Some of us are so close to the trade show floor that we often neglect to see things from the perspective of attendees. We’re immersed in our trade show marketing efforts without fully appreciating how those efforts are affecting those to whom they are directed. Nowhere is this transgression more prevalent than with trade show giveaways.
A casual walk across the convention floor will expose the flaws in exhibitors’ premium strategy. As a learning experience, visit other trade show exhibits and collect their giveaways. You’ll find that few do a good job toward communicating the exhibitor’s marketing message on a promotional item that offers long-term value. Below, I’ll provide five tips for using your trade show giveaways effectively.
#1 – Support Your Marketing Message
Your trade show giveaways should be more than mere novelties. They should support your company’s primary marketing message. For example, if your company provides networking solutions, a Flash drive that carries your message, logo, and contact information is an ideal promotional product. If you’re in the health care industry, a compact booklet filled with helpful information about building a healthy lifestyle will not only be kept, but ties in seamlessly with your product.
#2 – Provide Practical Value
Bouncing rubber balls, paddle-and-ball sets, and flying airplanes may attract attention, but the value they offer attendees is limited. In most cases, they’ll be thrown away soon after the event. Invest in trade show giveaways that offer practical value to your prospects. A stainless steel thermal bottle, calculator, or wall calendar will carry your message and promote your company long after the trade show.
#3 – Use Multiple Promotional Products
Your trade show attractions will draw people to your booth, but not all of them will turn into qualified leads. Providing high-quality promotional items to every visitor willquickly drain your budget without producing a return on your investment. On the other hand, there is value in offering each attendee something that carries your company’s message.
Invest in at least two different trade show giveaways. One can offer reasonable quality and value to each person who visitors your booth. The other can be given to your best customers and leads.
#4 – Integrate Them Into Your Marketing Strategy
Your promotional products should represent an important facet of your trade show marketing strategy. Too often, exhibitors purchase trade show giveaways only if their budget allows after other expenses. This is a flawed approach.
Allocate a portion of your budget for promotional items during the planning stage, long before the trade show arrives. Weeks in advance, let your best customers and leads know they can pick up their premium giveaway at your booth. When you use your giveaways as part of your trade show marketing plan, you can leverage more value from them.
#5 – Design A Tracking Method
Testing and tracking is important to constantly improve your trade show marketing plan. You may think your giveaways are effective, but the only way to tell for certain is to track them their use. Create a system that lets you or your staff identify the effectiveness of your promotional products. If you’re offering redemption coupons to attendees, tracking is simple; your employees can simply record the number of returned coupons. Other premiums might require more effort. Consider surveying your leads regarding whether they found your giveaways to be useful.
Trade show giveaways can be a powerful promotional tool when used properly. Unfortunately, most exhibitors fail to leverage their value. Incorporate your giveaways into your trade show marketing strategy to increase your booth traffic, qualify leads, and communicate your marketing message long after the convention lights are turn off.