How We Created a Promotional Leave-Behind

This is the process of how we ideated, designed & produced a promotional giveaway for a speaking engagement.

It’s always difficult to design for your own company. But thanks to deadlines, sometimes we’re forced to make final decisions to complete the project. With having an upcoming speaking engagement, this is our process and approach to creating a leave-behind for our attendees.


Focus on utility.

Initial research continued for months. Every promo website under the sun was visited, trying to find something that would impress. What was quickly realized is that far too much pressure was put on this single item, rather than on the idea of connecting the presentation to the giveaway as a holistic experience.

The presentation centered widely around the importance of importance for engaging mobile experiences in today’s digital space. Points of discussion were how many current & future smart-phone users there are, how often smart-phones are being used, and how many successful mobile experiences play a major role in your website’s SEO rankings. To encompass these points with a take-away, the first leave-behind item was a mobile power bank. It has enough juice for one-full charge of your mobile, and is small enough to fit in your front pocket. The response was positive as comments received were “I can never have enough of these,” and “I love how small this is, I can keep it with me wherever I go.”


Deliver brand messaging in a creative way.

Simply put, we needed something fun. An item that could ideally be kept on someones desktop, didn’t take up much space, and became a potential conversation starter to others who noticed it.

I’ve always loved buttons, especially the smaller versions you can find at merchandise tables at music concerts. We wanted to extend our brand message (part of our future messaging) in an eye-catching way. “Create & Disrupt.”

With some illustrative assistance from Miruna Talpas, our fall intern, we created a series of three 1.25" buttons. Lay them on your desktop, pin them to a conference lanyard, or attach them to the lapel of your jacket, which one of the attendees did as soon as they discovered them. This was a fun aspect of the leave-behind, and certainly stirred conversation within the group.


Give them a next step to take.

The presentation was given to share valuable information of the industry that we are passionate about, however, it also became a good way to seek prospective clientele. Even down to the leave-behind, we wanted the attendee to leave with a smile on their face, a fresh boost of inspiration, and to remember our brand in a positive light.

The last part of leave-behind, we wanted to make sure we connected the dots of why we were here, and give a quick call-to-action if they wanted to take further steps into a working relationship with us. First, a business card of the presenter was facing up the box was opened. Second, attached inside of the box lid was a promotional postcard explaining our engagement in three sentences followed by an invitation to our website.


Create intrigue.

I love finding things that require a bit of wonder. Not everything is exposed, and need some exploration and discovery. It grabs, and holds, the spectators attention.

As the attendee arrived for the presentation, we wanted to grab attention and trigger curiosity. To analogize, we wanted to evoke the same anticipation and excitement as a kid on Christmas morning. We also wanted to parallel the experience of working with us as a company to this feeling, where clients are able to see their visions come to life, and the pleasure and gratification that comes with it.

The leave-behind was packaged in a simple kraft oyster box, and sealed with a label that simply stated “Let’s make something.” followed by our logo. In this approach, there was intrigue as well as required interaction. The sound of labels tearing and boxes opening was our goal, and we got it.


In conclusion, creating a leave-behind that promotes your company is a daunting task. Even in our process, there are lessons that were learned for future variations. The challenge was rewarding, and the end result was successful. As is the same with operating a business, promoting a business requires goals and expectations to be set, and make sure to be holistic with whatever story you’re trying to tell.

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