When you’re organizing events year after year, your swag options can start to feel stale.
We find that event planners see a lot of different promotional ideas during their day-to-day work that can easily fall into that “seen it all” category. If you’re used to seeing the newest items as soon as they are available, anything older than a month tends to feel outdated. So, it’s nice to have a few tricks up your sleeve to give that swag a new look.
Three tips to give your swag a face-lift
1. Expand your design. Giving away the same type of item over and over again can get boring. But just because a promotional item has been around for awhile doesn’t mean that it should be replaced. For example, notebooks are a tried-and-true item given away at conferences, and attendees still love to get them. If you feel like giving a boost to something like a notebook, revisit the design applied to the item. You could do a custom page on the inside of the notebook which can double as a conference agenda. Or, you could wrap a belly-band around the outside of the notebook to give space to a sponsor or to promote an upcoming event.
2. Find the new spin. Drinkware is a popular giveaway at events. There are two main categories: hot or cold. So, find out what the latest trend in that type of drinkware is. For example, last year cold water fruit-infuser bottles were the big thing. This season, it’s all about mason jars. For hot beverages, vacuum seal is big right now. Differentiate your pieces by capitalizing on the current trends and tech improvements.
3. Think beyond your target audience. This story may sound crazy, but hear me out. We are deeply involved with a local yearly digital conference. We’ve done their swag pretty much from year one, so we know that their audience skews heavily towards 25- to 50-year-old tech-oriented males. A few years ago, we switched things up. We ordered two styles of bags, one was a masculine messenger style bag and the other was a feminine neoprene market tote.
We were floored when the flowered totes flew out of our hands as attendees registered.The flowered market tote was one of the most coveted bags we’d ever done for this male-dominated crowd because the guys wanted something to take home to their wives and girlfriends. So, if you’ve been focusing entirely on your attendees, step into their shoes for a minute to think about who they have back at home.
One last thing to keep in mind is that even though a product might feel old to you, it won’t necessarily feel that way to your recipients. Most people aren’t exposed to the amount of promotional items that event planners see. Items that you’ve seen before could very likely be new and fresh your attendees eyes.