14 March 2010

5 Helpful Tips in Selecting the Best Promotional Product for Trade Shows

In selecting promotional products for trade shows, make sure you choose products that effectively market your product or company; choose items relevant to your target market as well as other prospects; find those that fit your budget, but never cheap; choose promotional products that stand out; and choose brand-aligned details.

Choosing the right promotional products for trade shows can be really confusing.  You will be giving out hundreds of these items to different prospects and people who are mostly not your customers, in an effort to promote a particular product as well as your brand and company.  Here are some guidelines that help you select the best promotional products for trade shows:

Choose products that are effective marketing tools

You join trade shows to market your products, as well as your brand and company.  Make sure that your promotional item does this job, too.  Remember, that when the trade show is done, the items you give away are the only things left between you and your prospects.  These products must be effective marketing tools that posses at least one of the following:

  • Something that your prospects can see or use everyday.  The usefulness and reusability of these products appeal to prospective clients and they serve as a constant reminder that your products and your brand exists.  They promote brand recall when a need that calls for your product or service comes up to prospects.  Great promotional items include promotional pens, key chains, keyboard brushes, paperweights, customized clocks, and calendars.
  • Something of great reach.  Promotional items with great reach do not only serve as a marketing tool for the prospects at the trade show, but also to other people who see the items.  They serve as mobile ads, exposing your brand, as well as your products. Good examples of these items include travelling bags, tote bags, bag tags, umbrellas, and car decals.
  • Something that allows you to give more information about your company.  Your logo or brand name printed on your promotional item may sometimes be not enough for prospects.  You need items that allow you to display more details that help people reach you.  For example, you can give out notepads with your logo, name, address, and contact details printed as headers.  Same goes if you give out calendars, organizers, or even those little pens and keychains.  Even your brand name and email address printed can be very helpful.

Choose items relevant to your target market as well as other prospects

If you are a sports and fitness shop promoting different sports equipment and apparel, you can think of giving out water bottles, towels, caps.  These items fit your target market and attract prospects.  However, you also need to consider the type of trade show you're in.  It may not necessarily be all fitness shops in the trade show.  If so, make sure that you attract other prospects who are not into sports and fitness.  You can give out mugs, mouse pads, and other stuff that almost all people use and that allow you to showcase your products, together with your company name and information printed on them.

Find those that fit your budget, but never cheap

You don't have to spend too much for each of your promotional item, but never ever go cheap.  By saying cheap, i mean, poor quality items.  You would not want your prospects to label your company, cheap, right?  RJ Williams, in an article entitled 7 Deadly Mistakes When Purchasing Promotional Items for Trade Shows, said "if you have $1.00 to spend, you should be buying the highest quality item you can buy for a dollar. Do not buy the cheaper version of a better quality item."  There are lots of inexpensive items you can give away during trade shows that are easy on the budget but are of quality and purpose as well.  Some easy on the budget items include notepads, post-its, decals, pens, and eco-friendly tote bags.

Choose promotional products that stand out

Unique promotional items turn heads of prospects.  This is your chance to market your products and your company when all eyes are on your promotional items and your company.  Remember that trade shows involve hundreds of spectators, so you need to find unique items that fit your budget.  Consider products like hand sanitizer sprays, laptop or cell phone skins, stress balls, playing cards, and even hand held games like pocket Sudoku key chains.

Choose brand-aligned details

For a more effective marketing, make sure you also choose the right colors, fonts, and other details for your items.  People can easily associate these details with your brand.  Brand alignment is an important matter to consider to promote better product, brand, or company recall.

To make sure you get the right promotional items for trade shows, order from companies that have been in the business for quite a while or go over some customer reviews to ensure quality items and great experience from ordering to delivery.  Find companies that offer you a wide array of customizable products to make choosing  and customization a lot easier for you.  As long as you know what captivates your prospects, not only will you have a successful trade show; you will also be able to continuously promote your products, brand, and company, through your promotional items even when the show is over.

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