Yep, it’s that time of year again, the calendar tells us that it’s time to feed into the gift-giving frenzy; as exhibitors we’re budgeting for next years cool “schwag” and as holiday shoppers we’re hitting up all the local hot spots for the best deals. Experts have determined that giving gifts is a significant part of human interaction that enhances personal relationships and strengthen business ties. Psychologists say it is often the giver (you, the exhibitor), rather than the receiver (the attendee), who gets the biggest benefit from a gift because it drives brand memorability and has long lasting marketing benefits. The question is: as an exhibitor are you a giver or a grinch?
Let's look at five ways to tell whether you're a grinch or a giver:
You're a giver if: You spend time deciding on the right gift for your attendees. You don’t go with the typical: stressball, back scratcher, or breath mint. You conduct a survey to make sure that your attendees are getting the giveaways that are most useful to them and that they will cherish for years to come.
You're a grinch if: You don't question why you're giving the gift, but rather you do it because you feel you HAVE to. You select a giveaway that's cheap, most likely poorly made, with ZERO marketing benefits.
You're a giver if: You give a gift that is personalized (like a monogrammed planner) and is a token of your appreciation to show that you care about your booth visitors.
You're a grinch if: You adopt the “trick-or-treat” giveaway policy: you leave your swag lying out in bins, bowls or on your reception counter, so people can help themselves (with little or no interaction with your booth staff).
You're a giver if: You feel good about giving the gift. The act gives you enormous pleasure and satisfaction because you carefully selected the gift and it has your brand on it. You are happy to give qualified booth visitors a branded take home that will work hard to support your branding efforts.
You're a grinch if: You throw away the remainder of your giveaways so you don’t have to ship it back to your office.
You're a giver if: You view your gift as a two way to process: your booth visitors must first express interest in your products, which will then allow you to establish a meaningful dialogue with them and give them a takeaway that will strengthen your bond with the recipient.
You're a grinch if: You really don't care about your "tchotchke", and don't realize that it can help promote your company and strengthen business relationships. Your giveaway is just another tick on your checklist.
You're a giver if: You give from the heart, with no feeling, or pressure of reciprocity.
You're a grinch if: You give with a sense of self-serving, to get something back from the receiver. You might have a cool giveaway, but in order for your booth visitor to claim it they must: divulge their contact information, participate in a 30 question survey, demo your product, and provide a testimonial to your liking.
Whatever the reason you give a gift, be it for the holidays, a birthday, or to reward behavior, remember that when you give sincerely from the heart, you'll get far more pleasure, than a sense of obligation.|
And, for your next trade show, think about the giveaway you want others to receive. Make it useful, educational, or business related, and one that you're proud to give. In fact, use yourself as a litmus test. Ask yourself if this item is something you'd like to receive if someone were to give it to you.
Happy holidays and happy gift giving!
Written by Susan Friedmann, The Tradeshow Coach, working with companies who want to maximize their exhibiting investment. Author, "Meeting & Event Planning For Dummies" and many other titles. For more information, visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com