Cleaning Up the Clutter

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Brochures, literature and giveaways are very much a part of the trade show world. I’ve gone to a consumer show that the majority of attendees carried duffle bags and large trash bags to stuff away free gifts. That is far from the norm for attendees on most show floors though, so as an exhibitor you have to consider that your attendees aren’t prepared or equipped to take literature and giveaways from each booth they visit. Let’s discuss some strategies to maximize the impact of giveaways while limiting potential clutter and waste.

Digitize the Paper

Even the smallest booth spaces can be loaded down with multiple boxes of printed literature like product brochures, flyers and various forms. Using iPads, tablets and monitors to succinctly distribute the same information can allow for less need for physical literature and provides a format the attendee can keep effortlessly.

Moving to tablet stands from physical forms for registration has been a success for our clients. Applications for emailing videos and pdfs can be utilized on tablets, laptops and touch monitors as well, delivering content efficiently. Lastly, if you want something the attendee can have in their hand (which can be of value for legitimate prospects), put relevant content on a branded USB drive.

Keep on Brand

You receive catalogs from the promotional product companies pushing thousands of different trinkets you can have branded with your organization’s logo, but that does not mean that those products are good giveaways for your company. Consider giveaways that are on brand, that can be unique and stand out. What is your brand position? What primary messaging are your pushing for this show? Let’s say you’re in a premium position highlighting your speed of delivery. Instead of giving out branded pens like the neighboring booths, provide Amazon gift-cards (representing speedy, reliable delivery) within cards expressing the message. That’s a giveaway the attendees will hang onto and can reinforce your message.

Make them Count

Every individual on the show floor is not a viable prospect, therefore there should be consideration before indiscriminately handing out free gifts. Develop a strategy of using higher-dollar, relevant giveaways with viable prospects as opposed to going with the volume approach. Take care of good customers and top prospects, keeping extra on-hand for the surprise hot leads that turn up. This will require less overall giveaways and increase ROI.

The frustration of managing giveaways has been a point of repeated concern from many of our clients. Create a strategy that makes sense for your show goals, and goals specific to the giveaways themselves (content distribution, brand impression, etc.) for better buy-in from booth staff and a better response from attendees. A switch may upset the frequent freeloaders, but they will get their fix at the next booth along the line while your dollars are being used more efficiently. Hopefully you find the above helpful in considering a new way to approach what is going out from your booth space each show!