Trade shows represent an outlet to reach current and potential clients in a direct and active way. The targets come to the show with an active interest in finding both you and your competitors. They come to you to find the best quality products and services. But sometimes they just come to browse the stocks. In either case, history along with general studies have shown that including a promotional product at your trade show booth increases your overall success and ROI. Because, let’s face it, when it come to brochures versus logoed goodies, the goodies win the praise and even better, the attention and retention of the target audience.
According to a 2003 Georgia Southern University survey, more than 70 percent of trade show attendees who received a promotional product remember the name of the company that gave them the product. And more than 76 percent of those participants showed a favorable attitude to the company branded to the promotional product. These findings prove that promotional products at trade shows results in greater awareness and a positive perception of the company as a whole. This can generate a more loyal and happy client base as well as new business potential.
Get ahead of your competition by starting your trade show branding with promotional products early. Georgia Southern University conducted another study in 2004 which observed the effects of promotional products as invites to a trade show. The study included all pre-registered trade show participants and gathered attitudes and behaviors. The attendees, divided into three different groups, all received separate invites to the upcoming show. A third of the participants received a post card from a company at the trade show. The second group received a postcard along with a branded magnet of the company. The last group received a postcard with a coupon to redeem a free T-shirt from the company if they visited its exhibit at the show. The study found that 78 percent more attendees responded to the T-shirt offer, while 57 percent more people responded to the magnet more than the postcard alone.
This study shows that getting a head start on trade show branding can ultimately increase traffic and participation at your exhibit, but even more so when you add a promotional product to the invite. This way the target has you in mind before they head to the show and, in turn, make your booth a priority.
Although promotional products generate such a high response and success rate, you need to take into consideration which product to use. Sometimes the typical key chains and pens have little to no effect on the target. Like any other part of a marketing campaign, the product must coincide with the wants and needs of the target audience at the trade show. It must be a product that stands out and makes the clients want to have it and keep it around. Because, in essence, by having and keeping your promotional product, the client chooses to keep you and have you around. For example, instead of using the company stress ball as a premium at a trade show, design a tumbler cup series customized to the specific trade show and your specific booth. This keeps the client excited about not only your premium but you as well. It’s also a practical product that tends to get heavy use by more than just the intended target.
By adding a simple, branded gadget to the booth and trade show invite, people tend to return more frequently and also take the company home with them. This generates more word-of-mouth advertising and exposure. It also, as the studies show, creates an overall positive perception of the company and higher interest involvement. So the next time your company plans to attend a trade show, make sure promotional products not only complement your booth, but also appear in the hands of your target before the trade show even starts.