Getting ready to participate in trade show? Trade shows offer excellent exposure for both new and well-established businesses. But, since you're competing with so many other businesses (including some of your direct competitors), how will you make your own booth jump out and draw in trade show visitors like a magnet?
One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is by offering attractive promotional gifts. Everyone likes a free gift. People especially appreciate gifts that are practical, something they can use once they get home. Remember, most other booths at the trade show will also be handing out promotional gifts. Outdoing your competitors doesn't necessarily require out-spending them. Instead, it may simply call for out-thinking them.
When choosing promotional gifts for trade shows, take a little bit of time to evaluate your situation and your possibilities. Consider the five major factors that will influence your choice.
Try to purchase promotional gifts that are in line with your own company, its mission, objectives and/or philosophy.
I recommend: Products that reflect the nature of your company. For example, if your business is health care, choose promotional gifts that promote your mission. Health and wellness items like promotional pill organizer, imprinted medicine droppers or custom bandage dispensers will help solidify your company's image in the minds of potential clients. If your business is bookkeeping, items such as custom padfolios, personalized day planners, imprinted calculators or notepad holders would help visitors remember you.
Most trade shows have a theme.
I recommend: Choosing promotional gifts that reflect the theme of the trade show. Promotional golf balls would be an excellent choice for an outdoor recreation trade show. Visitors at a Home and Garden trade show would probably appreciate promotional barbecue utensils or promotional gardening tools.
Go big or go broke isn't always the best philosophy. Memorable promotional gifts range in price from a few cents per unit to twenty dollars or more per item. It's easy to stay within your advertising budget.
I recommend: Imprinted mouse pads for small budgets. They're economical and easy to transport and guaranteed to be put to use since they're more than just a key chain. Tool sets and flash drives make luxurious giveaways for companies with bigger advertising budgets.
You need to stand out from your competitors and the other booths around you.
I recommend: Staying away from promotional items that are likely to be handed out by many other businesses at the same trade show. Look for more unusual items, like promotional tote bags which are still economical but probably won't be duplicated by many others.
Don't choose something too unwieldy (i.e. heavy or awkward to carry.) Your visitors may reject it simply because they don't feel like carrying it around.
I recommend: Stick to smaller, more compact promotional gifts.
Tips & Tactics
Helpful advice for making the most of this Guide