In the world of events, creating a memorable experience for attendees is crucial. And what better way to enhance that experience than with custom event merch? From music festivals to conferences and everything in between, event merch has become an essential component of any successful gathering. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of event merch, discuss the types of events where it can be utilized, delve into design considerations, and explore effective promotional strategies. Additionally, we’ll highlight the advantages of incorporating both offline and online merch to maximize reach and engagement.
Event merch serves multiple purposes beyond being a keepsake. It serves as a powerful marketing tool, extending the reach of your brand beyond the event itself. Merchandise with your logo or event-specific designs can create a lasting impression and foster a sense of community among attendees. Moreover, event merch can serve as a revenue stream, allowing you to generate additional income while promoting your brand simultaneously.
What kind of events are suitable for merch?
The beauty of event merch is its versatility. It can be applied to virtually any type of event imaginable. Music festivals, sporting events, conferences, trade shows, charity galas, and even niche gatherings like comic conventions or art expos are excellent opportunities to create and distribute custom merch. No matter the event, merchandise provides a tangible way for attendees to connect with your brand and extend their experience beyond the event itself.
How to use event merch successfully
Event merch has the power to create lasting memories and engage attendees long after the event ends. Here are a few ways to effectively use event merch:
- Wearable Swag: T-shirts, hats, and hoodies are popular choices that turn attendees into walking billboards for your brand.
- Collectibles: Pins, patches, and stickers can foster a sense of belonging and encourage attendees to collect and trade them – and to advertise your brand by sticking your logo everywhere!
- Useful Accessories: Items like tote bags, water bottles, and mousepads serve practical purposes while showcasing your brand.
- Digital Merchandise: Things like custom stickers, preset photo filters, or digital art can enhance the visibility of your event and let fans show their appreciation from around the world. Not available in Shops yet, but keep an eye out in the future…
How to design event merch
Designing event merch requires careful consideration to capture the essence of your event and resonate with your target audience. Here are a few design tips:
- Reflect Your Brand: Ensure the merch aligns with your event’s overall branding, including colors, fonts, and logos.
- Unique and Eye-Catching: Create designs that stand out and spark interest. Incorporate engaging visuals and catchy slogans that encapsulate the event’s spirit.
- Quality Matters: Invest in high-quality materials and printing to ensure your merch represents the event’s standards.
- Collaborations: Consider collaborating with local artists or influencers to create unique designs that cater to specific demographics and expand your reach.
How to promote your merch
Promotion plays a crucial role in maximizing the impact of your event merch. Here are some effective strategies:
- Socials: It’s all about the socials. Share photos or videos of you wearing your merch or use it in other creative ways. If you have a YouTube channel with MerchShelf activated don’t forget to tag your products, and the same goes for other platforms!
- Pre-Event Buzz: Create anticipation by teasing merch designs on social media platforms, generating excitement and encouraging attendees to make purchases in advance.
- On-Site Displays: Set up visually appealing merchandise displays at the event venue to catch attendees’ attention and encourage impulse purchases.
- Influencer Marketing: Partner with influential individuals relevant to your event’s niche to promote your merch and extend your reach to their dedicated fan bases.
Offline and online merch: The best of both worlds
While offline merch offers a tangible and personal touch, the digital realm provides infinite opportunities for exposure. Combining both approaches yields the best results. Offline merch allows attendees to physically engage with your brand, while online merch reaches a broader audience, transcending geographical boundaries. By offering both options, you cater to different preferences and create a comprehensive merchandising strategy.
How the pros do it
These Shop Partners are the masters of event merch! Check out their Shops for some handy tips and tricks to make the most of your merch:
MACHN Festival is a festival for tech, business, innovation, and art. Their instantly recognizable designs are carefully crafted to show off their brand and represent their product while also just being cool T-shirts and hoodies. They even offer embroidered designs and focus their shop on organic and eco-products.
“What I appreciate most about Spreadshop is how fast the process is – from a design idea to a finished product, the easy communication, and the wide range of products. I’m happy that Spreadshop is a local grown company and that they supported our festival with such commitment from the beginning.” – Patrick, MACHN
See the Shop here.
DEPT 2024 is a German evangelical trombone celebration in May, 2024 (Deutscher Evangelischer Posaunen Tag 2024). They are using merch as part of a massive push to create hype and generate excitement, as well as fund their organization. Take a hint from them: generate as much excitement as possible before your event – even if it’s a year away! They incorporate religious symbolism into their designs yet keep them minimalist and modern.
Check out their products here.
Holzkunst Scholz is a woodworker and artist who uses merch to help create income streams and advertise their classes and content. The designs are stylized, raw, and woodwork-themed, with famous quotes from the YouTube channel incorporated into the products.
“In preparation for our world record attempt we launched the new collection in our Shop, with great discounts for our fans. Also for our Christmas fair we offered merch like mugs, shirts and hoodies, finished with exclusive designs of course. Spreadshop really makes the impossible happen and for that I’m very grateful.” – Holzkunst Scholz
Get a masterclass on themed design here.
Caggtus is a community gaming festival right here in Leipzig that celebrates all things gaming. It is run by the community for the community, and they use merch cleverly to support their events. Their designs and products are created to appeal to their audience: dark products with white-and-green futuristic logos.
Get into the game here.
Sjoa River Festival
Sjoa River Festival is a Norwegian river and kayaking festival with the slogan “Sinners not swimmers,” who support and market their festival by selling merch in their Spreadshop. Classically Scandinavian, their designs are minimalistic and the products clean and basic, with a wide range of men’s and women’s options.
See the products here.
A you can see from these professional event planners, merch is an indispensable tool for event organizers – from festivals to gigs, fairs and conventions. Spice up your next event with custom merch and make your brand stand out. Already using merch to support your events? Give us your top tips in the comments!