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Virtual Trade Show Swag: Doing Business During a Pandemic

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We have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that erupted at the beginning of the year. This has caused many countries to put measures in place in an attempt to flatten the curve. A major part of these efforts was various forms of lockdowns and quarantines. To keep business moving, several industries had to revamp how to conduct business during these unusual and restrictive times. One such implementation is to create virtual trade shows.

Virtual Trade Shows

These digital trade shows present an amazing opportunity to view video demonstrations and presentations from the comfort and safety of our homes. Even though these virtual trade shows are happening online, the goal of them remains the same as that of a physical trade show. That is, they are intended to engage prospects, customers, influencers, investors, and the media so that they can understand the concept of your product or service offerings. Though virtual, they still provide a connection between the event organizers or sponsors and the event “attendees”. In some cases, the number of attendees has increased as there are not the expenditures and potential budget limitations of travel that a person or company is required to consider when attending physical shows. Don’t forget to send them promotional products with your branding on it, as a reminder of who you are.

Delivering Swag Bags

Most, if not all trade show events, offer attendees a swag bag. These bags are filled with free promotional items or samples that are usually given out by the sponsors, event organizers, and vendors before, during, or after an event.

This marketing strategy has been a valuable and long-standing promotional tactic to maximize attendees’ awareness of your brand and your company’s messaging.

With the inability to physically hand swag bags to the attendees, event organizers and sponsors have creatively started sending these swag bags directly to the trade show’s attendees.

These virtual trade show swag bags provide the sponsors or event organizers the opportunity to keep this element intact as well as enhance the attendee’s experience throughout the course of the event.

Market Positioning

The goal is for your brand to be in the minds of prospective customers. This is called market positioning. The ultimate benefit of this strategy is for your potential customers to think of your brand or company during the purchasing process when they are looking for a product or service to solve their needs. If your market positioning has effectively influenced them, this will oftentimes be the catalyst for closed deals.

Very few companies are in the position of being in a monopolistic market where their brand is the only option that consumers have available to them. Taking this into consideration, and as you are well aware, your product or service is competing with several companies. Your competition may come in the form of large corporations all the way to small-to-medium business entities. Even though you may consider yourself to be in a league of your own, to the customer, there are other available options. With this in mind, our goal is to ensure that your swag bag recipients have your company or brand at the forefront of their minds when they are thinking of a particular service or need that you provide.

Investing in Promotional Items

Looking at this approach from an accounting perspective, one may wonder if gifting merchandise to attendees will beget an ROI or just be another expenditure for your company. One thing to keep in mind is the popular saying, ‘What goes around, comes around’, which actually has some merit according to marketing researchers. It ties into something called the reciprocity effect. The reciprocity effect is the innate tendency of human nature to want to offer something in return after we have received a gift. In our example, the attendees who received some free swag often feel obliged or compelled to do something in return for the kindness of a gift. This can manifest itself in better response rates, repeat business, and referrals. As you can see, it is a powerful marketing tool.

Brand Ambassadors

You can never have enough people promoting your company for free. When you provide your attendees with cool swag bags, you are essentially creating some undercover brand ambassadors. Many attendees to your virtual trade show may have never used your products or services previously. However, when they receive some swag from your company, you better position yourself to be one of or THE first company that comes to mind when they need a product or service that you provide.

And attendees who are already customers will still assist in promoting your brand. They may be still utilizing a USB flash drive or portable charger with your brand on it that they received from you at a previous event. Some companies will even hire a brand ambassador which could be the right fit for some. But, we feel brand ambassadors obtained organically are a better way for real people to show your logo and message to the world.

Word of Mouth Marketing

This is also a facet of the coveted word-of-mouth marketing. A higher converting strategy based on positive relationships with your customers that is credible, memorable, and engaging. This, in turn, will encourage your existing customers to recommend your products and services to potential customers.

The Brandables Solution

We understand and appreciate the importance of connecting and interacting with your attendees during these tradeshows. We have a large variety of customizable, promotional items that are great for today’s virtual trade shows.

We have the ability to offer a full-service experience where we will store the items, personally pack and ensure that each bag is perfect, and then ship them to your list of attendees. We will be able to track and confirm that your customers and potential clients received the swag.

We can create just about any design or idea you can think of to be included in your swag bags. Branded items from pens to customized technology-related items like a branded portable charger are just a few of the many options available.

Our mission is to ensure that we are providing you with high quality, custom branded items designed to increase your service exposure and your brand awareness. Because, as you know, better exposure to your brand will lead to an increase in sales, repeat customers, and an increase in profits.