Promotional Products Turn Trade Shows into Experiences!
Promotional products have the power to drive trade show traffic. You already know that and you want to convince your clients too. The most important way to do that is to practice what you preach. Make sure that you use promotional products yourself—properly—as a way of providing a good example of the right way to use our powerful medium.
Smart marketers use promotional products at trade shows and know that the supply of promotional products is depleted far sooner than the supply of product catalogs. That's good news for all of us! While the product or service your clients are selling at the show may or may not be of interest to the attendee at that moment—the impression the marketer is making lasts through the buying cycle and beyond! Independent research tells us that more than 70 percent of trade show attendees who receive a promotional product remember the name of the company that gave them the product. And more than 76 percent of those recipients have a favorable attitude toward the company that gave them the product. Try getting that response from an ad in the show directory.
Here's even better news—just a little more planning before the event can increase trade show ROI exponentially!
Trade show marketing is experiential marketing—you can help your clients craft and stage every element of the trade show experience. They can't just design a beautiful booth and hope that qualified attendees will find them. They need to target their best prospects and make them interested in participating in the experience you and your client are staging—and that starts far before the opening day of a show!
It is essential that you help your client with their homework. Identify the needs and interests of the target audience. Reach out to pre-registered attendees with targeted direct mail—include a personal invitation to visit the booth and include a creative, imprinted product that will pique the attendee's interest.
Team up with your client and their other marketing partners—display company, ad agency and do some research. Identify a promotional product that will motivate the recipient to take a particular action—in this case to visit the booth. Package the product properly for maximum impact, and then get it into the hands of the target audience well in advance of the show.
A research study conducted by Georgia Southern University examined the behavior of pre-registered show attendees. The attendees were divided into three groups. Group A received a postcard invitation to visit the exhibitor's booth. Group B received an inexpensive promotional magnet imprinted with the exhibitor's logo and an invite. Group C received a postcard offering a T-shirt for redeeming postcard at the exhibitor's booth
Pre-show mailings with promotional products proved far more effective than mailings without. 78 percent more people responded with the T-shirt offer than the postcard alone. 57 percent more people responded to the magnet than the postcard alone. Clearly, including a promotional product with a pre-show mailing increases the likelihood of the attendee stopping by the booth to see the exhibitor's product
As a general rule, promotional products of greater value generate more sales leads than products of lower value, but the promotional product doesn't need to be expensive to be effective. While you and your client determine the cost of the product, it is the recipient who determines the value—if the recipient finds the product useful, interesting or amusing—they will seek out and remember your client and the offering.
Need more proof? Next time you're in an airport look around—how many business travelers are wearing, holding or using promotional products? Clearly they have assigned a high value to the product—they have kept it and used it. Industry research tells us people keep promotional products for more than a year—and each time they use imprinted products they actively engage with the promoted brand!
The right promotional products are the HOOK that embeds the memory and maintains the experience. Don't wait until the last minute and just grab some candy—trade show attendees aren't trick-or-treaters, they are customers. Maximize trade show investment and strategically drive trade show traffic to the booth—you will not only increase the number and quality of show leads you generate, you will elevate your client's brand by creating a powerful and positive brand experience.