Over the years at SwervePoint we’ve made the acquaintance of many meeting and event planners, and one thing we’ve noticed as a common thread through the fabric of a planner, is their competitive spirit to always raise the bar on guest engagement. For that reason, we’ve made it our goal to raise the bar on providing trend driven brands and unique products that help you go beyond your guest’s expectations.

Whether you’re planning an incentive trip, a destination meeting, or organizing a trade show, the following merchandise tactics can help you surprise & delight, increase word of mouth, and connect your brand with people where work and life happen.

Pre-trip Mailers

“First impressions are everything”- we’ve all heard that quote a thousand times. Some may even call it cliché, but the fact is, it’s true… especially when you’re in the business of making impressions. So, if you’re looking for a way to make a worthy first impression and create excitement for your upcoming event, then pre-trip mailers can be a useful addition to your planning.

Giving a physical gift before an event gives your guests a little taste of what’s to come and by creating this type of excitement, you are reinforcing your appreciation. Your guests are now far more likely to have positive feelings about your company and themselves before the trip has even started.

Merchandiser Suggestion: For your next incentive trip, try substituting a traditional invite for a kit full of items that pertain to the location or activities of the trip. Create even more excitement by having the guests guess what the trip is and reveal it later on.

Destination Essentials

For a lot of people, packing a travel bag and choosing the right items can be difficult. Some of us may even find ourselves looking back on our choices with thoughts that are somewhere between, “I forgot to grab that!” and, “why is this in here?”  As a planner, a good way to subdue some of this angst for your guests is to provide destination essentials that will come in handy and serve as an unexpected but delighted surprise.

A tactic that we often see yielding great success is the room drop gift, because let’s face it—who doesn’t like receiving gifts? And who doesn’t like receiving gifts when they’re sitting on your bed after a long day of schlepping through the airport and sharing personal space with complete strangers? We know we do. Room drop gifts surprise your guests by hitting them with the message at the moment they walk into their room. The key to making the gift successful is to make it relevant and to make it useful. By doing so you are earning your guest’s appreciation and laying the foundation for a positive experience.

Merchandiser Suggestion: If you’re planning a special activity for your guests during the trip (i.e. a waterfall tour in Hawaii), have useful items (i.e. camera, towel, map, and water bottle) and the tickets waiting on their bed or with the front desk when they arrive.

The Post-Event Thank You

So the event has concluded and it’s business as usual, right? Well maybe for your guests, but not necessarily for you.

Depending on the event you may find it suitable to drive home your message of appreciation one last time. By doing so, you are ensuring that you are staying top of mind with your guests even after they’ve settled back into their daily life. You may feel inclined to write a thank you letter for this purpose but instead, try pairing it with a lasting item that’ll serve as a commemoration of the event.

Merchandiser Suggestion: After the trip, send them an item that they’ll want to keep around. Maybe it’s something like a high quality photo of the destination framed with a plaque that states their name and achievement. The employee can hang this in their house or office and be reminded of your relationship every time they look at it. 

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