Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Promotinal Imprinted Products At Trade Shows

Last week I wrote an article on trade shows & how to prepare for a successful exhibit. My 8th tip was to hand out promotional imprinted products. They lure people to your booth. Everyone loves a free gift.

Promotional give-aways can even be a bigger draw than your service or product. Believe it or not, some attendees go to the show or convention, grab a few catalogs that could be of interest to their company & then go from booth to booth to see what they can pick up......they end up with more swag than brochures or business contacts. These obviously aren't the people you want to attract to your exhibit, but you still need the promotional gifts to welcome your customers & prospects.

This is not the time for you to to cut corners & give out the pens or sticky notes you hand out on a regular basis. They'll get lost with everything else being collected or mix in with other pens & note pads. Don't be an average Joe......a trade show is not the place to blend in with your competition. You need to stand out from the others & let your company name be seen & be remembered. You paid a lot to be at the exhibit so take it all the way to be successful & make an impact with your promotional custom products.

Promotional products are a great way to put your company in the forefront of potential customers' minds, even after they've left the trade show or conference.  Customized promotional items help familiarize people with your name, brand, product & service--leading to sales & referrals down the road. However selecting marketing products that your customers will actually keep & use can be difficult. At any conference, attendees are inundated with free pens, note pads & white ceramic mugs. These items are often quickly lost or thrown out before the person leaves the convention center. Promotional gifts that prospects & customers will keep & use are ones that offer value & stand out from the crowd. Yes, they could cost slightly more, but it will pay off in the long run. They will leave the trade show in a suitcase, not a plastic trash bag.

While common items like pens & note pads are popular promotional give-aways, they never stand out from the pack. Additionally, they're items that are frequently discarded due to their low preceived value. Think about the kind of promotional custom products you'd like to receive--what would you keep & use? Below are some ideas that your customers & prospects will value.

Non-woven reusable bags are my number one favorite for trade shows, seminars or conventions. Attendees will need something to store all the material they've gathered & your logo will travel the trade show floor with the person carrying the bag. It will be a traveling billboard for your company. Don't forget to add the booth number. People will stop the guests carrying your bags & ask, "Where did you get that?" That bag will also be used many times after the trade show is over--again advertising your company. Do you know that one bag has the potential of 1038 people seeing it a month? How's that for great (& inexpensive) advertising?

USB flash drives are great promotional gifts at trade shows & seminars. Attendees will need something to store all the material they gathered & your logo will be a reminder of your company whenever they use the flash drive. In addition to branding the flash drive, itself, you can also include your promotional material on the drive. If you decide to do that, make sure your data is compelling, useful & interesting or else the person will have no reason to watch it. One tip: you should select a model with sufficient storage space--if there isn't adequate memory, it could be discarded. You've wasted your money if it gets forgotten in the back of a desk drawer--better to spend a few dollars more & have the recipient use it.

Insulated travel mugs for hot drinks are a popular give-away item because they can be used by virtually everyone. However, a cheap, white, ceramic mug may not find its way onto a desk or into a kitchen cupboard. On the other hand, high quality insulated travel mugs may end up being used on a daily basis. They will go everywhere your customer goes giving your business great exposure. Think about it......during the week it's in the office where co-workers can see it & after work, it may go on a few quick errands or to pick up the kids.  Week-ends--the gym, the mall, the beach or park--the list is endless. Your customer is taking your company along & advertising for you. It doesn't get easier than that.

Water bottles but not the old fashioned plastic ones that end up in the trunk of a car or a trashcan. Water bottles have come along way in the last five years. With the upsurge of health care & staying fit, these new kind of bottles with bright colors make a fashion statement of their own. The plastic is a hard durable material that is shatterproof & doesn't retain odors or tastes. The bottles are also available in aluminum to keep drinks extra cold or in glass for a fresh, crisp, clean look. Attendees at the show are always drinking from disposable water bottles......who knows, they could end up using yours instead, as they go from booth to booth, giving you instant exposure. These have the same benefits as the insulated travel mugs above. After the trade show they go where your customer or prospect goes & that's usually to places you don't. That opens up a whole new spectrum of clients for you.

Sticky notes can be a good promotional gift if you're looking for something useful to give away. Yes, I said not to give something so commonplace because it can get lost among other pads. But there are all kinds of handy, branded cases that can house your sticky notes & even those useful sticky flags. Since they are used everywhere by everyone, you can be sure recipients of these will keep your notes close by. There's a wide assortment of cases, some for any budget & many are refillable.  Honestly, I'd make sure you invest in one that can be refilled. Some options for cases are spiral notebook types, bright colored plastic containers or leather-like holders. These just heightened the value of the sticky note & you're not blending in with the other exhibitors.

Hopefully this brief list gives you some ideas to start your promotional campaign at trade shows & conventions. Remember, if you're looking for customized promotional gifts that people will continue to use over & over, it's important that you take the time to carefully select useful, high-quality items that stand out from the crowd.

Good luck at your next trade show or convention. Hope it's a success & that your booth will be crowded with visitors.
Ronni Sherman

1 comment:

  1. Trade shows can help increase product awareness due to the number of attendees who can become potential customers. And promotional items are in fact one of the main reasons why people take part on these types of events.