Health, technology items popular as conference giveaways |

Health, technology items popular as conference giveaways

The concept of providing giveaways at conferences and trade shows is important for several reasons. Products like customized pens will remain with your customers constantly and remind them of your name. This will encourage them to further explore your company and come back to you when in need. What is important to remember is that these same customers will probably receive promotional items from competitors, too, and for this reason it is important to be unique in your approach when selecting an appropriate promotional item for your organization. This will help set your brand apart from others and stay on top of the consumers mind.

Being aware of the virtues of products such as promotional bags is not enough. It is necessary to follow steps which will help you find the perfect products for your brand and add value to your marketing and brand building strategies. Traditionally logo items such as pens, padfolios, totes and briefs have been very popular. Recently new items like flash drives, stylus pens, iPad cases and even health items such as pedometers and water bottles with fruit infuser inserts are taking over the market.

Here are a few questions that we are often asked pertaining to this topic:

What sorts of options are out there?

You name it we imprint it, and today items can be more custom with smaller quantities that can be ordered because of new technology in digital print.

How do we decide what is an appropriate promotional item?

You must not only look at the profession of the meeting attendees, but also their demographics, where they come from, ages, what they might need at the meeting or after the meeting. A few other things to consider is what season it is, and what these particular attendees might enjoy taking home and using over and over so the image lasts. The budget per giveaway must also be determined so that we can research relevant items and product categories.

What are some fun, offbeat or brand-new ideas?

Health-related items are big right now. We recently attended a trade show where custom wrist sweatbands embedded with a pedometer were huge. So were BPA-free reusable water bottles with a fruit infuser basket to naturally flavor your water andstretch bands that can easily be packed in a suitcase.

Also big are new tech items such as individual custom app services, augmented reality and items that have double a use like pen/stylus combos or pen flash drive combos.

According to a 2005 study conducted by Georgia Southern University, recipients of promotional products have a significantly more positive opinion of a business through more positive overall image, more positive perception of the business, higher likelihood of recommending the business as well as a higher likelihood of patronizing the business. The study also found that 71 percent of business people reported having received a promotional product in the last 12 months. Of that group, 33.7 percent had the item on their person and 76.1 percent could recall the advertiser’s name! Also with that group, 52 percent of that group did business with the advertiser after receiving the promotional product and 52.1 percent reported their impression of the advertiser was more favorable after receiving the item.

The bottom line is that recipients of promotional products remember the advertiser’s name. A study by Schreiber & Associates in Peoria, Ill., showed that 39 percent of the people receiving a promotional product could recall the name of the advertiser as long as six months after they received it.

So regardless of your price point or your demographic client base, promotional products and gifts are an investment in your brand.

Dave Sutherland is president and chief executive officer of SWAG/Blue Moon, a specialty advertising company headquartered in Sparks. Contact him at 775-359-5600 or