Growing your market: Ways to use event promotional items
- Tell your story
- Raise funds
- Keep your organization top of mind
- Announce your presence
For many organizations, promotional products serve as mementos—lasting reminders that customers want to keep on hand. For the Oshkosh Farmers Market, event promotional items help do much more and achieve goals the organizers didn’t anticipate.
“This year, promotional items have really been helping us get the message out,” said Michelle Schmid-Schultz, market manager.
The organization used promo items to increase visitors, volunteers and visibility. When considering how to use promotional products, the magic begins when you consider what goal your organization wants to achieve.
Tell your story
The human brain is able to process a picture 60,000 times faster than words. If you want to make an impression in the blink of an eye, an event promotional item and memorable logo can help people understand your brand.
For the Oshkosh Farmers Market, the ability to tell a story at a glance was woven into the design of its promotional products. The market has changed over its nearly 30-year history from a place to buy produce to so much more.
“The market has morphed from being strictly a farmers market into a total community event,” Schmid-Schultz said. “Live music, kids’ entertainment, fresh food, tons of street food—we have all sorts of things at the farmers market.”
The market’s transformation is reflected in the logo on promotional T-shirts. A family, various types of food, and a guitar show potential visitors what to expect—all in the blink of an eye.
The organization also updated its marketing to let people know it was taking everyone’s safety seriously. “Our slogan this year was, ‘Shop the market COVID-style: Get your tomatoes and get the kale home,’” Schmid-Schultz said. “It encourages people to get in and get out.
While many organizations elect to give away event promo items, using them as fundraisers can give your organization a financial boost. The Oshkosh Farmers Market had success selling an item everyone needs while shopping: a tote bag.
“In the summer we have a limited-edition market bag, which people love to get every year. And it helps support the market financially as well,” Schmid-Schultz said.
“I still have people coming up to the market booth asking for previous years’ bags. So that’s a sign that what we’re doing is working.”
The totes perform double duty, helping raise visibility as well as funds for the organization.
Keep your organization top of mind
Of course, the uses for tote bags extend beyond the market.
“We see those bags all over town, whether it’s at the grocery store or another shop downtown,” Schmid- Schultz said.
Because bags offer an average of 3,300 impressions (PDF), they’re an ideal way to draw more people to the market.
The bags also helped to remind people of the winter market, which was modified for 50% capacity, while providing special hours for high-risk shoppers and putting other safety measures in place. “During a non-pandemic holiday season, the tote bag helped bring out over 2,000 people, which is a significant number in the wintertime… while still keeping within appropriate safety measures,” Schmid-Schultz said.
Announce your presence
Although smaller promotional items are a great way to attract attention, sometimes organizations go big to let people know where they are. For the Oshkosh Farmers Market, a branded tent did just that.
Create brand visibility in a big way with branded promotional items.
“In the past, people weren’t able to locate us, or they were afraid to come to the tent because they weren’t sure what it was.”
“Our signature tent, which has our logo on it, looks phenomenal and lets people know they’ve come to the right place.” Schmid-Schultz said.
Making it easy to locate had an unexpected perk as well.
“The other thing that came out of making our market look more professional was that we were able to recruit more volunteers. And running an event like this requires a lot of hands on deck.”
The market’s branded presence helped provide clear communications—which, in turn, drove volunteer sign-ups.
Knowing how to use promotional products can help your organization turn goals into achievements. And for the Oshkosh Farmers Market, using event promotional items has been like planting seeds. Each year, they sprout a fresh set of wins.
See how the Oshkosh Farmer’s Market promoted safety, food and fun during the pandemic.
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Note: 4imprint, Inc. is a sponsor of the Oshkosh Farmers Market.