About a week ago I posed a question to my twitter followers simply asking "what would you like to get for free?". My goal? To find out if these challenges were possible and first up we have a double request:
foluke: "would like some goody bag treats for Precious networking event - 26 March"
ginadav: #getforfree welcome goodies - pens, pads, bags, lanyards etc for a european journalism conference
What is good about these requests is that they both already have a very good unique offer, ie something they can offer in return for the free gift. Anything donated will be given to highly influential people who in turn will be able to find each product later and look in to it more. It also gives people at the show a talking point i.e can you believe Company X gave us all a free Product Y? Oh and given that both shows relate to magazines and journalism there are certainly opportunities for stories that may spring from the giveaways.
So we've got the offer but how can our tag team duo go about getting the freebies? Well there is a great service that has set the groundwork for them already:
Help a Reporter Out
I love Peter Shankman's Help a Reporter Out because it gets journalists and their sources talking. As a tri-daily email newsletter Peter asks questions posed by journalists and the answers then become stories. As a journalist I got 27 products offered to me for free this way, and as a source I got interviewed for USA Today so it works! Rather nicely for this request every Friday Peter also lists gift bag requests for any industry event.
To get your event on the service all you need to do is visit Help a Reporter Out.com and make your case, asking for what you'd like in the gift bag. Whether or not you appear on the service is down to stating what you can offer the person who gives you something for free (you know the unique offer I bang on about, well this is the time to use it). So in this case our tag team will need to mention the number of attendees, reasons people would visit the show, the type of people there etc. The best thing to do is sign up for the regular emails, get a feel for what works and give it a go.
I would also advise that any company that is relevant to these events is given a quick call, walked through the benefits of giving samples to the show and asked if they have anything to give. You're not asking for charity or being cheeky, you are simply offering them free promotion at your show in return for a sample.
Any more ideas let me know in he comments. Want me to teach you how to get something for free? Ask me on twitter.