Producers, Managers
and Convenors

Having giveaways on your booth is a great strategy to increase booth traffic and help prospects remember your brand in a positive way. A relevant and memorable promotional product can significantly improve your business’ exhibiting success. However, the key is coming up with a cool idea that will attract people’s attention enough for them to stop and have a chat.

When selecting the giveaway item, the first thing you have to do is to understand your target audience and what would be useful or interest them. Ideally you can then link that item of interest with your brand image, product or key message for the show. The giveaway is a reflection of your brand, so make sure you go with the best quality your budget allows. Always consider the item from the booth visitor’s perspective – what value does it offer them?
We all know it’s time to think beyond the free coffee mug or pen. To get your creative juices flowing, here are three things our team contemplates when coming up with giveaway ideas:

What Time of Year is the Show?
A seasonal product will be used straight away, and could enhance the visitor’s overall experience of the show, and destination it’s being held in (especially if the show attracts interstate or international visitors). For example, if the trade show is in winter, branded bluetooth beanies or branded packets of hot chocolate; and for summer branded mineral water, cooling scarves or mobile phone fans.

2.  Is it a Consumer Show or Business Trade Show?  
This is a top level method to define an audience, but in our experience a quick way to categorise some ideas. Often the best giveaways at consumer shows are product samples – the perfect way for visitors to experience your brand! A business audience are usually drawn to something that can make their work lives easier. For instance power banks, power plug kits or waterproof smartphone cases are all worth considering.

3.  Is this the Show to do Something Quirky or Left-field?
Don’t think you have to choose a product from a catalogue every time. Some unique brands or products could consider bespoke items like a trade show ‘survival kit’ which could include headache tablets, multi-vitamins, water, muesli bars, lip balm, etc. Or you could create a customised t-shirt with a catch phrase that relates to your brand eg. ‘Shake it out’ for a health shake brand. Gadgets are also a fun way to engage with visitors whether it be via a virtual experience with Google’s Cardboard, smart speakers or headphones.

No matter what you choose, remember giveaways are not going to generate leads on their own. They are going to generate interest in your stand. It’s the conversations you and your team have with the visitors that will generate the leads. Trade show giveaways are only part of your overall booth strategy, but an important tool to ensure people remember your brand. They’ll also walk away knowing something else about your services or products than they did before the show.Version 2

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About the Author:
Peta Moore
Program Director
The Professional Conference Organisers Association Inc