5 Pointers for Premium Item Purchases

premiumpurchasesOrdering 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:

Tote Bags
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
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.

Logo Pens
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.

Water Bottles
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.

Branded Snacks
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


Kate Doyle Hooper

Kate Doyle Hooper

Since establishing her own company over a decade ago, Kate has produced just about every kind of event imaginable, from executive meetings and conferences to live music performances, mobile tours, fashion shows, celebrity gifting suites, and retail events for companies such as American Media, Bloomingdale’s, Conde Nast, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Hearst, Macy’s, Perry Ellis, Time Inc., Wilhelmina Models and Rodale, to name a few. Kate's editorial and advertising work has been published in Budget Living, ELLE, Fit, Civilization, Conde Nast Traveler, Esquire, Essence, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Men's Fitness, Men's Health and Shape, as well as on blog.cvent.com and weekendwalk.com.

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