To obtain maximum revenue from event is one of the main objectives of event organizers. The engagement of attendees in annual B2B events, B2C events, fundraisers, promotional events, community organized events and others should be in balance with budget. While, event merchandising is common for enhancing brand engagement and promotion, it can prove to be a liability on the final balance for smaller events and inexperienced teams.
As a planner, you carefully choose the tools required for your events. Take corporate event planning software as an example that has definitely a positive impact on your event. So the question arises how to make your event merchandise such that it increases your total revenue instead of losing you money.
Know your Audience
While designing event merchandise, consider the preferences and reasons of the audience for attending your event. The purpose and goal of your event should align with merchandise so take time to think about your target audience and enhance your strategy accordingly. The options should also depict the type and tone of your event whether it is a professional business event, a fundraiser or a street festival.
Design of Event Merchandise
A lot of organizations want to work with old designs that boosted their sales but even if you are working with a recognizable brand, try updating the design. The identity of brand and message are still priorities but offering something new can enhance sales.
Freedom of Choice
Attendees of your event prefer a level of customization and flexibility in event merchandise. If you are offering t-shirts then try making 2-3 different designs to match everyone’s choice, and if possible provide 2-3 colour options too. You can focus on the specific theme of the event, mission and goal of event, your brand and current trends. Also, offer a minimal design and a complex design to suit your attendee’s needs.
Promote Merchandise by Offering Discounts
Everyone loves having a discounted deal and bundle. A reliable strategy would be to offer discounted or some free merchandise to attendees who are early registrants. Or you can plan some creative activities and the reward would be discounted deals. This would directly boost sales by enhancing visibility and engagement. You can do this by sharing different deals via your event planning software.
When you offer designs that fit with your event as well as audience and add promotional deals, you are streamlining the purchase decision of your guests.
Over branding – Under branding
Careful thought should be given to avoid over branding and under branding of your event merchandise. Branded elements are an important tool in creating merchandise and adding long term value but heavy branding can prove to be a negative point for many participants. Try offering minimalist design with your logo to attract more customers. It would generate more sales while adding promotional value so there is a final balance maintained between over and under branding.
Get Community Involved by User Created Content
User Created Content or User Generated Content has become an important event promotional tool, participants of event contribute by sharing images, videos or other content which in turn increases engagement and boosts marketing. You can employ two strategies for effective marketing, by asking design submissions before your event then choosing a winner by voting of other participants and printing that design for sale or by asking attendees to share their photos wearing your branded merchandise with event hashtag.
When you allow your attendees a sense of control, it makes your merchandise more appealing and attractive leading to increased sales.
Make Purchase Easy for Attendees
While offering branded event merchandise, do not forget the fact that they are impulse purchases. The decision to buy your merchandise should not be difficult for the participants so do not force them to think about prices, quality and designs. High price, poor presentation and dull design are hurdles and make the decision making process slow that in turn would decrease their motivation and your sales.
You are an event organizer so you plan everything ahead of the event to calculate the benefits and demerits of any decision. Each decision you take can affect the overall experience of your attendee for instance corporate meeting management programs and software can shape the entire event experience. Event merchandising can be a great tool in enhancing the engagement of participants if done properly.