If used effectively, trade show promotional products can serve as a valuable marketing tool. Promotional products are a great way to increase traffic to your booth and they can also help maximize results. This article will discuss a handful of tips on using promotional products to increase your overall impact, lead generation, and sales when you participate in trade shows.
Selecting the Right Trade Show Promotional Product
You want to select a trade show giveaway that visitors will find valuable. Your promotional product needs to be worth holding onto once the show is over.
While considering your options, you need to figure out if the promotional products you’re considering are something you want to have yourself. If so, your booth visitors will likely also find them appealing.
The giveaways you select should connect with your business in some way, shape, or form. For instance, if you’re selling computer-related products, USB flash drives featuring your logo may be a logical giveaway. If you’re in the beauty supply industry, you could give away emery boards with your logo and contact information. Those in the construction industry can hand out screwdrivers or tape measures with their logo. Lastly, personalized pens that are well-made are appropriate for just about any industry.
You can always go with an all-purpose item, such as a tote bag, notepad, or magnet. This segment of giveaway items has a universal appeal. If you decide to go with one of these often-used trade show giveaways, make yours unique by selecting the latest style, shape, and/or color so your item stands out from the rest.
Naturally, your budget will dictate the type of giveaways you select. Contact a number of companies who specialize in promotional products and ask for their advice.
Tell the suppliers your budget, timeframe for shipping, logo requirements, and your expected quantity. Explain your tradeshow goals and ask for suggestions.
You need to plan ahead to ensure you have plenty of time to ship your giveaways before you leave for the show. When you place your order, keep the information you want imprinted brief, so as to increase size and readability. You also want to confirm the turnaround time for your order.
Using Promotional Items in Pre-Show Marketing
Attracting prospects and customers begins long before you arrive at the venue. You can start by making a list of your top prospects and customers whom you’d like to meet at the event.
You can then open a dialogue with prospects and customers a month before the show by phone, letter, or email. If the number of prospects on your list is reasonable, a personal phone call from you or a member of your team is the most impressive method of contact.
When you call your blue-chip prospects, let them know that you’ll be at the upcoming event and that you hope to see them there. Give them your booth number and explain where your display will be within the exhibit hall. Then, invite them to come by your booth for a special promotional gift.
If possible, set a time when they will come by and make sure your booth is staffed appropriately so you can have a meaningful exchange and garner a sale.
Furthermore, you may want to include information about your giveaway item on your website when you display your exhibition calendar.
Effective Use of Trade Show Promotional Products During the Show
The way in which you hand out your promotional products influences their perceived value and impact. You may want to consider keeping your trade show giveaways out of site rather than having them on a display table for anyone to take.
You want to selectively hand out the branded products to booth visitors with whom you’ve connected and have expressed an interest in your product or service. Remember, every person who stops at your display is a potential customer.
You can also pre-qualify prospects by asking for a business card or having them complete a brief lead form before you give them the promotional product. Doing so will help identify your top prospects and assist with follow-up efforts after the show.
Post-Show Evaluation of Trade Show Promotional Products
When you return from the event, you need to evaluate the effectiveness of your tradeshow promotional products.
While the quantitative result may not be available, you will have strong directional cues on the impact of the item(s) you selected. This helps determine the type of giveaway item you use in the future.
Furthermore, you may want to test different trade show promotional products on different days or at different events to determine which are more effective.
You’ll likely have unused promotional items after a show. You can give these leftover items a second life after the show. Here are a few ideas:
- Send extra giveaways to customers who couldn’t make the show with a note telling them how much you appreciate their business
- Save extras for your next trade show event
- Give the leftovers to your employees as a way of letting them know you appreciate their daily efforts
- Use the extra giveaways to collect leads on your website. Include information on your website that encourages visitors to complete your inquiry form to receive a gift in return in the mail