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It's time to step up your corporate giveaway game...

Photo by britt gaiser on Unsplash

I've lost count of the number of exhibitions I've been to in my time in the events industry so I kind of know what to expect before I've even set foot in the venue. There'll be tea/ coffee stations dotted around, hardcore networkers, stacks of business cards, bigger stacks of bread and of course, lots of eager faces enticing you to their stand with their corporate freebie.

We've definitely moved on from the days of the branded mouse mats and stress balls (mostly...) but we seem to be stuck in a 'yeah its useful but i already have 10 of them' rut where we accept power bank and tote bag after power bank and tote bag. But things are about to get tricky for exhibitors/ brands trying to connect with buyers because of, well, plastic!

Choosing a giveaway sometimes comes down to budget over relevance- we think of sweets/ food because everyone will take it, toys because their kids will love it or desk tidies because they'll see the brand every day- without necessarily making it relevant to the brand that's being promoted. A giveaway really should take into account these key elements:

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

It has to relate to your brand- even if it's a reach!

Really think about your company message and how you want to be thought of by the potential customer- it makes sense for a bank to give out contactless card protectors and promote financial security, just like a retro piggy bank teaches the same message to your customer's children!

Think about the environment- it's 2019 so you wont win any points for handing out goodies individually wrapped in plastic!

Make an effort to ensure your packaging and gift has an enviro-friendly message on it that is clear to everyone that takes on- if your venue provides cups made from recycled paper, try adding your logo to that instead of buying a new less eco-friendly batch! Or if you really want to give out water, it comes in boxes these days don'tcha know...

How potential customers see you and all your plastic arriving at exhibitions... Photo by Sander Wehkamp on Unsplash

It can be fun and should evoke an emotion!

Everyone loves food and drink when they've been on their feet all day, so make it a talking point and create a 'I'm a celeb' inspired food challenge that they can take home or try with their peers! Bear in mind that the 'risk' of trying something new doesn't bode well if you're promoting security- for this you need a trusted favourite all-rounder so they know exactly what they're getting.

Keep it small & compact!

Attendees are usually travelling and hate having to deal with unnecessary bulky items or excess packaging. Minimise these to show that you've considered their baggage allowance- and send a pdf rather than your beautifully printed 600-page brochure.

Photo by James Aldrin on Unsplash

Dont do the same thing twice- unless it's a "thing"!

There's a difference between being consistent and being boring, so while you can set an annual theme for goodies, this doesn't mean just running a repeat batch of the same old items. At exhibitions, Wells Fargo are known for their high quality stuffed horses which have become a must-have at any event they attend. To keep things fresh, each year along with the horse, they update said stuffed toy gift by making it relevant to the part of the world they're in!

Here's some giveaway inspo from an event I recently attended...

Giveaway Inspo from the CHS Show 2019!

Our favourites...

  • Tote bags- the bigger the better to cart everything around!

  • Clear water bottle with straw- making hydration trendy with the Love Island style bottle (you can also personalise these for VIPs or with key messaging)

  • Luggage tag/ travel goodies- because we're always on the go and hate leaving with the wrong suitcase!

  • Beauty goodies- I can never have too many nail files and they're the kind of thing I personally always have to hand- and they're always branded! Lip balm & bath bombs/ gels etc are good too for our travels.

  • Takeaway drinks- after a long day at an exhibition I'm pretty sure we all sit on the train and revel in the chance to have 'one for the road'... So why not brand it!

  • Snacks- Wasabi nuts & macaroons may not be everyone's cup of tea but they fit a high end brand and may even introduce a new food to your palette...

  • Stationery/ notebooks- because you can never have too many! But make them good quality & practical or they're pointless!

Hope you found this useful! Feel free to share feedback or other ideas :)

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