5 Tips for Trade Show Season

Date posted: February 9, 2012

Are you getting ready for trade show season? In today’s guest post, Barbara Wells, SVP for Staples Promotional Products, shares 5 tips for using promotional products to make a lasting impression at a trade show.

As companies ring in the new year, they’re rolling out their banners, assembling booths and re-stocking business cards. Providing creative and/or useful giveaways at trade shows can be a crucial ingredient for success – making your booth a buzzed-about destination and giving you brand recognition that lasts long after the event has ended.

What’s the secret for getting your trade show giveaway in recipients’ hands – and keeping it there? Here are five ways to make your promotional items stand out at trade shows:

1. Create early buzz with pre-show mailings. Consider using promotional items, such as magnets, as part of personalized mailings to generate excitement prior to a show. You can remind customers and prospects about your upcoming tradeshow appearance – letting them know where your booth will be, what information you’ll be offering and what they can expect to gain from visiting with you.

2. Make utility top-of-mind. When considering giveaways for the actual trade show, let creativity reign, while staying true to your company identity and keeping utility in mind. Your items will have greater longevity when they’re useful. Branded sports bottles, totes, pens and journals are often memorable, useful gifts.

3. Keep recipients healthy. Trade shows are a time for shaking lots of hands and interacting in close quarters. You can help make sure attendees take home just your giveaways – and not a cold – by providing health-oriented items. Branded hand sanitizer and hand sanitizer spray, first aid kits and lip balm are often well-received items.

4. Consider your audience. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on promotional items if they’re not directed to the right audience. Make sure you cater your purchases to the demographic attending the show. Consider the show’s theme, as well as recipients’ likely professions and industries, interests, age, etc. For example, a tech crowd may appreciate items like branded flash drives, mouse pads and ear buds.

5. Don’t forget about travelers – If much of your audience has flown in for the show, don’t provide cumbersome, oversized items or products that can’t make it back on the plane. In addition, avoid ceramic or other delicate items that may get broken in transit.

Barbara Wells is the senior vice president of marketing, merchandising, global supply chain and logistics for Staples Promotional Products, the largest promotional products distributor in North America. Staples Promotional Products is part of Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc.

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2 comments on 5 Tips for Trade Show Season

  1. Kelly Rogers

    Thanks for all these tips. It is indeed a good idea to give hand sanitisers and lip balms. And thanks for the reminder that ceramic items are not good for travellers.

  2. Kelly Rogers

    By the way, what are your tips for a good display stand? As for our company, we check DisplayToday.com for any item that we can get with a discount. For me, it’s really good to save. Right?

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