Choosing the right freebies

Industry exhibitions and trade shows are extremely important, whether it’s to network with your peers, generate leads, launch a new product or just to see what everyone else is up to. It’s just as important that you make the most of your attendance by giving them something to remember you by. After all, who doesn’t love a freebie?

However, while promotional products are an exhibition staple and a marketing must at trade shows, just like receiving a themed jumper at Christmas, your freebie should not be a disappointment. A bit of thought can go a long way. You need to consider your audience carefully – how old are they, what motivates them, are they mainly men or women and so on – when choosing the right free gift.

Increase traffic to your stand

Exhibition stands that offer promotional items tend to have higher levels of traffic than stands that disregard the many benefits they offer. Why? Simply because people like getting free stuff. But everyone loves a freebie so you’ll also attract ‘freebie collectors’, and probably give some away to people who won’t be interested in your product or service. You can address this by exchanging your gift for the person’s business card, or choosing a gift that only your target market will be interested in. Exhibitions and trade shows are highly competitive with exhibitors competing to stand out among the crowd. Advertising a promotional gift can give you the edge over your competition and draw more attention to your stand.

Make your giveaway memorable

In the end, the most successful gifts are those that stand the test of time. Don’t give them something generic like pens that will end up in the bin within minutes. It’s worth thinking that little bit more creatively and spending that little bit more on something that will stay with the visitor for a while. Get your choice right and promotional gifts can help you stand out and make you, your business and your brand memorable. The majority of prospects remember the company who gave them a certain promotional gift, particularly if it’s relevant, quality and useful. If you choose something that is cheap and gimmicky then that directly reflects on your brand. Oh, and make sure that your gift has your web address or telephone number on it so that any potential customer can contact you.

Improve the image of your brand

Raising brand awareness is a key goal for many companies attending exhibitions but in the middle of hundreds of companies trying to do the same, it’s not an easy task. More often than not, trade shows and exhibitions are busy, crowded places. So for your brand to stand out above the others you need to make a positive and lasting impression on visitors. Successful gift ideas tend to show strong branding and user value. Freebies are a great way of influencing prospects. If your company and brand is seen in a positive light by attendees, they’re more likely to consider you as a supplier. So, be brave, fly the company flag.

Increase your visibility

One of the best things about promotional items is that they don’t have to break the bank. There are an enormous range of gifts available out there for all budgets, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that best suits your needs. At an exhibition freebies give your brand visibility that continues long after the doors have closed and everyone has gone home – making them a fantastic long-term cost-effective investment.

Add to your visual display

Looks are important element of your exhibition stand. And this applies to your freebies and how you present them too. Promotional gifts are key to getting noticed in a sea of other exhibitors, so why not incorporate them into your stands visual display? Arrange the stand in such a way that shows off your freebies in an eye-catching way that entices people towards the stand and makes them want to talk to you. Once they are hooked with the giveaway, you and your brand will be foremost in their mind.

Convey your values in an instant

Choosing the right freebies to give away during an event is important. Not only should they be relevant to your business or industry but they can provide a talking point and an ice-breaker, so you can quickly move on to how your company can help them. So if your company firmly believes in helping the environment, why not give them a reusable bottle or a recycled notebook. This will send a strong message that potential clients can immediately grasp.

Generate leads

One of the main reasons that companies attend exhibitions is to get leads, and your freebies can definitely help you accomplish this. You can use your gift as a way of getting people to engage with you, getting them to visit a presentation or demonstration later on in the show. Get creative and use your promotional gift as your business card. Being different or unique works as it enables you to stand out from the crowd.

Some ideas to get you started…
• Branded mugs
• Reusable bottles
• Recycled notepads
• Mobile power packs
• Clothing
• Branded exhibition survival bags

Smart man with glasses in black and whiteTom Rigby, Author

For over 20 years, Tom Rigbyhas helped businesses across the UK to find their voice and communicate their messages, in print and online, whether they want to generate sales, attract customers, inform stakeholders, educate the public or persuade them to join a cause. He is a published author and occasional contributor to a number of publications. www.tomrigby.com

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