Trade show giveaways are a standard item at most exhibitions, and companies spend millions of dollars every year on having promo products made as part of their brand strategy. The planning you put into your giveaways makes the difference between promo gifts that work and those that don’t. Here are the secrets to making your freebies into winners that boost your marketing efforts and generate leads for your company or product.
Secret #1: Set a goal for promotional items
Promo products need to accomplish a goal. Identify your brand strategy’s main purpose behind the trade show giveaways. Wanting to advertise is not enough; you need to be more specific than that if you are going to find the right sort of product and achieve the outcome you want. Do you want to:
- create market awareness
- sell products
- build your mailing list
- generate business leads
Secret #2: Promo products should target an audience
Great promo products are audience specific. Instead of giving away the standard t-shirts, caps and branded promotional pens, customize your trade show giveaways to fit the audience you expect at the exhibition. Targeted gifts will give you a better chance of the promo items being well-received and even used.
Look for fresh, innovative products that fit in with your brand strategy.
Promo products should also be items that will be useful to the recipients and will last a long time, to achieve maximum visibility for your company.
Secret #3: Give your giveaways screen time
Give your giveaway items lots of exposure. Don’t just stand in your booth, handing out trade show giveaways. Promote the items before the show using email, direct mail and social media advertisements to tell your target audience you’ll be at the event. Invite people to visit your booth and collect their free items. Offer a contest to win a prize for everyone who comes to your booth. Include a voucher in your pre-show promotions that gives them an extra chance to win if they present it at your booth during the show. Not only does this benefit your promotion, but it also helps you build visibility in terms of your brand strategy.
Secret #4: Have enough branded products
Make sure you have enough. Find out how many people are likely to turn up, and make sure you have enough trade show giveaways to last for the duration of the show. There’s nothing worse than building up the interest in your promo products ahead of the show, only to run out on the first day because you haven’t packed enough. This kind of mistake can do significant damage to your brand strategy if you allow it to happen.
Secret #5: Trade promo products for email or business cards
Give products in exchange for information. Sure, people expect to get trade show giveaways for free, but most people don’t mind giving you their email address. However, don’t allow a long line of people to wait, or they’ll simply walk away without the product. Make the process as simple as possible, such as scanning their exhibition ID. If they register with you beforehand, get their info at that point and just check them off the list as they collect their freebie. For those who have a business card, just collect a card from them.
Secret #6: Make your promotional products stand out
Make your promo products stand out. Differentiating yourself from your competition might not be easy, because most trade shows locate companies with similar products together in the exhibition area. Review the map of the exhibition hall to see who is close to you, and plan accordingly. Employ casual staff or enthusiastic students to walk around distributing your trade show giveaways; dress them in promo gear with your company logo to give your brand strategy an extra boost. Perform demonstrations of your product, if possible, that will draw spectators away from neighboring booths. Give away free samples of your product or hold a live drawing every hour.
Secret #7: Follow up on information
Follow up. Trade show giveaways only realize a return on investment if they achieve the purpose you set for them. Collecting hundreds of names is no good if you do nothing with them. Statistics show that one of the main reasons why trade show visitors don’t mind giving their information is because it’s rarely followed up. Don’t make that mistake! Prepare to handle the leads you expect during the show and follow up on all of them within ten days of the show. Whether you send an email, designate a salesperson to call them, or simply add them to your mailing list, don’t let them go to waste.
If your Raleigh, NC business is new and you are still developing your brand strategy, call for a free consultation with a business marketing consultant.