Less is more
Trade shows are great for industry exposure – that’s why they exist. 20 years ago, Trade Shows and the Yellow Pages was the main sources of finding new products, customers, suppliers and stockists but now we have a little something called the internet. Trade shows are still important for other reasons, like being able to physically feel and try products, educational panels, workshops and demonstrations but there is not the same urgency to get your promotional pen or single use plastic water bottle into every single show-goers hands.
Try a smaller quantity of a higher quality product and only offer it to serious potential clients. If people stopped by your stand to ask questions or engage, then offer them something like a good quality printed reusable drink bottle, coffee cup or debossed notebook instead. Make sure your merchandise is displayed nicely so people know there is a potential “freebee” on offer for engaging with you. Who doesn’t like a good quality freebee? Branded reusable products are great reminders of your business after the event is over.
Invest in good quality promotional products
Remember your promotional product represents your business. If you buy a cheap product in a large quantity to spread brand awareness, you will compromise on quality.
Let’s talk about the actual trade show bag for example… If you are visiting a large trade show you will be given more than one bag and by lunch time you’ve merged them all into the biggest and best quality bag. If your company invests in a higher quality practical bag there is a higher chance your branded trade show bag will be the bag full of all the other bags.
Practical promotional products
Whatever promotional product you invest in, make sure they are relevant to your brand and the event. If you are planning the event, team up with one of the larger exhibiting businesses to set up a free coffee cart with branded reusable coffee cups donated by the business.
If the conference, trade show or expo goes all day or several days, why not try charging cable lanyards? Guests can charge their devices on the go with branded power banks donated by another sponsor or exhibiting business.
Providing branded reusable straws or cutlery is another practical tradeshow bag idea. Attendees will then be able to use these instead of single use plastic straws and cutlery at the event.
Thinking about doing away with trade show bags?
Some long running events are starting to simplify or do away with trade show bags and giveaways, which from an environmental point of view is fantastic. If your event is known for their “swag bags” full of free promotional merchandise and it is expected by attendees, make sure you tell guests ahead of time. If you are going cut down on promotional merchandise or remove them from your event completely but still charge the same ticket price, the money usually budgeted for swag should be donated to charity or publicly invested into improving the event; guests, panels, experiences or catering.
If you are wanting to make a more eco-friendly choice when it comes to your event, but you still want some branded merchandise, why not offer it in door prizes or for new members instead.
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