Event Swag

‘Tis the season for community days, festivals and fairs!  What better time to consider event swag? 

SWAG = “stuff we all get”

Event swag can be a great sponsor benefit.  It can be a great way to build your business’ brand and good will with the community.  If someone gives you something that you like and you see their name often, don’t you think they’ll be more likely to do business with you?  It’s a hard thing to measure, and sometimes it is difficult to think of just the right item.

Keep the event’s purpose and theme in mind.  For example, some of the Moraine State Park Regatta’s sponsors have taken advantage of the opportunity to provide branded swag to our attendees, but they have kept it on theme.  One is giving out wildflower seeds, one is giving out chapstick, and one is giving out notebooks and pens at the education tent.  

Consider something useful.  For example, although everyone has multiple of them, I think you can never have too many reusable grocery bags.  They are useful at conferences, trade shows, and vendor shows, and they are useful after the fact for just everyday use. 

Try to get creative.  How many branded coffee mugs do you have, and how many do you actually use?  Consider something slightly different, like a branded reusable straw, a water bottle that can be condensed when empty, or a branded cookie to snack on later. 

What’s your favorite event swag item?  What kinds of things do you love to get, and which things go right to the trash?

Employee Engagement through Events

Did you know that an estimated 70% of employees are disengaged, costing your business thousands of dollars a year?*

Events can be a fantastic way to engage with employees.  Whether that event is planned by the company, the employees, or a community organization, there are many ways to further engage employees and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are some ideas for employee engagement events:

  • Volunteer service day
  • Workplace Jeopardy
  • Axe throwing outing
  • Mini golf or soccer golf tournament
  • Cocktail making class
  • Family picnic

A few considerations:

  • Ask employees for ideas, or give them an opportunity to play a leadership role in the planning efforts.
  • Be sure to clearly communicate attendance expectations as well as details like end time, dress code, transportation, etc.
  • Do your best to find an activity in which all of your employees can participate, regardless of age or physical fitness level.

*Reference: causecast.com

“You’re Invited”

Oftentimes I hear from people who are struggling to get people to attend their events. My number one piece of advice to get people to come to something is to invite them. I realize this isn’t a new idea, but I find that it is often overlooked or misunderstood.   

Some things about invitations…

  1. Facebook can be a good tool. But sending a Facebook invitation isn’t the only way to invite someone. If you’re like me, you get a multitude of Facebook notifications, which makes it easy to miss an event invitation. Don’t rely solely on Facebook to invite people to an event.
  2. Personal is best. An invitation is a good excuse to reach out to an old friend or a contact that you haven’t talked to in awhile. It always feels good to be invited, even if you can’t attend. Don’t you enjoy being invited to things? It’s nice when someone reaches out personally. As simple as it sounds, personal invitations are often overlooked in light of other invitation formats yet tend to be extremely effective.
  3. Print and email are not dead. Believe it or not, some people do not use social media. Print and email can both be good tools for invitations. If you want to stand out, send something in the mail. Don’t assume that people don’t read their emails either. Lately, the best success that my clients have had with registrations has been through email invitations.