A Better Booth: Leveraging Promotions for Trade Shows and Events
When it comes to trade shows, corporate events and meetings, it can be hard to make a lasting impression on prospective clients and attendees. While it’s important to be organized and provide attendees with networking opportunities and knowledge of your business, there’s a proven way to stand out and make your presence known: promotional products. When trade show and event attendees are visiting your clients’ booths, you only have so much time to grab their attention and make them remember your clients’ branding. With the right promotional products and branded signage in their arsenal, your client’s name will stick with attendees when it comes to new business opportunities. To help you conquer trade show, event and meeting promotional products, we spoke to Melissa Ralston, director of marketing, BIC Graphic, Clearwater, Fla., about what has been successful for BIC Graphic’s events and trade show promotions.
Promo Marketing: What makes a winning promotion for meetings, events and trade shows?
Melissa Ralston: Pens, lanyards and lip balms are all tried-and-true trade show and event giveaways for sure. But sometimes you need something a little more distinctive to set yourself apart from the competition. From awards to writing instruments, BIC Graphic offers promotional solutions at any budget, that will keep your brand top-of-mind. The key is to offer a useful, but unexpected item, that will make a lasting impression.
PM: What can promotional products do to enhance a company’s presence at a meeting, event or trade show? MS: Whether handed out on a trade show floor or at a corporate meeting, the right promotional product is sure to make your event memorable. Since 81 percent of trade show attendees have buying authority, it is important to select an item that speaks specifically to your audience. PM: How does the type of event dictate the promotional strategy?
MR: The audience dictates the promotional strategy just as much, if not more, than the type of event. What do you give hot prospects versus those that you are just getting your company name out to? What do you want them to feel, think or remember when they get back to their hotel room or office and look through their giveaways from the show? These are the questions that should be answered in developing the most effective promotional strategy.
PM: What are your go-to promotional products for meetings, events and trade shows?
MR: For trade shows, you can’t go wrong with lanyards, hand sanitizers and tote bags. For meetings, pens and notebooks or padfolios are sure winners. But thinking outside of the trade show box will make an even bigger impression.
PM: What promotional products have you seen the most success with?
MR: We have seen success with our Memo Tape Dispenser. This unique item ensures you have the right size sticky memo tape every time. Just pull, rip and stick. The large full-color imprint area suits a variety of industries. Include your brand and contact information and use it as a business card for promising prospects. They are useful during meetings and show floor conversations. [Attendees can] conveniently mark pages in a brochure or catalog or make notes on a price sheet.
PM: Are there any new promotional products you’ve seen success with at meetings, events and trade shows?
MR: Power banks are highly valued giveaways and often come in particularly handy at trade shows where battery life seems to drain at
an even faster rate. Give a top prospect something they will really appreciate (and use that day and beyond) like a Mini Power Bank With Flashlight.
PM: What should you know about an event before planning a strategy for it?
MR: You should know about the audience and the budget before deciding on a promotional strategy.
PM: What information is important to research?
MR: You will want to make sure the item you select is in stock and can be delivered on or before your in-hands date. BIC Graphic has hundreds of items with guaranteed inventory as well as free 24-hour service.
PM: What advice would you give to distributors working with clients on their event promotional products?
MR: Work with suppliers where product safety and compliance are company priorities. This ensures that they will stand behind their products and services.
PM: Do you have a specific situation where a promotional product made a huge impact at an event?
MR: The Business Card KOOZIE Can Kooler is a fun and unique way to hand out business cards and start a conversation. Not only will you capture someone’s attention, but you will also have the opportunity to give them your 30-second elevator speech while they stop and smile at the fun giveaway and how the card is cleverly tucked into the side pocket of the KOOZIE Can Kooler itself.
PM: Is there anything else you would like to add about successfully incorporating promotional products into events?
MR: With BIC Graphic’s proprietary britePix imprint technology, you can personalize giveaways with a unique identifier such as a number or code on each item in an order—perfect for contests and prize drawings. These make fun traffic drivers at trade shows to ensure booth attendance and build buzz. Try it on a pen, like the BIC Super Clip, where you can imprint on both the barrel and clip or something a little more “gadgety” like the Folding Phone Holder with Stylus and Screen Cleaner.
Hannah Abrams is the senior content editor for Promo Marketing. In her free time, she enjoys coming up with excuses to avoid exercise, visiting her hometown in Los Angeles and rallying for Leonardo DiCaprio to win his
first second Academy Award.