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Jack’s Hacks: Bringing Swag to Virtual Events

November 20th, 2020 Jack Wildt

I know that we are all missing in-person events this year. While virtual events have been a great experience, there is still one area where they are lacking… SWAG! I, for one, have been feeling the event swag drought this year. My closet is sorely lacking in the random t-shirt department, and I have run out of branded phone chargers. Luckily, we have options to end event swag scarcity.

Without further ado, here is how you can implement swag for virtual events!

* Quick note. We use Sendoso here at ON24, but everything I list below should be possible with any direct mail vendors.

Before the event

One of our favorite tactics is to use direct mail as an incentive to encourage attendance, especially for target accounts/people. Sometimes we even hold a special session for these folks before the event. Here are two great examples:

    1. We sent a select group of people a coffee-making kit and invited them to attend a coffee-making class that we hosted before one of our big events. Not only was it a hit, but it also gave everyone a boost before the event started.
    2. The week of Halloween, we included a marketing themed tarot card reading session in our large summit. The first 250 people who registered received their very own tarot deck so that they could follow along!

Sending event swag before an event is a great way to boost attendance.

During the event

Triggering sends based on audience behavior is a lot of fun and allows you to get creative. It’s also a great way to drive engagement during your event. Here are some ideas:

    1. If you are hosting a live event, hold a contest. I am a fan of asking people to share their stories and sending a piece of event swag to each person whose story gets read by the presenter. We usually do this with t-shirts.
    2. “Hide” redemption links in your event console. Get creative with your console design and hide some fun easter eggs for folks to uncover. Remember to mention them during the event.
    3. Trigger your sends off of survey/poll responses. You can use this to encourage valuable survey/poll submissions.

After the event

Last but not least we have post-event sends. These are very straightforward. Here are two examples:

    1. Send everyone that attended the event something fun as a thank you. Perhaps with a note encouraging the next step in the journey?
    2. Offer those that did not attend the event a new incentive to check it out. We did this recently and saw some incredible results!

I hope these ideas inspire you and help to make your next event an even bigger success. After all, who wouldn’t want a swag bag from a virtual event?

No matter what event swag you choose to distribute, just remember to not forget about them! They are one of the key missing parts of online events compared to physical events. So, don’t forget about swag for virtual events, too.