Events and merchandise have long gone hand in hand. Think of the last few events you attended and chances are the first thing that comes to your mind is the merchandise you took home like that personalised A5 notebook, that t-shirt printed right in front of you, or your favourite stubby holder that you still proudly use for those coldies.
Creating a successful event merchandise strategy is both a science and an art that requires a careful process that enhances your brand and messaging through interactive designs; visual concepts, creative copy and taglines, product sourcing, development, design and distribution.
Having an award-winning team of experts at your side during this process guarantees your items will not only be beneficial during the event, but they will also bring along benefits beyond the duration of the event that your brand and your bottom line will appreciate.
Top 3 Benefits of Event Merchandise:
1. Custom event merchandise extends your event’s brand value.
Driving brand awareness far beyond the date of the event is number one because your event merchandise gives your brand continued exposure for a long time. Keep in mind that attendees wear and/or use your merchandise, this creates an implicit but powerful endorsement of your brand.
2. Custom merchandise is a valuable way to engage more with your audience.
Event attendees are there because they want to be there. This simply means they have interest and passion that they want to show by attending and by expressing it through the merchandise they receive. This is the perfect opportunity for your brand to engage with a willing audience and provide them with the means to express their support for the event and your brand. It’s a unique chance to commemorate the event long after the date has passed. This solidifies the connection between your brand and your audience. Think ROI of the event way after the event has finished. Brand exposure and brand loyalty. Marketing gold.
3. Merchandise can also be a significant source of extra revenue.
Most of the time event merchandise is given away as a promotional tool to attract customers and to drive brand awareness. However, a well-designed item that is useful and attractive enough to be sold might bring in some cash. The key is to create products that people want, creating an even better experience for attendees. Why not think about personalising your merch at the event for a truly memorable takeaway?
The Process of Creating Merchandise that Rocks:
Live events are a fantastic opportunity to boost the emotional connection your brand has and needs with your audience. This in-person kind of engagement is highly valuable and should be addressed through a careful design process.
It doesn’t matter if your brand is B2B or B2C. Recent studies show that both types of customers are looking for the same things when it comes to selecting a brand and making a purchase. The convergence of B2B and B2C sentiments towards brands has created a new B2E (‘E’ for everyone) environment where marketers need to compete and thrive (some also refer to this as H2H- Human to Human).
In 2018, our experts created and launched the Kids Summer of Racing merchandise campaign for that year’s Victoria Summer Racing Event. The items created for the event proved to be an effective branding tool that will continue to be beneficial for a long time. Beyond a 2019 APPA award for the campaign, this case exemplifies that following the process described below will boost your brand reach, awareness and engagement significantly.
Conceptualisation takes place even before you start developing your event merchandise strategy by strategically selecting what events your brand needs to be a part of. This will help you better structure your budget in order to get the most out of each event, whether it’s just one per year or more throughout the year.
Once the event or events have been chosen, invest the necessary resources into each one, taking into consideration that each different event varies in scope, audience type, theme and maybe even location and other variables. So don’t create a one-size-fits-all plan, instead personalise each event’s plan.
With this in mind, add your brand’s identity, message, values and a generous portion of creativity to design an interactive and engaging event merchandise concept that resonates with your audience and creates a unique experience they will cherish and remember.
As the conceptualisation part of the process gets its finishing touches, you must start planning the execution of your event merchandising plan. During this phase, your team of experts must consider everything from providers, testing, delivery times, distribution, packaging, presentation, etc.
As much as designing and picking the right items is important, designing how you’re going to hand them to your audience is also crucial. Plan an interactive and engaging experience that goes beyond just handing out goodies to all those that pass by your booth. In other words, make both the merch and the experience attached to it memorable. Plus, make them connected to each other in a synergistic way.
Once everything is in place, execute your strategy from designing the items and the experience to placing orders, tracking and receiving them, to planning out the day of the event and having a plan B for everything in case anything goes wrong. This is one of the most important reasons for having a team of experts backing you up all the way, so they can ensure everything goes as planned.
Our event merchandise experts are here to help you. We’ll dig deeper to understand your brand in order to create merch that’ll rock your audience’s socks off! Set up a meeting here now.