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.
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?
To ensure your branded merchandise is kept and used well into the future – quality is (Turn)Key!
According to the fashion industry, 80’s neon / fluorescent trend that made a comeback in recent times, is here to stay. Early this year, International spring and summer collections are embracing the bright hues from head to toe. Neon / fluoro is about grabbing attention. They reflect light and have higher visibility.
The first record of fluorescence was in the 1500s from a mixing of the wood of two tree species, where the combination of chemicals in the trees and oxidation created a fluorescent colour. Who would have thought that colours that are not very ‘natural’ were originally derived from our natural environment!
Now step into a safety environment, where fashion trends couldn’t be further from the priority list. A category that has been leading the fluoro charge since it first came about … not for the reason of self expression, but for the sole purpose of safety, injury prevention and protection.
When it comes to safety in any organisation, we can approach it as a checkbox and a numbers game, as per the sign below. They are usually found in locations with a lot of passing traffic and act as a good reminder to everyone who enters the work site that the responsibility for safety lies with both with the individual and the organisation.
Signage is the bare minimum amount of activity in the safety prevention area that we see. Particularly in Australia … we have high safety standards, which only continue to increase and for good reason. Safety, fortunately, has become a very central aspect of how we operate – and though previously may have been considered a last minute thought or interruption to the flow of work is becoming very integrated in our daily behaviours.
The safety products available for safety prevention as a result continue to grow. Yes it does help that there is more thought put into the design and functionality of the products than there ever was.
By adding a company logo or custom safety message that aligns with both the product and the environment it is being used in shows that your organisation values the wellbeing of staff and visitors alike.
Who thought talking safety prevention could not only be beneficial for the workplace but also provide an opportunity to capture the spirit of an organisation – that safety is important to them and that they completely integrate and own it.
We are seeing multi-purpose functionality. Not just acting as a means of drawing attention but also providing mobile storage. This backpack is a good example of this. It has an adjustable helmet pouch, side mounted radio pocket, padded harness with utility belt & strap … one of many multi-purpose high visibility packs and bags available.
Safety clothing is also experiencing a revolution. The range of styles and colours have increased significantly. From your standard safety vest to overalls, stretch pants, fleece jumpers to bomber jackets. There is no excuse for anyone to not be able to find safety attire that is suitable for them … range is enormous.
Silicone earplug key chains makes ear protection easily attainable. Great for work loud environments, but also for loud entertainment areas and plane travel. Helps with both hearing loss and industrial deafness prevention and hearing sensitivity management.
Illuminate flashing armband, with adjustable straps. The panel lights up with the touch of a button and emits a bright red glow for added visibility and has 80 hours of battery life. If you are thinking outside the working environment, this is also a great product for cyclists and walkers… anyone who is active when there is poor lighting and visibility.
Anti-Impact Grip Glove made with Nitrile foam coating which provides excellent grip both in wet and dry conditions. With gloves like these you can ensure your hands are protected.
Safety clothing, equipment and accessories do a good job to not only remind others but remind ourselves of the potential risks in our surrounding environments and how we can both avoid them to protect ourselves and at the same time attend to the task that requires our attention. The Top 10 injuries in the workplace in Australia identified by Safe Work Australia are:
Sprains and strains of joints and muscles make the vast majority of workplace – 41.8%
Bone fractures and crushing – 8.5%
Open wound injuries excluding amputation – 7.7%
Contusion is the medical term for bruises, and skin injuries that don’t involve open wounding – 6.4%
Disorders involving muscles, tendons and soft tissue – 6.3%
Dorsopathies, or spinal injuries – 6%
Industrial deafness from excessively loud equipment – 3.6%
Hernias – 2.2%
Joint dislocation – 1.5%
Burns – 1.4%
Each workplace has safety risks that are applicable to their environment, industry and organisational structure. As an exercise it would be worth identifying the top ten safety risks in your workplace and the products that could be put in place to prevent and protect.
8th March marks International Women’s Day, so we thought it timely to share our favourite promotional products for the ladies.
The word busy gets thrown around a lot, but women do tend to
have a big daily to do list, so promotional products that can help with being
organised and save time are perfect.
You can’t go past a nice looking good quality tote bag. Printed with a motivation quote along with your company logo and it’s sure to be used for years to come. Some of our favourites are the heavy weight canvas tote or denim styles that can be used in a work setting or casual. Plus it’s environmentally friendly to have a reusable bag.
A notebook for jotting down the daily to do list is a must, however, if lost can be devastating. That’s why the O2O notebook is perfect, your daily written notes can be saved in the cloud for easy access from anywhere – taking the offline to online with ease.
Having branded travel mug is not only good for the environment, it’s also essential and the one’s from Frank Green are even better with the ability to personalise with initials and tap & go payment facilities, ensuring the Barista made cuppa is received quickly so you can be on your way.
The perfect companion to have with you when out and about so you’re prepared for a change in weather.
All the women I know (myself included) always like to look our best when going out or into a meeting, having a pocket mirror on hand for a quick check ensuring all is as it should be helps to be prepared.
There’s nothing better at the end of the day with your favourite scent in the air, to help wind down and relax.
Stemless Wine Glass
Teamed up with your favourite adult beverage, nothing is better than branded stemless wine glasses to finish of a perfect day.
Whilst you were summering it up in Australia during January, I was trumping it up in America!
This was travel for both work and play!
The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo was the main purpose for the trip – the biggest industry expo in America. We are talking 11,000 distributors representing 4,000 companies and 30 countries, attended by over 20,000+ people. The Everest of Expos, both in respect to the variety of products, the exhibition space … and trying to get through it in three days. Then throw in the Las Vegas location – the epicentre of ‘can you make it bigger and better’!
With something as big as this, you have to plan and be selective from the start, or you could find yourself lost in the noise, hype and excitement.
The opportunity to attend this Expo in Vegas was a milestone for not only my business, but also for me personally …. as I extended the time to experience America is a completely different way.
We, my husband and I, experienced Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco and then drove to Las Vegas via California Highway 1 for a stay in San Simeon, home to the amazing Hearst Castle. We miraculously stumbled across over 3,000 elephant seals that come to the coastline every year to give birth and mate….But that is for another time and something I would be happy to share if you are thinking about travelling to America.
So, back to the show.
We had a plan and it worked very well.
The first two to three days were purely education in sales and marketing, specific to the promotional products industry. I attended a lot different educational sessions. I think it was 16 in total. Customer Service online and offline, continues to be top of mind. There was also a lot of education around high performance selling, unifying sales teams and the latest trends and topics related to social media, metrics, branding and positioning. A great opportunity to immerse myself in how the world is seeing business and integrating promotional products to further extend and leverage marketing communication and programs.
For the following three days I walked the Trade Show floor on the lookout for new products or a new and fresh approach to existing lines and found the segments with a lot of momentum are:
1. ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCTS are big and only getting bigger. Which is great to see. Recycled straws, recycled materials, less materials, reusable straws, bags, containers for food and drinks.
2. BLING AND MORE BLING! What I mean is bling decoration on anything and everything – bags, drink bottles, in cars, books, clothing, phones. I don’t think this is going anywhere soon. The asian influence in our markets continues to grow, and anything bling acts as a means of creating your own signature add on. Click on the image below to view the Sequin Artwork.
3. SOCKS has turned into a means of self expression. We are seeing a lot of branded socks out there. If designed with the customer and positioning in mind – this is very effective.
4. DENIM. The days of denim are definitely not behind us. There is a lot of denim still to be lived. It’s exciting to see the different ways in which this material is being integrated with other materials – and bringing new life to products we haven’t seen before.
5. THE EXPO LIVE ‘GET IN TOUCH’ interactive stage was also a good bit of fun. There is where live product demonstrations and interviews with industry leaders were streamed. A non-guilt rest break!
Also throw in the very talented, knowledgeable and ENGAGING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:
David Goggins, the closing speaker, was a stand out for me. He spoke on the topic “Stop Talking Yourself Out of Being Great”. An inspiring talk about personal accountability and building momentum. He spoke about in the early challenges in his life, becoming a Navy SEAL in most elite unit in the American military, and the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training. He also was in the U.S. Army Ranger School, where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man, and Air Force tactical air controller training. A few years later he became one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world.
Scott Stratten was also another great speaker . Who was named a top five social media power influencer by Forbes. He has completely changed how corporations do business. During his presentation, he shared his ‘radical’ insights on how to engage better with customers through social and viral marketing and blended real-world strategies with memorable stories to rethink the way we market and sell.
Connie Podesta … well I have not laughed so much at this stand out presentation on sales as I’ve never heard it being presented before. As an award-winning author, Podesta is an expert on the psychology of sales, leadership, change, life balance and getting your act together, which helped to inspire industry professionals to do what it takes to increase sales, attract and retain more customers, build longer-lasting relationships, strengthen leadership skills and become more profitable, happier and successful.
So back to our plan for the show. It worked well. Or we thought it was working well. Until….we heard about the ‘Pop Up Puppy Stand’. (Which was amongst foodie pop-ups chocolate-dipped bacon, meatballs and rolled ice cream and caricature artists and an illusionists). In a flash we made a run to cuddle the most beautiful puppies.
This is genius marketing distraction and also drove traffic to less populated areas of the venue … and the perfect reminder that we are fundamentally, as humans, emotionally driven. Which brings me back to why promotional products continue to work.
Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO said. “Promotional products are the only medium that allow us to connect with consumers on a tangible level”.
The benefit of tangible connections, is increasing emotion, trust and engagement – which are the foundation for establishing sustainable business and brands.
If you would like more information about the show and the latest promotional products please get in touch – email@example.com
It’s natural to feel a little uneasy about the safety of your private information these days. Between Cambridge Analytica and 2017 being among the worst years in history for mass data breaches, the insecurities of the digital age are becoming vividly apparent. The walls around your digital footprint may seem paper thin, but there is something you can do to put something a bit more solid between you and those out for your data.
You may feel a fair amount of anxiety when using the internet; browsing social media and making purchases through online stores involves putting a lot of personal and financial information out there. This, however, is only one avenue that thieves use to get at your personal data. Not only in cyberspace but also here, in the physical world, thieves can use discreet and relatively simple technologies to make off with everything, from cars to credit card numbers, without the owner even knowing.
The way it works is that the thief utilises radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC). It sounds like complex jargon, but these features are present in pretty much everything you’ll be carrying around on a daily basis. Almost every modern smart phone features NFC, you’ll probably recognise the pointed ‘N’ logo from your handset’s pulldown menu, and RFID chips are featured in everything from contactless paywave cards to household pets and passports.
As this video shows, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZp24Twkykw, the process by which thieves can go about getting data is incredibly simple. Scooping up a plethora of card numbers and account numbers in an hour or so just by walking about an average urban neighbourhood.
It’s frightening yes, but the solution to this problem is also devilishly simple. By investing in an affordable travel sleeve for your passport or credit card, you can turn the tables on would-be thieves and hackers. For the frequent flyer and avid traveller, a passport is their life. So why risk it? And there’s no need to speak to the universal importance of keeping your hard earned cash secure. These products are cheap to produce, fairly quick to turnaround and can be customised to feature almost any colour, design or insignia. Subtle, smart and safe. A low-key investment that will not only save any savvy buyer a wealth of time and money, but give them a priceless peace of mind.
When brainstorming the Next Big Thing, some new product or idea that will change everything and add a few extra zeros to your bank balance, you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. In fact sometimes the smallest changes to existing formulas can be the most important and profitable.
People tend to stray away from the small and mundane because it’s less glamorous. Chasing our big ideas is chasing our dreams. We want to shoot for the moon, not the next town over. Apollo 11 was number eleven for a reason though. If you have a big idea, work backwards from it. Innovation can be incremental. You have to build up, and you may well find something simpler and in fact, more valuable, along the way.
If you look at all the biggest products and services of the last few decades or so, many of them have been deliciously simple. A simple twist on a core idea, or perhaps just the streamlining of an existing one. Uber, and all its many diminutives, brought peer-to-peer services to transportation and completely revolutionised the taxi and food delivery markets in the process. ‘McDonalds doesn’t deliver? No problem, we’ll bring the delivery to them and then to you.’ It was an extension, an addition to a tried and tested industry that changed everything.
Some of the twentieth century’s most prominent entrepreneurs and ideas people made their name with relatively simple ideas. Elon Musk may be known now for outlandish ideas about space travel and colonisation of Mars, but his most profitable venture to date is also one of his first – PayPal – which as an idea is as simple as they come, a streamlined means to make online payments with just an email address and a password. Whilst Tesla and SpaceX hemorrhage money on a yearly basis, kept afloat by promise alone, PayPal endures and profits two decades after its inception.
It goes beyond big business. In some of the world’s poorest and resource-restricted countries and environments, small changes have made an enormous difference. The ‘Penguin’, a simple plastic suction bottle, is used in the third-world to remove airway obstructions with ease, reducing child mortality rates. In India, health organisations had difficulty getting parents to vaccinate their children. The solution? Give away a bag of lentils with each vaccination. Immunisation rates soared. By examining the problem, aid organisations found a basic, common incentive that made a measurable and significant difference. This same logic can be applied anywhere. Instead of focusing on creating a market or need, look at what already exists and isn’t being catered to, or isn’t being catered to well. Improvement and incrementation.
Thinking big is good; the heart of innovation is daring to dream. It doesn’t mean, however, that you should be missing the forest for the trees. Getting caught up in either the minute or grand can leave you blind to the simple and sublime.
This is to help you with your event planning for the year, whether it’s within your business or with your customers. Go low key or go all out. If you need any ideas around for promotional products, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Australia Day: 26th January
Back to school: 30th January
Valentine’s Day: 14th February
Chinese New Year: 16th February
Australian Women’s History month: 1-31st March
Worldwide Wildlife Day: 3rd March
Start of Rugby season 8th March
International Women’s Day: 8th March
St Patrick’s Day: 17th March
Australasian Promotional Products Association Tradeshow: 21st March
Earth Hour 8:30pm: 24th March
Easter: 30th March – 2nd April
Harmony Day: 21st March
National Youth Week: 31st March-9th April
Administrative Professionals Day – 4th May
Mother’s Day:13th May
Word Refugee Day: 20th June
End of Financial Year: 30th June
International Youth Day 12th August
World Humanitarian Day: 19th August
Australasian Promotional Products Association Tradeshow: 22nd August
If you go to any office with a cake you are instantly the most loved person in the room. Particularly around 10.30am or 3.30pm. When people typically are thinking about food. It’s not time for lunch yet, but they want a distraction of some sort, and they are feeling food could help on both a physical and emotional level. Unfortunately driving around delivering cakes is not something we can do every day.
A hamper could be the way to go. Yes, there are a lot of daggy hampers out there, but there is also plenty of beautiful gourmet Hampers to choose from. Recently we produced a box of Truffles for a client. And for Christmas, you cannot go past a beautifully wrapped Christmas Pudding.
Whichever way you go, just give some thought to your customers and your business – finding that sweet spot between giving them something they want and something that reflects the type of business you are.
When you receive a gift that looks like it has been well thought-through, it’s a good moment for the receiver. You are impressed with the effort someone has gone to. Or the fact that someone knows you well enough to give you a gift that really resonates. A gift that you love so much you can’t stop talking about it.
That’s the receiving bit. Not that this is the intention of giving, but the effect of how a client will feel about you and/or your brand going forward.
So instead of giving for the sake of giving, give to create a moment or even better, many moments. That’s why well thought through branded promotional items that you gift to your customers and clients can really have an ongoing impact, and not become a one hit wonder… off their desk into the secret santa basket!
8 Step Process of Creating a Promotional Gift Experience
Who is the gift for? What type of person are they? What kinds of things currently resonate with them?
Think about your business / brand – Who are you? What’s essence of your brand and your brand values? Is there something that you are feeling increasingly passionate about?
Brainstorm with your Promotional Specialist to discuss the tried and tested and the latest and greatest, along with any other ideas you have.
A good promotional idea connects customer, business/brand, and the message – in a memorable way.
Strategic Design – Think beyond placing a logo on the promotional item. How can you create more for the customer through this experience?
Quality Check – Great design, poor quality promotional item – is not a good look. You want something to last more than 5 minutes. The ideal scenario is for the customer to integrate the promotional item into what they do. So they keep using, keep being reminded of you.
The packaging – Create the experience right through to the end. You want your customer/client to be excited about opening your gift. Anticipation is a beautiful thing. So don’t miss this opportunity.
If it’s a good gift, people will tell you and continue to talk about it. I have lost count of how many people speak to me about my Promotional Pens.
If you are looking for Christmas Gifts for your Customers/Clients I encourage you to start to finalise your plans to avoid missing your required dates.
We are pleased to be awarded Finalist in the 2017 APPA Awards for Promotional Excellence. We attribute this award to our partners at StreetWork, for the opportunity to work with them in maximising the effectiveness of promotional products to help achieve their business and brand objectives.
The key to the campaign’s success was working with StreetWork with a long term vision, versus a short term project approach. This proved both beneficial for the results they achieved and for our ability to source and align products to meet their objectives.
StreetWork is a boutique charity that aims to help teens troubled by destructive influences and behaviour to turn their lives around through one-on-one mentoring. To read more about the fantastic work StreetWork does, visit their web-site http://www.streetwork.org.au/