Getting people to visit your trade show booth with various trade show attractions is only one part of multi-pronged trade show marketing strategy. Once they’re in front of your booth, you should have tradeshow giveaway items available to offer them. If you use the right approach when selecting promotional items, you can gain a competitive advantage over other exhibitors.
The right giveaways can lay the foundation for qualifying visitors as leads and following up with them to close deals. The wrong products can fail to make an impression or worse, distract leads from understanding why they should conduct business with your company. Below, I’ll give you 5 savvy trade show giveaway ideas for your next event.
Tradeshow Giveaway Idea #1 – Bags
Giveaway bags fill an immediate need. Attendees can easily become loaded down with promotional items and literature. Offer them a convenient way to carry everything. Not only will they remember your company as the one who came to their rescue, but they’ll likely keep the bag long after the event ends. Plus, by imprinting your company’s name, logo, and contact information on each bag, they advertise your business throughout the trade show floor.
One word of caution: use high-quality bags (canvas, if possible). If your bag breaks and the contents spill, attendees will remember your company. But, not in the manner you’d prefer.
Tradeshow Giveaway Idea #2 – Pens
As one of the most common trade show giveaways, pens are instantly useful. Not only can they be valuable during the event, but if they carry your company’s name, they’ll continue to promote your business after attendees return home. However, while pens are fantastic branding tools, they do not always have the long-lasting marketing effect that other, more significant items have. its best not to rely on pens as your sole trade show giveaway, but instead to pair them with other, more long-lasting trade show giveaways. By taking this approach, you achieve two goals – the instant branding and usefulness of a pen, and the long-term marketing message of a more significant item.
That being said, giving a significant item away to every person that walks by your trade show booth would not be cost effective! Pens are the perfect tradeshow giveaway to all passersby, but your trade show staff must be trained to identify high-quality, high-potential leads for your more significant items. A high-quality trade show giveaway to a qualified lead is worth the investment as it smooths the road to conducting business later.
Tradeshow Giveaway Idea #3 – Alarm Clocks
Alarm clocks can make ideal trade show giveaways because they solve 2 problems. First, most attendees visit from out of town and a lot of them forget to bring portable alarm clocks. They need something to wake them each morning. Second, an attractive travel alarm will likely be kept and used in the future. If it carries your company’s name, that means continuous free promotion. If possible, include batteries so attendees can put them to use immediately.
Tradeshow Giveaway Idea #4 – Coffee Mugs And Thermoses
Ceramic coffee mugs and stainless steel thermoses can be very effective as trade show giveaways. Chances are, a large portion of the people at the event will be habitual coffee drinkers. Whether they drink it in the office, at home, or on the road, they’ll likely consider these giveaways valuable. Ceramic mugs are relatively inexpensive. Steel thermoses are a bit more costly. The key is to invest in quality and provide them to your customers and best leads.
Tradeshow Giveaway Idea #5 – Staplers
Staplers are used frequently and rarely discarded. As long as they don’t break, attendees will likely keep them for years. If you have your company’s name and phone number imprinted on them, you’ll enjoy free long-term advertising. That can be especially valuable when your staff is following up with leads. As with most trade show promotional products, invest in high-quality staplers to ensure they’ll last.
Leveraging Your Trade Show Giveaways
The 2 most common mistakes exhibitors make when selecting their trade show giveaways is relying solely on low-quality items. Inexpensive items are a great branding tactic – it’s better to have something in each attendee’s goody bag than nothing. But you’ll want to be sure to also have some high quality items on hand for your qualified leads.
Another mistake is choosing novelty over usefulness. Even inexpensive items can be useful, but pure novelty items with little useful value can negatively impact your company’s image and distract attendees from the benefits of doing business with you. Each of the 5 giveaway ideas above are designed to provide usefulness and perpetual promotion for your company.
Remember, the promotional items that you offer booth visitors and qualified leads should support your trade show marketing strategy. Anything less and they can easily become a waste of your budget.
About the author:
Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.