Promotional Products Shouldn't Be An Afterthought

Promotional Products For Your Trade Show Should NOT Be An Afterthought

Too often I receive calls from clients or new prospects needing promotional products in a rush for an upcoming trade show or event.

Usually, that last minute call is because promotional products were never considered until the very end.

While we do offer rush promotional items as quickly as same day production, these items often lose their effectiveness if they are treated as an afterthought with no plan.

If you are buying promotional items only to randomly give them away at your next trade show, you’re missing a huge opportunity to create a return on these investments. If simply handed out at random to every schmuck who passes your trade show booth, these items will likely not have the effect desired, which is to help those attendees remember your company.

I encourage you to think ahead with your promotional products. Think about ways you can attract prospects to your trade show booth using enticing items. A nice stainless steel tumbler or a good quality power bank can be an easy and effective way to get a deeper conversation started once you qualify a prospect.

By planning your promotional products in advance, you can align these purchases with your goals for your event or campaign. Whether you are enticing email sign-ups for your newsletter by giving away a free gift or selectively handing out premium promos to qualified prospects after a deeper conversation, you are utilizing the effectiveness of the promotional products to meet your goals. This helps to reverse the spend from an expense to an investment.

If you receive 500 new emails from qualified prospects at your trade show booth, what’s the value of that information? Well, that depends on your follow up, but 500 qualified email addresses can be as good as gold.

From your trade show conversations with prospects, if you talk to 20 new prospects whom you deem to be highly likely to become new clients, how valuable are those leads? Again, the return is in the follow-up, but if you gave these qualified prospects premium items after your conversation, you quickly strengthened that new relationship. You can bet those people will remember you, making it much more likely they will become new clients.  Your promotional product purchase has become an investment because they will likely lead to a big return.

If you routinely buy low-cost promotional items simply to give away at random to trade show attendees, I encourage you to think about a better strategy. Develop a plan to attract visitors to your booth for an actual conversation. If you deem them to be worthy of pursuing, give them a premium item. However, if you peg them as someone who is looking for a freebie, hand them one of your lower priced items such as promotional lip balm or a sticky notepad. This process helps to reserve your higher priced items for only the prospects likely to do business with you.

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Patrick Black
patrick@perfectimprints.com

Patrick Black, MAS, is the founder of Perfectimprints.com and has been in the promotional products industry helping businesses and organizations since 1999. When not geeking out over the newest and greatest promotional items, you can find him paddleboarding at the beach or hanging out by the pool with his wife, three kids, and his basset hound in Fort Walton Beach, FL.