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How to Choose the Best Trade Show Giveaways

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One question we get more than any other is this: What are the best trade show giveaways? Our clients want to know what special items will delight their clients and make theirs the most popular booth at the show.

Here’s the problem: This is the wrong question to ask. There’s no one-size-fits-all, perfect giveaway. People hand out pens and T-shirts all day, “but does that really help your brand equity?” asks Senior Account Manager Chase Howells. “You’re also attracting people who are absolutely not going to buy your product.”

To discover the best trade show giveaway for your company and your clients, you first have to figure out your specific objective. Are there 10 specific people at the trade show whom you need to impress? Is your goal to court 50 new prospects? Or do you simply want to raise brand awareness? Once you know exactly who you’re trying to reach and what your marketing goals are, we can work together on a targeted giveaway campaign. Here are a few examples of effective, unique trade show giveaways: one for a large audience, and one for a small pool.

 1. Introducing a new product to a broad audience

One of our travel-industry clients was launching a new product, and the marketing team wanted to make sure prospects would come to their booth to learn about it. Our client requested a unique promotion that would drive attendees to their booth.

We designed a custom kiosk that had a door with a hotel lock and an iPad on view inside. Knowing that many people plan their booth visits ahead of time, we placed a branded hotel keycard in the registration bag for all attendees, along with an invitation to try their card at the booth. If the card unlocked the door, they won the iPad. Curiosity drove traffic, and the innovative presentation sparked conversations with potential clients.

2. Arranging meetings with a handful of high-value prospects

A client who renovates luxury apartment developments identified a few dozen prospects they really, really wanted to meet during the show. Knowing their target audience well, they selected a giveaway that would be a sure hit: expensive bottles of scotch. But simply handing out pricey gifts isn’t enough. What if the prospects grabbed their bottles and left?

We developed a concept that added value to the already-valuable giveaway and ensured the prospects would linger. Before the trade show, the client delivered keys with silver keychains, each one engraved with the prospect’s name, along with hand-signed, formal invitations to come to the booth. There, the prospects discovered a bank of apartment-style mailboxes with their scotch waiting inside. This giveaway was memorable, effective, and helped build lasting relationships — which is exactly what the best trade show giveaways do.

Trade Show Display Trade-Off

The biggest portion of our trade show display requests involve five main factors: uniqueness of design, production lead time, ease of setup/takedown, portability and of course price. Commonly, people will be looking for a cost-effective, easy, portable, unique next-day display. I definitely want that as well! Unfortunately, that is our unicorn. Consider these five main attributes as budgeted out of 100 “points.” Here is the trade-off, to increase one you must take away from another. I’ve put together a general guideline that I hope is helpful in assessing the right display for your organization based upon these five areas. » Read More