2014 Meetings Merchandise Survey

merch bars - 2

On Sept. 30, Successful Meetings sent a survey to our readership asking them their opinions on merchandise and if and how they were incorporating it into their events. We closed the survey on September 30 with 96 readers having responded. Of that number, 46 percent were corporate planners, 20 percent worked for associations, 34 percent were independent or third party planners, and 3 percent worked in site selection. Here's what they had to say.

1. Are you familiar with the concept of having a merchandise bar at an event? 

Yes, and I have incorporated it in my events: 14%
Yes, and I plan to incorporate it in my events: 19%
Yes, but I do not plan to incorporate it in my events: 25%
No, but it sounds like something I might want to incorporate into my events: 27%
No, and I do not plan to incorporate it in my events: 15%

2. Please indicate the purposes for which you use merchandise at your meetings or events.

In-room gifts: 34%
Recognition awards: 60%
Promotional products: 57%
Merchandise bars: 14%

3. If you incorporate either in-room gifts or merchandise bars into your events please rank the following goals that can be achieved from the practice from one to four, with one being not important and four being very important.

Enhance the meeting experience for the attendee: 2.96
Reinforce the host organization's relationship with the attendee: 3.09
Recognize achievement: 2.98
Generate revenue through sponsorships: 2.34

4. How has merchandise usage at your events changed over the past two years? 

Spending MORE: 34%
Spending LESS: 27%
Spending the SAME: 39%

5. Over the past 12 months, when putting together an in-room gift or merchandise bar program, have you noticed any change in the number of organizations that have restricted/prohibited the corporate gifts their employees can accept?

MORE organizations are restricting/prohibiting: 30%
FEWER organizations are restricting/prohibiting: 8%
No change in number of organizations restricting/prohibiting: 33%
I have not encountered any organizations that restrict/prohibit the corporate gifts their employees can accept: 29%

6. Which of the following merchandise do use in your meetings and events? 

Gift cards: 59%
Apparel: 52%
Desktop/office accessories: 48%
Plaques: 41%
Food: 40%
Electronics: 36%
Writing instruments: 35%
Crystal: 34%
Wine and spirits: 31%
Books, music, movies: 29%
Clocks: 27%
Cameras: 24%
Watches: 22%
Tabletop items: 21%
Leather goods: 20% 
Sporting goods: 19%
Jewelry: 18%
Tools: 17%
Luggage: 16%       
Toys/games: 15%
Outdoor/leisure equipment: 12%
Cigars and tobacco accessories: 1%
Cookware: 1%

7. Which of the following types of gift cards do you incorporate into your meetings and events? 

Dining/restaurant: 61%
Retail: 55%
Debit cards: 32%
Entertainment: 29%
Gas: 22%
Do not give gift cards: 22%
Multiple-merchant: 18%
Travel: 9%
Experiential: 4%