2 Reasons Why Promo Items Should Be Your Best Trade Show Marketing Tools

Grocery shopping for a family is a lot like picking promotional items for the upcoming year. You’ve got to rank everything and everyone else’s preferences and tendencies, above your own, knowing them well enough to make them – for lack of better words – happy.

The experience offered by the promotional item itself, following the brand experience created by your team within the booth, will be the final determining factor of just how much your branded t shirt is actually worn, mobile charger is used, and VR goggles are played with, and enjoyed.

When working a booth, there’s nothing worse than having to beg attendees into your booth (for lack of traffic and appeal) and then, without saving the little bit of face you’ve got left, unloading on them your entire inventory of undesirable branded freebies (un-swag). That’s the moment you realize that your promo items will never make it out of the building, let alone seen, and that they have failed as marketing tools.

Here are 2 reasons why promo items should be your best trade show marketing tools:

1. They should influence.

Considering those findings, why wouldn’t the same apply for promotional giveaways at trade shows?

“A recent study found that 10% of consumers are influencing the buying decisions of a large chunk of other consumers, making them top influencers. Much of this influence is through online means such as social media. As a result, marketers usually find and target these ‘top influences’ and ensure that they do their bit in influencing the behavior of other consumers.” according to a study published by Boundless.

Let’s take a step back for a moment, to a time when we were first introduced to the power of influence.

Whether influenced by our parents to eat peas as infants, fashion trends and styles as teenagers dying to be cool, or Keeping Up With The Kardashians – or other generation defining TV shows – all  just to be in the loop.

Influence has compelled many of our life decisions, good and bad, big and small, even down to our product choices.

With this in mind, choosing promotional items for your next show could be an absolute cinch!

When you’re planning to buy your promotional items before a trade show, ask yourself these three questions.

  1. What behaviors do all the attendees all have in common? (ex. Kids, boats, tech-heads)
  2. What are some complementary accessories that go hand-in-hand with some of those shared behaviors? (ex. Mobile chargers, calendars, thumb drives)
  3. What will undoubtedly be the next big thing to hit in 2017? (ex. Tiny bluetooth speakers, virtual reality eyewear, stress relievers)

The answers to these questions will provide you with a shortlist of hot items based off of the various tendencies that you’ve grown familiar with, within your sector. Therein lies the opportunity to be creative and practical when selecting innovative knock-out promotional items to brand.

Don’t worry, you’ve got this!

2. They should inspire.

What’s more inspiring than receiving a gift that you actually want?

It inspires action and creativity, because now the only prevailing thought is where and when to start using, or playing with this new gift. That’s the feeling, right there, that promotional items are made for – everyday life.

Take VR (virtual reality) for example. Have you tried on a pair of goggles yet and seen the world in virtual reality? If not, trust me, you don’t know what you’re missing!

“When considering trends, we have to look at different timescales. Some tech trends are short-lived ‘fads’, others are longer-term mega-trends.” as noted by Dave Chaffey, author of Digital Marketing Trends 2016 – 2017.

Perhaps 2017 is the year that VR finally emerges, and takes center stage as the home-run cross-cultural and generational technology that everyone is floored by. We’ve witnessed it’s initial market exposure, high-priced inclusion, to the evolved, yet simplified cardboard that everybody can use.

The extravagance of VR has shifted from the expensive eyewear to the engagement quality of the content within the app itself.

A branded pair of goggles or a logo’d VR experience could inspire family members to try them out during family gatherings for the holidays, or an unforgettable boardroom presentation.  

Why limit yourself to the same old options for trade shows? Instead, take an innovative approach to giving your booth visitors something they actually want… in their everyday lives.



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