At every conference, seminar or networking event you go to, chances are there’ll be a gift bag of branded freebies on the way in. This is filled with complimentary gifts from sponsors or the events team, designed to thank guests for attending and to provide useful information about companies involved in the event.
Many of your delegates will have attended quite a few conferences or other events during their career and will have been given many of such gift bags in their time.
A branded pen, a cardboard coaster, a stress ball and some marketing boomph about the sponsors are common items found in the corporate gift bag. But are these items actually of use and value to your delegates? When every event gives out the same tired gifts, your delegates eyes can glaze over. If it’s not going to be memorable and valuable, what’s the point of doing it at all?
It’s worth putting considering gifts that’d bring some real value to your delegates. Remember, the event needs to be one they’ll remember for all the right reasons and complimentary gifts form an important part of this. It’s important for delegates and for your sponsors, who want to get the most value for money they can.
So, what complimentary gifts (all branded, of course) can you give out at your event that are lightweight and are of real value to both parties without breaking your budget?
When your delegates are on the move, having headphones to listen in to a phone call hands-free or relax to music at the end of the day, will be quite useful. If you record your sessions, delegates who miss the start of a conference or the entire session will also have the option of tuning in at a time that suits them, too.
Portable hot drinks cups with conversation starters
With professionals at the top of their game attending your conference, you’d think they could strike up a conversation anywhere with anyone; But, in the context of an event with many others on an equal level with influence in their industry, it’s still possible even for managers to feel unsure about how to break the ice.
As event managers, you can ease this through by providing subtle conversation starters or tips on a complimentary mug about ways of getting to speak to somebody whose business expertise may really benefit your business.
When delegates are told the timetable for lunch or dinner and the conference sessions are running late, attention can wane as guests get hungry. The last thing you want is your conference audience starting at their phone or the clock as they wait for dinner. A healthy-ish snack, such as nuts and raisins in their gift bag might just save them from losing focus.
A Discount Card
An introductory discount for new clients could be a great way for sponsors to pick up some extra business. It can be an offer that’s linked to the conference theme. Or, if there’s a free snack, it could be a discount when they order the snack online.
It’s always handy to have a USB stick when on the go – you never know when you might come need to download or save a document – or share with someone else. Need I say more about it?
A Portable Mobile Phone Charger
Business managers, directors and other professionals constantly need their phone, especially when on the go and regularly travelling. The last thing anyone needs is the phone battery dying when that urgent phone call is needed.
A Roll-out Pillow
Your delegates may have travelled from overseas or across the country to be at your event and will be pretty exhausted by home time. Make their journey back comfortable by them with a branded pillow they can open out when they need to and roll away in their bag – this can be used time and time again for all sorts of trips.
When there’s just too much going on to hold the phone or the surface is too wet to put the phone down, a phone holder can be just the thing to prop up the phone. Plus it makes a better view than laying flat down on a surface.
Stickies always come in handy, whichever industry you work in and these will always be useful. Use branded colours to make them memorable or have an image printed on the sticky pad that will represent the theme of the event. If it’s a conference about dentistry, you could have a teeth icon.
Keyrings are everyday items that are always needed and useful to anyone. They are flexible and can be well-personalised to the sponsor’s specialist service, too.
When you’re thinking about what to put in the gift bag at that next event, it’s worth thinking about who will be coming to your conference and what they can actually use. Your sponsors will get much more value from having their branding visible on items that are going to be used more than once by a manager or director. If there’s just too much to choose from, have a selection of two or three different items and let guests choose. This will make it more personalised and will be an incentive for guests to arrive on time so that they don’t miss out on the free items.