Five Mistakes To Avoid When Using Promo Gifts At A Trade Show

Having the right Promotional Gift at a Trade Show can make the difference between a poor performance and a GREAT show. But, it’s not good enough to simply buy a box of promotional goodies, in fact there’s five mistakes you could make, which I’ve highlighted in this article:

1. Poorly displayed

How many times have you seen promotional pens simply thrown onto the trade show display table? You’ve got to show them off to your best advantage. People ‘scan’ the stands as they walk through, and will stop at a display that is engaging, and creative, whilst ignoring those that are untidy or boring. Grouping things like pens and stress balls by colour, or arranging them in interesting containers makes your stand look more professional, and draws traffic to you.
2. The right product for the specific event
To get the most out of promotional gifts, you’ll need to provide quality products that people will use daily. It’s true that everyone uses pens and notepads. But people also love to take away more specialised, functional items. If your business caters to professionals, provide products that they will keep on their desks like calculators, rulers and sticky notes. If you are targeting tradesmen, technicians or outdoor workers, offer gifts that will be used in a shop or workroom like tape measures, box cutters, insulated mugs and hats. Remember that your name is on the product. Items that are used and looked at daily will give you the best return on your investment. That’s what we call ‘memory hook marketing’.
3. Use Items to Generate Traffic
Are you using products that can promote traffic? Pens and small items can’t be seen on the trade show floor, whereas bags, hats and promotional t-shirts will expose your logo to a room full of people as people carry and wear them. If you don’t offer these products, you are letting an opportunity get away.
4. Get Stuck In
Wearing your own promotional clothing says you believe in your brand. Unless you are required to wear professional or specialised attire, wear a logo-printed polo shirt or hat. Your logo should also be on your lanyard or messenger bag. Why use generic items when you have the opportunity to promote your brand?
5. Not Testing Your Promotional Items
Before setting the items on the table for prospects to pick up, be sure to give them a trial run. You don’t want to give pens that don’t write or items that break easily. Don’t wait until the products are in front of prospects to find out they don’t work.

2 Responses to “Five Mistakes To Avoid When Using Promo Gifts At A Trade Show”

  1. Thanks for the great tips. We also find that the bigger and bolder the promo gift, the better it is for your marketing efforts.

    • Thanks for that – and ‘yes’ some times BIG and BOLD is good – it’ll certainly get you noticed…. but I’ve also had lots of success with clients doing things discretely. As ever, it kind of depends on who, what, where, when and how 🙂

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