Marketing Materials and the Event Director: Keeping Costs Down
When you’re working for an association as opposed to a for-profit publication, choosing a vendor is all about keeping costs low and being able to do more than just print.
Elvira Perez, director of professional development at Magazine Publishers of America, is in charge of choosing print materials for various association events, including the Breakfast with a Leader and Meet the Innovator luncheon series, and two conferences.
Because Perez is working with a small budget, she has to be sure that the vendor who prints the brochures and invitations for these events will show her all of its cost cutting tricks as well as offer a myriad of services like binding and mailing.
Here is what Perez had to say about what a vendor needs to do to impress her.
- We want a vendor that can accommodate. We like having as much lead time as possible, but we’re also looking for someone who can accommodate us when there’s little time.
- We’re always looking for a vendor that is flexible, but also reasonable. You can make better decisions when you know what’s what up front;what your expenses are going to be and if it’s worth it.
Cost is Number One
With paper, Perez says, "we’re cost conscious. We like using whatever the printer has, and we will take suggestions from the printer. Our designer may have one mindset, but we expect our print to give us something cost effective. For example, if it’s a glossy paper and it’s going to an office, we know that we can probably go with a lighter paper because the office lights will cause a glare anyway."
MPA, she says, primarily sticks with one vendor because it does similar printing projects with each job. "I know the limitations that my printers have, so if I want something that’s outside of those limitations, I’ll go elsewhere," she says. "It’s really about knowing your printer well, knowing what their capabilities are, and even being aware of the partnerships that they have. It’s very important to know the vendors that they work with too."
"Right now, I have a designer who creates a file, which then goes to the printer," Perez says. "If I want the file to appear on our Web site, then it goes to our Web person. I would like to see a printer either give me a digital product or give me an easy way to convert that file to digital. In other words, I would like the entire process to be less cumbersome. There are so many procedures to get the product up on our site, so if it can all happen in one place, that would be great."