A successful conference is resulted from knowledgeable sessions, interesting keynote speeches, comfortable stay, amazing decoration or thoughtful service. Yet, the little free giveaway would go an extra mile to impress your attendee. It may not be very costly or luxury but it truly says something to the receivers itself. What kind of swag ever made you feel touched? What would amaze the conference goers? And, what is good to thank speakers? Here are some ideas for the conference organizers!
For All Conference Attendee
Image the whole journey a conference participant would take: prepare for leaving à get ready for conference à long flight à arrival with exhaustion à join conference. Standing in their shoes, the first thing they would need is something to refresh themselves and then would need handy stuff for conference and the following few days. Therefore, when we prepare the free gift for the guests, we should consider not only budget, although it leads the way, but also their needs. So, here are some ideas for you.
1. Upon Arrival
To hand in a care package will give a sweeter welcome message than a Hawaiian Lei. A care package gives a small bottle of water, a quick snack (vegetarian in favor), wet tissue, comb, bandages, and maybe aspirin. Your company / conference logo is to be printed on the bag and to better put in the hotel information card. They would keep it with them throughout the conference and keep it mind afterwards.
If you are receiving a small group or your reception team is able to assist, a welcome gift on the bedroom would definitely surprise them. You can be very creative on welcome gifts, simple as local specialty, thoughtful as overnight amenities kit, or useful as travel charger.
2. At Registration
If registration is on the same day with arrival, a conference kit is a better choice to offer at registration desk, complete with pen, notepad, USB with session slides, map of the neighborhood, and of course the program booklet. To think about the topic / theme of your conference, you can also put in relevant products to smile your guests. For example, a new launched snack can be offered in a safe food conference yet remember to take the food preference in consideration.
Moleskin: handy & useful
3. Before Closing
A farewell gift is similar to welcome gift but suggested to contain the conference minutes, like photos. Because the conference goers would get it before leaving, the size is better to be small and light that he/she can easily put in to luggage or carry on hand.
For Speakers / Special Guests
As speakers or special guests only stay for one session time, a thank gift to give at the stage or right after stage would be nice. Also he/she might not carry heavy luggage so a valuable and slightly bigger gift is accepted, especially when you need the size to show your appreciation on his/her presence. Plaque with appreciation is common and easy to prepare. Yet, to impress your speakers/guests, some creation is needed, so do some research on his/her favorite or habit. A box of golf ball with his/her name would catch him/her right away if he/she loves golf.
All in all, people love free gift as well as new stuff. So, a Pen is not good enough, a Keychain is definitely out of date, an USB is not interesting anymore, Paper Weight is too much weight, and no one wants a T-shirt not in right size. If you mean to impress them instead of just a routine gift, understand your attendee and be more creative & customized.