Trade Shows are hard work. One of the hardest working contributors to B-to-B Trade Shows are "Cheap and Cheerful" promotional items. When used properly, carefully selected promotional give-aways boost lead counts and grow the number of quality leads produced from an exhibition, conference, or other industry event. You’ll get more visitors to your booth at minimal cost, expand your potential prospect contact list, and out-perform your competitors.
Well chosen promotional items are eye-candy and provide an element of entertainment. No matter how busy or how important a delegate walking down your exhibit aisle is, promotional items will get their attention. These lowly "cheap and cheerful" booth workers are often noticed well before people pay attention to your carefully designed booth. Delegates and prospects are people, and people love novelties and freebies.
At one key conference and exhibition, for example, we stopped VIP senior execs dead in their tracks with our 'secret weapon', a cleverly themed promotional item which fit the event perfectly. These men and women manage, own, and lease significant assets and usually would ignore the booths around them while engaged in their deep conversations. They would have strolled right by us with barely a look had we not put on the exhibit table our clever promotional item... and that is how we met many of these key contacts. They wanted multiple samples too.... for their kids, grand-kids, people in their office, and themselves.
|Hard Working Booth Staff.|
At another key European conference for another business line I used the same strategy, once again tailoring an inexpensive but eye-catching give-away item to the event. One of the country managers had been very skeptical of trade shows and promotional items, based his past experience. He was amazed at the sheer number of quality leads generated thanks to the promotional item working in tandem with a newly designed booth, literature, and a hand-picked team of experts. He also now insists that the same approach be used in the future. I can cite many more examples of how promotional items help drive in leads and spark conversations with valuable prospective customers.
|Promo Item Going Viral.|
There is also a viral marketing benefit to this. People who were given the cheap and cheerful giveaway item showed it to their colleagues and friends at the conference, and pointed them our way. They also post photos of the giveaways on social media and share them. We gained additional qualified leads as a consequence.
At a recent and massive trade show and conference, I gave every one of the hard-working people registering delegates one of our event themed promotional items as a thank you from us. They loved them, and they wore them while registering hundreds and hundreds of delegates! They even came back for more. We gained significant conference exposure as a consequence. When you are in a massive trade show with over 1,000 exhibitors and you're only a minnow in a very big sea, every bit of 'viral marketing' and 'guerrilla marketing' helps.
Silly promotional item? Yes. Effective at the job of attracting leads? Yes.
I can’t tell you how many times we've made important client contacts at trade shows because we had a ‘cheap and cheerful’ bauble on display…. too many to count.
When exhibiting at trade show or conference, include an appropriate give-away item. It can be quality, it can be classy, it can be silly, it can be clever. But include one.
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