The Power of Swag: How to Successfully Incorporate Branding at Events

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Lauren Melnick, Poppin, The Shakedown, event branding, event swag, branding, marketing
Lauren Melnick

Lauren Melnick is the customization solutions manager at Poppin where she helps companies apply their logos and branding to a variety of products. In this Shakedown, she discusses the ways meeting and event planners can prepare branded items or swag for manager meetings, leadership summits or other corporate events.  

What are a couple of the most popular promotional items for meeting planners to use to promote brand awareness at an event?

Promotional items should be thoughtful, useful and relevant. Because of this thinking, I find the most popular items for meetings tend to be customized notebooks and pens. For instance, one of our clients, Newscred, distributed matching ones to their conference attendees for note-taking and networking. By providing gifts of use in the environment, Newscred ensured their investment had immediate utility as well as a lasting brand impact.

What are the top three things for meeting planners to consider when choosing a promotional item to create brand awareness?

  1. Branding is key. There’s a better chance people will remember you if they associate your company with a positive experience. Create a branded item that an attendee will use well beyond their time at the meeting by giving away useful items. This way attendees won’t forget who gave them their new favorite pen.
  1. And stay on-brand, too. If you’re a technology company, why give out lollipops or a tin of paper clips? Event giveaways should be relevant to both your company and your audience. We find that folios are a favorite for marketers and those who travel for work, while high-end metal pens make a covetable gift for executives.
  1. Invest in quality. If you’re going to spend money to personalize goods, you might as well do it right. Don’t cheap out and go chintzy or splash out and go overly flashy. This shows that you’re serious about your brand so that potential partners and clients will take your brand seriously, too.

What other subtle ways can meeting planners create brand awareness at their event?

Believe it or not, simplicity is what resonates. Whether it’s the PowerPoint presentation you’re designing, booth you’re exhibiting at or product giveaway you’re customizing, keeping the look clean and simple will automatically elevate your brand. Subtle touches of your brand color create a nice association, too. I recommend a tasteful flower arrangement, a handful of mylar balloons or organizational products in one color.

What creative ways can meeting planners place or use their logo at an event to create brand awareness?

There are a few ways you can incorporate your logo at an event, but it’s important to stay on message, be thoughtful and be consistent about the artwork. Does your event have a slogan, phrase or graphic that will resonate with the recipient and make it more memorable? Work with your art or marketing department to get print-ready vector artwork for your print partner to generate renderings.

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