Trade shows can be exciting and productive events, but they can also be overwhelming if you’re not well-prepared. Whether you’re an exhibitor looking to make a lasting impression on potential clients or an attendee eager to network and learn, this trade show survival guide has you covered. Let’s review some valuable tips and tricks for both exhibitors and attendees to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience.
DON’T FORGET: trade show success starts with research! To find out which trade shows are the best fit for your company, start your search now using our Worldwide Trade Show Calendar!
While there was a large decline in travel between 2020 and 2022, data indicates that most businesses are now traveling again. More than two-thirds of businesses with yearly revenues under $1 billion anticipate raising their travel spending.
Let’s not sugarcoat it. Trade shows require a lot of behind the scenes preparation leading up to the big day including what you choose for swag. Also known as promotional products, giveaways or freebies, these items become an integral part of the vibrant and bustling trade show experience. Continue reading “Simple Tips To Up Your Trade Show Swag Game”
Normally, once you return to the office after a few days or a week away while exhibiting at a trade show, checking inventory of your trade show stuff it typically last on the list. Most likely you shoved everything into the storage closet and got back to business hoping the next time you open the cases everything is there (and in good working order). But these are not normal times.
Some of your co-workers may be working from home or on staggered shifts, so the office halls are empty and quiet leaving you plenty of space to pull everything “trade show related” out of the closet. This may be the last thing you feel like doing during your work day, but trust us once you’re done you will feel more organized and accomplished. You’ll know what’s on hand before your next event and be able to decide on a budget for what needs to be replaced.
Your promotional giveaways are the symbolic item representing your company’s image and reputation. Don’t think so? Well, it does. Your giveaway is your company’s image carried around at the show that can catch potential clients attention and it’s part of your advertising campaign when it arrives home with your attendee. It may end up on their desk at the office or at home working for you day after day.
But, why put so much emphasis on it – it isn’t a pair of diamond earrings or anything? The point is to make your visitors stop by your booth for just long enough to learn something about your company. Having an effective ‘tool’ to grab them and keep them around will help you gather the leads you are trying to obtain.
It’s the second most important visual piece to your trade show marketing efforts – your display being the first. So, before it’s too late, get rid of the ‘Blah’ trade show giveaway. Spark the interest of others at the show with your next giveaway item.
Give yourself some guidelines when choosing your promotional item. A treasure chest full of treats awaits. Most view the giveaway item as either the most fun trade show decision or the absolute hardest. Endless choices, where to start… from memory sticks, bouncy balls, to calculators, key chains, and mouse pads, also mini radios, the always bright highlighter and the ever popular pen — all of these and more. So, what suits you all depends on what your ultimate objective is.
With so many choices available, what will fit your company best? We’re hoping this helps.
>> Sample products are great to giveaway and very effective. For example: a day spa may give away samples of the most popular lotion or facial mask.
>> Develop a theme for the show and base your promotional item on that theme.
>> Tip on saving money – stretch it if you can… Order a higher quantity for a better, lower price per piece. Try this… double your trade show giveaway by turning it into a Thank You Gift for your daily customers. This can save money and promote future uses.
>> Price no object… keep in mind the cost spent doesn’t mean a better impression. You may not have to spend as much as you think.
>> Go Green your objective… recycled promotional products are the latest rave. From tote bags, 100% organic cotton beach towels, bamboo shaft umbrella to a simple ball pen made from 100% renewable corn. Hop on the Go Green train today.
So, what other options are there.
>> Can’t decide on what ‘item’ reflects your company best… opt for the Gift Certificate or Coupon route – a valuable item to encourage future purchases.
>> Information give away… what if you’re a ‘sell your mind’ kind of company such as, motivational speakers, freelance copywriters, graphic designers? You get the idea – pay for their brain kind of a service. Well, they have no physical ‘product’ so what could they give other than the traditional pen? How about a “How To: Booklet”, DVD or CD with custom label – free information on tips and techniques is a valuable use-it-now-tool. Go ahead and try the information give away. Provide them with your knowledge for free is also another way of wowing the visitor with what you have to offer. Just make sure it is helpful and is related to the target audience.
Make your promotional giveaways work for you after the trade show is all said and done.
Promote your company after the show… by utilizing your giveaway to promote website activity by coding each giveaway with a serial number. After the show, post the winning number on your website. They will have to visit your site to find out if they won. The potential website visit will give them yet another chance to become familiar with the products/services you offer. But be careful, make sure you tell them about the Bonus gift or they won’t go to your website.
Know how to distribute your promotional items effectively.
>> “Gift grabbers” Stop them dead in their tracks!: You’ve seen it, they probe your booth for that ‘free item’ and then they’re off to the next. So… combat this and don’t stack them on your table! Your gift is not necessarily free-for-the-taking and you certainly don’t want to diminish the value of the ‘gift’ if everyone can have it.
>> Try Personal selection: Personally hand select each ‘gift’ recipient. This opens a 1-on-1 conversation allowing you to qualify with whom you are speaking and reiterates your appreciation of their time and booth visit.
>> You give and YOU get method: This one takes a bit more effort on your part but may lead to the best pay off. Use a Lead form. Have the prospect fill out a very short form asking no more than 4 quick questions. Include a spot where they can leave their contact info too. Once completed reward them with your ‘free gift’. You give them something tangible and in return YOU get an open door for the future to contact and follow up.
Ultimately, your trade show promotional giveaways don’t make or break the overall true success of your show. But, it should be viewed as a tool – a very significant tool – a marketing tool with the magnitude to remain in the forefront of the potential client’s mind and life.