Use Promotional Products Effectively

Is it necessary to offer promotional items at my trade show booth?

Part of the excitement in going to a trade show is coming home with interesting giveaways. Since being at a trade show means being close to your prospective customers, it’s important that you offer unique items they will remember you by.

Aside from giving the trade show go-ers the gift they’ve come to expect, promotional items can work some other wonders for you as well:

Drive traffic to your booth. You can draw a huge crowd in front of your booth (as well as connect with lots of prospects) just by having an interesting gift. Everyone will want to know what’s going on and who you are. While they wait in line, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to explain your services and collect leads to follow-up on after the show. When people are in other locations of the convention center and see your name on a bag or a cool item, they’ll seek you out.

Leave behind a good feeling about your company. While any gift is appreciated, a special one can create a connection between what you do and your prospect’s needs.

What are the best items to give out?

Be creative! Try to pick a gift that will not only incite your prospects’ curiosity but also tie in with your business. For example, a beauty website or fashion magazine might give out a lip-gloss or a compact. An investment bank might think about a translucent calculator.

Pens, while they may seem like a naturally inexpensive choice, are an effective way to establish your brand. Experts say that pens have a high “pass-along” value and can actually promote your company up to 8 times longer than any other giveaway. Once given to a prospect, the pen will be used at work, could be lent to a colleague, or left behind in an office. As a result, your company name will travel and inspire brand recognition.

How much should I spend on promotional items for the show?

This is largely dependent on your budget. Your best bet is to spend between $1 and $5 per person.

Also, note that it is acceptable to buy two different sets of giveaways to distinguish between good leads and serious prospects:

If someone approaches you with an interest in learning about your business, consider them a good lead. The best you can do to make an impression (aside from a winning sales pitch) is to give them a little something to remember your name. By spending between $1 and $5 per person, you can find products with enough flare to draw a crowd without breaking the bank. There are a number of unique items which, when used in combination, can make an influential giveaway package.

A serious lead is someone who not only has established a need for the resources you offer but also is able to influence purchase decisions. For these prospects, you may want to spend between $7 and $10 per person on incentives. Offer the gift with some discretion and point out that these are not for everyone, just special people you look forward to working with. By letting them know that you highly value their prospective business, the $10 you spend will surely pay you back.