One of the top questions we hear as exhibitors prepare for events is, “What should we use as a giveaway?”
Everybody wants a promotion that’s fun, attractive, and desirable, so it drives traffic to their booth and builds brand awareness. Careful consideration of the giveaway strategy, however, reveals that a giveaway too often ends up in the hands of people who are more interested in bringing home gifts to their kids than they are in purchasing your product or service.
To avoid this dilemma, consider replacing gift bags and goodies with promotions that offer real value to potential clients. You’ll find your trade shows end up being much more profitable.
Determine Who You Are Trying to Reach
Instead of starting out by brainstorming fun examples of tradeshow giveaways, approach the problem from another angle by asking yourself who you are targeting and what your goals are. Brainstorming answers to these questions will provide you with a strategy that allows you to accomplish what you want.
Trying to get people to sign up for your newsletter? Want them to try your product? A carefully crafted promotion that offers a reward for taking that action will be far more effective than a stress ball or a bag of popcorn stamped with your company logo.
Forcing a prospective client to engage with you in order to get a more valuable reward also provides your business with a much more qualified list for you to follow up with later.
While you may find you have fewer visitors to your booth when you don’t give away a freebie, those who come will be truly interested in what you have to say.
Include a Sales Promotion with Each Giveaway
If you feel like you must have a giveaway at your trade show booth, make sure it is accompanied by another invitation; for example:
• A discount on a future sale
• A gift certificate toward the purchase of your service
• A gift offer with a purchase or signed contract
Doing this opens the door to bringing prospective clients back to you for more and gives yourself the opportunity to establish a long-term relationship that will generate revenue.
Drawings and Prizes Rather Than Tradeshow Giveaways
Instead of giving away a small, branded item to each person who passes through your booth, determine what prize would be of most value to your desired prospects. Stay away from items that hold universal appeal like iPads or televisions. Instead, choose something from your own company that has undeniable value.
For example, a popular website might present free advertising space, a dog grooming company might offer complimentary pet grooming, and a home contractor might discount a specific amount in home repairs.
Ask people to enter their card or contact information for an end-of-the-day raffle. For the same value that you would have put into pens or hand sanitizer, you will have a basket full of people with whom you can follow up.