It's no secret that that we're all adapting to new circumstances affecting our daily lives, including the way we do business. Whether it's conferences exploring virtual options or employers working with a newly remote workforce, fresh opportunities for promotional products are being created every day.
We asked David Grobisen, a promo industry veteran and PCNA VP Of Sales, to share some tips about where distributors can find success in this changing landscape.
Q: People around the world are rethinking large gatherings. Many conferences and events are considering going "virtual" through videoconferencing. Since conferences and tradeshows are historically big sales drivers for promotional products, what are some of the new opportunities in promo as people convene online rather than in person?
DG: First, event organizers will need to maintain their connection with attendees and exhibitors, even if they aren't meeting together. Delivering a special "swag bag" to participants ahead of an event is a great way to connect and maintain loyalty.
JournalBooks has a great option for a virtual conference experience. They can build a book that captures the content of the conference, allows audience members to follow along with the webinar and retain their notes as a keepsake for future reference.
Their SmartPicx book solution allows you to include full-color, digital images with unique watermark icons that can be scanned by any smartphone for instant access to specific web pages you've chosen to link. And of course, you can't use the journal without a pen! JournalBooks can insert one at no charge.
Q: The number of employees working from home has sharply increased. Can you talk about how this shift will influence the types of promotional products that are in demand?
DG: Companies have a great opportunity to support their employees and build the company brand with a workforce that has suddenly shifted to a work-from-home solution out of concern for employee safety.
Distributors can promote great new solutions for their clients. To start, employers will be creating gift packages for their new remote workforce. These will include home office accessories like charging cables, Bluetooth® headphones and wireless charging pads, as well as versatile branded apparel like half-zips, knit jackets and polos.
Q: How can employers use promotional products to build loyalty and create excitement among a newly scattered workforce?
DG: Communication will be critical. As I mentioned, employers can ease tensions and create excitement by sending products to employees who are now working from home.
End users will look to update their clients and customers about the steps they are taking, the change in their workforces and how that will affect the client experience. Sharing their new approach while sending along a promo product helps demonstrate empathy and acknowledge the common situation we're all experiencing.
Q: Are there any other upcoming product trends that should be on distributors' radar? Anything related to "social distancing"?
DG: The new normal will be a heightened concern for cleanliness. As we've all seen, this means an increase in hand sanitizers, especially those attached to carabiners for easy access while on the go. Also look for an increase in employees bringing meals from home. I expect a surge in cooler sales and any food container systems that protect food from exposure.
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