Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
A more involved program was presented to my firm by an up-and-coming Internet Service Provider. The client was attending the COMDEX show in Las Vegas and they wanted to make a serious splash with the show attendees. They were interested in getting their name on everything possible and also creating a mystique about the company. The company hired the comedic team of Penn and Teller and created a mock auditorium on the show floor. The people that they wanted to come to their booth (their 12 percent) were invited via a custom-made personalized laminated press pass, along with custom lanyards. These were pre-mailed to the recipients with the specific time to stop by and see a 30-minute show.
Each participant was instructed to be there at the booth 20 minutes before show time or they would lose their seat, so they could make their presentation prior to their seating. Knowing that their target audience had a liking for Chinese food, (something about tech people I guess) they had 5,000 branded chopsticks made with their name and booth number imprinted on them. They were given to every Chinese restaurant in the area free to use during the week-long show. In addition, thousands of taxi-cab receipts were printed with the company name and number along with booth information. These were handed out free to all of the taxi companies to use during the same period. While the chopsticks and receipts drew tons of prospects, the Penn and Teller show, posters, press passes, lanyards and custom T-shirts were a tremendous draw to their booth as well. The client reported that of 500 special invites that were sent out, over 92 percent of the recipients visited the booth, and more importantly were wearing their special press pass. The whole program created such a buzz and envy among the other show attendees that many came by to see if they could get in, and of course several seats were left available for qualified walk-ups.