Trade shows and other networking events are a great opportunity to get your name out there and meet new people, either within the industry or new and potential clients. But first you have to consider how you will attract people to your trade booth.
A well-known way is to have trade show giveaways. You know what we’re talking about, those promotional pens, flashlights, car chargers, etc. that we all always go home with after a conference or an event. These are usually handed out freely as promotional giveaways but can also be coupled with various trade show games and contests.
The problem with giveaways is that there are so many different items available that it can be hard to choose which is best for your company, your brand, and your audience. Below we have detailed the criteria for choosing a promotional item, and some of the best giveaways we have seen while out and about.
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What Makes A Good Trade Show Giveaway
Although there are a lot of options available, not all swag is created equal. To make the selection process easier, we have broken it down into the three criteria a trade show giveaway should have before you use it at your next event.
First, it needs to be cost effective. If you were giving away free iPads, you would be the most popular booth at the show, but that option is out of reach for most companies. Do remember, however, that quality is better than quantity. It’s better to hand out less items to selected and targeted prospects than it is to hand out cheap items to everyone. Be sure to set a budget and stick to it.
Second, it must be unique and interesting. This can mean that it’s something people have never seen before, or it is really, really useful. This is to avoid the chance that it will be thrown away as soon as the attendee is back in their hotel room or the office. For example, instead of simply an ink pen with your logo on it, how about a promotional tablet stylus which is much more unique.
Third, your goodies must be branded. The easiest way to cross this off this list is to have your logo or tagline all over these items. Make sure all of your branded material, giveaways and collateral, are consistently branded, so use the same logo, the same fonts, the same typeface, and the same colors across all your material.
There are an almost unlimited number of options when it comes to giveaways, and it is a good idea to have a few options for people to choose from. This means that you are less likely to run out of anything, but you also give people choices, which are good. Furthermore, by having more options, there is a chance that you will not have the same product as any other company in the room.
Top trade show giveaways
While being unique is sure to get you places, there is a reason why some items are old favorites – because they are always a good idea! If you are low on time and budget, these simple giveaways will never let you down.
USB car charger
Car chargers are a great promotional item and are something everyone can use. Most people have iPhones, Android phones, or other electronics that can be charged through a USB charger and could use it while away from the home or office. Phones are often used for music or maps in the car, so this is a great way to remind people of you every day.
Branded headphones are one of the coolest giveaways you can hand out. The only problem is that the ones you are likely to buy in bulk tend to be of low quality. However, they are perfect for the traveling professional who may have forgotten or misplaced their normal headphones during a trip.
Reusable water bottle
A great and often popular giveaway at trade shows. Everybody always needs a water bottle, because everyone always leaves theirs at home when going to a stuffy conference room filled with people. A reusable water bottle will likely attract a lot of people to your stand, so make sure you bring quite a lot!
Branded luggage tags are awesome promotional items to give away. They are small, relatively inexpensive, and have a long branding lifetime. Most often you’ll see two types, folded or double sided. If they are made well and with high-quality material, either option will help promote your brand, all over the world.
On one hand breath mints seem like a great idea to give away at trade shows because they are helpful in events where a lot of face to face talking time is done. They are easy to pass out, carry around, and allow for some good promotional real estate (front of the box or tin). On the other hand they have a limited shelf life as a promotional product; once you run out of mints in the box, the branding potential is gone and in the trash.
We are always happy to find a company that is passing these little goodies out at a trade show or conference. Like any networking event, you will be shaking hands and talking face to face with a lot of people, and passing these out help keep the germs away. If you travel for work a lot, germs can be a real problem and these little bottles of health are always welcome.
Reusable tote bag
Not a trade show or conference exists without at least one exhibitor giving away a tote bag. Not only are these goodies great for carrying around everything else that you pick up on the day, but they are a huge piece of advertising hooking onto people’s shoulders. They are also super useful when you get home, and can save people from picking up plastic bags – by giving people tote bags, you are not only encouraging free advertisement but saving the planet too. It doesn’t get much better than that!