Promotional gifts at trade shows act as magnets to draw visitors inside your booth. They not only help to break the ice and get conversation going between booth staff and visitors, they also serve to define your visitors’ intentions for 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.
According to Mark Kramer, Vice President of 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.
1. The inexpensive trade show giveaway
This giveaway is under $2 but 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. When visitors to a consumer show include kids, another popular item is a temporary tattoo with your logo on it that children can adhere to their skin but will easily wash off.
2. The gift that creates the opportunity for you to gather detailed information about your trade show visitor
These gifts are the more expensive and are commonly called “incentive products.” They are quality items with a max price of $25. An incentive product should be something of value.
In order to qualify for your trade show giveaway, visitors are required to either:
- Fill out a survey
The trade show booth visitor fills out a form that requires their company name, address, website, the 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 is a fine-quality writing instrument, a steel tape measure or ruler (ideal for engineers), a key fob (good at an auto show), etc.
The information you get from the completed surveys helps 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 prospects’ specific needs, and improve the closing rate on sales.
- Watch a demonstration at your custom trade show booth
- Give feedback to help you with your market research
Kramer cites that the 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 audiences are so targeted and well-defined, promotional giveaways succeed as a proven and recognized source of new sales and return on investment.
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, to make sales, or both?
2. Know your demographics.
Find out who comes to the show. It’s essential to analyze the demographics of your trade show attendees in order to pick the right promotional products.
3. Work with a promotional marketing consultant who can ask the key questions.
When over ¾ million products need to 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 a Swiss Army Knife keychain 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—the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago, the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the Las Vegas Convention Center, or the Santa Clara Convention Center.
The next time you exhibit at a trade show, explore ways to offer memorable promotional giveaways to your key visitors to break the ice, increase your sales, reinforce your brand, and engage your trade show opportunities.