When it comes to attracting new prospects at trade shows – or anywhere, for that matter – nothing can beat “freebies.” But if free gifts are so appealing, why don’t they always work? Why don’t promotional products provide a better return investment, or in some cases, any at all? What many may not realize is how complex an effective giveaway plan can and should be; some careful thought ahead of time can pay off immensely.
Taking the time to select the right promotional item to hand out is crucial. Your giveaway should reflect you, your company, and a piece of your personality. It should also be something that the general public, or your client-base specifically, would find useful and appealing. Ask yourself: “would I want this?” and “would I keep this?”
Most importantly, however, items that can be used on a “repetitive basis” yield the best results. Each time put to use, they are a reminder of your company and service, echoing your company name and logo. Contact information should also be printed on the object; it often does no good for them to “know you” if they can’t easily reach you.
Unfortunately, finding the perfect item doesn’t always fit in your budget. If in the computer-business, for example, a branded USB drive may seem great – until you check the price. But it is important to compare the price of the product itself to its likelihood of being thrown out or never used. Spending more money on an item that will be kept, used often, and appreciated is always better than spending your money on products that are destined to be considered junk or become trash.
Some suggestions, proven to work:
2. Writing Instruments
4. Drink Ware
5. Desk/Business Accessories
Topping the list, apparel such as a simple T-shirt or hat can provide large return investment, as it will advertise not only to the one wearing the articles, but also to anyone they encounter.
How you give away the items, and to whom, is another issue. Because of the price to you, it may seem wise not to hand your products to just anyone, although a better approach would be having a small range of products to give away strategically. A highly prospective customer should walk away with your best, while those simply “visiting” your booth can still leave with something.
Keep in mind that a promotional item does not sell – you and your staff do. These products, on the other hand, first attract and then remind your customers of your service. They are a great tool in the game of marketing and trade shows, but maximize interest only when understood and used properly.