Trade show giveaways that give back

Trade show giveaways that give back

Trade Show Giveaways That Give Back

It’s hard to imagine a trade show without trade show giveaways. Promotional items help attract visitors to your booth, spark memories after the event, and can share your company information with prospects in a distinctive, memorable way. But how do you find a unique, appealing and effective giveaway that distinguishes your company from your competitors?

First and foremost, you have to think small, practical, re-usable, and functional. Trade show visitors don’t relish cumbersome objects, and they search for items that are useful. Throwaway items mean that your company information is permanently lost, so stick to trade show giveaways that last and provide ongoing recall for potential prospects. With some planning and effort, your company can implement a successful trade show giveaway strategy by following the 9-step process below:

1. Define your trade show audience – Who will receive your giveaways? Existing customers, prospects, and/or general passersby? Consider distributing different gifts to different visitors, with the quality of the trade show giveaway directly proportional to the quality of the lead. You may also consider contacting key existing customers prior to the trade show and informing them that a gift awaits their arrival at your booth.

2. Establish your goals – What do you hope to achieve with your giveaways? Educate or increase awareness of your company/product/service, introduce a new product line, provide helpful hints, communicate your contact information in a unique way, build existing customer loyalty, motivate an action, or perhaps communicate a message? Your giveaway goal(s) will determine the nature of your promotional item.

3. Locate the ideal item – Consider hiring a promotional specialist to help you find a giveaway that works. Pens, sticky pads and keychains are overused, so check the internet for alternatives such as reusable water bottles, computer calendars, canvas bags, playing cards, eco-friendly products, or appeal to the kid in all of us with yo-yos, frisbees, balls, or puzzles.
4. Include your company message – At a minimum, be sure to add your company name, logo and website address or phone number to the giveaway item. What about a specific, eye-catching message?

5. Calculate your budget – The quality, quantity and special order will affect your price. Consider ordering the same item for multiple shows to reduce the cost per unit.

6. Determine qualifiers for your giveaways – Will you reward visitors for participation in demonstrations or contests? What about thanking visitors for sharing qualifying information about their needs? Or cheaper giveaways for attendees who merely stop at your booth?

7. Develop a sales incentive – Will your trade show giveaways assist with future sales? Keep in mind that discount coupons or gift certificates require future contact with your company in order to be redeemed.

8. Inform your target audience – Send some “teaser information” to your existing customers prior to the show, with details of a great giveaway. Or create a two-piece premium: send one part to the customer, and tell them they can collect the second part at your booth.

9. Create a tracking mechanism – Smart companies measure the success of their trade show giveaways. If it is a redemption item, attach a code so you know it originated from a trade show. Consider conducting a post-show follow-up, whereby you contact visitors to ask them if they remember receiving the giveaway, and whether the product was useful.

Be wary of flashy event gimmicks and promotions – these distractions only attract large numbers of visitors who are not interested in your company. It’s far better to spend staff time focusing on high-quality prospects. Also avoid stacking giveaways on your table, as this can diminish the value of your item. Instead, consider personally distributing giveaways to qualified visitors.

What about holding several draws and prizes throughout the day? Visitors are more likely to participate if their odds are increased, and may return more often to your booth to see if they’ve won. Frequent returns can translate into better rapport and better leads. Find a giveaway that complements your company image and which visitors will appreciate long after the event has ended. By following the 9-step process outlined above, you will be better prepared to develop great giveaways that generate qualified leads.