Here at A Fluent Vision, our marketing managers are always being asked, “what are other partners doing?

Keep in mind that we specialize in the IT industry, so this is a common question we hear and something we are passionate about answering when working with solution providers. Bringing new insights to the table has created irreplaceable value for our clients and partners alike. This same passion we bring to everyday conversations is exactly why we decided to introduce a new blog series dedicated to this cause: The Partner Playbook.

So here is the main question we will help you answer…

What on earth are other partners doing with their marketing efforts?

Today’s post is solely devoted to a good old swag event. You’re probably thinking, I don’t need another co-branded drawstring gym bag, a silly stress ball, or thumb drive. True! Take all of those items and set them aside for your next trade show.

I’m talking about an event where your attendees can customize their very own Nike’s. If you don’t think your attendees need a new pair of shoes (who doesn’t want a brand-new pair of customized NIKEiD’s?!) then offer something equally interesting. Why not host an event dedicated to your fellow businessmen, allowing them to customize their own tailored button down or sunglasses?

Align your messaging

Now, of course we can’t just hand out this kind of swag without incorporating some sort of presentation or demo. You probably won’t get the results your looking for, just attendees running off with your marketing budget. And that probably wouldn’t make the CEO very happy.

Make sure that your event still benefits your organization, so that you’re not just offering sneakers. You want to stress the value of your services to your customer. This will help to show how working with you as an IT solution provider is not only beneficial from a business perspective but because of the fun nature of the event, showcase that they’ll enjoy working with you.

Maybe the precursor to your event is that you host a manufacturer speaker to present a specific solution that is top of mind for your attendees. Or maybe you specialize in a product that you have the expertise in and want to perform a demo. Whatever that precursor, make sure you are educating your attendees and providing them deep insight as their trusted IT advisor. This will help you to make a stronger connection and enable you to better nurture attendees before, during, and after your event.

Okay, but what about leads?

It’s also important to plan how you are going to facilitate your sales team’s needs during the event. Think about how you can encourage personal connections with attendees. Have your reps strategically stationed at computers where the attendees will be customizing their swag. The attendees will enjoy taking the time to make the design their own, allowing the perfect opportunity for your reps to be networking.

Have your team start with light conversation about how they like the attendee’s style so that it doesn’t seem like a sales pitch. By the time the attendees are done creating their Nike’s, your reps will have made a new connection.

Excited to get planning your swag event but don’t have the budget?

Let’s be honest, this type of event is going to cost some bills. For Example, the average cost of a new pair of kicks is around $100. And that’s not even including the venue, food, and presenter.

Although, if you don’t have the budget to hand out swag like this to every single attendee, no worries! Market the event as “we will be giving out (#) of the customized swag!” During the event keep your attendees engaged by having a trivia game during your sales presentation, video, or demo. The winners of the trivia questions will be the lucky winners of the swag items.

Inviting current customers to your event?

Some partners make the mistake of inviting customers to the wrong events or not at all. You might want to honor them because they are doing business with you. By not continuing to market to them, how do you expect to advance your relationship?

Instead of having a presentation or demo for current customers, try inviting current customers to get a report of their current IT infrastructure. You can grade their current technology approach for their business and suggest areas that may need improvement. You can tailor each report card to their specific business type, which will help to speak to their pain points.

For instance, let’s say your client is in the hospitality industry. They might need a Wi-Fi upgrade to stay competitive with others in the industry.

Another approach when inviting current customers is to invite them to bring a plus one. Suggest in the invites that introductions to new customers will get their name entered into a drawing to receive a higher value incentive.

Want more partner insight?

Keep an eye out for future editions of our partner playbook blogs as well as additional content. Sign up to our email list to make sure you don’t miss out. If you are in need of immediate marketing support, you can reach out to A Fluent Vision for a free consultation.