Tech conferences are a fantastic way to learn the latest and greatest gadgets and software, mingle with industry experts, and do some serious networking. Whether you’re a college student looking to break into the field post-graduation, a seasoned professional or vendor with tech-approved wares, conferences are a great place to see and be seen.
From a marketing perspective, sponsorship is a smart strategy for your brand. While so much of today’s marketing approaches are focused online (like SEO and social media), it’s hard to beat the in-person connection that comes from chatting with a potential customer face-to-face.
To ensure you get the most out of attending, we’ve pulled a list of example promotional products that our clients claim are the most effective giveaways for tech conferences. We’re also sharing a handful of ideas for how to execute cool giveaways at your booth, so that you draw in a crowd and are remembered by attendees.
Giveaway #1: Snacks and/or Beverages
Conferences are long. All are guaranteed hours of sitting through speaker presentations, schmoozing, and – depending on the size – logging some serious steps around the convention center and/or expo hall.
Now, pair that with the fact that conferences typically have a pretty low bar for food and beverages. While bad news for conference-goers, this is an ideal opportunity for your team! There are plenty of options for nurturing new leads through nourishment. Nuts, veggie packs like baby carrots and hummus, fruit, and chocolates branded with your logo are all easy on-the-go snacks that attendees will grab. And while you probably can’t pass out beers, you can offer bottled waters as well as soda and energy drinks!
Giveaway #2: Charging Accessories
Tech conferences will be full of (drum roll, please) tech devices. From phones to tablets to laptops, attendees will be lugging and heavily using their favorite technology the entire day, weekend or week they’re there. That makes portable chargers and similar devices an ideal gift for those who drop by your booth.
One issue many will run into over the course of the conference? Poor battery life. Wireless power banks, which can charge virtually anything with a USB charge port, are a lifesaver when you’re constantly on the move… like, say, at a conference. Charging pads are another trendy device that can be branded with your logo or messaging.
From wall chargers to car adapters and fancy gift sets, these giveaways are practical as anything – sure to receive use and gain visibility among the conference’s plugged-in crowd.
Giveaway #3: Cell Phone Accessories
We can try to deny being hooked on them, but cell phones are seriously important to, well, everyone. Even with days’ worth of presentations, demonstrations and conversations, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single attendee without his or her cell phone in tow.
What does this mean for your marketing strategy? That promotional cell phone accessories are another sure-fire product that can help to encourage visitors to your booth. Give those who drop off their business card a useful gadget, like Pop Sockets, phone wallets, and phone stands, printed with your logo on it. Unlike another keychain or pair of sunglasses, they’ll keep these types of giveaways. And if not, the perceived value is high enough the item would be passed onto a colleague or friend, thereby extending your reach!
Giveaway #4: Journals and Notepads
Just as college students are discouraged from taking notes on their laptops, professionals know that taking notes with pen and paper improves retention and focus. With all the planning that goes into travel for a conference, one item that is often forgotten is a simple notepad. Especially for expos with workshops hosted over multiple days, this item is a highly useful one to giveaway.
What’s more, notebooks, journals and jotters can provide a welcome respite from the constant talk and use of technology. Consider interesting ways you can promote their use among attendees – for example, by including prompts about goal-setting, brainstorming, or inviting recipients to submit a response to a tech-related question via pen and paper for a bigger prize.
Giveaway #5: Travel Accessories
Attendees will fly in from all around the world for a really popular tech conference. This creates an opportunity for you to base your marketing products around easing the burden of flying and travel.
There are a ton of useful items you can jazz folks up with, such as inflatable neck pillows for the plane, luggage tags, toiletry kits, and even a handy handheld luggage scale. After all, there’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve over-packed and are about to be bombarded with extra weight fees!
Creative Ideas to Promote Your Tech-Friendly Giveaway
Settling on the perfect product that conference attendees will like, use, and keep is only half the battle. Now you need a plan to attract attendees and entice them to open up a dialogue. Below, we offer a few ideas to make your booth a sure stand-out at any tech conference:
Idea #1: Relaxation Station
Tech conventions are high-energy – and for all their good, they can be exhausting. We’ve talked about cool giveaways to recharge attendees’ gadgets, but why not allow your potential customers to recharge, too? Offer passersby a few moments to chill out at your booth, without fear of a sales pitch. This could mean electronic massage chairs, free 10 or 15-minute chair massages from a professional, or simply a couch and TV set-up. If you choose this route, just be sure to plan for the popularity of your station!
Idea #2: Game Haven
The goal of hosting a booth at a conference is to get brand exposure and meet potential customers. Of course, to do this in a meaningful way, you’ll need to connect and engage with them by creating a dialogue. And if you can accomplish this by getting them to lighten up and have some fun, even better! In fact, positive energy and emotions will increase the likelihood that the remember the encounter and think fondly of your business.
A perfect way to do this? Turn your space into a game-oriented haven to give out your branded giveaways. Raffles and prize wheels are classic options; but don’t be afraid to go a step further by setting up a game of Jeopardy or other game show remake, host a contest, a mini putting course or even set-up a scavenger hunt around the convention. Attendees will flock to play and watch others do so. Remember, when confined to the same rooms for days on end, everyone will be hungry for new and exciting things to talk about!
Idea #3: Move the Conversation Online
Rather than fight the flow of foot traffic, why not make your booth stand out on social media? Especially for a tech-heavy audience, expect that apps like Instagram and Twitter will be active with updates from attendees. All you have to do is find out the official and unofficial hashtags being used!
Work with your social media person or team to engage with attendees online before and during the event. Whether you’re asking open-ended questions, running fun polls or eliciting responses in another way, there are plenty of opportunities for inviting those commenters to pick up their winning prize at your station.
We hope our list of giveaways and suggestions for how to actually gift them have your creative juices flowing. Not only will these methods help your business to standout at the next tech conference, but they’ll ensure your brand presents itself in a memorable way.
Looking for more tech giveaway ideas? Bluetooth Technology Proves The Power of Connection.