Giveaways at the Trade Show

How many giveaways do you still have from being an attendee at a trade show? Did the giveaway make you remember the vendor or want/continue to do business with the company that gave you the gift? These are actually very important considerations as you prepare to be a vendor at the next trade show. Where are your money, time, and resources going to be the most effective?

If you’re a small business, you won’t have the funds to do things like shirts, outerwear, or other fairly costly giveaways. Refrigerator magnets usually end up in the trash as soon as attendees go through and toss the contents of their giveaway bags once they get home. So your choice about giveaways is a very important one. Let’s look at some key factors.

Assuming pens, miniature flashlights, and plastic cups aren’t going to make a lasting impression, let’s toss those cheap ideas. In fact, as a small business with limited resources, let’s examine the whole idea of “giveaways.” They don’t get you anything immediately. If you’re lucky, they might generate a lead or sale down the road, but you can’t do anything with a possible sale that’s out of your reach. What if your trade show experience actually got you something immediate? It can happen!

One of the most valuable things you can walk away from your trade show with are names, email addresses, and phone numbers. These key ingredients will grow your database, increase future sales, and ensure you can stay in touch with everyone who visited your booth. Instead of a cheap giveaway, what if you invested in a coveted, high-quality prize for a drawing? In exchange for a name and number, your attendees have a chance to win something of actual value, and all it costs them is a little information. If the prize is valuable enough, they’ll be eager to give you the information you seek. What is the prize? That’s entirely up to you and your budget. Spend some time thinking about your target audience, then invest in something that will get their attention. If it’s not one of your products, that’s ok. Just make sure it’s something exhibition attendees will value and will get their attention. Have it available for display – another way to attract eyes to your booth – and prepare to do the drawing at the end of the event. Then wrap up the booth, head home, and start to use the wealth of information you’ve collected at the show.

Giveaways are common, old-school even, but getting something in return for your giveaway is just smart business. Make your next trade show appearance one that drives traffic straight to your booth, gets you leads, and sends you home energized for the next show.