for use as a calendar or as a form for completion, these flyers might not be deemed zero-rated. With brochures and booklets, there are also some exceptions to the zero-rated rule. These include brochure printing being used for commercial, engineering, architectural and industrial reasons or for calendars, diaries or address books.

    All other products and services are standard rated, including:

    • banners
    • roller banners
    • display boards
    • business stationary
    • raffle tickets
    • greeting cards
    • envelopes
    • printed flyers
    • printed leaflets

    Essentially if your printed matter is to be used for commercial purposes then it is very likely it will have VAT added to it.


    So what does having zero VAT and standard rated products mean for you?

    Ultimately it means choice and cost effectiveness. Knowing that certain designs and formats can be significantly better value for your money can help shape how you design your marketing material.

    It also helps you to know your rights when you are shopping for printed marketing material. Knowing those exceptions to the rule also means you are entering in to your printing project fully aware of the kind of costs you can expect.


    If you’re not sure you should always seek advice from a reputable and established printing company like Betterprinting to see what rate affects your choice of printed products. If your in any doubt then please give us a call on 02380 878037.

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