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Unlocking The Perfect Tradeshow Giveaway

by Kat Shea 22. November 2011 18:14

According to recent studies, giveaways trigger what researchers call the reciprocity effect--the conditioned cultural response to return the kindness of a gift--which can manifest itself in better response rates, repeat business, and powerful referrals. So, you don’t want any ordinary “trick or treat” freebie, you want a giveaway that is EXTRA ordinary. And PS, you don’t have to break the bank when you’re budgeting to come up with some cool swag for next year. But, how do you choose the right trade show giveaway? Follow the below show Smart Steps to giveaway success.

Broadcast Your Brand
Whatever new giveaway you choose: a ceramic mug, flash drive, ipod, gourmet chocolates, your brand should be at the forefront – and immediately visible to your audience.  Think of clever ways to incorporate your brand instead of plastering it everywhere (which can be an eyesore and look tacky). Better yet, make your giveaway wearable. According to 2010 PPAI research, 31% of promotional sales were of wearable items like shirts, jackets, and hats.

Make It A Two-Parter
If you decided to pick something as common as a stress ball, couple it with another prize to make it a two part giveaway or even instill a little humor in it (think a thumbdrive that looks like an actual thumb).

Put It To Work
Whatever you decide for your trade show giveaway, you want it to have LONG term marketing benefits. So, you’ll want to invest in a giveaway that is durable and will last a while. Even better, if your giveaway can be used as a keepsake at work and at home (think: a portable bag or ceramic mug), so you benefit from DOUBLE the exposure. A 2009 survey conducted by PPAI Research found that a staggering 3 out of 4 consumers reported having at least one promotional product in their workspace.

Some Food For Thought on Untraditional Giveaway Favorites
On A Linkedin professional group when asked the most memorable giveaways many chimed in with some of their top picks - see below

  • A mini computer cleaning tool kit
  • A usb
  • Seeds (yes seeds they proceeded to plant and grow in their yard - talk about long term use!)
  • A rear view mirror to attach to your computer monitor
  • A compact umbrella enclosed in a mini zipper case
  • A smart phone case

PS: Aside from the seeds, what all of these have in common is that they are ultra portable and can be used over and over again.

Selecting the right giveaway is all about asking yourself “Would I use this item”? How long would I keep this? is it versatile?  and what type of long term marketing benefits does it have?”. Having the right giveaway, tied in with strategic promotions can help leverage your trade show performance and get your foot in the door to new business opportunities.

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