South by Southwest, or SXSW, is fast approaching and if you are familiar with this particular event, then you are familiar with the term swag. The film, music and interactive festival is one of the largest conventions in the country, taking place every year during mid-March in Austin, Texas and one of the things that it is most famous for is promotional giveaways. Indeed, this is quite possibly a sample shopper’s heaven on earth and one has to wonder just how many millions are spent on all of the T-shirts, tech devices, personal accessories, food, alcoholic beverages and even vacations that are given away during the festival every year. We are willing to guess the answer is several!
The cost for all of the promos handed out at SXSW is nothing compared to the extremely valuable takeaway for businesses who attend this convention and shower their audiences with trinkets and big ticket gifts, however. It has nothing to do with simply seeing prospective customers walk away happy – though that is a perk – and it certainly has nothing to do with an underground conspiracy to sabotage the traffic flow at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport every year. The truth is that there is something of great value to be gained in the process of making it rain swag onto the showroom floor.
Here at Promotions Now we know exactly why companies and vendors show up to SXSW fully stocked with branded giveaways for festival attendees and we also know about the extremely clever marketing strategy that is involved. We’d like to share that with you here.
If you walk the showroom floor on any day during SXSW, you will most certainly walk out again with bags of branded goodies for you to take home, but chances are you had to give in order to receive. We are willing to bet that in order to score more than half of the best stuff in your tradeshow bag you needed to download an app, sign up for a newsletter, like a Facebook page or two or even hand over your email and mailing information. This is the secret to clever marketing with promotional giveaways and what every business can learn from the companies who promote themselves at SXSW.
Show attendees love free stuff but what some businesses forget to take advantage of is the fact that they love it enough to make an exchange in order to get it. This is where your custom printed promotional giveaways become so much more than just a free gift with your logo. In point of fact, they become the conduit by which you will make a meaningful exchange with booth visitors as well as the bargaining chip for their participation in becoming a new contact, a new client or a new member of your growing audience.
This is why it’s important to put thoughtful consideration into the types of promotional products you bring with you to any tradeshow, because they are actually much more valuable to your business than they are to the happy show attendees who get to take them home. The exhibitors at SXSW, from the ones handing out custom pens to the ones giving away all-inclusive vacations, know this fact – and now you do too.