Don’t Trade This for the World
HE INDUSTRY OFFERS distributors a variety of goods that can help them help their clients make the right moves before, during and after a trade show. Following are three steps informed distributors should take to ensure their clients’ shows are a success every time.
BEFORE—Create a buzz with pre-show mailings.
According to Eric Johnson, vice president of marketing and development at Halls & Company, Brooklyn Park, Minn., creating a buzz before the show is the first step in ensuring a great trade-show experience. He said sending a pre-show mailing containing half of a promotional product to a predetermined customer list, for example, informing them to secure the other half by stopping by the booth, is a clever way to attract traffic. “You might send them a luggage strap and tell them to stop by your booth to pick up the luggage tag for their trip home,” he said.
Johnson also said utilizing the tried-and-true medium of the written word is another good way to generate buzz prior to a show. “A client could mail a letter telling recipients to bring the letter to the booth in order to receive a free water bottle or other item,” he suggested.
In instances such as these, Johnson said the distributor has the opportunity to showcase his or her range of expertise. “Working with [the client] on the mailing, concept, design and then coordinating getting the second half of the product to the exhibitor booth to make sure the product is there when people do come is determined on how the distributor positions himself with the end-buyer or how the end-buyer sees him,” Johnson said.
DURING—Maintain buzz with food items and the like.
Arguably, there is nothing that can create a buzz quite like food. This statement has been proven to be fact in every culture the world over, with no exception given to the showroom floor. It is on this premise that Atlanta-based Logo Dough has built its business, according to Frank Conn, manager. The company specializes in the creation of custom cookies, complete with all their trimmings (icing), ideal for the trade-show market.
“Food products have always been one of the most effective and fun ways to generate booth traffic,” noted Conn. In fact, he said, science has proven there are two main triggers that “activate emotion and feelings of joy,” one of which is food. While Logo Dough’s cookies serve the much-welcomed purpose of refreshing attendees as they walk miles and miles of showroom floor, Conn said there is much more to the treats. “The further effectiveness of our products is the capacity to logo ... the cookies themselves or tell the whole story on the box,” he noted.
Stating that the company’s trade-show products range from $1 to $3, Conn said Logo Dough offers a variety of confections that will easily lure conventioneers boothside, including cookies, popcorn and a variety of trail mixes in individual serving size, custom-printed boxes and cups. The company’s most popular item is its custom-molded cookies in a 2 oz. custom-printed box.
Another showstopper, Conn said, is Logo Dough’s Iced Icons, “which are delicious fresh-baked cookies, iced in white chocolate with the
logo printed on top in up to four-color process.”
However, there are a number of other promotional products that can win over conventioneers. Exhibitors would do well to have their booths chock-full of any of the following: personal-care items, such as lip balms, hand sanitizers and mints; stress relievers; game and toy
items; T-shirts, both decorated and non-decorated; and miniature and it’s now a week after the show, what are [you] going to do with those names,” Johnson asked. To that end, he advised distributors to work with their Logo Dough’s Custom Cookies are available in the shape of logos and icons, in a custom-printed box.
AFTER—Sustain the buzz with post-show mailings.
Maintaining customers’ interest after a trade show is just as important as initiating it. “If your whole goal for a show is to gather 5,000 names customers to send brochures, letters or follow-up promotional items to “continue with the buzz that you created at the show.”
Taking a proactive approach to helping clients generate booth traffic can go a long way—way longer than the miles that will undoubtedly
be walked at the next show.