2015 Event Merchandise Trends

Recently, Successful Meetings sent a survey out our readership asking their opinions on merchandise and if and how they were incorporating it into their events. We closed the survey with 98 readers having responded. Of that number, 41 percent were corporate planners, 32 percent worked for associations, and 26 percent were independent or third party planners. Here's what they had to say.

Planner attitudes towards incorporating merchandise bars into events

I do not plan to incorporate it in my events: 23%
I'm not familiar with it and I do not plan to incorporate it in my events: 22%
I'm not familiar with it but it sounds like something I might be interested in: 20%
I have incorporated in my events: 19%
I plan to incorporate it in my events: 16%

Types of events that most commonly include merchandise
Conventions: 83%
Corporate meetings: 82%
Incentive trips: 81%
Trade shows: 79%

Most common goals of merchandise usage at meetings

In-room gifts
Enhance the meeting experience: 65%: 
Reinforce the host/attendee relationship: 40%
Thank speakers/vendors: 40%
Recognize achievement: 27%
Event promotion: 23%
Generate sponsorship revenue: 1%:

Recognition awards

Recognize achievement: 73%
Enhance the meeting experience: 26%:
Thank speakers/vendors: 23%
Reinforce the host/attendee relationship: 20%
Event promotion: 20%
Generate sponsorship revenue: 1%

Promotional products

Event promotion: 57%
Enhance the meeting experience: 44%: 
Reinforce the host/attendee relationship: 44%
Generate sponsorship revenue: 25%
Thank speakers/vendors: 25%
Recognize achievement: 14%

Merchandise bars

Enhance the meeting experience: 55%: 
Reinforce the host/attendee relationship: 48%
Recognize achievement: 31%
Event promotion: 29%
Generate sponsorship revenue: 24%
Thank speakers/vendors: 17%

Most common types of merchandise used in meetings and events

Apparel: 59%
Desktop/office accessories: 57%
Plaques: 54%
Gift cards: 51%
Food: 50%
Electronics: 47%
Writing instruments: 47%
Books, music, movies: 40%
Crystal: 39%
Wine and spirits: 34%
Leather goods: 28%
Clocks: 27%
Sporting goods: 23%
Watches: 23%
Jewelry: 22%
Cameras: 21%
Luggage: 21%
Tabletop items: 20%
Toys/games: 17%
Outdoor/leisure equipment: 16%
Cigars and tobacco accessories: 12%
Tools: 12%
Cookware: 11%