Posts tagged trade show
Corporate Swag refers to the trade show giveaways a person receives for walking aisle after aisle in a conference center looking at the wares and services of the vendors. What makes for good Corporate Swag? Does item functionality reign supreme, or can a creative, unique design transform an otherwise regular item into marketing gold? Personally, I think that both functionality and design can make Promotional Products that will be spared the trash bin.
Let’s look at what functional means when it comes to Promotional Stuff. Functional is something I can incorporate into my day regardless of the logo or corporate saying. However, if the trade show giveaways are an article of clothing, the artwork really needs to grab my attention, or be odd or quirky. A double meaning for a saying is fun on a promotional company t-shirt. Uninspired artwork is not.
When a company takes the time and effort to design artwork that represents the industry and the featured event well, I could argue that whatever the Promotional Stuff is, the company will be positively remembered. Even inconsequential artwork can have a big advertising impact.
Promotional company backpacks and custom duffel bags often are Custom Promotional Items given away at a trade show. I really like to receive these types of Promotional Stuff, especially when it is well made. One of the worst mistakes a company can make is to hand out badly made items. I would equate the cheapness of the product with bad quality control of the company whose name is on the gift.
Another bane of Corporate Swag is handing out old technology. If the Promotional Products that are given out are company logo USB and promotional thumb drives, make sure they are made with the latest technology. If I put the drive into my USB and it can’t be read, or there is little storage capacity, I again will look with question on the company whose logo is stamped on the casing.
Other Custom Promotional Items that are common novelty items are blinking noise making balls or yo-yos. While neither of these items are very useful, they are fun. My dog loves the balls; my cats hate them. A custom yo-yo is fun if you know how to run one. My dogs love them if they are thrown, and my cats love the string.
Bottom-line, quality swag is made up of two parts; useful, quality products and creative design. It’s important to always order from a quality manufacturer. Remember that your promotional swag is a reflection on your company, and in the mind of the consumer, a poorly made item is usually associated with poor business. But just as important is the use of quality artwork. A promotional backpack with a poor design can be outdone by something as simple as a company shirt with a unique, creative look. So, always try to achieve a balance of the two.
Promotional products are one of the safest ways to get into people’s minds and personal or business radars for a long time. They provide a constant reminder that people should be using your services and products. However, there is a right and a wrong way to match your company’s image and objective to promotional products. Some things to consider:
I want it and need it
Coming away from a trade show, it is easy to have a plethora of things that you don’t need and will surely throw away the minute you get back to your office. Make sure that what you are giving away will stay in people’s lives for a time to come. Pads of paper, pencils, and pens are all good examples. Think of an item that will stick around for awhile and that will be used.
Quality vs. Quantity
When it comes to having products that stay in people’s lives for a long time without breaking, running out (of whatever it has) is going to require that you buy quality products. Spending a bit more on each item to ensure quality and longevity can make the huge difference for making sure your items aren’t likely to end up in the trash.
Designing for Success
Make sure that when you have a product, that you are giving the three most important things out to your consumer: business name, website, and logo. Now you may have to improvise a little….you may not be able to fit all three together. Always have a business name and website, if you can fit a logo on, do it!
When you are at a trade show or expo, it is so very important to understand that a first impression can sometimes be your only chance to make an impression to passersby. The term “big personality” can sometimes have negative connotations attached to it but in this specific case, it is a “big personality” that is honed in, professional and of course, effective.
If you are lucky enough to nab a person with a “big personality”, it is important to set them up for success and lead them in a direction of greatness. There are a number of things to help them focus on but during their training, these are the most important factors to check off your list.
When it comes to attending an Expo as a business, you need to really get your creative juices flowing. The keys to expo success are differentiation and maximizing exposure of your brand. Here are some ways to achieve these objectives.
Keep them coming back for more! Get some cool products either from your company (or not) that will get people interested and asking about your company and circling your booth like a shark. If needed, check out a company that has a stellar product to giveaway, even go so far as to ask them to donate it if you put up an ad for them at the booth.
The way to orchestrate the giveaway is to get stickers created with your company logo (branding!) and get your customers to put one on by providing their email, or just by listening to your spiel. Slap the sticker on them so that it is visible. Then, around the time of your choice, go around with your super awesome prize and a camera and give it away to the first person that you see rocking your sticker. Make a big deal and take a picture.
The most important item to remember when running a giveaway is to not compromise your brand identity. Make sure that you have your logo on absolutely everything that you give away, that you are wearing and on your booth.
Following up at a tradeshow is the ultimate way to paving the success of the show. You may have not made everycent that you were looking forward to making and maybe there was a smaller attendance than expected. Maybe one of your banners or employees didn’t show up. Or maybe the show was a blazing success and you would appreciate even more business to come from it. Well the point is, in any case, you should be following up with contacts made at a tradeshow, promising or not.
Sit down and make sure that you have your list in order. Get your contacts, the little notes that you scribbled on the back of their cards that states who they are and what you talked about (an important thing to do at a tradeshow) and decide if you are going to phone or email them. Possibly you will do both but will do one before the other. Either way, get a plan of action in your hands that can set you up for success.
Immediacy is Key
The longer you wait to connect with a contact made at a show, the longer you risk losing a possible sale. Make sure that the people that you have connected with and that you have got all excited and jazzed about your products has a chance to actually buy what you are selling! The immediacy factor not only shows that you value their business and time, but also shows that you want their business in the first place and more importantly it displays how you do business.
Separate, move on and start over!
As you call, you may have ‘maybes’ and ‘absolutely not’ or even ‘call back when my manager is here’ all of these responses should get you dividing the calls into separate lists. Separate into Hot Leads, Call Backs, and NO. Change the types of lists to whatever you prefer to call them, but the moral of the lesson is: make sure that you are dividing and conquering your lists so that you are eventually getting smaller and smaller lists that you can later divide amongst your staff. Also, pay attention the important Hot Leads list and get the money that you are looking for. After you are done, go over it again until you have no one left to call….this may take some time .
No you say? Well instead…take….
When you get an “absolutely not” it is important to keep them connected and to stay professional at all times. Make sure that you extend yourself in some way–web cast, newsletter or email blasts–to show your appreciation for their time; something that will give their time or company value…free.