This week I did a seminar for the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce – How to get the most out of your trade show efforts. I have done quite a few presentations on this subject and the most common question that comes up every time is “what should I give away”?
Many booth holders don’t give anything away, which is fine. But if you want to, you have to be smart about it. Most trade show attendees will never be your clients so why give them something. A typical trade show attendee will walk the aisles with their free bag and scoop up as much free stuff as they can. What you don’t see is that when they get home, they pick through the bag and throw most of it out. Most likely, your stuff will end up in the garbage.
If someone is truly interested in your products or services, they will stop. If it is a potential customer, take the time to talk with them, then give your swag. That way, you know the investment in your giveaway is worth it, and you will also make that person feel important because they are getting something that not everyone is.
Your best bet is to give something that is relevant to your business and is useful. For instance, if you are a brewer, give a beer mug, a good gift from a potato grower would be a potato peeler. See what I mean? You are better off giving a $10.00 gift to a real prospect rather than giving ten $1.00 gifts to people that are only there for the free stuff.
By using this method, you can give better swag to the people that you really want to receive it. Don’t clog up the front of your booth with freeloaders, leave lots of space for the real customers to visit.