PPAI Magazine May 2024

Must Read | From Booths To Boardrooms Promo products can leave a lasting impression on convention and conference attendees. By Audrey Sellers PEOPLE FLOCK TO CONFERENCES and conventions for all kinds of reasons, from learning new things to exchanging ideas to mingling with industry pros. When you’ve been to an event like The PPAI Expo or the Women’s Leadership Conference, you know there’s magic in being surrounded by like-minded people. It’s the energy and in-person experiences that draw many professionals away from their desks and into convention halls and meeting rooms. In the United States, about 40 million people attend business events every year, with most (76%) going for the networking opportunities. That’s not the only big draw, though. Nearly 70% of attendees consider in-person B2B conferences a prime opportunity to learn about new products. Event planners are feeling optimistic, with 44% saying they’ll increase their event budget this year, and nearly 60% saying they’ll increase their budgets by more than 10%. The U.S. corporate event market as a whole, which includes conferences and conventions, is projected to top $510 billion by 2030. Whether companies organize events to refine sales strategies, celebrate success, shape industry standards or achieve some other goal, promo helps elevate the entire experience – before, during and after the conference or convention. Desk drops with various promo products can help get employees excited for upcoming conferences and conventions. When they arrive on site, customized snacks and treats can welcome attendees to a conference venue and engage multiple senses. At seminars, branded items like notebooks and pens are immediately useful, and after the event, merch like mugs and apparel will remind attendees of their experience and help create a community around an event. More and more event teams are looking to transform a conference from a day- or weeklong engagement to an allyear community. Promo can help foster meaningful connections and encourage participants to support each other after the conference or convention. Promo also lets companies highlight their commitment to sustainability, which is becoming increasingly important to employees. Research from Deloitte shows that 69% of professionals want their company to invest in sustainability efforts. Items like reusable water bottles and tote bags made from recycled materials are useful at conventions and conferences while also aligning with employees’ values. Want to maximize your impact at conferences and conventions? Grab your lanyard – we’re walking you through some trends and sharing ideas for elevating any business event with promo. 58 • MAY 2024 • PPAI