Ah… trusty USB drives. A conference staple for oh-so-many years now. Having used them for so long, you may not think there is anything new to learn when it comes to what they have to offer. And you may be right… unless… what if everything you THOUGHT you knew about them was a myth?!
That’s right–there are some common misconceptions about USB drives and the value they provide. In an effort to set the record straight, here are three areas where common knowledge is not necessarily based in fact.
Myth #1: USBs are nothing more than PDF files on a flash drive
Fact: USB drives can be programmed to function like an offline website
USB drives are more than a convenient way to store files. Putting your conference content on a USB means that your attendees will have access to your valuable materials through a familiar, web-like interface.
And, just as your attendees would expect from a well-designed website, the materials included on USB drives are searchable by keyword. This allows quick access to all the handouts, papers and abstracts from your conference long after your final session.
Myth #2: USB drives do not make for interesting giveaways for conference attendees
Fact: USB drives come in a dizzying array of styles that can add a fun and memorable element to your welcome kit
The standard USB drive is no longer the only game in town. Including a USB drive in a slap bracelet, pen or business card are sure to not only get your drive noticed, but used. Heck, you can even find USB drives on the end of working flashlights now (a giveaway that’s sure to light up your attendees’ faces with a smile)!
Being a member of your association is a point of pride for members. So, branding the case of a USB drive with your logo makes it an instant value-added take-home piece for your attendees. It also serves as a physical reminder of the value they receive from your association and conference.
Myth #3: USBs are good for distributing files but provide little other value
Fact: The web-like interface on a USB creates additional opportunities to reinforce your conference branding and generate revenue through sponsorships
The branding potential of a USB does not stop on the outside of the device. Having a web-like interface means that the same branding opportunities that exist on your conference website extend to the USB interface, as well. A customized USB interface can act as an extension of your conference website and gives you another outlet to showcase the materials you created for the conference.
Similar to your conference website, the interface of a USB drive provides space for advertisements. Take advantage of this unique ability to communicate exclusively to your conference attendees! Leverage cross-promotional opportunities by using this area of the interface to advertise other events or materials that your association offers.
And, just like traditional banner ads, you can use these areas of the interface to serve as revenue generators. Sponsors will be interested in the opportunity to advertise their relevant offerings to a well-defined target audience. Offer specific pricing for ads that are included on the USB drive, or bundle them along with your other conference sponsorship opportunities. This creates an additional incentive for sponsors to support your conference.
Conference attendees have been receiving USB drives for years. What started as a way to allow access to conference materials without having to rely on spotty or expensive Wi-Fi at the conference location has turned into an integral part of the way conference content is delivered. The familiar web-like interface combined with robust search capabilities provides easy access to your valuable materials from anywhere a computer can be used.
The sheer variety of USB styles that are available now means your conference has an affordable way to present conference attendees with a unique reminder of your conference, and the quality materials they receive as a result of attending. And with the opportunity to brand the drive inside and out, a USB drive remains a valuable way for your association to increase your brand recognition and stay top of mind all year long.