Tradeshow Planning

Tradeshow Planning

Tradeshows are a major part of a lot of companies marketing and sales plans. These types of events allow businesses to get in front of their target audience for a fee. Depending on the tradeshow and the industry, these ways of promoting your business can be expensive, which is why we created this post to help you weed out the bad events and find ones that are best for you business.

1. Do Your Research: There are hundreds if not thousands of tradeshows that happen every year. It is important to create a spreadsheet of the ones that are happening in your area as well as across the country (and world if it applies) to know what is out there. From that list you can start weeding out ones that don’t fit within your budget or don’t apply to your industry. However, think outside the box. If you’re an environmental company who participates mostly in green expos with other green businesses, you might also do well at an outdoor adventure tradeshow because most likely your target audience would be active too. Which leads me to my next tip…

2. Know Your Target Audience: Like any kind of marketing, you must know what your perfect client looks like in order to know where they are, what they want to hear and how you could benefit them or their business. Once you know exactly what your perfect client looks like you can start looking at the above list of expos and decide if that person will be at those shows or not. Only spend money on the tradeshows that will benefit your business; whether it is selling to consumers or aligning yourself with new partners, make sure your money is being spent wisely!

3. Plan, Plan, Plan: Once you have decided what your perfect client looks like and have picked the events that work for your business and budget, next you need to plan what you will be promoting at the tradeshow. Pick the appropriate giveaway(s) whether it is the standard logoed pens and key chains or maybe something more valuable like backpacks or apparel that you can do a drawing for. You must have a plan of action for these events. You have targeted eyeballs that you need to convert somehow, what will you do? Get them to sign up for a giveaway, do a drawing, giveaway a free book that is a teaser to your product and/or service, free quotes, etc? Don’t just go to a tradeshow, setup and sit there, you want to walk away with a certain number of leads and sales, plan for them! Also, don’t forget about planning your follow-up strategy. After the tradeshow you need to know what you are going to do with all the business cards/information you collect, who is following up and how. Don’t lose the sale!

4. Have a Post Mortem Meeting: This is a step that is easy to forget to do or not schedule in because we are all so busy, however you must do this to measure results, brainstorm what worked and what didn’t, and decide if you will attend next year.

5. Have Fun! Most importantly, you need to make sure all of the employees that are working the booth(s) are having fun and are friendly and approachable. They are representing your brand and company; make sure they are doing a fantastic job!

For ideas on giveaway items, check out our website,

Corporate Gifts Instead of Cash: The Value of Small Contributions to the Nonprofit Sector

According to, “An Overview of the Nonprofit and Charitable Sector” report drafted in November of 2009, over 1.5 million nonprofits are registered in the U.S., nearly 64 percent of them public charities, nearly 8 percent private foundations, and 29 percent other types of nonprofits. With so many nonprofits in this country, there is a lot of need for funding and services. As our economy starts to repair we’re still seeing a lack in money from both businesses and consumers. Giving is harder now more than ever but the nonprofit sector still needs the support.

One idea to help these organizations is by donating corporate gifts instead of cash. Never underestimate the value of giving, no matter the size of the contribution or the product that is being given. All nonprofits need money and funding, but many of them need other items to help them continue running and promoting their cause. Donating logoed coffee mugs, pens, key chains or t-shirts could help a nonprofit tremendously. They could sell these products at events, give them away as corporate gifts to their investors, volunteers and clients, which will add value to these people, but also help brand their company and spread their logo and message to the world.

Brainstorm ways your company can give to a nonprofit that represents a cause that is in line with your company’s mission and values. If you can’t give cash, is there something else you can donate?

A Letter from a Happy Customer!

Last month we donated some logoed wooden photo frames to the Portage Community Center. Today we got this wonderful letter and photos from them, so we thought we would share them with everyone!

“On behalf of the Portage Community Center and its volunteers, I would like to thank you for your donation of 50 picture frames to the 2010 volunteer recognition dinner.

The volunteer recognition dinner is our way of saying, “Thank You!” to our volunteers. We would not be able to make a difference in this community if it were not for the help of our volunteers. Your frames donation gave us the opportunity to show that our volunteers are special to us. Inside the frame, we placed a picture of the volunteer doing an act of service or at a previous volunteer dinner. If we did not have a picture of them we placed a note in the frame that let them know that we would fill the frame soon. Your donation to this event is sincerely appreciated and well received by its recipient.

“I would have to say that this is the best gift that I have ever received as a volunteer”

“Tell the company that did this that I am very excited about my gift”

“Make sure you get me the contact information for rushIMPRINT. I need to tell my church about them. This is great”

“It is great to see that even company’s outside of Portage show their support to other towns.

What more is there to say, but Thank You again for your generous support of the Portage Community Center, our volunteers, and our mission to make life better! We look forward to hopefully working with you again in the future.”

Thanks for reading!

- Dan

We were voted “BEST NEW MEDIA PROMOTION” by Counselor Magazine!

When you’re launching a new web site, you better come up with something creative to stand out. After all, a new web site on its own simply isn’t news. But how about a web site launch in conjunction with an online promotional video that has nearly 3 million views? now that’s news.That’s exactly what distributor firm Clayton Kendall (asi/162968) did earlier this year when it launched its new web site. To attract attention for the launch of its new business, Clayton Kendall decided to hire two YouTube stars to create and star in the video. The duo used stop-motion technology (also known as stop-action or frame-by-frame), along with 220 individually-printed t-shirts, to show the capabilities that Clayton Kendall had. The video can be seen here: “We wanted to create a video that exemplifed our T-shirt concept, was entertaining and had mass appeal to both a business-to-business and business-to-consumer audience,” says Dan Broudy, vice president of Clayton Kendall. “We hired two YouTube stars and it was their idea to use stop-motion animation and to approach this from a T-shirt battle scenario. it was a fun project.” it was also a project that brought lots of attention in the form of online clicks both to the video and to Clayton Kendall’s new web site. The video shows the two stars battling it out to create the fastest and most creative T-shirt. in a fast-moving video, the two put on and shed a total of 220 individual T-shirts. In all, it’s a professionally produced and compelling video that absolutely fulfiled the goals of this distributorship to increase awareness for a new online business and to sell T-shirts. “We wanted to garner maximum exposure for the new web site,” Broudy says. “within four weeks of posting the video, we had over 2.5 million views. it brought a lot of traffic to our web site, and informed 2.5 million people of our existence. Sales for the T-shirts are going strong, and we have been selling them all over the world. in fact, sales are still coming in for the T-shirts from the video, and we have had many custom T-shirt orders as a result of the video.” – AC

Is there anyone on the planet not using USB Flash Drives?

Flash drives, thumb drives, jump drives – I have no doubt if you have not used one, at the very least you have seen them. BUT… just in case you were living on an unchartered desert isle island with Gilligan and crew, A Flash Drive is a small drive that connects to a computer directly through a USB port. It is both PC and Mac compatible, and gives you a portable way to transfer files between computers.

Our industry is inundated with them. It is THE item to give away. You can preload with a presentation and then give to a client. You can get them in different shapes, combined with a pen,
printed with full color art, printed with individual names, and they are becoming more eco-friendly, being build from more recyclable materials. Now if you really want to get functified… for as low as 250 units, you can order your usb in a CUSTOM SHAPE. The shape of your logo, of a product, you name it. It can be done.

USB’s are also becoming faster. This year they came out with the 3.0 speed, which means faster transfer time (up to 10 times faster). That is thing about technology… just keeps getting faster.

If you have any USB questions or needs… you know the dude to contact. Email me dbroudy at I will hook you up.

Thanks for listening. Have a great weekend.


The FDA bans promotional products to be used by Big Tobacco

First it was the Pharmaceuticals, and now it’s the Tobacco Companies. Tobacco companies will no longer be allowed to distribute branded merchandise under new provisions enacted by the Food and Drug Administration. The ban has already been in place for over ten years in all but four states as a result of a 1998 legal settlement (Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi and Texas had reached separate agreements).

Beginning June 22nd, the ban goes into effect nationwide and covers all tobacco companies and retailers. “The regulations being announced today are designed to prevent our children from becoming the next generation of Americans to die early from tobacco-related illnesses,” said Howard K. Koh, U.S. assistant secretary of health.

The FDA has also created a number of additional advertising restrictions. Tobacco companies are not allowed to provide free samples of cigarettes, offer any type of gift or other item(s) with purchase of tobacco products and cannot be a brand name sponsor for athletic or entertainment events.

A spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco says that most of the rules announced have already been followed by tobacco companies. Violators may be subject to everything from warning letters to criminal prosecution. The FDA did not have authority to pass such provisions until Congress passed legislation last year, enabling the FDA to regulate tobacco for the first time. In other words, the FDA ain’t playin’ folks.

So what do we do now? Well, if you can’t beat them, join them. It’s a great time to promote QUIT SMOKING campaigns and raise awareness. Design some cool tee-shirts with anti-smoking mantra, chew some gum, get into fitness… as long as you buy it from me, you are at least stepping in the right direction.

Thanks for listening. Have a great day.


It’s the art and the packaging that makes the product, not the other way around

Too often in this industry, the client will be looking for the next coolest item. The newest craze, something hip, sleek, sexy… in other words, the promotional product version of me. Now I know what you are thinking. That was a disturbing image you did not need to be burdened with. The odds are, you are you probably right. But I want you to keep something in mind. The greatest, most powerfully delivered promotional item is not the greatest product necessarily, but the combination of the vivid art that is imprinted on it, and how it is packaged and delivered.

Take a tee shirt for example. There is nothing inherently clever or special about a $2 tee shirt. Yet, when covered with a vivid specific artistic imprint, it becomes a canvas. A canvas that can sell in the $20 – $30 range. I know, right? I once bought a tee shirt for $75 at a Madonna concert for my wife. Yes she made me go to the concert, but you are missing the point. There is no greater walking billboard than the tee shirt. You can imprint the front, the back, and the sleeves. You can customize the label. Billions of people wear them every day. Everyone you know has them.

If you want to get creative, if you want to get funky, if you want to drive home a specific message to the recipient of the promotional item or decorated apparel item, spend more time making the graphics jaw dropping, then trying to find the coolest new item. The odds are, if you give your client something that is useful, with artwork that is powerful and vibrant, and is packaged in a manner that reeks of being a GIFT, they are going to keep it for a much longer period of time.

Really think about that the next time you are ordering your logoed gifts. If you don’t have an artist in house, contact someone like me who has incredibly creative designers on hand that want to make you the next promotional product Picasso. When you do work with your designer, communicate to them what the message is. What is it you want your customer to know about you and your brand?

The promotional product is the canvas. Your brand and how it is presented is what translates and is most powerful.

As always, thank you for listening. Enjoy the day.


Tradeshow Marketing. Establishing A Game Plan

Raise your hand if you have been visited by the tradeshow gypsies. People who go from show to show, grabbing hand fulls of the free logoed promos you have on your table, and have absolutely no intention of doing business with you.

In reality, there might be 3 to 10 prospects at a show that have real potential. Here is what to do to defend against the promo swipers and at the same time treat the top prospects with the respect they deserve.

While you need to have the inexpensive handouts for the masses, take the time before the show to giftwrap a handful of higher end gifts and keep them hidden behind the table. A nice Cross or Waterman pen with your logo on it are great ideas. If you know the size the prospect wears in advance, embroider your logo on a high end brand name apparel item such as Columbia, Nike, or Cutter & Buck. Review the list of attendees to see who you can expect, and plan accordingly. Giftwrapping the nicer item, letting the prospect know that you had hoped they would stop by, and then providing a more expensive, special vip gift will make a very strong impression. It means they were important enough that you took the time to prepare for them, and that will translate to the prospect big time. After the show when you follow up, odds are that cold call will not be so cold.

Have a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter. Thank you for listening.

Dan Broudy

Easter Gear to Share With the Family

Dyeing and decorating eggs, chocolate bunnies, fabulous brunches, and spending time with family and friends are some of the wonderful things about Easter. Seeing the kids search for eggs on an Easter egg hunt, filling their Easter baskets with chocolate and a stuffed bunnies that makes even the oldest person squeal with glee. This is the time to relax and forget about all the things you have to do the next day or the day after. Therefore, take tons of pictures and enjoy the time with your family and friends. While are you enjoying your Easter day, don’t forget this gear to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

The kids will need Easter baskets to carry all the eggs they are going to collect during the hunt. Therefore, make sure that you don’t forget to have plenty around, so that the kids don’t miss the chance to get the most Easter eggs.  You can even have them decorate the basket the way that they want, so it can also be a collectible item that you can give to the grandparents.

Chocolate is something that everyone can have on Easter day without the guilt usually associated with it. There are so many different types of chocolate that you can eat or give to someone special that you will be sure to find a chocolate to fit their taste buds (and yours).

Cook your loved ones’ meals, pack it up, and drive to a beautiful park. You can have a picnic basket that has everything you need, so that you can have a nice, relaxing time with your family. Maybe play some frisbee, tell stories, and just enjoy one another’s company.

Getting stress balls that look like bunnies are a great way to provide a way for your loves ones to relax. It isn’t just by squeezing all their frustration out on the stress ball, but it will remind them of Easter, so it will automatically get them to calm down, and realize that everything will be alright.

You will be out all day, so you have to protect yourself from the sun. Take sunscreen for your family and you in personalized Easter dispensers. Your kids will not put up a fight to put on sunscreen when they see how the Easter bunny has no problems putting on sunscreen.

Easter reminds you the value of being surrounded by family and friends.  Therefore, turn off the phones, televisions, and any other disruptions, and enjoy the time you spend together.  Eat all the chocolate you want, and don’t be ashamed to have your own stuffed bunny.

Give your client something with their name on it, not their logo

Hello everyone. I want to talk to you today about the importance of the personalized leave- behind. Oh yes my friends. When you are working with a specific individual who is in charge of the purchasing of your product type or service, I have found it is better to give them something with their name engraved, embroidered or printed on it, than it is to have their company logo or your logo for that matter.

People take pride in where they work, but, quite often, they leave that job for another. Once they do, the logoed item you gave as a gift with their logo on it is no longer useful. Now you could make the argument that you would give them a logoed gift with your logo on it. After all, you are the vendor, and you want them to remember your company. Here is what I have found… while people do take pride in their jobs, at the end of the day, they would much prefer to have an item with their OWN NAME on it. PERIOD. It means you cared enough about them as a person to take the time to personalize this gift just for them, and not just anyone in the office. NOW… if you really want to be a stud and show that the prospect/client is important, do some research on what their interests on and personalize that. Take for example, I remember I researched someone who I found out loved to fish. We engraved a cutting board for fishing with his name on it. Another prospect loved pizza. We engraved a pizza cutter with their name on it. To this day, they are using those items. They know we took the time to research what their interests were. They are not just another link in the corporate chain. They are recognized.

Make it personal folks. They will remember it. When you do endeavor down this personalized gift scenario path, you know what vendor to contact. AKA me. If you have any prospects or important clients you want to give something cool to with their name on it, contact me dbroudy at I will find you something badass to make you look like a rockstar. It’s what I do.

Thanks for listening. Enjoy the day.
Dan Broudy