My Best Promotion
Trade show promotions can be a challenge. Your client may not be the only one running a promotion to attract booth attention, and when there's marketing competition on the floor, you want to be sure that your idea is the most exciting one out there.
Phil Brakefield, owner and president of the Chicago-based distributorship UniSource, relayed a recent trade show promotion his company did for a large independent hardware chain. The promotion was a standard raffle designed to collect email addresses on entry as well as drive traffic to the client's booth. What made it special, however, was the distinctive prize used as the reward: a custom-designed Fender Starcaster guitar, decorated with a full-body decal representing the city of Chicago, where the convention was held.
Promo Marketing: Where specifically was the promotion held?
Phil Brakefield: A convention is hosted by my client, who is the biggest independent retail hardware chain in the country. Roughly 2,500 to 3,000 of its stores attend the event, which is held twice a year in locations that move all over the country. All the suppliers (probably around 1,800) who sell to the chain come in to the convention hall and set up booths that range from a hundred square feet to hundreds of square feet, and show new product and take orders from the stores in attendance. Traditionally, the shows are skewed so that lots of the purchases made are in anticipation of an upcoming retail sales season, i.e., the fall shows have a strong emphasis on spring merchandise like and lawn and garden, barbecue grills, etc.
PM: What was the promotion's goal? What did you do to make it happen?
PB: The promotion's goal was to create a buzz in the convention hall about the unique item we were giving away in a drawing, and also to collect new email addresses and meet new potential customers.