Trade shows offer a spectacular opportunity to get your business and message out into the public conscience. These events give you an incredibly personal way to interact with heavy users of your product category as well as influential voices within your industry. Having a promotional product giveaway at one of these trade shows is an even better way to capitalize on the attention you will already be receiving at the event. However, not all giveaways are created equal, and a poorly executed giveaway could be a waste of your marketing budget. There are a few simple things you can do before announcing your giveaway that are sure to generate the success and return on investment you are seeking.
Like any other sort of promotional spending, you want to make sure that whatever you are investing money in will have a tangible and measurable return on investment, whether in terms of company awareness, leads or actual sales. Fortunately, giveaways can be some of the cheapest promotional activities when compared with other marketing activities like traditional advertising. However, giveaways also represent a very special challenge when it comes to quality perceptions of your company. You don’t want to offer a giveaway item that is cheap as a way to save money. Even if the item is a fully functioning and quality prize, your audience will develop the perception that your company is cheap because you did not offer a more expensive item to give away. Further, you don’t want to give away a big-ticket item so expensive that the number of customer actions necessary to receive a return on investment is unrealistic.
As with any promotional activity, you will want to define who you are trying to reach with your giveaway as early as possible in order to tailor the event to them. You also want to make sure that whatever item you decide to give away is both relevant to what your company does and something your audience would actually want. So, for example, if you are a plumbing company giving away the brand-new iPhone at a trade show, you will definitely attract a huge audience who want the phone, but as soon as the giveaway is over, nothing about a new iPhone is going to make your audience remember your company or why they should become your customers. Vice versa, if you are giving away free plumbing parts, you aren’t going to attract a very big audience, no matter how closely related to your business these items are.
Goals and Measurement
Probably the most important piece of the tradeshow giveaway puzzle is identifying the specific goals you are trying to meet with this giveaway and the related ways that you will track these goals. You can’t begin to track and measure success if you haven’t defined what success looks like. Your goals might be to create greater awareness of your company within your desired audience and generate more leads for your products, or your goals could simply be direct sales. Whatever your goals are, you need tools both at the event and beyond that will track these metrics. These tools could be things like social media, web analytics, business reviews or a noticeable incremental sales lift after the giveaway.
As we said earlier, a trade show giveaway can be a truly valuable promotional tool and one that can provide an amazing return on investment if executed properly. If you are able to keep these three tips in mind when planning your next one, you are sure to see the success of your giveaway reflected in the increasing success of your business – and will gain a reputation for having the best trade show giveaways around. For all other trade show and promotional materials needs, TradeShowPlus, Inc. has your back.