Trade show giveaways can promote your business and pave the road to closing deals with current and new customers. But, they can also become a needless drain on your company’s cash flow. The difference is in how you use trade show promotional products as part of your event marketing efforts. Most exhibitors treat giveaway items as a fleeting, last minute detail. They order them right before the event, thinking the only reason to provide them is because their competitors are doing so. But, they’re sabotaging their own efforts. Below, we’ll describe 5 common blunders that trade show vendors commit when buying and using giveaways.
Blunder #1: Forgetting The Objective
Many exhibitors forget that the main goal of trade show promotional products is branding and marketing. Giveaways keep your company’s name in front of qualified leads. When the time comes for your lead to seek a solution to their problems, they think of your company first. In that way, promotional items are small, perpetual marketing machines. Cheap pens that leak or run dry after a few days make poor trade show giveaways. Remember why you’re giving them away.
Blunder #2: Treating Everyone The Same
Attendees love giveaways, even if they have no intention of working with your company. They’ll visit your booth and take your employees’ time just to walk away with your promotional item. Meanwhile, new and current customers wait for your attention. Train your booth staff to qualify attendees quickly. Don’t waste valuable time or promotional items on tire kickers. Save both for building relationships with qualified leads.
Blunder #3: Sacrificing Value For Budget
High-quality, useful trade show promotional products can be expensive. But, they are an investment in closing future deals that will pay long-term dividends. Don’t be tempted to save a few dollars by taking the cheap route. Cheap giveaways seldom last and their low quality is usually obvious. Using promotional items as part of your trade show marketing strategy can be effective, but only to the extent that they last and boost your company’s brand.
Exhibitors often give their trade show promotional products to attendees without requiring any follow-up information. This is a mistake. Event marketing success is largely dependent on your follow-up strategy after the show. Ask qualified leads to leave their information when you offer them your giveaway. When your staff follows up a few days later, your giveaway will have been subtly promoting your company.
Blunder #5: Failing To Reward Loyalty
When your customers visit your booth, have a gift ready for them. Reward their loyalty and show them that you appreciate their business. These gifts should be a level above the trade show promotional products that you’re giving away to qualified leads. For example, if you’re handing out sleek, compact alarm clocks to leads, offer a high-quality thermos or an executive pen to your clients. Make them feel special. After all, they are the reason for your company’s success.
Using Trade Show Promotional Products Effectively
Savvy trade show marketing requires more than simply having an attractive booth and friendly staff (though those are important). You must be able to attract attendees to your booth, qualify them quickly, build your company’s brand and follow up with qualified leads after the event. High-quality, useful trade show promotional products can market your business to those leads long after the show ends. And that can be invaluable for closing future deals.
About the Author:
Jon Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show marketing strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques and using trade show promotional products.