The big trade show season is winding down for another year and there’s one key takeaway from this year’s events that we feel needs to be further amplified: corporate swag is out, charitable giving is in.
There is of course a lot more to face to face interaction than badge scans. Our objective is to have a meaningful bi-directional exchange with delegates. We learn a significant amount from each event when you consider the 100s of meetings we’ve held with customers, prospects, partners, media, analysts and our fellow Armis colleagues.
For many, giveaways at trade shows have been a fixture for most companies exhibiting for decades. Many organizations have believed that only the latest, greatest promotional mass produced items will get attendees to engage with their booth and personnel.
We’re happy to share that’s not true.
Of course, having a world-class platform and team helps, but we’re also finding that purpose can help to drive engagement.
Purpose Driven Engagement
The world is changing. Corporate swag and its packaging frequently ends up in landfills. Which is wasteful in so many ways, so being able to reduce unnecessary wastage is beneficial for all parties and the planet itself. It equally means firms don’t have to ship SWAG around the world, thus reducing the burden on already overstretched supply chains and our carbon footprint.
As part of our ongoing commitment to global sustainability and giving back to local communities, the Armis Global Events team has phased out branded promotional trade show giveaways at our marquee events. Instead, we’re now repurposing the funds that we would have otherwise spent on branded swag and donating it to various charities. We called it, “Scan For A Cause.”
It’s a simple concept in so many ways. Instead of scanning badges of event attendees in exchange for water bottles, koozies, pens, t-shirts and other corporate swag typically given at these events, each scanned badge now results in more dollars being donated.
We’ve found that “Scan For A Cause’ has driven more meaningful engagement at our event presences than in years prior, when traditional swag was given. So it is a ‘Win Win’ for all involved.
In the midst of all of the excitement of the event, attendees found it rewarding that they could help to make an impact simply by having their badge scanned. Furthermore, conversations held with 1000s of conference goers were often more meaningful and led to greater connections.
We appreciate that in some cases, limited higher value give-aways, that will have a longer lifespan still have a role to play in the delegate engagement experience. We are not attempting to say that firms should cease doing prize draws, offering real life experiences or finding new ways to excite and entice delegates. At some conferences, there may be an expectation for some branded promotional items. It is all about finding the right balance.
Inspiring Others to Follow Suit
We are hoping to make this a bigger trend, as we scale and evolve further, to see our many partners and peers adopt this same philosophy. The cybersecurity industry can make a significant impact by giving back on a larger scale without degrading the delegate experience.
But let’s not simply stop at trade shows, especially as we approach the holiday season – Armis certainly hasn’t and will not. We’ve also contributed to the Lowe’s Foundation who provide grants to community and technical colleges nationwide to support skilled trades workforce development.
We have also started encouraging our employees to make an impact in their local communities, as we undertake local engagement activities to donate their time to worthy causes as well, such as preparing toiletry kits for the unhoused, lending a hand in the local food pantry, assembling and donating bikes for children in need and much more.
In our opinion, charitable giving is the new corporate swag. So why don’t you give it a try? Help to make a difference beyond the conference floor.
As a result of scanned badges at RSAC 2023, Black Hat USA 2023, InfoSec Europe and our Advocacy events we have donated over $40,000 to our charity partners at these events including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Gibson Gives and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
Looking to donate to the above-mentioned charities? Please visit one of the links below: