Promotional Products  » Education Center  »  Education

Education

Guide To Custom Tradeshow Giveaways

Many of our clients have the same question: What do I need to know about custom tradeshow giveaways? They simply aren’t sure which promotional items to order and how many they’ll need.

It’s a great question to ask. Tradeshow giveaways are a critical component of the tradeshow experience. They can build a buzz at your booth, motivate prospects to action, communicate a message, create awareness and so much more.

To help our clients better understand custom tradeshow giveaways, we talked to exhibitors from a variety of industries to get answers to the top tradeshow questions.

Learn from their tradeshow triumphs to make the most of your next event.

There are so many options – how do I decide on the right tradeshow giveaways?
Give it some thoughtful consideration, according to Dave Poulos, Chief Consultant for Granite Partners. “If you choose to distribute promotional items at a tradeshow, that choice should be as well-thought-out as the display construction, the sales training scheme for the event, the selection of size and location of the stand, and the selection of representatives working the show,” he says. “If the selection is made carefully, it can drive recognition and awareness. If you’ve really read the audience right, the item will be so specific to a particular population that it will help qualify that traffic and thin and focus the lead selection before they arrive.”

Paula Ledbetter Sellergren, Director of Marketing for Mather LifeWays, suggests the giveaways always meet three requirements: They’re a good fit for your brand, they’re functional and they have a splash factor. “We look at whether the giveaway will become a hot-ticket item that other attendees will see and want to seek us out for them,” she says.
For Jay Veltz with Urban Armour Gear, samples are the best giveaways. “We often simply give away our products: protective cases and screen protectors for smartphones, PDAs and other portable electronic devices,” he says. “Sure, the cost is higher, but the likelihood that our cases will be used on a daily basis and create the exposure we desire is much higher.”

How many tradeshows giveaways do I need?
Most exhibitors agree: It all comes down to budget and expected attendance.

Barbara Sanner, CEO of Complete Marketing Solutions, looks at the size of the show. “For large shows of 2,000 or more expected attendees, I usually plan for 25% of attendees to stop by my booth and get a giveaway,” she says. “For smaller shows, I plan for 75% to get a giveaway.”

Jennifer Seyler, a PR professional who runs FitnessAndNutritionConversations.com, likes to determine if there is wiggle room in her marketing budget. “I take 10% of the expected attendance, so 900 if 9,000 people are expected, figure the associated cost ($10 per bag totaling $9,000) and determine if it’s in my budget or if there is wiggle room,” she says. “If there is wiggle room, I bump up the giveaway to between 1,000 and 1,200 with a tradeshow audience of this size.”

Ledbetter Sellergren looks not just at the number of attendees, but the makeup of the audience. “We see how many people attending are our best/potential customers, and this helps us set the budget,” she says.

Do I need to take my booth size into account?
Absolutely, according to Ledbetter Sellergren. “We consider how much room we have in our exhibit to store the giveaways or whether we need the exhibit hall to store them and bring them out to us as needed each day,” she says.

How do I time the distribution of my tradeshow giveaways?
Don’t put out all the items at once, says Seyler. “Get a feel for the crowd and distribute appropriately,” she suggests.

Should I offer more than one promotional item?
Yes, says Seyler, but it can be challenging. “You start to find that you’re pushing the lower-cost item,” she says. “You also get people who come to your booth because they heard of your giveaway – which is typically the more expensive one.” Her solution: If you hand out more than one item, make sure their perceived value is the same.

Sanner agrees it’s a good strategy to offer more than one giveaway. “This is one of the best-kept secrets of tradeshow giveaways: Have different items to give away for different types of people who stop by your booth.”

She breaks her giveaways into levels A, B and C. Level A items are “y‘A’y, a real possibility!” “These are people who come by who have a real interest, an urgent need and could actually become a client” This is a good time to pull out a higher-end item – $5 or more.

Level B items are “maybe they’ll ‘b’uy!” “These people have some interest in your product or service, and stop and talk awhile. For them, pull out your ‘secret stash’ of products that cost you $1.50 or so. If they buy from you, you’ll easily recover from your $1.50, and you’ve definitely built some goodwill.”

For those attendees who are simply checking things out, wondering what you do, Sanner has Level C giveaways that cost well under a buck a piece. “You appreciate their stopping by and want to show good faith,” she says.

Should I send promotional products pre- or post-tradeshow?
Seyler does not. “I keep the giveaways as a benefit to visiting the booth,” she says. “Pre-conference awareness is leveraged to gain additional traction to the booth, and giveaways during the conference provide additional excitement and potential buzz among attendees.”

Do I obtain any information from attendees before handing out the items?
Yes – Ledbetter Sellergren calls it “information currency.” “We have attendees complete an information card or give us their business card in exchange for our giveaways,” she says. “This way, they aren’t ‘trick-or-treating’ without us getting something in return.”

Can I use the giveaways as part of a contest?
Sure – it’s another point of interaction, and it’s an opportunity for attendees to keep thinking about your booth and tell others about their potential win, Seyler says.

Five bits of tradeshow wisdom from successful exhibitors:
1. “Make sure your giveaway makes sense to your brand and isn’t overused as a giveaway.”—Jennifer Seyler

2. “Give them something YOU-branded that they will use after the show is over.”—Paula Ledbetter Sellergren

3. “Smart, engaging, creative choices that engage the audience’s imagination, trigger a memory of what you do, your products or your brand promise, that are practical and useful within your industry are the best bets for effective giveaways.” —Dave Poulos

4. “Choose something useful or practical that has the potential to be put into everyday use.” —Jay Veltz

5. “Be sure that what you select has a long shelf life and the quality is there, even if it means paying a little more.” —Barbara Sanner

Events Calendar
Featured Success Story
Awesome Product!
Awesome Products!
Working with ePromos is vary easy and all the customer support guys are very helpful."
- Raj Kilaru, Sriven Technologies, LLC
Our Locations
New York
120 Broadway, Ste 1360
New York, NY 10271-0079
Minnesota
3001 Clearwater Road Suite # 001
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Arizona
Oregon
Florida
Massachusetts
ePromos Promotional Products, Inc. is proud to provide promotional products and corporate gifts to thousands of companies and organizations around the world. As real promotional items experts, we stand behind our quality and service with a 110% guarantee on all our promotional products. Call us today and let us help you with your company logo merchandise needs. To learn more about promotional products, and how they can help your marketing campaigns, check out our promo education center, promotional marketing guides and our promotional products blogs. Our promotional case studies blog features real marketing projects and the promotional items that created successful results for their promotions. This year ePromos is celebrating fifteen successful years in the promotional products and logo apparel business. Find the right promo product today!

Please log in



Or sign up for an account now