Poorly designed, unattractive merchandise is a waste of space while expensive give-aways need to be taken back and stored if few people pick them up. Plus they will probably be out of date by the time next year’s event rolls around, and have zero community building value.
At the same time, as social animals, we enjoy the company of professional colleagues and participation in conferences and ongoing education programmes is, in fact, key to professional development in most fields of endeavour.
What can you offer your participants to keep them coming back? How and why do people choose to engage with one conference and not another, in an effort to handle increasing competition for their time and attention?
Digital collectible goods offer broad possibilities to devise promotional programmes that are actually interesting while making it possible to continue to grow the community.