Area guides are all the rage as fundraising tools for Chambers of Commerce, Visitor's Bureaus and even private organizations and individuals. Anywhere that brings in a good annual tourist count should have at least one good area guide. Tourists love them, because they're packed with information about all the things to see and do in a locale. Businesses love them, because they can use available area guide advertising space to bring the tourists to them. You should love them, because that ad revenue could be yours. You might know what goes into an area guide, but do you know what it's made of?
Here are a few area guide printing trends you can consider:
Booklets are hot
There are so many approaches one could take to printing area guides that it's difficult to know which will work best. Many organizations are opting for booklets instead of brochures, because they're economical to print at high volumes and they can be sized from 6-inch by 6-inch to 12-inch by 12-inch. Two popular sizes are 5.5-inch by 8.5-inch because it fits easily in a back pocket and 8.5-inch by 11-inch because its large size allows room for more helpful information, vivid images and, of course, ad space.
Depending on the number of pages your area guide has, your booklet could be saddle-stitched or bound with Wire-O. For smaller area guides, you can also go with folded brochures. You can find free layout templates and file setup guidelines for both brochures and booklets at PsPrint.
Color me good
Full-color printing is the only way to go with area guides, and it's easy to justify the added expense because your ads will cover the cost. Plus, online printing companies such as PsPrint have revolutionized the industry through affordable full-color printing on state-of-the-art digital and offset presses.
It's in the mail
Area guide distribution isn't limited to the racks at rest areas and visitor's centers, though they can play an integral role in a well-balanced direct-marketing campaign. That's why many organizations are using highly targeted mailing lists to find people who are likely to enjoy the area they're marketing to stir up interest and bring new tourists in. If there's a tourist-oriented website that covers the area, see if you can get an ad on their site that people can click to request an area guide. It doesn't have to cost you anything, either; simply exchange ad space.
A quality guide equals quality tourists
Ever get a guide for a location that was printed on dull newsprint? It makes you feel like all the great things the guide is marketing will end up being dull, too. Travelers are highly receptive to the quality of craftsmanship and not just the area guide content. If they're going to book a weeklong stay in your area, they have to be comfortable that it offers everything you say it does. As mentioned, full-color printing is mandatory, as is using high-quality paper stocks like 80-pound or 100-pound gloss text or 70-pound recycled matte. Tourists will respond better to the material, and it will also be easier to land advertisers.
If used correctly, area guides can drive business to many local establishments and enrich a deep vein of tourist dollars for your community. Follow these trends to make your area guide as effective as possible, so you can get the best possible return on investment for your collective advertisers.