The seven best give aways for trade shows

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by Lauren Hill – article featured in Exhibitor Magazine

Companies that attend trade shows are typically looking for ways to market the business and gain new customers. The impression you make at the trade show may be your only chance to draw in certain customers and impress them enough that they remember you.

Trade shows are a great way to spread the word about your business or a great product, but it’s essential that you use the right tools for a successful trade show experience. A big part of having a successful trade show is offering some type of giveaway to your booth visitors that they will use and remember.

A good giveaway is something that is useful, and reminds your potential customers of your business. While some extravagant gifts may catch the eye of a passer-by, if the item is not useful, it is likely to be thrown away as soon as the attendee unpacks from the trip. When you are choosing a giveaway for a trades show, you should always focus on finding something that is affordable, represents your business, and will become a useful item in the everyday lives of your potential customers.

1. USB Drive The mouse pad was the classic trade show giveaway during the time period when computers and the Internet became more common household items. Today, laptops have replaced many desktop computers, and a mouse pad has to be left behind with the computer.

Smart businesses adapted to these changes by offering a USB drive to those who came by their booths at trade shows. When the drive is engraved or scripted with your company name, you have offered a useful product that advertises your business, anytime information needs to be accessed. A USB drive is also portable enough that it can be taken along wherever the receiver travels, and can help to spread the word to others about your company.

2. Entertainment Options Sometimes, the best way to catch the eye of your potential customers is to provide them with an entertaining experience. Although it is difficult to provide an experience that can be taken home, if you create something that people will remember, your name will consistently be in the forefront of their minds. Focus your entertainment options on ideas that will bring in the type of people you want for your business. For example, an interactive display of new software programs would be an effective tool for catching the eye of those at a trade show for computer design.

3. Bags Anyone who visits your booth will have a use for a tote bag. When you create a bag that is a useful size, looks attractive, and advertises your business, you’ve created the almost perfect product. Receivers of your giveaway will use their tote bag to haul groceries, pack for trips, and may even use them to haul files to and from the office every day. With your name on the bag, they help to advertise your product to anyone they come into contact with.

4. Office Supplies Everyone loves a new pen or a new pad of paper that makes life easier around the office. With any type of office supply, you offer a product that sits on the desk of your customers and has your contact information readily available at all times. Pens and pencils are a common item at trade shows, so you may want to try something a little more unique, such as a pen and highlighter combo, or a pen holder. The best trade show items are those that are useful, but are not so common that they are quickly forgotten or thrown away.

5. Reusable Water Bottle Many companies opt for the plastic water bottle with the company logo on the side. These are great to be handed out quickly, and few people will turn down a bottle of water. But once the water is gone, the bottle goes in the trash, and money is essentially flushed down the toilet. For a little more of an investment, you can offer your customers a reusable water bottle that will become a useful everyday item. For an even bigger giveaway, there is also the option of offering a coffee mug or cup that can be used regularly.

6. Chap stick Another great aspect of the perfect giveaway item is the item’s ability to fit into a small pocket or purse and be carried around regularly. Since most people carry some type of lip-gloss or chap stick with them on a regular basis, this is a great tool for anyone looking to market their business to potential customers. Small chap stick can be carried in a pocket, kept in a purse, or slipped into a desk for use while at the office. With your logo wrapped around the tube, you’ve advertised your business every time the individual’s lips gets dry.

7. Mints And Gum Another giveaway item that is effective because it is so small and portable, while at the same time remaining incredibly useful is a tube of mints or gum. This item may not last as long as other items, but will be used regularly by those who come by your booth during the time it still contains mints or gum. Choose a design and holder that is unique and different in order to ensure that it will catch the eye of your customers.

Important Things To Look For When you are perusing the aisles of trade show giveaway items, remember a few important things. First, choose an item that reflects the things you want people to remember about your business. Second, choose an item that is useful for the customers you want to attract. And finally, choose an item that will display your logo or company name in an attractive way.

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