Tradeshow Thoughts: AIA pre-show printed promos

Each year, the volume of pre-show mailers seems to decline as more opt for e-mail promotions instead of printed ones. This year, the few we did receive via postal carrier were mostly double-sided postcards. Of the 25 mailed pieces received in advance of the conference, 18 had some form of green messaging.

Notable, green message:

  • Aurora office storage; noted USGBC membership and that the card is 100% recyclable in spite of glossy feel
  • Bendheim, promoting channel glass as a sustainable choice and daylighting option; offering in-booth and on-line AIA/CES and a chance to win an iPod Touch
  • Bradley, promoting Advocate lavatory system as “the greenest lav system available”
  • Centria promoting MetalWrap panel system, offering a chance to win a Kindle2; showing BIPV products
  • Chief AV mounting solutions, promoting online Design Center; offering chance to win plasma TV; featuring significant green message including FSC, wind-power, recycled ink, SGP printing
  • Greenguard Environmental Institute, promoting certification program and product guide; printed on recycled paper (then laminated)
  • Hager Companies doors and hardware, offering Ghiradelli chocolates; printed on FSC paper
  • Heritage Custom Cabinetry, noting AIA/CES courses and KCMA Environmental Stewardship Program
  • Maxxon “green” floor specialists, promoting Greenguard-certified underlayments and LEED-certified projects; notes its own “Maxxon Green Mark” indicating products “are LEED-compliant and help to contribute valuable points toward LEED-certified projects;” includes perforated reply card
  • Nawkaw masonry, promoting green, re-useable Reckli formliners for concrete; notes USGBC membership
  • NCFI spray foam insulation, offering a free “green” flash drive, “Green Power” giveaway; printed on 100% post-consumer fiber
  • Pilkington flat glass, promoting “green… energy-efficient products”
  • Reed Construction Data, promoting SmartBIM demos; but green in color
  • Richards-Wilcox door hardware, promoting big doors as featured on “Extreme Makeover Home Edition;” noted USGBC membership and that the card is 100% recyclable in spite of glossy feel
  • Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry, noting AIA/CES courses and KCMA Environmental Stewardship Program; also printed on FSC paper
  • SAFTIfirst, promoting its NFRC-certified, fire-resistant assemblies and PYRAN, “the only glass ceramic free of toxins and hazardous heavy metals;” also offering a chance to win a flat screen TV
  • Saint-Gobain, promoting Greenlite Glass Systems; offering free passes and a chance to win $200
  • Viracon, promoting Saflex team-up and high-performance VUE-50 coating; offering a chance to win stained glass kaleidoscope

No green message:

  • Aerotek recruiting & staffing, offering a chance to win an iPod Touch
  • AIA Trust, promoting members retirement program; offering a chance to win a free massage
  • ArchiOffice software, inviting visitors to see its jet-powered VW Beetle
  • AWIQCP architectural woodwork standards, promoting Q-certification “a powerful risk management tool” to verify compliance and “provides recourse in the event the work falls short of what you specified”
  • Fabral metal wall & roof systems, promoting specialty colors and finishes
  • Martin Pierce Hardware, promoting (beautiful) Morphic line
  • QuickServ “pass-through systems”

Returning from AIA, a few additional printed promotions arrived in the mailbox:

  • Sotett Industries sent two, 8.5×11-inch, full-color brochures of its retractable enclosures (such as over a porch or patio) and a letter suggesting that we meet at AIA
  • Transoft Solutions offered a 50% discount on CAD software and an invitation to stop by the booth

Neither featured any green message.

The main reason for noting these companies’ green messages, or lack, is because this subject can be confusing if not clearly and accurately communicated. Perhaps it is more notable that none of these pre-show mailers mentioned — never mind promoted — an equally challenging subject represented in the AIA convention theme, The Power of Diversity: Practice in a Complex World?


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