Like a lot of you, what we thought would be a busy year of events and conferences has been flipped upside down. Luckily, this has given rise to a new type of professional event –– the virtual event!
Companies and event organizers have been quick to pivot to hosting events online, which of course doesn’t contain quite the same rush as walking into Day 1 with your cool event badge. Well that’s where we come in - we’re here to give tips on how to use swag to keep things exciting, create engagement, and overall enhance the virtual event experience.
Check out 4 ways that we’ve seen some of our customers successfully incorporate swag to make the most out of their virtual event!
1. Have a swag kit to sent to all attendees
One of the most exciting parts of attending a conference is registering and receiving your complimentary swag bag. Just because an event is virtual doesn't mean you should take away this experience!
Giving out swag to attendees may be more impactful now than it ever has been, as people are yearning to feel a sense of normalcy, and there aren't many things more normal and comforting than receiving some classic conference swag.
Ordering swag for your virtual conference may sound like a logistical nightmare, but it's actually much easier than you'd think. Here are three quick insider tips for making it happen seamlessly:
Collect t-shirt sizes and mailing addresses on the registration form. You wouldn't necessarily always think to do so, but it'll be crucial for the swag-buying process. You can access our T-Shirt Order Form to help you organize this information.
Find a swag provider who'll ship straight to individuals. Normally, when buying event swag, you'd order everything in bulk then hand it out on site at the event. That's obviously not an option, so you'll want to make sure you work with a provider who will ship swag directly to your attendees. At Real Thread, we make it easy to send t-shirts, face masks and other swag directly to your attendees, simply by providing a list of names, sizes, and addresses.
Order a little bit extra for late sign-ups. Custom swag has a turnaround time. That being the case, you'd hate for anyone who registered late for your event to miss out on the event swag. If you order some extras, you'll still have inventory left over to send to your attendees and make sure everyone gets their awesome conference swag.
2. Use swag to book a meeting as a sponsor
Under normal circumstances, swag is a great source of lead generation at a conference or event, and that doesn't have to change when it comes to virtual events! If you're sponsoring an event, instead of booking in-person demos of your product in exchange for some swag, just do it virtually!
3. Give away swag for top attenders
This one's pretty simple if you're hosting a virtual event –– offer a more exclusive swag item, or maybe a bundle, for attendees who attend the most conference sessions. This can be a good way of making sure you keep attendance high throughout the entirety of the conference, and it makes for a fun, engaging game for attendees.
4. Use swag to follow up with contacts after the conference
If you're a sponsor and you were collecting leads at a virtual event, sending them some company swag could be a great way of closing a potential deal. When you're reaching out to a potential customer or client post-event, you never want to do it empty-handed. There's nothing worse than a "just checking in" email.
Reaching out via a cool t-shirt or a face mask is a lot more memorable and engaging. Plus, swag has a unique ability to turn customers or potential customers into brand advocates by empowering them to represent your brand. Sending out swag after an event can be wildly effective in helping you close deals.
Like we mentioned earlier, finding a swag supplier who will ship to individuals, rather than purely in bulk, is key here.
Bring swag back to events
Virtual events were on virtually nobody's radar 5 months ago. Now, they're the new norm (for the moment at least), and it's time to start leaning into it a bit and figuring out how to get the most out your virtual events.