Make YOUR Booth the One They Remember

“Hi, nice talking with you. Got a card?”

My “tour” of promotional marketing program opportunities visits an old friend today: trade shows. Trade shows can be interesting, but they can also be a bit depressing. You try to meet as many prospects as possible. When it’s done, you wind up with a collection of business cards to toss into your “lead” pile. You are eager to follow up and turn them into customers.

Those people you met with? They remember the hotel and the restaurants. But as to the people staffing all those booths they visited? They blend together, and the memory gets a little fuzzy.

When They Leave Your Booth, Go with Them

No matter how charming you are, you’re fighting an uphill battle to stay top of mind once those trade show visitors walk away. How can you change that? Well, you can’t go with them physically, but your brand can, with promotional marketing.

A promotional product carrying your logo and other key information can go a long way, both literally, and in keeping your name in front of those new prospects. Recent research from ASI shows that on average, people keep promotional items 6 months to well over a year. (Hey, you couldn’t stay with them that long without paying rent!)

Choosing the Best Promotional Marketing Item

To take best advantage of this opportunity, remember that what you hand out matters. This is not the time to empty out the warehouse of leftover trinkets or take advantage of some great deal on a low-end screwdriver set. Instead, make sure you choose an item that follows one or both of these principles:

  • Choose Something Functional

Research says that what recipients value most is something they can really use. That might suggest an umbrella, a tool or an electronic accessory. Think about your prospects’ daily lives, and how your item can fit into those lives.

Ever use a travel coffee mug with someone’s logo on it? I’ll bet so. The more often they use the item, the more often they’ll see your branding and think of you.

  • Choose Something Relevant

Remember that your ultimate goal is to build genuine relationships that convert to sales. So while any good item can foster the new relationship, the best ones help reinforce your sales message. That might mean giving out a product sample. Or it could be something that cleverly remind prospects of key selling points. If meeting tight deadlines is your strength, maybe you could create a unique calendar with famous sports “buzzer beaters” featured. Or for those high level prospects, a stopwatch!

USB drives are quite popular: how about loading a short sales reminder presentation onto it first? That way they get another exposure to your message before they convert it to their personal use.

Have a Promotional Marketing Plan for the Trade Show

One more thought here: go into the trade show with a clear plan about which booth visitors get what, and when?  Perhaps you build awareness with an inexpensive gift you can hand out to anyone passing by.

But what about those visitors who express serious interest and spend time in conversation with you? They might merit a higher-level promotional item, or one that more clearly drives home your marketing messaging.

What About Your Employees?

While this post is mostly about trade shows, I also think it’s worth considering major company meetings. They can be a mixed bag, and the very announcement of one can excite some employees, while causing others to worry. This is another great promotional marketing opportunity.

A promotional product with your logo and new marketing theme or “battle cry” can be as satisfying for employees as it is for prospects. It’s a great way to help inspire loyalty and positive feelings throughout the company.

Tap our Promotional Marketing Expertise

I hope I’ve given you plenty to think about. But remember, you don’t have to figure all this out alone. Our nearly 100 years in business has taught us plenty about the wise use of promotional marketing.  And we must be doing something right. Our customers have just voted us our second consecutive Best of Print and Digital award. Our ISO certification holds us to high standards in our processes and practices, and results speak for themselves.

Contact Superior today for a promotional products audit. We’ll help you put together a plan for trade shows and other promotional marketing opportunities that could help your business dramatically. You’ll see just how much your prospects—soon to become customers—love them.

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