Promotional gifts at trade shows act as magnets to draw visitors inside your trade show booth. Your trade show giveaways not only help to break the ice and get the conversation going between trade show booth staff and visitors but also serve as a way to define your visitor’s intentions in attending the trade show.
If you find the right trade show giveaway to hand out, you will be able to better engage your attendee and thus learn what they are looking for at the trade show. But how do you do this?
Categories of Trade Show Giveaways
According to Mark Kramer, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Private Label Executive Gifts of Campbell, California, promotional giveaways are tools to entice people to come inside your trade show display. There are two categories of gifts.
- The first category is the inexpensive trade show giveaway under $2 that drives traffic and excitement to your trade show booth. A good example is candy. Branded Jelly Belly candies in a cellophane bag with your logo on it costs about $1 a bag. If you are attending a consumer show and have your kids with you, another popular item is a temporary tattoo with your logo on it that kids can adhere to their skin but will easily wash off.
- The second category is the gift that creates the opportunity for you to gather detailed information about your trade show visitor. These are the more expensive promotional gifts called the incentive product. This is a quality item that usually ranges in price up to $25. The incentive gift needs to be something of value.
In order to qualify for this trade show giveaway, people are required to either spend time filling out a survey, watch a demonstration at your trade show booth, or give feedback to help you with your market research. The trade show booth visitor fills out a form that requires their company name, address, website, amount they spend each year on products and services and other relevant data you would like to know.
Only after they complete the form, do they get the gift. An example of this type of incentive trade show giveaway can be a fine quality writing instrument, a steel tape measure or ruler (ideal item for engineers), a key fob (a good tie in at the auto show), etc.
The information you get from the completed surveys help your market research team and adds to your database of customers. Once you learn the basic needs of your visitors, your trade show booth staff can better tailor their sales presentations, address the prospect’s specific needs and improve the closing rate on sales.
According to Kramer, majority of exhibitors use some form of trade show giveaways. According to the Promotional Products Association International s 2005 report, trade shows comprise 12.18% of the $18 billion a year promotional marketing industry. Studies have found that trade shows offer the ultimate targeted sales opportunity. Since trade show audiences are so targeted and well defined, promotional giveaways succeed as a proven and recognized source of new sales and return on investment for the trade show exhibitor.
How to Find the Right Trade Show Booth Gift
Kramer is an expert consultant on promotional marketing. He gives the following tips on finding the right trade show booth gift:
1. Examine the purpose of the gift
Ask the question: What do I, as an exhibitor, want this promotional item to produce at the trade show? Is my purpose at the trade show to reinforce my brand or to make sales or both?
2. Know Your Demographics
Find out who comes to the show or group of trade shows. It is essential to analyze the demographics of your trade show attendees in order to pick the right promotional products. It is essential to get a grasp of the demographics of the trade show attendee to determine the most appropriate product.
3. Work with a promotional marketing consultant who can ask the key questions.
Since there are over ¾ million products that can be imprinted with your logo, it can be a daunting project. The consultant will steer you away from selecting the wrong product and guide you to the most suitable one.
4. Plan a Pre-Show Advance Incentive Mailing
One proven trade show exhibit traffic builder technique is to start with a teaser.
Prior to the trade show, use part of your incentive trade show giveaway as a pre-show mailer. An example of this type of incentive gift is the Swiss Army Knife key chain fob. Mail the toothpick from the Swiss Army knife to the list of your targeted attendees. Be sure to include your trade show booth number and invite your selected list of attendees to drop by your booth to pick up the remaining part of their gift. Make sure your product has at least two easily separated parts and is lightweight enough for a pre-show mailing.
By following the above recommendations, your incentive gift can be of great value in stimulating traffic to your trade show booth. This holds true no matter where you exhibit from the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago, to the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the Las Vegas Convention Center, or the San Jose and Santa Clara Convention Centers.
Remember, the next time you exhibit at a trade show, explore ways to offer memorable promotional giveaways to your key visitors as a way to break the ice, increase your sales, reinforce your brand, and engage your trade show opportunities.
Recommended Books on How to Get Most of a Trade Show:
- How to Get the Most Out of Trade Shows
- Trade Show & Event Marketing: Plan, Promote & Profit
- Guerrilla Trade Show Selling: New Unconventional Weapons and Tactics to Meet More People, Get More Leads, and Close More Sales (Guerrilla Marketing Series)
- Powerful Exhibit Marketing: The Complete Guide to Successful Trade Shows, Conferences, and Consumer Shows
- Tricks of the Trade: From Best Intentions to Best in Show, Revised Edition
About the Author:
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- Trade Show Etiquette: 12 Lessons for a First-Time Exhibitor