Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
- Do they want what you offer?
- Do they need the product or service?
- Can they use what you offer?
- Can they afford the product or service?
- Do they have the ability to pay for it?
So let's look at a scenario: Let's assume your company sells electronic scissor-lifts to the construction trade, you are attending a show and you need "stuff" to give away. You believe you have been asked all the right questions and with that, the show management has informed you that the projected attendance for this show will be approximately 2,000 buyers. That said, you have budgeted $2,000 of logoed merchandise to hand out at the show. Now, when doing the math that means you need something around a dollar. Do you honestly think that you'll attract your key buyers with a dollar Item? So what is the purpose of the gift you plan on handing out? Your promotional products professional searches out the newest thing, but is it the correct product to gain the results your looking for?
Several years back a client came to me and wanted $700 worth of $0.39 pens. The purpose was to flood the show to everyone that attended. After discussing the show stats with them, and furthermore, the challenges they faced in the past, we unveiled a few challenges. Before, they had given a ton of product away with little-to-no response. They noticed that more times than not people just came by the booth to pick up the show freebie. They were not able to qualify the individual but rather spent the majority of the time at a show handing out stuff and not focusing on the real task at hand—getting information in the potential client's hands.
It was agreed we would try a different approach the next year. We explained that if you feel that something must be given out to everyone, then make it inexpensive. It was decided to do imprinted wrapped mints, and 3,000 pieces were ordered. In addition, the client selected leather business card cases, and these were placed under the table and only given out to someone who spent the time to hear the sales pitch. After the presentation, the presenter would say, "Thank you for stopping by, let me give you a token of our appreciation." The product had been gift-wrapped to give it a more personal appeal. If walkers-by saw the gifts being given away and requested one, the salespeople were instructed to invite them in first. If they refused, then they were told they were interested attendees only. The client managed to spend only 75 percent of their budget but informed us that they had experienced a 60 percent greater success rate at this show and were able to take one less person (savings), and their follow-up was more succinct and effective.