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Choosing Promotional Items For Trade Shows

Posted by Administrator On December - 22 - 2009

Promoting a small company can be quite a challenge, especially if you are strained with cash. Most businesses spend a large percentage of their revenues for advertising and marketing purposes. The fact however remains that most small business’ can’t generate enough revenues to effectively market and promote their companies. This in due course of time turns into a vicious circle. As advertising whether in print or in any of the other mediums costs a considerable sum of money, most small businesses aren’t able use these mediums effectively. Due to the lack of sustained advertising budget, most small businesses languish in the bottom of the industrial pit, without any hope of ever making it to the top.

There are however, several other ways – smarter ways – of marketing and publicizing small business. You can get excellent results by using promotional items at trade shows. Here are some excellent tips that you can utilize to give your business the essential boost that it craves for:

Attending a trade show can seem like Christmas – all those wonderful booths and exhibitors giving away free goodies. Attendees flit from booth to booth and pass on hints of who’s giving away the good loot. In all the hustle, bustle and excitement, it’s easy to be overlooked by the crowd in favor of a flashier, cooler or louder exhibitor. How do you get potential customers to stop by your booth – and stay long enough to become a customer?

The answer lies in choosing the right promotional items and gifts and tying them into your overall theme. According to one trade show publication, people attending a trade show are 52% more likely to stop by your exhibit if you have an appealing promotional gift to give them. Keeping that in mind, how should you go about choosing great promotional gifts and using them to their best effects?

Here are some key questions that will help you to choose effective promotional items for your trade show exhibits.

1. What gifts will fit your company or image?

Pens, key rings and little trinkets are a glut on the market at trade shows. Besides being “what everyone else has”, they seldom have anything to do with your business. Choose items that complement your main business – USB flash drives for a software company, for instance.

2. Can you imprint your contact info on them?

Since one of the major reasons for your promotional giveaway is to encourage your potential customers to contact you, imprinted items are a great choice. Depending on the items that you choose, you may decide to make your imprint discreet, or very very visible.

3. Would you like to get one for free?

If it’s not something that appeals to you personally, how can you expect it to appeal to others? When you’re shopping for promotional gifts start with an open mind, and narrow the field by the “wow” factor. If you see something that you’d LOVE to get, add it to your list of possibilities. Later, you can winnow out the items that are too expensive or don’t otherwise suit.

One important thing to keep in mind when designing your trade show strategy is the perceived value of your promo items. People respond best to promotional gifts that they feel are valuable to have and to give. One way to impress people with the value of your promotional gift is to choose an expensive item, but it’s not the only, or even the best way. What’s far more important is your Gift-Giving approach.

1. Don’t just lay your promotional items out on a table for anyone to take as they pass. Not only does it deprive you of the chance to make a personal contact or sales pitch, it devalues the promotional item itself. How important is it if you don’t have to do anything to get it?

2. Do design your exhibit to highlight your best promotional items to attract attention. Create an attractive display on your table. If the item is one that’s an attention getter, detail one of your booth sitters to wander around the exhibit area using the item and directing people back to your booth.

3. Do consider first impressions. Station someone near the entrance to the trade show with an armload of attention-getting carry bags with your logo. Hand them to everyone who enters for a highly visible advertisement for your booth. Be sure that your booth also displays the same logo or colors so that it can be found easily.

4. Do consider having drawings and raffles for higher value promotional items. These little “event within an event” can raise excitement and bring people back to your booth multiple times over the course of a day.

Now by logging on to, you can browse through our huge range of promotional items. We have displayed more than 700,000 promotional items on our site, and all our products are of an excellent quality. Moreover, our experienced team of artists and graphic designers will give your products a unique look and feel. To know more, do visit us

- Victoria Brown & Gareth Parkin

One Response to “Choosing Promotional Items For Trade Shows”

  1. Ashley Segroves | Rodan + Fields Consultant says:

    Thanks so much for such a great explanation on maximizing trade show booths. Will try this out at our next event.