The virtual event has been around for a while—but never as prevalent as it has been in the past few years (ahem, #covidlyfe).
Virtual events definitely have their pros and cons. While you may miss out on the adrenaline rush that comes from walking in to a flood of people on Day 1 (with a fancy event badge around your neck), there are still many ways to make an impact and build excitement even in a virtual setting.
With many tuning in from the comfort of their own homes, the pressure is on to create a meaningful experience that they can rally around (even from their home office).
That’s where we come in—we’re here to give tips on how to use swag (like custom t-shirts) to keep things exciting, create engagement, and just generally enhance the virtual event experience.
Check out 4 ways that we’ve seen some of our customers successfully incorporate swag to make the most out of their virtual event!
1. Send a swag kit to attendees
One of the most exciting parts of attending a conference is registering and receiving your complimentary swag bag. Just because an event is virtual doesn't mean you should take away this experience!
Tips for sending out virtual conference swag
1) Collect t-shirt sizes and mailing addresses on the registration form. You wouldn't necessarily always think to do so, but this will be crucial for the swag-buying process. You can access our T-Shirt Order Form to help you organize this information.
2) Find a swag provider who'll ship straight to individuals. Normally, when buying event swag, you'd order everything in bulk then hand it out on site at the event. That's obviously not an option, so you'll want to make sure you work with a provider who will ship swag directly to your attendees. At Real Thread, we make it easy to send t-shirts, face masks and other swag directly to your attendees, simply by providing a list of names, sizes, and addresses.
3) Order a little bit extra for late sign-ups. Custom swag has a turnaround time. That being the case, you'd hate for anyone who registered late for your event to miss out on the event swag. If you order some extras, you'll still have inventory left over to send to your attendees and make sure everyone gets their awesome conference swag.
Want more tips on how to make this process as streamlined as possible? Our Custom T-Shirt Buyers' Guide is a great resource for everything from designing to executing.
2. Use swag to book a meeting as a sponsor
Under normal circumstances, swag is a great source of lead generation at a conference or event, and that doesn't have to change when it comes to virtual events! If you're sponsoring an event, instead of booking in-person demos of your product in exchange for some swag, just do it virtually!
Make sure attendees know you're giving away swag in exchange for booking a meeting or watching a video about your product and watch the leads come flying in. Setting up a simple lead generation landing page with Leadpages or Unbounce should make it easy for you to collect information and pass it along to your sales or customer success teams.
Pro-tip: Make sure to include pictures of the swag you're giving away when advertising your offer. Someone might not feel too incentivized by reading "win a hoodie," but when they took a look at the cool, comfortable hoodie you're giving away, they may be more likely to book some time with you.
3. Give away swag for top attenders
This one's pretty simple if you're hosting a virtual event –– offer a more exclusive swag item (or maybe a bundle including hats, mugs, event-specific items, etc.), for attendees who attend the most conference sessions. This can be a good way of making sure you keep attendance high throughout the entirety of the conference, and it makes for a fun, engaging game for attendees.
There are other ways to only give out swag to specific groups of attendees, too. A competition, game, or raffle is always a good way to get people invested—and can drive social sharing. Everyone loves winning something!
4. Use swag to follow up with contacts after the conference
If you're a sponsor and you were collecting leads at a virtual event, sending them some company swag could be a great way of closing a potential deal. When you're reaching out to a potential customer or client post-event, you never want to do it empty-handed. There's nothing worse than a "just checking in" email.
Reaching out via a cool t-shirt or a face mask is a lot more memorable and engaging. Plus, swag has a unique ability to turn customers or potential customers into brand advocates by empowering them to represent your brand. Sending out swag after an event can be wildly effective in helping you close deals.
Like we mentioned earlier, finding a swag supplier who will ship to individuals, rather than purely in bulk, is key here.
Bring swag back to events
When it comes to swag, our team at Real Thread has you covered—from cozy, comfortable swag for your attendees to wear at home, to custom face masks that keep them protected in person, we're ready to help you send some virtual event swag to attendees that they will wear and love. Browse products or get in touch with us.