by Matt Alderton | June 21, 2019
The best meetings and events impart something of value to the people who attend them. Often, that's education. Sometimes, it's relationships borne out of networking. Occasionally, though, it's something much simpler: a really great piece of swag.

If you're not approaching your event swag from a strategic place, you're missing an opportunity, author Allison Celli writes in a blog post for experiential marketing agency Sparks.

"Tactile items like event swag are a peripheral way for attendees to interact with a brand that offers visibility into their culture," Celli says. "Swag is a relationship opportunity, not a fleeting moment of joy only to be left behind due to an over-packed suitcase."

To ensure a deep and lasting relationship with your organization's brand, consider items that solve immediate attendee problems, Celli advises. "Do you want your logo on the most lusted-after swag on the exhibit floor? Address an attendee pain point," she says. "Event swag like battery packs, unique eats and reusable water bottles address typical attendee hang-ups. Consider what would improve your attendee's experience even slightly. Ease a pain point, and you are sure to have attendees asking one another, 'Where did you get that?'"

Also, consider the life of the swag. "The conference is over, and attendees are packing up their suitcases. Does your swag make the cut?" Celli asks. "Longevity is an essential factor to consider when choosing the appropriate event swag. This approach may result in fewer swag pieces, but at a higher level of quality. Attendees are more likely to hang on to an item if they feel it has a value or can be used repeatedly."

And remember: Attendees don't necessarily have to keep an item in order for it to live a long life. "With sustainability top of mind for both event producers and attendees, swag is an easy place to make an impact. Some brands, including Lyft, Wordpress and Twitter, have leaned into the effort by passing out event swag like branded fruits and desserts," Celli says. "Attendees may quickly eat up their swag, but not before taking a shareworthy photo … Swag living on in an attendee's social profile extends visibility far beyond the confines of the event."

More Tips:

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings with your "How To" ideas.