For­get the free pen. Try the hand san­i­tizer

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers -

When it comes to health­care trade show give­away items, Out­liers has a soft spot for pens and high­lighters that look like sy­ringes (or chocolate ob­jects in any shape), but the Ad­ver­tis­ing Spe­cialty In­sti­tute re­cently an­nounced that a ri­val has emerged to chal­lenge pro­mo­tional pens as ruler of the swag king­dom.

More and more com­pa­nies are at­tach­ing their lo­gos to con­tain­ers of hand san­i­tiz­ers, says the Trevose, Pa.-based API, adding that this is noth­ing to sneeze at: Com­pa­nies coughed up nearly $20 bil­lion on pro­mo­tional prod­ucts in 2008. Dol­lar fig­ures weren’t pro­vided, but the API re­ports that san­i­tizer sales surged in early spring and again in Septem­ber at the start of flu sea­son and in­creased to 750,000 units a month from 400,000 since May.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion says con­cern over the H1N1 virus is the driv­ing force be­hind th­ese num­bers. But Out­liers pre­dicts that, if this trend con­tin­ues, it will only make the few re­main­ing booths of­fer­ing chocolate more pop­u­lar with tote­bag-fill­ing con­ven­tion-go­ers.

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