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Lead magnets

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James Morgan suggests e-swag solutions for virtual events.

With many organisers creating or thinking about creating virtual and hybrid experiences, the question of event merchandise and lead generation may be weighing on their minds.

How can they add value to the visitor proposition and increase lead capture for their exhibitors and sponsors if those attendees are logging on rather than showing up?

To this end, I thought I’d share a few suggestions on electronic ‘swag bag’ providers, which might be useful as they provide a magnet for generating sales leads.

For those not in the know, e-swag bags are the online version of the classic goody bags that exhibitors and sponsors fill with their branded merchandise, discount vouchers and other marketing collateral and content.

The advantage of using e-swag bags – native or web based apps – for organisers and exhibitors is that valuable data can be collected and can be used to more finely segment visitor characteristics.

US-based Balou offers a mobile first marketing tool that allows exhibitors to display, on an app downloaded by attendees – which can also be integrated into an existing event app – with all the physical and electronic giveaways at a show.

The offers range from branded giveaways, samples, and exhibitor special offers, to much larger prizes. The platform increases foot traffic as visitors must visit a stand – virtual or physical – to collect the swag.

All the visitor actions, which are recorded by the app are stored in a data rich real-time and post-show dashboard. There is no cost for organisers. Implementing a value-add like this by organisers wanting to enhance the visitor experience is a no brainer.

Balou only charges a small fee to exhibitors for this tool and offers a revenue share opportunity to organisers if they help promote the solution to both visitors and exhibitors. When organisers are wanting to add extra attractors to their shows, this app is ideal.

Similarly, Germanbased Fanomena offers a communication channel to attract more exhibitors.

For exhibitors, they receive direct access to specific target groups attending a show. The platform also allows exhibitors to increase the iron-site traffic with engaging advertising possibilities, which include information downloads, discounts and product offers alongside brand content such as brochures, images and white papers.

When exhibitors sign-up to distribute their content through the platform, organisers generate a new revenue stream. Visitors receive the information they want in a paperless format and can take up the discounts and offers from those exhibitors using the platform.

There is a comprehensive dashboard that allows data analysis in real-time and post-show.

My final choices for swag focused lead magnets are US-based Virtual Event Bags and Israeli-based Everthere. Both platforms follow a similar set-up and user processes as Balou and Fanomena.

The organiser process for offering visitors swag and exhibitors’ leads is based on a self-service approach. The organiser invites exhibitors and sponsors to set up their own image-rich content pages. As with the others, these can be shared pre, during and post-show. Sharing via email or social media channels gives all the platforms maximum reach if used to their full potential.

And importantly, all the platforms provide valuable data for the organisers and exhibitors, whilst enhancing the visitor experience online and off-line.

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