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January 1, 2021
Event Tips

4 Companies Bringing Physical Experiences to Virtual Events, From Swag Bags to Drinks and Lunches

4 Companies Bringing Physical Experiences to Virtual Events, From Swag Bags to Drinks and Lunches

We like to think we’ve seen it all after powering over 2,500 virtual events (and countless in-person events prior to 2020), but we’re always surprised by the creativity some events bring to the mix when running their virtual events.

No matter what the future holds for events, the one thing which is certain is that people like to experience real, tangible things. As time goes on, we’re seeing innovation and opportunity on all fronts. Event technology platforms like ours are innovating at lightning speed, event planners are learning the ropes of digital content production, sponsors are shifting more dollars towards virtual events, and more.

The one thing we’re seeing more of is coupling physical experiences with virtual ones.

Hybrid events are already here, in some ways. Instead of the event starting in-person with a virtual component added on, events starting virtual with physical components added on are gaining traction.

It makes sense - the advantages of virtual events are hard to discount anymore given the increased reach, decreased cost, and rapid innovation. In this blog post, we’re covering 4 companies we’ve seen used by PheedLoop powered events or ones we’ve come across in other ways that are bridging the virtual and physical worlds.

1. Postal.io

Postal.io is a company that specializes in offline marketing to help brands generate leads, drive conversions, and boost retention.

Virtual event swag delivery

Their products fit squarely into the problem space many virtual events have when it comes to engaging attendees offline. Especially suitable for corporate events like user conferences and networking events, Postal offers some ideas and products specifically geared towards driving more revenue and attendance for virtual events. Examples include things like wine and chocolate tastings. They also have a marketplace with all kinds of gifts attendees can win depending on how you set up your campaigns including ones from local small businesses.

Postal actually offers $20 free for you to try out their platform and see if it’s a fit. Visit their site to learn more!

2. SwagUp

SwagUp is a nifty company that has mastered the swag kit that everyone just loves. Whether they’re a new employee at your company, or an attendee. One of the challenges virtual event planners have is creating a sense of unity among their attendee base.

Virtual event swag image from SwagUp and Swag.com

Of course, technology platforms like PheedLoop can take you pretty far, but that final frontier of helping virtual attendees feel connected physically is where SwagUp does a great job. SwagUp allows you to curate an awesome swag kit for your event, fully branded and ready to delight. SwagUp also offers transparent pricing, so it’s easy to budget, and it’s definitely a good option for events looking to provide swag kits to incentivize attendee engagement or registration. For example, by offering it to the first 100 registrations, as gamification prizes, or at random.

One thing we really like about SwagUp is that they take a SaaS type approach to their company. Something as simple but as powerful as having a Zapier integration means you can effortlessly connect PheedLoop’s registration flow to SwagUp, so that the moment someone registers, the process to send them a swag kit or item is initiated automatically.

SwagUp sends out free swag kits for you to touch, feel, and get inspired by. Check out their site to order one for yourself and see what you think!

3. HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Chef’s Plate, Goodfood and more!

Okay we know this isn’t just one company, but one of the best things you can do to bridge the online/offline divide is something interactive and hands on. Sending swag kits and gifts are awesome, but what really brings people together are shared experiences.

Virtual event cooking and meals

The pandemic has inspired a lot more home cooking, and there are countless companies out there like HelloFresh (Canada), Blue Apron, Chef’s Plate, Goodfood (Canada), and more that make this possible. We’ve seen highly engaging events where some sessions include anything from yoga lessons to meal preparation.

All of these meal kit companies offer free trials and meal kits, and tend to be very open to striking deals for bulk orders for events. Grab a free kit from them not only to have some fun with family or friends preparing food, but also to test out the option of creating a memorable experience for your virtual attendees.

4. Hoppier

Hoppier is a company that now specializes in enabling memorable food experiences for virtual event attendees. The key advantage with Hoppier is that your attendees are in control of selecting what they want to eat because you provide them with digital cash cards that they can use at one of the thousands of vendors online.

Hoppier virtual event gift cards

As an event planner, you can set clever constraints on the way the cards can be used, including timing, and you get lots of analytics to incorporate into the wider set of data a platform like PheedLoop can give you. Even better, you can extend your sponsorship options through Hoppier by allowing the cards attendees use to be customized with sponsor branding. You can also add local eateries to the options your attendees can select from.

Conclusion

There are a lot of simple but powerful ways to engage attendees at your virtual events beyond the screen and you’ll likely see even more options in the coming months. At PheedLoop, we’re also working to bring you tight integrations with some of these options so that you truly have one seamless experience to benefit from. Let us know if you have any interesting ideas or tried something creative to engage your attendees!

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PheedLoop is an all-in-one event management platform for live, virtual and hybrid events. Our platform powers events for associations, corporations, agencies, educational institutions and governments worldwide including Shopify, Government of Canada, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, IBM and more. We commit ourselves to being a highly product focused company, and are dedicated to releasing new features and product updates every week since our founding in 2015. We post regular updates like this one to our blog.

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