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Print vs. digital: Still a thing in 2018

We still receive an occasional inquiry asking if Learning Stream registration management software can generate a printed catalog of offerings. Others ask if it’s easy to print registration forms or attendance certificates. In a time when digital has long overtaken print in the digital vs. print question, some organizations can’t quite let go.

We get it. We still prefer thumbing the pages of a printed novel rather than swiping pages on a digital device. For others, nothing beats the smell of newsprint in the morning. But such print print versus digital: stack of notebooks and paper padsenthusiasts are becoming as rare at a vegan as a pig roast.

According to Pew Research, print newspaper circulation dropped 10% last year. It’s more difficult to track digital news subscriptions, but the New York Times reported an increase last year of 42%, and the Wall Street Journal upped its digital subscriber number 26%. This indicates people increasingly prefer information shared online rather than in print form—no matter if it’s books, newspapers… or registering for a class.

In 2018, print vs. digital remains a thing, as it has been for years. Here’s an excerpt from a 2012 blog entry, which seemed quaint even then:

“Moreover, the “green” benefits of online registration don’t end with trees or postage money saved. Less printer ink is consumed, meaning less printer cartridge waste. Less fuel is used by registrants who used to hand deliver registrations, or by event providers who once drove to the bank to deposit payments for their events.”

And yet, some organizations still cling to print for certain aspects of event marketing and registration management. We understand printed information still can be helpful in certain instances. For example, certain age demographics may prefer to see offerings in print. But we focus our development resources on making the software more efficient in a digital realm rather than making it easier to generate more paper. We see the writing on the wall, so to speak.

Learning Stream isn’t completely turning it’s back on print. Rather than give the nod to digital every time in the print vs. digital question, we still give users the option to print or email attendance certificates. Additionally, they can scan QR codes to mark attendance, or create and print out a customized sign-in sheet. But as for our focus, we want to make life easier for program coordinators and for their registrants. That means focusing our efforts on digital.

If you would like to learn more about how Learning Stream can help streamline processes by eliminating paper, please contact us here.

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