5 Pointers for Premium Item Purchases
Ordering branded ‘swag’ or premium items should be one of the simplest things on a planner’s to-do list but often the premium picking, purchasing and production process is not without a few headaches. Over the years I’ve ordered plenty of premiums (some better than others). Along the way, I’ve learned a few things about what to look for and what to avoid. So, in order to get the premium of your dreams or something close to it, keep these five tips in mind:
First up, strap length counts, so quiz your vendor for exact measurements. An 18-inch strap is fine for hold-in-your-hand shopping bag style totes, but too short to comfortably hang off the shoulder. If the goal is to have your guests wear the bag rather than carry it, then the straps need to be at least 24 inches long.
Baseball caps come with one major pitfall: the too-short crown, a fit problem that’s almost impossible to identify from a photo. Insist on getting a physical sample in hand before you commit. Better yet, try a several different styles on a few larger-headed colleagues to help determine the fit before ordering. Guests can always adjust a too-large cap, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
Everyone loves a nice umbrella, but branded ones often have two shortcomings: 1) the ‘canopy’ isn’t wide enough, so your hair remains dry and the rest of you gets soaked and 2) the exceptionally short, difficult-to-manage handle. Always insist on a sample to ensure the umbrella opens up to a respectable, human-sized width and that the center pole and handle is comfortable to hold.
Most people have plenty of pens and may not be clamoring for another one, so how to make yours a bit more special? Start by ditching the cheap-looking plastic versions. Instead, make yours in a shiny metal or brushed steel and add a tablet and phone-friendly stylus on top to encourage use long after the conference ends.
Does anyone really need another one? I vote no, but if your boss or client feels that a branded water bottle must be on the agenda, then consider glass or stainless steel versions, which are kinder to the earth than traditional plastic bottles.
Small quantities of chips, mints, chocolates or logo-imprinted cookies in reusable branded tins are the kinds of little indulgences that many guests will enjoy more than the same old premium item. With edible gifts however, check with the vendor about the source of manufacture, and what allergy warnings may need to be included on the packaging.
Finally, when selecting premiums, remember to put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and think about how they’ll be transporting the gifts home. If an item is too big, bulky, heavy or just plain useless, don’t be surprised if the item gets left behind.
What premium items that you’ve distributed have gotten the most positive response?
Photo credits: Shutterstock.com