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The Power of Paper in an Emailed, Texted, Instagrammed, Facebooked World

An association known for innovation and reinvention has a marketing win by using an old-school tool: the "save the date" flyer.

Old-fashioned paper invites still have a place in marketing strategies, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) is no stranger to changing things up. Much like a startup goes through an iterative process, the organization has spent several years experimenting with the format, location, and makeup of its annual meeting, according to NVCA’s Ben Veghte. This year, for example, NVCA moved from California to Washington, D.C., as part of a revamp that includes more explicitly addressing politics. 

Overhauling their annual meeting also meant changing up marketing strategies. In the past, NVCA had paired the conference with a gala held the evening before the meeting program began. This year, the organization split up the events, holding the gala in Menlo Park, California, in March.

NVCA spent a lot of time thinking about how to distinguish the two events and communicate the change. One of the simplest and most effective strategies was an early mailing of a paper flyer that asked members to “save the date” for the two programs — highlighting their separate locations and dates. “Shockingly, this is what people cited to  me as a way they kept both events on the radar,” Veghte said. “It was another data point, and people appreciated receiving it.”

The events were so successful — for many reasons — that NVCA has committed to keeping the same breakdown — annual meeting in Washington, gala in California — for at least five years.

And here’s a “save the date” for you: Convene will have more about how NVCA’s reinvention of its annual meeting in the September issue. 

Michelle R. Davis

Contributing Editor Michelle R. Davis is a writer and editor based in Silver Spring, Maryland.