Three ways to spruce up your meetings with swag

I’ve been in a lot of corporate meetings over the years. On-boarding meetings, train-the-trainer, office safety, take overs, HR rollouts, product roll-outs, rate changes, sales, marketing, customer service, kick-offs, team-building…you get the idea. Those meetings have run the gamut from fall asleep boring to comedy club hysterical to downright hostile.

I’m certainly not the exception when it comes to the number of meetings I’ve racked up in my calendar over the years. Depending on which numbers you look at, workers spend anywhere from four hours per week in meetings to up to 62 meetings a month.

As a meeting planner, you’ve no doubt brainstormed or sourced countless ideas or themes to keep your meetings fresh and engaging. Now, I’m going to present some swag-fuelled tricks to help you go the extra mile towards making your meetings successful and memorable.

Three ways swag can improve your meetings

1. Branded stationary

This custom wrapped apron created a memorable invitation.

This custom wrapped apron created a memorable invitation.

You might not be able to control the macro elements of your meeting room like colours, tables, or artwork, but you can control the feel of the handouts that your attendees receive. Branded collateral helps create the atmosphere you want in the room. It easily lets you add corporate colors, logos, or tag-lines and put them front and centre for every person in the room.

If you spend the time to make engaging, appropriate pieces it also lets each person take those pieces with them back to their desks to help reinforce the purpose of your meeting. You should use nice quality on-message pieces. With 50 per cent of US consumers owning logoed writing instruments, you want to make sure that yours is the one that’s front and centre.

2. Prizes

You probably already make some of your meetings more engaging with games or contests. Quizzes, bingo, and game-show style games are popular ways to keep attention and engagement high at meetings. Now go the extra step and sweeten the pot by offering prizes.

Think beyond offering up swag rewards for just the winning team. Use prizes to encourage other values that your company promotes. For example, add prizes for the best example of teamwork or creativity.

3. Parting gift

Make sure your message resonates beyond the meeting room. Send all of your attendees on their way with a nice, functional piece of swag to reinforce your key messages. This can be a desk item or even something for them to take home. I’ve had my favourite chip-clip for over 10 years, and it’s a branded piece of swag that my former employer gave to me.

Meetings are an important part of business life, but they’re often wrongfully characterized as time-wasters. Adding a creative touch of swag into your meetings is an easy way to ramp up the perceived value of you event and fight back against any ill-conceived notions of being unproductive.

Great swag gives your attendees a better impression of your event before, during, and potentially long after the meeting is over.

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