This post is brought to you by Sendoso Field Marketing Manager Gabrielle Riechert.
What was that noise? Oh, sorry, it was just you having to pivot your field marketing and demand generation strategy again.
Folks, you heard me correctly, it’s that time of year to change your tactics (again) because we are going back to events. So grab your work bag, carry on, and all your essentials for business travel because your destination is the expo hall.
For those of you who are excited to return to in-person, congratulations! It’s the moment you have been waiting for, but brace yourself to return to a different experience. Events will now have virtual components accompanying the in-person aspects, so how can we guarantee that all attendees will have excellent experiences.
As always, don’t worry if you are absent of ideas on how to keep attendees engaged virtually and in person, Sendoso has some ideas on how you can send branded swag, direct mail, and more in order to continue to create exceptional experiences.
Swag Ideas for In-Person Event Attendees
Exclusive branded swag items for the event
Create some FOMO for your swag items by designing limited versions of your regular giveaways. iterate on existing tried-and-true giveaways like socks and give them new life by making them ‘limited edition’ socks.
Lean into the fact that we are back to traveling. Have giveaways at your booth that are going to positively impact the attendee’s travel experience back home or to their next conference destination. Some ideas are cocktail kits to take on the plane and branded travel wallets.
Pro-Tip: Get an exclusively branded travel item for your event and design a drinkware glass with the city the event is in. Throw on your logo too to have the attendee remember their wonderful time in the destination and with you!
Masks may not be the most used giveaway items anymore, but sanitizer will never go out of style. Get some branded sanitizer for your booth and hand them out to attendees before you shake hands. You will be safe and share your brand!
Gamify the Booth
Your giveaway can be a game that the attendees can play and engage with. You can giveaway scratchers with different prizes associated with each one. (This is also a great way to limit how many giveaways you are giving away per attendee and minimize ordering too many items that will be left over at the end. One scratcher per attendee and you only give them their winning prize). Team up with a few other industry partners that are also at the same event and set up a passport prize so when attendees visit all your booths they are eligible for a prize from all of the companies! This guarantees conversations with multiple people that see joint value in all of your offerings and products.
Do not forget about eGifts! Though this is a digital gift offering, it is lighter than anything else you can give an attendee to take home. Coffee at events historically is not great and the lines are long. Gift an attendee a Starbucks eGift card and you aren’t just gifting them great coffee, but an opportunity to take a quick break thanks to you!
Pro tip: Sendoso allows you to brand your eGift sends.
Swag for remote event attendees
When we went into remote work, some people upleveled their home offices, while others continued to work on their kitchen table. Both are great in my book, but now there will be a few that return to the office or will continue to be a digital nomad. Send items to these folks that they will look at everyday like branded cable quacks or a branded charging portable mousepad.
Are you hosting an event with sponsors? Put together a bundle with items from all of your sponsors, this way the virtual attendees can still experience all the items they could have received on the expo hall floor without attending the in-person event. This also gives a lot of brand awareness to your sponsors and will build good will with them to work with you on future events!
The exciting part of marrying virtual experiences with in-person experiences is that people watching remotely can feel the excitement and the buzz of the event from the live in-person event.
Think about it: Most of us get excited watching the Grammys and Oscars live on television and even if we are not there, we feel immersed in the experience. Send wearable items to your remote attendees like t-shirts and hats to your virtual audience and broadcast their feeds to the in-person audience. Everyone will feel united together, and if you feel really fun, send out some foam fingers to get people reminiscing about the NBA back in 2020.
Your attendees want thoughtful gifts and giveaways from you. One impactful way to be thoughtful is to gift items that are sustainable and locally sourced items. Some earth-gentle send ideas are branded reusable straw sets and reusable shopping bags. You can find more ideas here of impactful sustainable send ideas.
This is not a typo! eGifts are not just a great gift to your in-person attendees, but also to your remote attendees. Send an eGift for lunch like a DoorDash or Uber Eats gift card so they can attend a virtual lunch & learn session.
Sending an eGift for wine.com or Target can also compliment someone’s at-home happy hour set up when they are attending a VIP networking event hosted digitally. Again, you can brand these ones to your event or company brand as well!
I know what you are thinking. “Wait what? Virtual events are so 2020.” But the truth is, in 2021, we are mastering virtual experiences.
By offering virtuale experiences at your event or for the attendees for the event, you are furthering your reach at how engaged all forms of attendees can be. Some ideas are incorporating entertainment sessions like a comedy or magic show—something fun for your attendees featuring top talent!
You can host a game show like Family Feud or Jeopardy, this is a great idea for small breakout customer sessions where you want to gather product feedback. There are also many ideas here for virtual experiences that you can give to your attendees.
Creativity in a Hybrid World
The hybrid world feels like a whole lot of unknown, which is intimidating, but it also means we get to pave the way together and there are no wrong ideas.
Do these two things and you will be golden:
- Use diverse channels and touchpoints for your core audience, this way they get to experience physical and digital touchpoints whether they are at the in-person or virtual event experience.
- Stay creative and you will be knocking your attendee’s branded socks off at either event!