At any conference, sponsors want to stay top of mind for the attendees. A business can offer its product and service with a brilliant pitch, but that will fade away with thousands of other people and businesses looking to grab your attention and, more importantly, your dollars.
Choose your swag
Saastr Europa hosted this incredible event in Barcelona and managed to bring a unique twist to event swag. At entry, attendees were given Saastr currency, redeemable for different types of swag.
Additionally, attendees could earn more Saastr currency by attending brain dates or coming to the event's second day. They were promoting engagement with the event and then rewarded that behaviour.
Saastr ensured a choice for the swag, whether a beach towel, a water bottle, clothing and more! So they had something for everybody!
At many conferences, it is easy to see the same pen and notebook combination, and it was refreshing to see Saastr empowering the attendees with a choice.
Securing the Bag
Many companies will try to offer something useful for the attendees, and bags are often a solid choice as you'll no doubt receive plenty of business cards, A5 business sheets and more minor tidbits from each stall. However, trying to carry it all around becomes tedious. A bag solves that pain point, offering utility to the situation.
Notion chose to have a few limited edition tote bags and ensured they were given to power users or people who engaged with their booth more than the average attendee.
Notion story told with their swag, it highlighted their support of local business, employing the San Franciscan based Baggu. Notion respects the power of the past, and chose to feature Ada Lovelace, the first female computing pioneer. Ada published the first algorithm to be executed by a machine in the 1800s. So much storytelling, so much identity, all in one bag.
After seeing a few of the bags floating around, people rushed to the Notion booth to see if they could get one too! Unfortunately, they couldn't get one, but Notion had different bags to give away and did enough to motivate the attendees to give Notion their time of day.
Pleo designed a brilliant tote bag with great colouring. It was simple and well organised, and it was something anyone could use daily. Of course, they have their branding on the bag, but they don't make you seem like you're a walking billboard.
App Sumo went with a tiny backpack. It looks great, the colours are fun, and there is something nostalgic about it. Moreover, it's well-sized for shorter day trips. The backpack could even be a gift for the attendee's family members.
Sock it to you!
A couple of companies went with offering socks as a swag item. Both Rattle and Asana presented bright socks that showcased a fun element to their brand. The socks are a unique swag item with considerable long-term utility, ensuring that most travelling attendees would now have an extra pair of socks. Both brands now occupy space in various attendee sock draws.
Rattle's socks highlighted their dinosaur mascot, while Asana used a simple design in their brand colours.
Accessorise this from Idilo
Idilo understood the assignment. They looked at the context of the situation and the situation of the attendees when they returned home. The swag offering from Idilo was a portable charger and an adjustable camera cover for laptops. At an event, the devices you need will run out of charge quickly, and they planned to stop this with these portable chargers.
The laptop accessory also tapped into the context of privacy when considering your laptop camera. This small device would stick to your device and ensure that you only shared access to your video on your terms.
Alternative swag ideas
If you have an event sponsorship soon, you need to have the swag conversation. The swag will make a big difference in the re-engagement strategy or potential reach that your brand can achieve.
You want something that solves a problem for them in the moment or is valuable enough that they'll keep it for a while.
Ideas your company could try include:
Conference afterparties and mixers will very likely have alcohol involved. Companies want to booze people up to help promote more conversations and networking. While at Saastr, we were offered the opportunity to attend multiple post-conference parties. Offering branded hydralyte or Berocca will ensure that someone will forever associate your brand will with curing their titanic hangover.
A toy jumps out at the parents. Not everyone will have mountains of time in the cities they're visiting for these conferences, yet their children will still be expecting something. So instead of chocolate at the duty-free, help the attendees with a cute plushie toy that their kids will love, your mascot, branded, of course.
Blow Up Travel Pillow
Travel can be a pain, and long-haul flights can leave people out of action for a day and a half. A more comfortable flight experience makes a difference. Typically travel pillows are bulky, but blowup pillows are foldable and can fit better than a notebook.
Swag is always a great idea for your next conference. While it is not essential, it can help boost your presence. Your product and pitch should lay the foundation for selling, and the swag should remind the attendee of who you are. Choose wisely.