In the ever-changing landscape of event marketing, integrating creative offline touchpoints into your strategy not only takes attendee experience to the next level, but also boosts your return on investment (ROI) at in-person events and conferences.
As Postal’s Global Campaign Strategist, I’ve guided dozens of clients to achieve these objectives.
In this blog, I’ll run-through the same step-by-step playbook for executing offline campaigns at in-person events so you can book key sales meetings and show your boss true ROI from your next conference. It’s time to ditch the branded koozies, stress balls, and other items that quickly turn into leftover swag, folks.
My formula for offline campaign execution at in-person events
This is my high-level playbook for executing offline campaigns at events through Postal’s Offline Engagement Platform that can easily be replicated and made unique to any brand.
Step 1: Understand the context of the campaign
It’s crucial that your team deeply understands the ins-and-outs of the event. Think location, purpose, target audience, timeline, budget, and internal stakeholders. Success metrics should be pre-defined as well as the tools required for execution.
Step 2: Source your gifts
Sourcing the right items for your target audience is another important part of executing. Fortunately, we have covered: as a Postal customer, you can create custom branded projects through Paper Plane Agency, bundle and kit them with Postal Warehousing, and browse thousands of products from vendors around the world in the Postal Marketplace. If you need additional help or suggestions, myself or another member on our professional services team will be more than happy to provide our expertise.
Step 3: Develop a sending strategy
Crafting a well-designed sending strategy maximizes the impact of your offline touchpoints and your budget. The various approaches I recommend include sending items directly (you’ll need address information for this), utilizing Postal MagicLink for seamless recipient experience, sending personalized gift emails, and automating the process based on specific contact criteria.
Boost registration & attendance before your event
These proven ideas will give you inspiration for how to incentivize registration, build excitement, create a sense of urgency, and increase brand awareness leading up to go-time. Explore these real campaigns that created buzz and drove attendance.
3 Offline Campaign Ideas to leverage before in-person events or conference
These are three examples from clients that I’ve worked with who saw success when it came to building hype around their event.
1. Custom local kits
Campaign context: Goal - drive registration & excitement for a prospecting event
4 months out
Targeting executives at 100 key accounts
Mix of branded + unbranded items
Gift source: Paper Plane Agency Sending strategy: Personalized gift emails - promote incentive with LinkedIn ads, marketing newsletters, and sales outreach
Automated Postal Trigger when contacts register for event
OR tagged contacts in Postal & send group gift email
2. Conference survival kits
Campaign context: Goal - encourage event attendance and book meetings at upcoming conference
$100 per gift send
Enable sales reps to book meetings with target prospects in exchange for item
Conference in 4 weeks
Gift source: Postal Marketplace Sending strategy: Send via MagicLink -create MagicLinks with meeting booking functionality for each of sales reps to use in emails, LinkedIn messages, templated sales outreach, etc.
3. Physical invitation
Campaign context: Goal - create excitement and exclusivity with contacts who've already collected address information for your upcoming event Gift source: Postal Marketplace Sending strategy: Direct send - send handwritten invitations to contacts that you’ve already collected address information from
Just as a thoughtful gift can boost employee morale, considering speaker gifts at your next corporate event can enhance the overall experience for both attendees and presenters.
Incentivize engagement during events
During your events, it's crucial to engage attendees and leverage warm connections to book meetings, enhance booth interactions, and ensure lightning-fast follow-up. These case studies from clients I’ve worked with include a curling-themed game at a booth and MagicLink business cards at in-person holiday parties that booked meetings.
Case Study: booth prizes
Campaign context: Curling-themed game with prizes given out to booth attendees Gift source: Postal Marketplace Sending strategy: Print QR codes on stickers and attach them to two-inch medals; every attendee who won a medal could scan the QR code to claim a prize Campaign Results: Named “Best Booth in Show” - 140 prizes given out and 22 sales meetings booked
Case Study: MagicLink business cards
Campaign context: Book meetings at in-person holiday parties with warm connections Gift source: Postal Marketplace Sending strategy: Create a Postal Collection of holiday gifts, a MagicLink for each rep with meeting booking functionality, and print 25 business cards for each reps to hand out at in-person holiday parties Campaign results: Booked 20 meetings for January during December holiday party circuit
Driving conversions post-event
Sales conversations should never end when the event is over—they should be getting started. These offline campaign ideas will inspire you to maintain momentum, build rapport with key stakeholders, and convert conversations into revenue.
Offline campaign ideas to keep the conversation going
Branded notecard + free trial offer
Campaign context: Generate brand awareness, book demos, drive account engagement Gift source: Postal Marketplace Sending strategy: Determine desired CTA - “Are you hoping to book a demo?”, drive recipients to a landing page on your website, draft copy + design notecard, and create MagicLink for gift + add QR code to design
Branded swag + custom insert bundle
Campaign context: Drive registration for upcoming webinar with warm leads from conference
5 weeks out
Use leftover mugs swag
Gift source: Paper Plane Agency / Postal Warehouse kits or bundles Sending strategy:Direct send - Print customer inserts with Paper Plane; send to warehouse, submit warehousing request to build “bundle” of leftover mugs + insert card, and Send Direct to conference engagers post-event to drive next steps
Creative summary: integrating offline campaigns into your in-person event strategy
Get started with Postal to access the largest B2B marketplace and creative service professionals to help take your in-person events and experiences to the next level.
Katie Castillo is the Global Campaign Strategist at Postal - you can find her coaching, training, and enabling Postal customers crush their goals. Coming from a donor relations background in nonprofits, she's big on a prospect-centered approach to outbounding and loves using Postal to humanize the pre-sales process. When she signs-off, her time is spent with her husband chasing after two rambunctious toddlers, reading rom-coms, and decorating cookies.