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The 4-1-1 on Conference Freebies: Do They Really Work?

By: The Otesaga Resort Hotel / 13 Jun 2019
The 4-1-1 on Conference Freebies: Do They Really Work?
Everyone who attends a conference knows that free stuff abounds - from tote bags to flash drives to mints, there's no shortage of branded promotional items being distributed. In an age where environmental concerns are at a peak, should conference swag become a thing of the past, or are these items doing the job of increasing your brand awareness? Here are some ideas to ensure that your giveaways are working for you, not against you.

Make it Relevant

The main purpose in investing in giveaway items is to promote your business or organization, so be sure to choose something that aligns with your brand. You want attendees to make the connection between what you're giving them and the service your organization provides, as well as keeping your conference in mind for next year.  

Big Winner

While it's tempting to save money and bulk order a bunch of inexpensive items to hand out to attendees, consider investing in one or two higher priced prizes to raffle off, like a tablet, bluetooth speaker, or a GoPro video camera. Of course, budget constraints will weigh on what the prize will be, but conference participants will be drawn in by the lure of winning something, and you'll avoid ordering a glut of cheap plastic items that will more than likely be tossed before attendees even leave the venue.

The Gift of Choice

Giving people an option of freebie increases the likelihood that they won't throw it away. Offer attendees an array of items to choose from, whether it's a journal and pen set, steel water bottle, or power banks, thus allowing them to pick what speaks to them rather than handing them something unwanted.

An Experience They Won't Forget

More and more, conference attendees are looking not necessarily for "stuff," but experiences. Partner with local businesses to offer a free or discounted service, whether it's a massage at a spa, drinks and appetizers at a restaurant, or admission to a museum. This option provides the added bonus of showing off your meeting location and getting participants outside the venue to explore a bit.

While conference freebies aren't quite a thing of the past, there are more responsible ways to thank your attendees that are both earth-friendly and still promote your organization effectively. As you plan your next event, our experienced staff at The Otesaga can help you coordinate the details to ensure your conference is a success from start to finish.

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