Poppin’ Conference Swag and Giveaways People Want

Poppin’ Conference Swag and Giveaways People Want

In just a few short weeks over 3000 WordPress fans like ourselves will descend on Berlin, Germany for WCEU to network, connect, celebrate, learn, and of course, collect bags and bags of swag!

We’re proud sponsors of this mega WordCamp and as such our super design team was pumped to break from digital design for a short moment to create physical goods. As a distributed team, it’s not often that we get our hands on tangible WPMU DEV swag or get to hug Devman.

But our team is showing up in force (+30 WPMU DEVians) including Devman himself. Needless to say, it’s been a massive organizational undertaking.


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So how does a software company put together physical products for promotional giveaways? How do you even print swag for international events when you don’t have an office nearby?

Whether you are an online company trying to find branded products for a social giveaway or prepping swag for your next meetup, this post is for you. We’re gonna share our favorite services and, for our WCEU attendees, tease at what to expect when you stop by our booth – swag, giveaways, and more.

Stickers, Stickers, and more Stickers

In the 80’s I had a sticker book jammed with Garbage Pail Kids, scratch’n’sniff fruit, and transformer dye cuts. Today my laptop is adorned with Devman’s face, the WordPress logo, a cactus designed specially for my local camp, and cuddly Wappu’s from around the globe.

In my wildest dreams, I’d never imaged the ease of churning out stickers. Thank you, Sticker Mule!


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Of course, we’re running off thousands of their custom vinyl stickers​, but early in January I did a small run of 30 for a family event and was surprised at how affordable it was. No crazy setup fees or ridiculous minimums.

For your event (large or small), a special gift for the office, or a creative ‘thank you’ note to your clients, stickers are a big hit.

Pro tip: Sign up for the Sticker Mule newsletter. They regularly run 10 for $1 promotions here​, and weekly deals here for customers worldwide.

Been There. Done That. Got the T-Shirt

True story. I was wearing a WPMU DEV Wapuu shirt at a coffee shop last week and my barista asked if I could get him one… so I took it off and gave it to him, right then and there. Ok I gave him one I had at home. But anyway, our swag is winning me points with my barista.

Everybody likes a t-shirt. Even if every other booth is giving out t-shirts, people want to rep your brand. It also helps that we have superhero mascots. Who doesn’t want a shirt with Hummingbird on it?

Depending on quantity, cut, and design t-shirts are very affordable. The trick is factoring in shipping. Most often the hurdle we’ve faced when printing new items for global events is in coordinating shipping. For this, we’ve ended up working with printers around the world to find a printer on the right side of the pond.

But what about a social media giveaway where swag is included? Set up a Printful account. It’s a bit more expensive, but they’ll print and ship quality one-off branded merch to our winners. It’s like having your own in-house screenprinter and distribution center. No storage unit or trips to the post office needed. We can give everyone on our marketing team access to a single account and can even set up a company store.

If t-shirts are too cliché, try a pillowcase, coffee mug, or beanbag chair. Printful has some fun and unique options on-hand to get your creative wheel spinning.

The Grand Prize!!!

We all want to be seen and heard. To get the attention of the masses, whether at a WordCamp or on social media, a charismatic spiel and the right grand prize will go a long way when it comes to growing your mailing list, social following, leads, and (fingers crossed) your member base.

No pressure!

Here are a couple of things to consider when putting the right package together:

  • How will the winner get this home? Something BIG is always fun but could be a huge pain for people traveling to the event… or more than double your budget with shipping costs. Be mindful.
  • Will it attract and convert the right audience? Drawing a big crowd doesn’t always mean more conversions.
  • Would I want it? Ideally you are so in tune with your users, if you’d want to take it home, they would want to take it home. If you’d stop and drop your business card in the jar for a chance to win, chances are, other interested parties would too.
  • What should I ask for in return? If you make it difficult for people to enter your giveaway you’ll likely get fewer entries… but the entries you get will probably be higher quality leads. If your goal is social proof and a huge following you can enter people with a simple like and share… for a more grandiose gift built to attract quality leads, don’t be afraid to raise the bar.
  • Am I having fun yet? People love free stuff. We like to overthink everything so if planning a giveaway is stressing you out…relax. At the end of the day, people will remember your brand’s generosity, excellent service, awesome product, and amazing support.

Flaunt it Like You’ve got It

A great prize will only get you so far. I mean, how will people know about your epic grand giveaway without a little flare? For a social campaign a video goes a long way. It doesn’t even have to be overproduced. Your phones video recorder can produce Hollywood quality magic.

And here’s a production tip from an old video nerd. Put a second phone in your shirt pocket to capture audio when a lapel mic is not around. It doesn’t take much to make yourself look and sound like such a kween!

“Step one – make sure people see my giveaway… got it”

If you’re feeling a little extra and want to help the global economy you could outsource a flashy design for your giveaway on UpWork.

Of course, our super design team has been tasked with some neck turning designs for our physical WCEU event booth including this rad coloring book you can download and print off for yourself if you’re feeling frisky.

But the showstopper for us has always been photo ops with the actual Devman himself. If he’s not at the booth just look for his entourage, he’s always drawing a crowd.


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WCEU Prizes for All

We’ve run all kinds of promotions over the years but WordCamps are a rare joy where we want everyone to win – even if you’re an existing member.

Stop by, chat, and let us say “thank you”. Grab a sticker, get a t-shirt, and enter to win our grand prize package including world-class noise canceling headphones and 1-year of WPMU DEV absolutely free.

Can’t make the trip and dreaming of better times at WCEU? Win swag (delivered to your doorstep) and a 1-year membership. Here’s how:

  • Follow our Facebook and/or Twitter accounts
  • Post or tweet @wpmudev with a link to this post
  • Use #idratherbeatwceu and #WCEU
  • Tag a friend or two… or three or four…

Winner will be announced on June 22nd. Now you can win even if you can’t make it.

And if you’re like me, and feel like you never win anything, we’ll set you up with 30-days of WPMU DEV free. You don’t need to do anything and you’ve already won :) Just claim your 30-day trial and get our complete performance, security, 24/7 live support, reports, automated site manager, and dedicated hosting (3 sites included) all at no charge.

Need more, maybe a lifetime membership…for free!? Share WPMU DEV with your friends and if they join we’ll give you a lifetime membership. So. Many. Ways. To. Win.

Whether you’re a freelancer or small agency trying to grow your social media following, a WordPress maintenance service sponsoring your first meetup, or a large brand looking to give back to the community, giveaways are a great tool for connecting with a new audience and re-engaging your clients.

Have you been given a useful or super unique piece of swag? Tell us about it in the comments.
Joshua Josh Dailey is a sales copy and content marketer for WPMU DEV. He built a successful media production and marketing business using WordPress products and services before joining WPMU DEV in 2012.