When to give a sample and when to give a gift at events Posted by: by Kelly Edwards For brands, it’s a hard balance to find as to whether you give away actual products or promotional products at events. It should largely depend on who you’re exhibiting to and what you want them to do with it afterwards. Brands without products Brands such as Barclays who don’t have a physical product to give away use engagement techniques like this on-trend ‘tweet for a treat’ vending machine to add a bit of digital engagement and excitement into getting their freebie. This clever idea allows Barclays to have their message spread further as visitors had to enter a special hashtag and unique code in order to get the vending machine to give you your treat. While you were waiting in the queue, they could also use the opportunity to talk to about their digital eagles team who were there to help answer any questions! As each treat was sealed in a secret silver envelope, it also added intrigue as nobody knew what was inside… in case you were wondering, it was an ‘Octopus travel charger’ – one device that can help charge a number of different items to make sure you don’t have to take too many chargers. Clever and highly relevant to a digitally focused audience! For brands that don’t have a physical product – or where the product is far too expensive to give away – it’s important to think about your audience and their wants and needs in order to create the perfect promotional item that is both memorable and can last a long time. Giving away your products Tasters will always help to show that you’re confident in your brand to ‘put your money where your mouth is’ in terms of having them tested with the hope of a repeat purchase. Using a branded canvas bag is also a great idea to hold your conference freebies and literature and can include anything you’re willing to give away in order to have your brand spread further. From your brand’s perspective, you’re getting hundreds of people who may not have tried your products before to have a go and to remind them of who they’ve seen throughout the day. For new brands, it’s an opportunity to increase brand recognition and to gain a greater following to grow their success. There is sometimes a lot of trust given when giving away an item – especially if your aim is to sell it! But the aim should be to entice them enough to want to repeat purchase, or to share a positive experience about your brand. For example, last year at the Blogfest conference, one of the freebies was a T-shirt. As well as standing the test of time, it has fast become one of my favourite tops. Although I now don’t need to purchase that top, I would highly recommend the brand and would consider buying more from their range. By trusting in their products and that people would become brand advocates while using the items, they’ve increased their brand awareness and gained a loyal following of repeat purchasers. More information: We’ve recently launched a new guide on using promotional gifts at events which explains the sort of giveaways that work well if you don’t have a product to giveaway! Give it a read if you’re looking for the perfect promotional gift.