While I have never run a trade show or conference booth, I think few people would contest that the thought and intentionality put into the booth — especially the giveaways — stands out to potential customers. While this includes backdrops, layout, multimedia displays and more, it also applies to the giveaways. These are the items that will literally stay with attendees and will help call back to mind your beautiful setup and excellent customer service. So, here are some ideas from a consumer’s standpoint to think through while choosing your next giveaway items.
Some of the best giveaways I’ve picked up are items that meet a need I have while I’m at the conference. Even if it’s as simple as a nice drawstring backpack to help me carry around all of my gear, I remember thinking, “Wow, they really thought through this.” Do your research and look up the trends for the year. Think through the trade show location and what would make someone’s life easier—is it in a hot climate? Maybe look into a cooling towel. Will the event-goers likely have tablets and laptops with them? Maybe a microfiber cloth for wiping down the screen would be appreciated. Think through what is important to your particular audience, too: If you’re at a convention or trade show based around environmentally conscious themes, you may want to stick with reusable straws and recycled totes rather than plastic bags and stacks of paper fliers.
There are some promotional items we’re truly grateful for—maybe a water bottle, a nice pen, lip balm, or a portable charger—but there are others that are just junk. We all know the type. Even the most creative giveaways will be thrown away after the conference if they don’t serve a purpose. Event-goers are going to be walking away with tons of free stuff. You want yours to be the one they look at and say “cool, thanks,” not, “great, now what do I do with this?” That way, every time they pick up that handy pen or the cool water bottle, they’ll remember your company fondly.
To build on the last point, the point of a giveaway at a conference is to keep your company at the forefront of people’s minds when they leave. You want this to be a positive reminder, not one that brings up memories of an unpleasant encounter or lack of any encounter. Be ready to engage attendees in a friendly conversation as they reach for the giveaway item. You can also choose items that represent who you are and what your company stands for. Do you encourage your employees and clients to invest in their personal well-being? Maybe try a stress ball or pair of sunglasses. Think through what will carry your company’s message and mission home with event-goers.
Want to learn how to arrange your company’s booth for success? Join us for our upcoming Effective Booth Organization course. During this class, you’ll discover techniques to promote your cause whether at a convention, festival, or arts and crafts fair. To register, click here or call 405.377.3333. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.
Abby McCain is the Communications and Marketing Secretary at Meridian Technology Center.