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DMA Solutions Team
Posted by DMA Solutions TeamMay 12, 2017 12:02 PM

How many times have you collected a mountain of “stuff we all get” or swag at an event only to toss most of it in the trash before you head to the airport? With United Fresh just about 5 weeks away, now is the time to plan and procure your brand’s perfect piece of swag for the event.

Believe it or not, there is a methodology for fresh produce marketers to consider when selecting the perfect branded item for a show or event.  At DMA Solutions, we consider the following before making a purchase.

Who will be receiving these items?

If your audience is comprised of people who are already familiar with your brand, ask yourself if they will they be excited to use or display the swag item you’ve selected.  Consider how the item will solve a problem for your target booth visitor that will keep them engaged and using the item over and over again.

If your audience is being introduced to your brand for the first time, consider something visually appealing and practical so that consumer sees your logo over and over again! Our team here appreciates glass water bottles, coffee mugs and USB chargers. Yes, they’re a bit pricier, BUT, those items will get used often.

People will also be more inclined to fill out a short survey to earn high-value swag – and we love leads!

What are you trying to achieve with your swag?

Do you want to create brand awareness? Are you trying to show customer appreciation? Think about your choices and how you can use the item to communicate a specific message about your products or company and nurture your customers in a thoughtful way. If you are a repeat tradeshow attendee or exhibitor, you might recall the Zespri kiwi spoon/scooper that so perfectly harvests the fruit from its skin.  One of our favorite swag items that we ever received at a tradeshow! 

When do you need to have your items?

If you haven’t already found the perfect item, the time is now to select, design, produce and ship your swag. Knowing that sometimes orders get damaged in transit or even get shipped to the wrong location, a 4-6 week buffer is essential in preventing game-time disasters. So that means if you are ordering for United Fresh in June, this to-do should rise to the top of your priority list!

While most vendors are great about updates, remember to be proactive about following up on progress. An extra 15 minutes on the phone could save you a ton of headache!

Where are your items being distributed?

Will your stress balls somehow need to stand out in a sea of other stress balls in hundreds of booths at a trade show? Or will your items be included in a bag drop or on tables at an event? These factors can change the type of swag that is appropriate or useful at the time they are being given. For example, providing a branded pen in a hotel bag drop is likely to yield little value, but on the table at a session with a branded notepad might stand out more in the mind of the recipient.

Why did you choose the swag items that you’ve chosen?

There are several factors that could play into why you’ve chosen the swag item that you have, but keeping the target audience top of mind will typically result in the right choice.

For instance, if you’re targeting millennials, keep in mind that they care about sustainability and trendy retail brands. Branded eos lipbalm is a relatively affordable giveaway but incredibly popular!

How you will measure the overall success of your swag item?

Taking cues from your booth guests or event attendees is a great way to measure success of your swag selection.  If you find that people are turning away the opportunity to take your item, you might need to reconsider your audience and their needs.  If your pen was left on the table at the general session, people may not need pens as badly as one might think.  If you really hit the nail on the head relative to your swag selection, someone might even write an entire blog post about it someday.

As a bonus, we’d like to offer up a few of our favorite places to locate and secure swag orders. 

Happy shopping!

Topics: Tradeshows & Events, Miscellaneous

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