How to get a new logo and merch on a tight budget for a conference – Odom Design Company

How to get a new logo and merch on a tight budget for a conference

Georgia Association of Water Professionals hand drawn sketch by Customer

How to get a new logo and merch on a tight budget for a conference

Jen wasn't sure if she'd make it in time.

She needed merch for her upcoming conference, but she didn't have a logo, an approved vendor, or much extra time. She also had a very tight budget.

This was going to be her second time attending her conference, but the first time manning their Association's booth.

Last year, they gave out pens, notepads, and candy- this year Jen wanted her group to stand out.

If she could just get her hands on a catalog she was sure she could figure something out. She went to Google. "Fidget thingy's" seemed to be popular. Oh, but the minimum order quantity is really high. And it costs more for multiple colors in a logo...wait, Jen doesn't even have a logo yet.

Do these problems sound familiar?
Short timeline, tight budget, too many choices, and no one on your approved
vendor list?

After spinning her wheels on Google, Jen turned to her friends
on Facebook for a referral. Odom Design Company got the mention.

Here's how we helped Jen stand out at her conference.

Budget Ideas for Giveaways at Booth

  • can coolers ($2 ea)
  • stickers ($1-$3 ea)
  • magnets ($3-$5 ea)
  • coasters ($3-$4 ea)

Minimum Order Quantity

There is a lot of variation in minimum order quantities, depending on the item

you want to buy. Don't shy away from minimum orders; there are benefits in it for you!

  • Buy Extra
    • 10-20% more than planned. Make sure you have enough to cover issues - they will happen. Don't let your guests / attendees leave your booth empty handed!
  • Savings
    • it's like Costco: buying in bulk saves you money
  • Long Term relationship
    • we can work with you to negotiate compromises and solutions; depending on the item we can help you share order volume with our other Customers

The way to think about this is to sum up how much money it costs to introduce yourself to one person. It's sort of a weird exercise to run through in your mind, so get out a piece of paper and write down the following:

  1. How many people will be at your event
  2. How many of those people will stop by your booth
  3. Multiply how many people will stop by your booth by your item cost


  • There are 100 people coming to your conference
  • Plan for around 30% of them coming by your booth (~30 people)

Order at least 35-40 giveaway items.

If each item costs $2.00, your budget is $70.00 ($2.00 x 35 items).

As mentioned above, think of your budget as the cost of meeting people. 
In this example, it costs $2.00 to meet one person.

For comparison sake, you could spend the same amount of money on a Facebook ad or mailer and only get one or two responses (1-2%) from a cold audience. For the same amount of money, you can do 30 times better (30%) AND your guest gets to take something memorable away.

Remember that conference attendees have already paid money to be at your conference and perhaps even rented a hotel room for the night. They are there to get value from the conference, just like you.

If they come to your booth, send them away with something memorable. 

Jen asked us how to go about designing a logo.

Here is our simple 3 step process:

  1. Grab a pencil and sketch it - don't worry about perfection, just draw it!
  2. Take out your phone, snap a picture, text/email it to us
  3. Our in house graphic designer will bring your sketch to life.

Jens' original sketch

Georgia Association of Water Professionals hand drawn sketch of logo

Finished Logo
Georgia Association of Water Professionals Logo

Giveaway Item
Jen chose can coolers for her conference.

These were $2.00 per can cooler, one side printed.

So, why can coolers?

Remember, in addition to  not having a logo, Jen had a really tight deadline, a tight budget, and was worried about "standing out" at her conference.

Custom Can Coolers were an excellent choice for several reasons:

  • obsolescence: can coolers never get old and is always needed
  • inexpensive: 2 bucks for a custom item, can't beat it
  • plentiful with choices: we have local suppliers with tons of stock and color choices: black, white, red, yellow, blue

To save on shipping costs, Jen came by to pick up.
They were a big hit at her conference!

Georgia Association of Water Professionals new Logo on Can Coolers

Odom Design Company can handle your design, sourcing, and merch program needs. Call or email us now!

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