Putting Brands into the Hands of Students

View Student Life Catalogue Here

In the era of blogs, social media, and Stan, there isn’t really a centralised place for students to congregate, except on campuses. This creates a unique opportunity for advertisers and brands to target an audience of students. Ad placement can be an attractive option and is typically a quick and easy fix, but it can also be incredibly fragmented. While most students are caught up in socialising and thinking about their next class, are the ads even being seen?

This is where branded merchandise holds an excellent vantage point. Providing students with products they can use, both at home and at school, is the best way to create brand exposure within this audience. Students are operating on limited time and funding which makes them incredibly open to free assistance and support. Where one student might walk blindly past a wall banner for setting up a new bank account, that same student may stop to grab a kit of free pencils with the same information included inside. Getting your message into the hands of students isn’t’ hard, just make sure the message is quite literally “in their hands.”

This month we are exploring a perfect approach to student marketing and have constructed a catalogue full of amazing ideas. Mix and match colour options allow you to stay within branding guidelines or play into the colours of a school while showcasing items like coffee cups, water bottles and tumblers. Or look at public transport, which is often discounted or free to students, and explore branded RFID blocking merchandise designed to hold transport cards and student ID’s. We have also included top supply staples like pencil/pen pouches and notebooks which all students are in constant need of.

Looking to tap into the sustainability trend being fuelled by Gen Z? In October we launched “Eco-Living” which was a catalogue dedicated to eco-friendly merchandise available with custom branding. This is an excellent way to interact with students in 2020 and if you haven’t had a chance, take a quick browse through this catalogue by clicking here.

In short, when you’re looking to create school spirit, or highlight your brand amongst students, make sure you are putting that message into their hands. Three simple steps, show your support, give back and get noticed on campus.

Pet Branded Merchandise Catalogue

Exploring the Adorable Pet Demographic

Pet Branded Merchandise Catalogue
View Pet Catalogue Here

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) gathered reports and statistics for 2019 showing that approximately 61% of households in Australia own pets. This gave Australia one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world and calculated over 29 million pets in total. Amongst these amazing percentages it was calculated that the most common owned pet were dogs coming in at 40%.  Although the number of people owning pets may seem massive, it should come as no surprise when you consider the top four benefits of owning a pet as reported by owners. Relational benefits (love, affection and companionship), life being better in general, happiness, and the improvement in mental health and well-being. Pets become part of families and pull at our heart strings earning themselves a well-earned title of “Fur Babies”.

We wanted to take a month to celebrate the fur babies of Australia by creating a catalogue (View Here) that is aimed at promoting animal care, happiness, and good ownership. Branded merchandise adheres to the basic standards of advertising, needing to be the right product, to the right person at the right time. Pet owners are a dedicated demographic, fiercely loyal and accustom to daily routines with their pets. This creates a perfect opportunity to place your brand into a high exposure environment surrounded by good times and cuddles (puppy cuddles are the best).

Exploring demographics and helping our clients consider new audiences is what makes TurnKey Promotions unique. We launch custom themed catalogues every month and each one is dedicated to exploring new ways to reach your target audience. This month’s Pet Catalogue pulls at my heart strings and reminds me of a marketing manager I had the privilege of working with a few years back. She worked with a local bank and was looking for promotional merchandise to include for the opening of a new branch. Before contacting us she had conducted some preliminary research of the neighbourhood where the branch was to be located and determined that there was a very high volume of dog owners. When we met, she reported back her research and we collaborated to create a promotional gift aimed specifically at dog owners. While this might seem like an odd choice for a bank, it was well thought out, targeted and ensured a successful opening event for the bank. Exploring demographics can really make a difference to your promotional product campaign. If we dive deeper into the 61% of households owning pets we will find that 64% of those pet owners are female and 65% are from households with incomes of $50,000 or more. Diving a little further we can also find that 75% of those aged 18-24 are pet owners (Gen Z) and 66% of those aged 40-54 are also pet owners (Gen X). In fact, over three-quarters of families with children ages 6 or older also report back as pet owners.

Remember your target audiences can be bound together with beautiful strings like owning a pet.

Branded pet products is a growing trend in the promotional industry, but we searched far and wide within our supply chain and put our findings into an easy to browse catalogue just for you.

If you’re looking to bring something new to your next event or promotion you can always count on us to help you stay on target and outside of the box

Celebrating the Urban Explorer

In his book Cities & Countries, Roman Payne wrote “ Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”

I implore all the travel lovers to unite, as we all know this to be true. There are cities we fall in love with, places we’ll never forget and of course those of we will never travel to again. It’s these affairs with amazing cities that inspired the release of a collection dedicated to urban life and exploring. Who are we? Where are we going? How do we get to and from work? How do we Celebrate? Travel and pass the time?

Our newest collection “Urban” is a celebration of the urban explorer in each of us. Be it the day to day commute to work, the reset lunch breaks we’ve all learned are priceless, or how we create the most memorable days off, it’s about the journey. We have all spent time and energy in planning out our daily adventures and they deserve to be recognised and celebrated.

Welcome to the tangible story of urban explorers, from a yoga instructor and a PHD student who only eats organic, to the CEO of a tech start-up and let’s not forget the conservative executive who sometimes gets lost (we all know one). The items we are showcasing are the essentials we carry with us to take on each day.

Loaded with practical products for professionals living in or around the hustle and bustle of a metro. Commuting to work or weekend riding by bike? Flashing reflectors and indication coded lights are a must have! Squeezing a workout in, before or after work? Quick dry travel towels, smartphone armbands and Bluetooth earbuds to the rescue! Battery running low after an hour of social media on the tram (we can all relate to some degree). Grab an upgraded power pack, you know the ones that can actually completely recharge your phone? Yeah one of those.

I wanted to bring a bit of funk and feel to this selection of products and remind all of the brands out there looking to stay connected with their target audience, don’t forget about practical acts of endearment. A quick dry travel towel may not sound like the most thrilling product you’ve ever come across, but I promise you I’ve been to the gym (allegedly… proof is still out). I’ve seen the daily regulars toting the same drink bottle and towel each and every day. It’s an item they have incorporated into their daily journey and is with them when they need it. I can’t think of a better place for your brand to be, can you? Check out our Urban Catalogue Here

Are You Eco-Living or Just Eco-Dreaming?

( Sharpen. Write. Repeat. Then Plant. Pencils with a dual purpose)

Four ways to embrace eco friendly items and incorporate them into your marketing.

Live it.

One of the best ways to promote reusing, recycling and reducing is to live by example. Make sure all of the products you are selecting haven’t been “green washed’ and actually are providing a positive impact on the environment. A lot of items are marketed as ecofriendly, but to really embrace the idea we encourage you to get invested into the “why” and link that back into your branding. If you are branding a water bottle, consider placing an inspirational phrase on the reverse side. Something as simple as “Fill. Drink. Repeat” has a massive impact and reminds the recipient that the item is reusable. You can also find products that speak for themselves and we’ve included a few in our newest catalogue “Eco Living”. A perfect example is the reforest jute tote bags. For every 100 units sold the manufacturer arranges a tree to be planted within reforestation areas of Australia. To help illustrate this program we have added a small recycled tag to the bag straps which alerts recipients to the program. Contributing to good initiatives creates good vibes and this is exactly the association you want with your brand. Another great option in our catalogue are the water bottles crafted from sugar cane. Each bottle has a stock sugar cane graphic printed along the base which helps celebrate the natural materials used to create the bottles. In addition, the bottle supplier is actively contributing to a clean water charitable fun and each bottle sold helps to provide clean water for three months to one person in the Central African Republic.

Plant it.

Connecting back to nature creates a genuine sense of giving back to the environment. Items that can be planted or placed in gardens are a great way to get your brand involved. Select an interactive item like potted plants, a butterfly or bee hotel (featured in our catalogue) and your brand will have repeat exposure as each unit grows. We also have an innovative pencil in this month’s catalogue that can be planted at the end of its usable life cycle. Each pencil has a water pouch built in and once planted will degrade, releasing the water and seeds. Products linked to being planted open great possibilities for brand enhancement messages like “grow with us” and “new beginnings”.

Need it.

Choose items that can be incorporated into every-day life. Most landfills are loaded with single use disposables, many of which are used and disposed daily. Coffee cups, plastic straws, and plastic bags sit at the top of this list and ecofriendly options are not only being sought by consumers but also by local state and government agencies. Bans on plastic straws and plastic bags are on the rise, along with reusable coffee cup programs which are popping up in fast moving metros. This creates the perfect time to put your brand on trend, in demand and all while staying ecofriendly. Reusable bags made from fibres like jute, cotton or cork add a natural beauty to your branding. Along with these bags, recyclable paper straws, and reusable coffee cups (especially those made of unique materials like rice husk) provide a great solution for reducing landfill. Your brand’s exposure is maximised with items used daily and if you can achieve that along with helping the environment your brand is #winning.

Gift it.

Two terms that are rarely married together are eco friendly and corporate gifting, but we’ve included a couple ideas to achieve both and take your brand to the next level. Starting with premium sunglasses that come packed with a jaw dropping backstory. Each pair is crafted from re-purposed skateboards and the results are stunning. Top of the line luxury sunglasses make the perfect summer gift and being made from skateboards is a great conversation twist. Next up is a must have tech item constructed with bamboo, organic cotton, hemp and recycled plastic. With natural crafted Bluetooth speakers your eco friendly gifting is sorted this season. These stylish 10-Watt speakers combine quality sound with a sustainable design and are sure to spark both intrigue and delight with recipients.

No matter what direction you want you want to explore, there are eco friendly initiatives at every budget level. Tiptoe into the idea or dive headfirst and start contributing to the reducing, recycling, and reusing trend wave. The demand is here, the impact is real, and your brand deserves to be placed where it matters most. We love this chapter in the promotional products story and are excited to share our newest release “Eco Living” catalogue.

Corporate Christmas Gifts

3 months to Christmas…

Should you or shouldn’t you start planning for Christmas three months out? 

Why you should? 

  1. Preparation, most of us believe is key to smooth sailing. And we all know Christmas time is where stress levels can be peaking. Getting organised early on can avoid last minute panic stations. 
  2. You have adequate time to shop around for best pricing for gifts, food, decorations, plane tickets, etc. 
  3. If you are a lover of everything Christmas, so extending one of your favourite times of the year from one day to three months, makes complete sense. 
  4. You actually love the build up / anticipation more than the day of Christmas, and therefore dedicate most of your focus on this part. 
  5. You have lots of family coming and need the 3 months prior to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the day. 
  6. Dietary requirements are not limited to one person at the table anymore. Every person and their dog has a food allergy / intolerance / preference. If you are catering, this certainly requires an excel spreadsheet. 
  7. It’s the perfect excuse to buy new stationery to help you plan and organise. If this is you, check out some of my latest favourite stationery items
  8. Well thought through gifts make an impact. Effort certainly wins people over and the judges – A Turnkey Customer Promotion that not only won over our customers but the Industry Awards. 
  9. Planning now helps you remain flexible when the last minute Christmas drinks/ catch-ups, pop-up. Waltzing in feeling stress free and completely present. 
  10. You love lists and event planning and so this is your time to shine. 

Why you shouldn’t? 

  1. Three months is a quarter of the year, and anything could change your pre-determined plans. 
  2. You potentially miss out on Spring because your head is stuck in Christmas.
  3. A gift 3 months out may seem like a good idea at the time, but fast forward 3 months, and it could become yesterday’s novelty. Some tried and trusted denim suggestions
  4. You are entering a minimalist passage in your life and are currently rethinking how you approach gift giving. Sustainable gifts may be something to think about 
  5. You have lost your Christmas spirit… This is where, I believe, self gifting comes in. Love thy self!  
  6. You are extremely introverted and find Christmas festivities unbearable and therefore do not give it more thinking time than required. 
  7. Your work life is all about planning, and so in your personal life, you take a break. If you are looking for Work Christmas gifts check – see page 23/24 of our look book for some ideas. 
  8. You are not sure if you will be here at Christmas or booking a trip away so you can avoid Christmas all together. 
  9. Christmas feels like groundhog day. Same day, different year! 
  10. You are out of Christmas gift ideas! Check out over 100+ ideas in our flip book. 

I know it may feel a little early to be thinking about Christmas, but it does make life a lot less stressful when you can plan ahead. Particularly when it comes to gift giving for customers, staff, suppliers, business partners… and particularly when the quantities are not small. Planning helps you stick to your budget, ensure stock availability, delivery and quality is spot on. 

Some interesting information on the power of gift giving, I found recently from 2018/19 Forbes article

“Detailing the return-on-investment for a business gift, Jennings reveals that C-suite executives are especially impacted by a gift that tells a story and facilitates a deeper personal connection, which 94% of top executives believe is important to business success. Over 80% of C-suite executives believe that business gifts generate measurable positive ROI in addition to intangible benefits. “Gifts humanize business,” said a survey respondent. “It pays for itself two fold,” said another.” 

Let me know if you want to talk Christmas gift giving for your customers, shareholders, suppliers, partners and/or staff. I have loads of gift ideas – both new and the classics that never falter. 

APPA Trade Show

The awards night is part of the two day industry only trade show, where we come together to present and discuss the latest promotional products. 

Environmentally friendly is trending in our industry. There are different segments within this sustainable / environmental category, which include: 

REUSABLE – Moving from single use to life time usage. Both natural (wheat husk, rice husk, corn starch, bamboo fibre) and plastic  materials are being used to create these products. Some of the products include coffee cups, bottles, bags. 

RECYCLABLE – Glass, paper, plastics.

REDUCED – Products that are not entirely made up of plastic, and include bio-degradable (Under AS 4736-2006 a product can only be claimed biodegradeable if it can achieve 90% of biodegration of plastic materials in180 days) materials. We are seeing this percentage continuing to increase.

RECOVERED – This is where waste product that was previously discarded is recovered and reworked to create various products. Corn starch and wheat starch are examples of materials that are being recovered.

PERSONALISATION AND CUSTOMISATION – This is definitely not going away. Manufacturers are creating flexibility in their process to cater for this growing market. Everyone wants a ‘one-off’, special, unique and the promotional products industry is doing a great job of building their capabilities to align with this growing segment.

Winners are grinners!

We are very excited to share our latest exciting news… 

Last week at the APPA (Australasian Promotions Products Association) industry awards night TurnKey Promotions came first place in the ‘Self Promotion’ Award category. 

For the past three years we have been entering the awards and making finalist, but this is the first year we have taken out a first place in a category. We are ecstatic to receive this award and be recognised by the industry. This particular category had a lot of tough competition, which makes this victory even more rewarding.

THE AWARD ENTRY CRITERIA

To enter the award we were required to complete a written response of 300-600 words for each of the following questions, along with the inclusion of visual elements: 

  1. What was the company’s business goal and branding requirement to achieve KPI’s? Was it achieved and how did promo contribute to it being achieved?
  2. The concepts, design, creativity or development or selection of products to meet the brand or campaign requirement and marketing strategy relevance.
  3. How successful was the promotion or campaign? 

OUR CAMPAIGN

The campaign that we submitted was our ‘Lets Roll Into 2019’ campaign, which was rolled out from February 2019. 

The objectives of the campaign were to: 

  • Recognise our clients and their value to our business TurnKey
  • Promotions Create an opportunity to connect with our clients. 
  • Showcase a promotional product item that was new and interesting and marketable around a theme.
  • Make the meeting a planning session for the year ahead so we can put together an activity schedule and create ongoing opportunity to touch base with our clients in the lead up to their key events. 

The campaign

We went for a high quality product, ‘Let’s Roll Bundleᵀᴹ, with personalisation, i.e. client initials. The classic vintage style with modern-day features, travel accessories bundle, we believed fit the brief. The significance of our gift was to associate the positive emotions of travel with TurnKey Promotions. But more importantly the gift symbolised the start of our journey in 2019. 

THE RESULTS

We were clear about the objective of this campaign from the beginning: To increase the value of our existing clients by 20%, which we not only achieved but exceeded. Our scorecard was derived from January to May 2018 versus 2019 sales revenue. 

The results continue to surprise us 
It has helped us significantly improve how we allocate internal resources to higher dollar valued clients versus lower dollar valued clients. This is a business model evolution… something we had previously realised, however this promotion pushed us into taking action. 

Why we thought we should win

  1. We wholeheartedly believe in the power of what we do and have first handedly experienced the results through this campaign.
  2. Our clarity at the start of the campaign was fruitful in getting us to the successful result at the end. Synergistically the campaign underpinned the message of ‘planning in 2019’. 
  3. Not only did we achieve our short term goal of increasing sales revenue, but it has definitely set us up for 2019 and building on our client relationships. 
  4. Smiles and thank yous. It doesn’t feel like much, but it did take a reasonable amount of effort, particularly in respect to the personalisation and the inclusion of the activity schedule, and our clients were very appreciative. This makes working and running a business, purposeful, humbling and fun. 
  5. It’s our time to shine… for our clients! We really wanted to win this award to reinforce to our clients that they are important to us and they are partnering with a creative industry leader.
Environmental Promotional Products

Plastic Free July

Welcome to plastic free July. What does that mean exactly? If you decide to take part you join other millions of people around the globe who are agreeing to reduce their plastic waste. The movement started was started in 2017 by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (founder of the Plastic Free Foundation) and a small team in local government in Western Australia. It is now one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world.

To take the challenge

Whether you are a believer in Climate change or not, 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flowing into our oceans every year from coastal regions (published by National Geographic in May 2019) is not good in anyone’s standards. From my own personal experience, on a recent trip to Ireland I witnessed the exuberant level of pollution in their beaches and bays. Something I had never seen before. The locals told us this beautiful part of the world has become an ocean waste deposit. 

Looking at our own home front, Australia (according to War on Waste statistics), Australia is one of the most wasteful countries in the developed world. We use over 10 million plastic bags a day. 85% of soft plastic from bags and packaging ends up in landfill. 

It’s an interesting time for all of us. The choices we make in our lives, both personally and professionally. Recently Coles launched their latest ‘little shop’ campaign, ie, plastic toys … and have received backslash from the likes of change.org – who have started a petition which says – “Are you gobsmacked that Coles has brought out a new range of ‘little shop’ toys during Plastic-free July?” 

This is something I have thought a lot about in our business. The promotional product industry produces a lot of plastic products. It is changing. Can it change faster ? Of course. I think it comes down to education, product availability and business/brand positioning. In the last 10 years, sustainable / eco-friendly products have evolved from novel / niche to being in high demand. This growing movement has been driven by:  

  • Changing consumers attitudes: “25% of consumers are extremely concerned about plastic packaging, 42% think manufacturers should prioritise making packaging recyclable and 21% think the industry should work toward entirely plastic-free packaging” (Kantar).
  • Consumer purchase decisions are becoming more relationship / belief (2018 Edelman Earned Brand report) based than transactional. 
  • Educational programs and the rise of influencers: David Attenborough, “The War on Waste”, Leonardo Dicaprico Save the Whales 
  • Educational precincts – UTS is working on eliminating the most common single-use plastic items in their campus.
  • Businesses – Unilever’s ‘Sustainable Living’ brands accounted for 60% of growth in 2016 and grew 50% faster than the rest of the business. Lego has committed to building its toys entirely from plant-based or recycled materials by 2030. They are investing over $2.18 billion in this project. 
  • Availability of environmentally friendly products.

Through my research over the years of environmentally friendly products, I see the trend of reverting back to ‘the way we were’. We sold ourselves the dream of fast and convenient, only to realise that it’s not good for us or the environment. So slowly, we are changing things and going back to basics. That’s why you will see promotional products that don’t feel necessarily new… but the sourcing, the materials, the logistics … has changed. Here are a few I would like to share with you: 

WHEAT STRAW – Is the stalk left over of harvested wheat grains. Previously it was categorised as a waste product – where in some countries they would burn off the starch.  The material is now reclaimed to make wheat products. 

BAMBOO – The fastest growing plant. It can be easily substitute all known wood applications without having to cut down entire bamboo groves or plantations. It also  continuously grows after harvest without having to re-plant it. Bamboo converts about 35% more CO2 into oxygen than a regular tree.

RICE HUSK – A waste product with little value, so recycling will not reduce air pollution and the amount of plastic used! Biodegradable and reusable.

GLASS – A natural choice for a clean, pure taste and offers a safe and eco-friendly alternative.

SILICON –  Made from silica found in sand, lasts longer than plastic, both in respect to the environment and product usage. It’s high durability, makes it more ‘ocean friendly’. Silicone can take extreme variations in temperature (cold to hot) without cracking, melting or falling apart. 

Stationery Promotional Products

My Not So Hidden Secret!

My not so hidden secret is my absolute love for stationery. I used to dream of owning a filofax when I was young! 

I only recently thought about the connection with my business. A lot of the promotional products I work with clients on, are in actual fact, stationery products. My love for stationery, however did start from a very young age. (“Show you the child at 7 and I show you the adult!.”) 

If you know me well, you know how much I am in love with my TurnKey Promotion pens. Since the day these pens were delivered they have come into conversation more times than I can count! 

I know for sure I am not alone with this borderline obsession. Which got me thinking, where does this world wide fixation on stationery come from. In the times of ‘paperlessness’ (so we thought!), stationery stores are not going away. If anything, in the last 10 years we are seeing more stores pop up. 

Thanks to thepaperdashery.com they have shed some light on where the obsession with stationery comes from:  

  1. New stationery represents a fresh start 
  2. Stationery provides an alternative to digital communication 
  3. Stationery puts power and control into your hands – literally
  4. There is a belief that stationery makes us more organised and creative 
  5. Stationery provides a channel for us to express our true selves. 

Who thought a pen and notepad or diary could deliver so much! 

So it appears there are a lot of emotions and feelings, consciously or subsciously flying around in stationery stores. A place of self reflection, clearing the past and ‘potentialising’ the future. Stationery stores are limiting their marketing potential… we are no longer talking about paper and pens, we are talking about people’s lives in big ways! Kikki K (Australia born, starting in Melbourne in 2001 and now has 100 stores) has run with this notion, offering in-store self development workshops. ‘Saved by the ballpoint pen!’ 

Stationery stores have definitely upped their game, which is most certainly the reason, for those who once watched their love fade away, have since reunited. The choice of stationery products, the colours, the luxuriousness… these are no longer boring places we paced for office supplies. They have become the kind of stores that you think twice about, before entering, because you know for certain, you will spend longer than you initially plan to. An adults toy world! 

To be honest I am not sure if this is a gender specific obsession. I know a lot of women who have stationery obsession, but I don’t know of a lot of men. Enlighten me if you have some examples. 

For me personally, stationery provides a tactileness, that I increasingly crave – post the computer taking over our lives. Stationery without even realising helps me to connect and focus on what I am doing right now. You definitely don’t want your mind wondering when you write the first word, line, paragraph in your brand new diary!

I found a list (thank you Gena-mour Barrett at BuzzFeed) that has confirmed my stationery obsession is real – “Anyone who’s slightly obsessed with stationery has secretly done: 

  1. Organised your pens by colour, type of pen, etc. 
  2. Taken the line width of your ruled paper seriously. 
  3. Practised your handwriting before making that first sacred mark in a new notebook. 
  4. Lied and said you didn’t have a pen because you didn’t want someone to take it. 
  5. Been excited by the prospect of starting a new job or term at school because it means having to go stationery shopping.
  6. Refused to use a beautiful notebook for way too long because you still haven’t found a good enough reason to use it.
  7. Convinced yourself that new stationery is the key to organising your life.
  8. Winced when someone asked to borrow a piece of paper because it means ripping a page from your precious notepad.” 

Lucky for me I have turned my obsession into a business, and so researching, sourcing, reviewing, testing, selling, stationery products for my day-job is a perfect fit. 

These are some of my latest obsessions that you may also find yourself becoming obsessed with: 

 

If you need a sample, don’t hesitate. Nothing would bring me more joy! 

Tis the Season to Conference!

Each year around this time, conference season takes flight! Which means you could potentially, if you live in or are visiting Sydney, find yourself pacing the aisles of the ICC more than a couple of times.

There are some very big events in Sydney in May and June, that are not necessarily limited to your traditional conference style events. We are seeing conferences expand beyond the four walls, onto the streets. Vivid for example is not simply an outdoors light show, as a lot of us might think, but there are a long list of workshops and talks that accompany the Vivid festival.

Some of Sydney’s exciting events for your May / June calendar: Tedx Sydney, Semi Permanent, Vivid Festival, Workplace Health and Safety, Sneakercon, Happiness and Its Causes, Future Cities Summit.

Ironically, the rise of the digital world has had no impact on the numbers attending conferences / face-to-face experiences. If anything, it has had the opposite effect. We are seeing more conferences than we have ever seen before. You only have to take a look at the International ‘self development’ gurus, per se, that have been travelling to the very distant shores of Australia, to ascertain the growth in the conference industry: Tony Robbins, Brene Brown, Michael Mosley, Gary Vaynerchuk, to name a few.

The Australian conference industry, according to a 2019 IBIS Report, The Exhibition and Conference Centres, generate a revenue of $13 billion and have grown 3% year on year from 2014 to 2019.  

The numbers are all in growth, both internationally and nationally, along with the number of people attending. We are definitely seeing total ‘events’ in general, if you include: meet-ups, business industry events and self development events, explode. Everywhere you turn, there is another event on. Social media has definitely played a key role in helping the events reach a larger, broader audience.

But what is really interesting, is the access we now have to industries that we previously didn’t have – if it wasn’t for the explosion of the event conference market. TEDx is a good example of this. When you attend a TEDx, you are enlightened by a subject and/or an idea that you typically may not have had any knowledge on. A previously isolated industry or discipline that kept to themselves. And the convergence of a world stage or a stage that is open to a broad audience, can have a significant impact on people’s awareness, and as a result, what happens next – for the audience, the speaker and their industry.

People flock to people. It’s our nature. Hence the power of events and conferences versus digital. The energy is different. The impact is different. Atmosphere is the point of difference conferences have over digital media channels. Fundamentally you are bringing a group of passionate, curious, open, people in the same room. A great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues or meet new people. When you attend a great conference, you leave with new found ideas, inspiration and energy. You are excited and ready to tell the world. We have all been there… it’s a great feeling. And, the combination of the two: face-to-face experiences and digital, definitely does have an exponential effect.

Full stop… Definitely not yet!!

We haven’t spoken about promotional products and the big role they play in conferences. There is a good reason why promotional products go hand in hand with conferences. They work! The opportunity of a captive audience!

I have attended many conferences across many industries and promotional products still very much play a significant role in the experience being remembered, and the creation of lasting connections between the audience, an industry and or businesses. The products may act as a thank you, reminder, inspiration, education, support after you leave the event.

If the promotional product has strong appeal, so it’s not discarded on the way out (which a lot of brochures are), it becomes something that is held onto for a good period of time, outside of its intended usage, it also acts as a symbol of the energy and ideas from the conference. If the brand and message has strong association with the product, the conference theme and the audience, then the investment into having a tangible brand presence is worth it.

There is a reason why Australia Marketers spend more than $1.34 billion per year on promotional products:

  • 54% say their impression of a company is more positive after receiving a promotional product.
  • 76% recall the name advertised on the product.
  • 55% keep the item for more than one year.
  • Nearly 50% of recipients use them daily.
  • 52% are more likely to do business with a company after receiving a promotional product.

Like any marketing investment, you want cut-through, impact, relevance and longevity. So when the time is ready for your customer to seek the services or products that you offer, your organisation is top of mind.

Are you planning a conference or event? Have you thought about not only making your conference great on the day, but how you can keep the energy and momentum going after the day is over?

I work with clients to create promotional products that have impact and create lasting connections with their customers. Products that turn customers to you.

Here are some popular conference product ideas. It’s important to customise any idea to your brand and always keep in mind customer appeal, use-ability and longevity.

How can your promotional product create a conversation?

Final words….

To ensure your branded merchandise is kept and used well into the future – quality is (Turn)Key!

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