Archive for August, 2012

Tradeshow Giveaway Tips & Tricks

August 12th, 2012

Trade shows are your best opportunity to meet face to face with your industry – your prospects, customers and competition. Although they are costly, you can make sure they pay off with the right combination of promotional products and logo apparel. While everyone is familiar with trade show giveaways, The proven strategy goes beyond the simple giveaway item. When you work on your trade show promotion, think BIG: Bait, Image and Gifts.

Bait: At trade shows, time is limited and you’re competing for people’s attention. A great tool for driving traffic to your booth is what is called “bait” – inexpensive branded giveaways. The right bait will create a commotion around your booth, and get everyone at the show talking about you. Bait can bring crowds to less than ideal booth locations and ensure passing traffic steps into your booth.
Great Bait ideas are, Buttons and Lanyards, Walking Winders, Tote Bags, Stress Balls.

Image: You’ve paid for the chance to meet face to face with your industry, so project the best image possible. The right logo apparel reinforces your brand, underscores your professionalism and helps interested prospects identify your staff. From polo shirts to button-downs, make sure your team looks great and feels comfortable. With minimums as low as twelve pieces, there’s no excuse not to. Perfect Image ideas are Logo Apparel, Golf and Polo Shirts, Button Down Shirts, T-shirts and Caps & Hats.

Gifts: Use gifts to make sure the prospects you meet remember you after the show. Having a higher value gift for qualified prospects sets the stage for your post-show follow-up. These also make a great “thank you” gift for existing customers. Some companies also use these more desirable items as incentives to attend product presentations or schedule a sales visit. Great gift ideas are Executive Pens, Keychains, Golf and Cigar Accessories and Dress Watches.

Now you’re on your way to more successful trade shows. In this section include top items from BIG categories, as well as links to product collections that may be applicable to your industry or the location of your trade show.

Also, keep in mind the idea is to attract a range of good quality conference attendees to your trade show booth? Don’t just hand out promotional products to the masses without asking them some questions in return. If you take this strategic approach to promotional product giveaways you’ll find a far better reception awaits you and a far better return on your marketing investment.
First up, why not go to the next trade show or conference and do some basic research? Once you’re there this is what you’ll most likely see: trade show tote bags and screenprinted T-shirts, key rings, keychains and branded promotional pens, coffee mugs and lapel pins. Don’t forget beer-can stubby coolers, USB flash drives, fridge magnets, sports drink bottles, visors and a wide rage of conference bags. Of course there are also promotional stress balls by the thousand. Don’t forget to mention mousepads.

Unfortunately, this is what you’ll also see at most trade shows: hordes of attendees with glints in their eyes, shoveling your carefully considered promotional products into very large bags to take them home of the kids and the dog to play with. Often overlooked in the feeding frenzy is the marketing rationale behind those items, the most efficient use of the products and how you ultimately make your investment in conference giveaways pay off.

Too often one sees a lazy approach to the use of promotional products at trade shows. Sometimes promotional products – when used in the wrong way – tend to attract the wrong person to your stand at a conference – people more interested in scamming you for a cheap novelty than having any genuine interest in your product range. Everything you do at a promotional trade show or sales conference should be focused on qualifying attendees, and having conversations with people you hope will eventually do business with you.

The traditional use of promotional products at trade shows is to boost traffic to your stand or booth. In addition to offering attention grabbing objects as colorful lures, conference promotional gifts also are integral to booth-located games and involving events, where an activity like spinning a wheel to win a prize is an interactive way to attract visitors and reinforce your sales or corporate message.
Make sure you match the promotional product you’re using with the marketing message as much as possible given the restrictions of budget and space you are faced with. If your product is power tools, a possible prize might be a good quality tool box. The promotional item doesn’t necessarily have to be something directly connected to the product you’re selling, but if at all possible it should be tied to the overall message you’re promoting.

Experts stress that products should be useful, that recipients are more apt to hang on to the items and therefore obviously view the logo and marketing message on the item as often as possible. This sort of consistent message in front of a prospect is a proven method of building awareness of your band and message.

Products given out at industry trade shows will ideally have long-term impact after the event is finished. Rule of thumb research over the years suggests that 75% of trade show attendees remembered the company that gave them a worthwhile promotional product while retaining a more favorable impression of that company than of other competitors who didn’t come through with the goods. Sending out invitations to attend to your clients or prospects packaged with a pre-show gift is statistically a better traffic draw than sending an invitation alone. And an invitation that also offers a promotional gift at the booth draws a crowd best of all. Clever promotional conference gifts and giveaways tend not only to draw traffic, but also to hang about for years to come.

What about the hoarders, curious time wasters and bag fillers who have no desire to do business with you? Trade show giveaways have a role in converting them to prospects. By keeping a supply of cheap promotional products on hand at your next trade show or conference you will be able to quickly pay off an annoying visitor and therefore move on to spend your time profitably with a better class of attendee.

Some regular users of promotional conference and trade show items advise always keeping the promotional products hidden from view. A cheaper product can be retrieved as a disengagement technique, while the upscale, impressive gift of genuine value can be handed over following a productive conversation with a senior-level decision-maker.