>> May 21, 2014
Expos and trade fairs offer companies in all industries a great chance to promote themselves to potential customer, whether they are targeting other businesses or consumers. There are many different strategies that can be employed to maximise the promotional opportunities that these events have to offer, one of the most popular of which is the distribution of marketing giveaways. To get the biggest bang for your buck when giving away branded gifts at trade shows, you need to avoid making the same mistakes that many other companies make.
1. Using irrelevant products – whilst generic items such as t-shirts and baseball caps can work well for a wide variety of firms, it is not a good idea to hand out products related to a specific area of interest that has nothing to do with the goods or services that your organisation provides. For example, if your company manufactures garden furniture, it would be inappropriate to give away car floor mats at an industry exhibition. Whilst passengers in the recipients’ cars may well see your company name and logo, they are more likely to assume that you produce motoring accessories rather than garden furnishings.
2. Failure to mention free gifts in advertising literature – if you are going to the expense of sourcing good quality gifts to present to the people that visit your exhibition stand, make sure that everybody involved is aware of this fact beforehand. Assuming that you have chosen products that are desirable, letting attendees know what you are going to give them and where they can find your stand at the show is crucial to the success of your strategy. The more people that know, the more visitors you will attract on the day, which is half the battle at large industry events.
3. Giving everybody the same gifts – in order to get a good return on your investment in promotional goodies, you need to evaluate the likely amount of business that you will get from the customers to whom you are presenting the gifts. This means that you should choose one type of product for visitors that are unknown to your company and better quality trade show giveaways for valued clients that always make the effort to support your stand when you exhibit at events across the country.
4. Failure to budget properly – using products that are of an inferior quality simply because they are cheap is a very common mistake but it can be equally disastrous for your firm if you choose products that are so expensive they eat up your entire marketing budget for the year. You need to find a middle ground that enables you to give away items that reflect well on your company without spending too much. Finding a good supplier is often the key to solving this budgeting conundrum.
5. Using logos and lettering that are a little bit too discreet – whilst there is no need to make your marketing merchandise too garish, there comes a point when discreetly printed messages and logos are simply too small to make any impression at all. Branding professionals take university courses in graphic design for a very good reason: it is a difficult and complicated subject that is sometimes hard to get right. Make sure you follow the advice of an experienced pro when creating images and lettering for corporate gifts.
The above 5 mistakes are among the most common that I have spotted at trade shows; I am sure that you will spot many more if you take the time to study what the competition is doing the next time you attend an industry event.