Swag for memorable virtual events.
As we continue to embrace remote working environments, physical distancing, and an accelerated increase in digital adoption, we face the ongoing challenge of finding ways to create tangible connections with our customers in the absence of face-to-face engagement.
In the “before times”, nearly all (97%) B2B marketers indicated that in-person events had a major impact on their ability to achieve their business goals.1 Fast forward two years and more than 90% of event marketers now have plans to include virtual events as a part of their brand strategy.2
With the understanding that virtual events are here to stay within the immediate future, and that the virtual experience will likely remain a part of events even when in-person experiences return, how can we create engaging and memorable encounters in a virtual setting?
Extend the virtual experience
Providing attendees with thank-you gifts and swag bags is a valuable but sometimes overlooked part of the tangible event experience – whether it is in-person, virtual, or hybrid. For your thought-leadership events, encourage attendance and create anticipation for the occasion by sending your registered participants a teaser gift in advance. You’ve worked hard to create an identity for your event that will resonate with your customers, and merchandise can help take the experience further by reinforcing your brand’s messaging.
Offering meaningful merchandise that continues to engage after they have left the virtual space will help further the connection customers have with your brand. A follow-up thank-you gift not only extends the memorable occasion; it will also remind participants of important takeaways from your sessions and give your team an opportunity to continue the conversation and nurture the business relationship.
Engaging associates at conferences
Looking at internal events, many companies have had to adapt and reimagine their national employee conferences and meetings to fit within the virtual space. This has led to a couple of challenges. The first is finding ways to celebrate the achievements of your associates and effectively share messaging and strategy for the year without the panache of in-person festivities. The second is that your team will miss out on the excitement of seeing colleagues they don’t regularly engage with, and simply creating common ground for associates to band together and connect.
Providing your associates with conference gifts is a great way to introduce the event theme, messaging, and give them something special in lieu of experiences that cannot be recreated in a virtual setting.
A customized kit delivered to everyone’s homes will set the tone for what is to come and create a memorable interaction from the start with a curated unboxing experience. Team uniforms can unite everyone in on-screen sessions, while a customized notebook with featured content from your meetings is a great takeaway to remind participants of the learnings from the event, and gives them something to take notes and doodle in. Including healthy snacks in your kit will help them get through a long day of sessions, and a trendy tech gadget, like a selfie light, makes for a fun gift that can be used after the workday is over.