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Product Placement Makes Events Memorable

The CEO had just breezed through the office for his monthly back-office visit. Stopping briefly at Charli's desk, he seemed to be mesmerized by the pumpkin shaped stress ball that had been sitting on Charli's printer since she came back from the team-building seminar. The discussion soon turned to one about the value of team-building and how the CEO had been considering something similar for the senior managers. “So, what was the name of the provider for your team building, Charli?” the CEO asked. “Umm, I think it's printed on the stress ball” observed a relieved Charli. Who can really predict the power of product placement? If human nature follows its course, delegates on a workshop or seminar will return to their desk, file the event paperwork under “N” for “Never read again” and carry on with their normal lives.

However, give them a gizmo, wotsit or doodah that has your logo branded on it and has some marginal functionality, they may well end up putting it on their desk or, if it's clothing, wearing it. This form of advertising is not just the domain of Coca Cola and Nike, it can be applied to any brand. The range of products to brand with your logo is enormous and includes everything from the ubiquitous coffee mugs, pens, mouse mats and memo holders to more expensive conference folders, USB flash memory keyrings, umbrellas and golfing jackets. Prices range from a few cents to $20 or $30 per item plus a setup cost which can be from $30 to $100 depending on the sophistication of the branding, so most budgets can handle some sort of promotional gift. Allow a month or more to have your gifts branded.

Some simpler items with single color branding can be turned round inside a week; however it is always better to have time to check the quality. Designing conversation pieces Seminars, workshops and roadshows are prime candidates for cross-marketing your entire range of products and services. Where they are being used for in-company training, workshops can act as a vehicle for communicating company policy on a wide range of issues. When your delegates arrive, when they break for coffee or break for lunch, there will always be some who may find small-talk and conversation difficult. Providing them with a combination of information leaflets, exhibition boards and perhaps an endless loop presentation on a small screen monitor may not only keep them occupied. This background activity could lead to additional sales, better communication and also act as a stimulus for conversation. Although Charli had not consciously absorbed all of the information presented as a side-show at the seminar she attended, she was amazed just how much she had taken in at the subliminal level. For example, she was able to recall that there had been some mention of custom-designed seminars for senior teams and that the training company specialized in outdoor challenges for not-so-fit executives; managing to mention this without glancing at the CEO's rather generous waistline.


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