Virtual Gift Bags: Why They Are Thrilling Sponsors of Online and In-Person Events

Remember the last physical in-person conference you attended, where the hosts would provide you with a much-anticipated gift bag? These takeaways always have something in it you really like, along with some items you are moderately glad to have, and some items you might consider useless.

While this practice still goes on today, more companies and associations are jumping onto the virtual gift bag bandwagon. And why not? There are hardly any downsides to these delightful packs of goodies!

At in-person events such as conventions, seminars, and countless other types of gatherings, physical gift bags have been considered a treat and were always fun for attendees. But they usually came with a lot of baggage (pun intended). Since nothing makes everyone happy, there was usually something in the bag that would go straight to the garbage can. And then attendees had to lug these bulky gift bags all around the event until it was convenient to finally drop them off in their room. Finally, the attendees had to find room in an already-full suitcase to take the gift bag home.

No more ‘while supplies last’ and no more leftover bags

For the conference host supplying the gift bag, the logistics can really be a nuisance. Consider the efforts of deciding what goes in the bags, purchasing the bags and gifts, paying for delivery of everything, paying someone to stuff the bags, storing them until the event starts, and then delivery of the bags to attendees. It all seems like a lot of work, expense, and possibly waste. But no more.

A growing number of event coordinators are giving away digital gift bags, also known as virtual gift bags. These clever and economical cyber batches of goodies can include just about anything! They can offer discounted coupons, free coupons, or gift codes for an unlimited number of items such as apparel, health supplements, restaurant appetizers or meals, samples, event admission, contest entries, jewelry, or any kind of product or offer that can be imagined. Discounts offered in the digital bag can be applied to a specific item or to an entire purchase, and if there is something the recipient doesn’t want, they simply don’t use it. This leads to absolutely no waste!

Better results with targeted promotions

Virtual Event Bag Example

Virtual Event Bag Example – Check out this bag example from Active Endurance

Sponsors are extremely excited with this idea, because it’s a great way to direct customers to their websites. One of the most important benefits for sponsors is the collection of information involved with virtual gift bags. When someone signs up for an event, they are required to submit a substantial bit of personal information that is equivalent to gold for potential sponsors. In addition to contact information such as phone and e-mail, participants often give demographic information such as age, sex, residential location, marital status and more.

Gift bags can be personalized based on attendee demographics. The items in the virtual gift bag don’t need to be a one size fits all. Demographic information can allow the sponsor to target the individual recipients with very specific gifts that include relevant content and promotions they would most likely want and need.

Redeemable across any device and you can track usage!

The benefits of offering virtual gift bags versus physical gift bags are limitless. They can be redeemed through smart phones, computers, or tablets, and delivered as text messages, apps, or e-mails, and they are also extremely efficient and economical.  What’s more, you can track what items are resonating with the audience, something you can’t easily do with tangible items.  Through tracking, sponsors can tell which offers are redeemed most, when and how often a bag was opened, and what products the coupons were used to purchase. This measurable information will determine several things including how to use the virtual bag more efficiently in the future.

Virtual gift bags are an effective way to make people aware of a product or service by having people link to websites, landing pages, social media and more. Recipients are known to visit their virtual gift bag several times, which means putting new products in front of them every time they open the gift bag.

What event does your organization have on the horizon? Virtual event bags can be used for giveaways, auctions, charities, sporting events, raffles, tourism events, festivals, concerts, membership benefits, and countless other purposes.

Want more help promoting your next event? Download our free eBook.

MultiChannel Marketing

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