How to Use Trade Show Giveaways to Deliver Results
By Jules Sowder | August 31, 2006
At first glance, an exhibit hall seems like a treasure trove for prospecting. Yet, with all the distractions of the show and your competition vying for the attention of the attendees, interest-grabbers like unique trade show giveaways or promotional items can help draw booth traffic, create recall after the show, and provide contact information in a memorable way to prospects.
Yet, not all promotional items are worth your investment and some even may prove detrimental to your success. So how do you pick trade show giveaways that further your objectives without burdening your budget?
First, you need to define what you hope to achieve with your trade show giveaways, in addition to attracting people to your booth. You may see your promotional items as a way to increase awareness, introduce a new product line, provide helpful tips, or communicate your contact information in a unique way.
Then, based on your goals for your trade show giveaways, you need to find a promotional item that is unique, complementary to your product, and accurately reflects the image you need to portray. As you evaluate your options, consider the following:
- Does the item complement your product image and theme?
- Do the giveaways you want to purchase fit within your budget?
- Are you able to imprint your key contact information and message on the trade show promotional item?
- Will you be able to get your shipment in time for the event?
- Is your giveaway unique and different from others you've seen?
- Is the item something YOU would like to have?
There are many premium specialty companies that can provide counsel to you. You can source these companies through your local chamber of commerce, yellow pages, web search, exhibit company, or professional referral.
Whether you select paper pads, bouncing balls, ice scrapers or miniature globes, it is essential that your giveaways have a connection to your product.
An alternative to a free promotional item is printing a tip sheet or brochure filled with practical ideas related to your target audience's needs and your product. Event visitors may be attracted to this type of "tool" because it serves a specific, helpful purpose.
Then, at the show, hand out your giveaways selectively. Don't have them available for anyone to take. You also may ask your booth visitors to give you their business cards or other qualifying information to receive your gift. It will give the promotional item more meaning and help you with your post-show follow-up initiatives.