How to create great conference gift bags.

How to create great conference gift bags!

Making a positive impression with attendees at conferences can be difficult, however, with a few tips and tricks, plus the right promotional products, you'll be on the way to trade show success. 

At Leone Marketing we've been helping our corporate customers create awesome and memorable swag bags for years. When you do something long enough you really do get to understand what works and what doesn't. To help you avoid some common pitfalls and make a great impression with attendees, I'd love to share a few tips, trends, and products that have helped my clients.

Gift bags seem like a lot of work and money, why bother?

Gift bags do take more time and effort and can cost more than just handing out the same old swag as the next vendor. However, when gift bags are done well, your efforts are typically rewarded with a positive and memorable brand impression. Fast forward a little bit, and that positive interaction often leads to future sales, referrals, and hopefully a few long-term relationships with attendees.

As you know, the problem with conferences and trade shows is that you aren't the only vendor in attendance. If you were the only vendor, just showing up would be enough, but that's never the case. You're constantly vying for the attention of attendees, often with your competitors right around the corner. If you don't do something to get noticed, someone else will.

There are a lot of tricks and tips for making a positive impression, and I've shared a few in the past such as dressing for trade show success, making the most of downtime, and body language tips for exhibitors.

No single thing you do will guarantee success, but when you combine these strategies with a great conference gift bag, you'll definitely increase your chances of standing out from the crowd.

Start with the perfect bag.

There are hundreds of choices when it comes to the actual bag you'll be putting your swag into, but this particular bag is one of my favorites. Why do I recommend this over something cheaper?

To start, it looks great and comes in 8 beautiful colors to match your brand. It also has the durability and features to match its great looks, making it highly desirable. Plus, it's made from recycled materials so it's sustainable too. When you consider what you're getting, it's a good value.

Non-Woven Insulated Shopping Tote Bag

Featuring 23" handles, a 9" gusset, a zip-close front pocket, and insulation, this is a tote attendees will love and hold onto for years to come, making it a great choice for swag bags.

Next, choose a few perfect products.

When it comes to picking the right products for your gift bag there are lots of considerations. Ultimately what you're trying to do is show recipients that your brand understands and values them. While there's no one perfect product for every business, there are a few I really like, and I've found that choosing an item that aligns with as many of the qualities below, often increases your chances of being remembered or thought of positively after the event.

Quality - Avoid stuffing bags with lots of cheap products. Instead, pick fewer quality products that aren't going to get thrown away or fall apart. What you give is a reflection of your brand.

Useful - If you choose a product nobody wants or uses, you're basically admitting that you don't understand your customer. Handy products that get used over and over show your customers that you're thinking about them and you understand their needs.

Unexpected - A great way to stand out and be remembered is to choose items that people don't expect. High-value items or items with high perceived values are one way to delight recipients. Less expensive items that are unique, different, and/or thoughtful are another great choice.

Trendy - Selecting trending products can be difficult, but if you can catch a trend and be the cool company with the "it" product, that's certainly one way to win a trade show.

Domed Tin with MicroMints®

These refreshing mints come in a high-quality domed tin that can be imprinted with a photo-realistic, full-color imprint, making them a useful and popular stuffer for swag bags.   

YETI Rambler™ 20 oz Tumbler

Matching all the qualities of a great gift bag stuffer, this YETI insulated tumbler is a great choice for making a big, bold, lasting impression with your audience. 

Finally, add your marketing collateral.

I always tell my clients they need a great one-sheeter! A physical piece of marketing material that can be stuffed into each bag. It's nice to give away a few branded items, but it's just as critical to explain to recipients why they should choose you over your competitors.

Consumers love to compare prices and shop for bargains. If your service or product is competitive from a price standpoint, this is your chance to explain why you're the brand for them. Focus on what makes your business different and/or better. Tell stories about the problems you solve, the experience you have, or the value you bring. Not only will recipients remember the amazing gift bag you've just given them, but they'll also learn why your company and not the competitor a few tables down is the perfect fit for them.

Tuscany™ Filer Folder

Need a classy way to hold all your loose marketing materials? The executive Tuscany file folder can be branded with your logo and holds up to 60 pages of documents. 

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