Keep Attendees at Virtual Events More Engaged with Swag

Posted by KIT Team on Wed, March 10

Blog-image-01

Virtual events are now the new normal. Although COVID-19 seems to be nearing defeat and vaccines offer the possibility of renewed interest in live conferences, virtual events have taken on a life of their own and are likely here to stay. A serious challenge event creators face is attracting attendees and keeping them engaged during the event. One answer stands out above many other proposed solutions: SWAG!

People love receiving stuff. Small stuff, large stuff, it really doesn’t matter — research demonstrates that gifts increase the value and interest for your virtual event. In fact, corporate gifting is an effective strategy for building brand loyalty and creating a bond with clients. KIT by USP makes gifting and fulfillment simple. Here’s how to keep attendees at virtual events more engaged with branded swag. 

Create Excitement Ahead of Your Virtual Event

Generating engagement in your virtual event begins before the first participant logs into the broadcast. The traditional enticements of travel and experiencing a new location and extravagant setting is removed with virtual events. This means you must get creative and begin engagement as early as possible. 

Create excitement ahead of your virtual event by sending a piece of swag immediately after each participant registers. Use a mysterious item that is linked to your keynote speaker or some other aspect of the event. Don’t provide an explanation; just ask that registrants keep the item handy and have it on hand as they attend the event. 

Blog-image-02

For example, if your event focuses on real estate, send registrants a silicone wristband with “MOVE IN” printed on it, along with your brand logo. Go further by asking registrants to snap a photo of the item on their wrist and post it on social media with the hashtag #MOVEIN. You could incorporate the MOVE IN theme throughout the event.

Other suggested swag items include: 

  • Hats
  • Masks
  • Keychains
  • Pens
  • Mouse pads
  • T-shirts

Plan & Advertise a Swag Giveaway During the Virtual Event

Another way to create excitement before your virtual event is to advertise a giveaway to be distributed sometime during the event sessions. You can advertise this on the registration form as an incentive for signups, or reveal it immediately after participants complete registration. 

This should represent your industry or brand and be a capstone of the event. All participants are eligible to win the swag giveaway, but they must be actively participating in the event at the time of the giveaway and have a limited time to signal their presence when chosen.

Go all out and make this KIT a highlight of the entire virtual event. Include high-end items like: 

  • JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker
  • Sony Sport Wireless Headphones
  • Optima TWS Earbud w/wireless charging case 
  • Shaving or Makeup KIT 
  • Titleist Golf Set
  • Lightweight 3 Season Sleep Bag
  • Belgian Chocolate Sampler 
  • Mug & Pretzel Set 
  • Cheeseboard
  • Virtual Happy Hour Cocktail KIT 
  • Gift Vouchers/Gift Cards 

Distribute a Custom Swag KIT Before Your Virtual Event

As the event draws nearer, send each registrant a customized swag KIT filled with cool branded items surrounding the event theme. Brainstorm what could be useful to participants during the event and include that in the KITs. People love receiving surprise gifts, and a box filled with goodies is sure to stir enthusiasm for your virtual event. 

Blog-image-03

Some suggested helpful and fun items to include would be: 

  • Notebooks & pens
  • T-shirts and/or hats
  • Water bottles/tumblers/coffee mugs
  • Wireless charging pad 
  • Keychain 3-in-1 charger 
  • Snacks 
  • Blue light blocking glasses 
  • Mask & sanitizer wellness pack 
  • Scented candle 
  • Sport towel
  • Backpack 

All these items would of course bear your brand or the event logo. Search the KIT by USP store for more item suggestions. 

Create Interactive Experiences Using Items from Your Swag KIT 

Once your virtual event is underway, use the swag from the event KITs to build bridges between participants. Use items to make event attendees feel more connected and engaged. Incorporating swag into the event sessions can help to recapture the magic of attending a live event in a huge room. 

  • Ask all participants to wear the event T-shirt or hat during a specific portion of the experience. 
  • Have them hold up a certain item that an event presenter is using. 
  • Capitalize on the energy you created with the mystery item before the event, such as our MOVE IN wristband suggestion above. Ask users to show it on screen at certain portions of the event, or when a certain phrase is used. 
  • Ask participants to doodle an idea during a presentation and have a time for everyone to hold up their event notebook and show off their artwork. Recognize any evident talent. Use the art work samples to spur a discussion about the topic. 

Seeing every other participant on screen wearing or using the same item can create a sense of community and participation that builds engagement and makes valuable memories.

Blog-image-04

Send Swag to Remind Participants of Your Virtual Event

Keep the glow from your virtual event alive afterward by sending a small token gift a week or so after the event has ended. Even a small follow-up gift can remind participants of the value and excitement of the event, not to mention remind them once again of your brand. Another great idea is to use an item as a prompt for any assigned follow-up activities or challenges.  

Some possible ideas include: 

  • Notepads
  • Pens
  • Stickers
  • Webcam covers
  • Masks
  • Power banks
  • Smartphone cases 
  • Memory sticks
  • Business card holder
  • Small wellness kit

KIT by USP can handle all the planning, printing, and distribution for your virtual event. Browse our online store for great ideas or call and speak with a team member for assistance. Our custom KITs and items are all printed in-house to faster turnaround and more savings, and we can hold onto your swag and ship portions of your order at the appropriate times. 

Call today or begin building your custom KITs now!