This morning, I went to use a pen that I got at a conference from a law firm service provider. It’s my favorite pen. It writes perfectly, it never leaks, it has the perfect consistency and it is a bright color, so I can always find it in my purse. It also still works two years after I received it.

On the flip side, I have another pen, from a top 10 Am Law ranked law firm that ran out of ink the second time I used it. It’s flimsy and plastic. I was surprised that a firm of this caliber would give out these pens to their clients, recruits and prospects.

It’s incredibly important that each touchpoint your target audience has with your brand is truly reflective of your brand.

That means even the pens you hand out at a conference, the coffee you serve, the way the bathrooms look and the tidiness of the reception areas (including ensuring the plants in the reception area are healthy looking) need to be well thought out.

The type of swag (or promotional items or “tchotchkes” as I prefer to call them) you choose to represent your company is much more important than you may think. It’s part of your outward facing brand and can be an easy way to gain positive visibility for your organization.

As we return to in-person networking and conferences, it’s a good time to think more strategically about the kind of swag items your company is using.

Company swag is the abbreviation of “Stuff We All Get.” It is free stuff and giveaways that employers give out to their current employees, alumni, recruits and clients.

As with so many things in marketing, one size doesn’t fit all, so it’s important to have multiple promotional pieces from which you can choose. Many firms keep closets full of promotional items and have an online catalog to make it easy for employees to choose items when they need them.

It should go without saying that your company branding should appear on every promotional piece.

So, how do you choose awesome company swag that your clients and other target audiences actually want?

Your work is just beginning if you smartly choose to use every webinar and conference you attend as a way to bolster your brand and expand your professional network.

In what is a major game changer on LinkedIn, the platform has rolled out its new Events option to all company pages as part of its efforts to assist companies dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

With so many in-person industry events and conferences either canceled or postponed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the new LinkedIn Events feature is helpful to find meaningful ways to connect and promote virtual events to your followers, such as meetups, coffee breaks, happy hours, CLE programs or webinars.