Promotion Store FAQs

Promotion Store FAQs
Our goal at PromotionStore.com is to help people realize the most success possible at a tradeshow — while sticking within their budget and having fun in the process. If you're new to tradeshow marketing, you may be wondering where to begin, what to expect, how to set goals, and how to differentiate your "needs" from your "wants."

If you're a tradeshow veteran, you likely have questions about ways to freshen up your booth, generate a higher ROI, and learn about what is working for other exhibitors. We get asked a lot of questions — and we love to answer them! Here are our answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:

Is it essential to attend a trade show to succeed in my industry?

Attendance at trade shows is a form of marketing and networking. There are many business owners who don't participate in trade shows, and are still successful. If you feel that your businesses would benefit from additional exposure in your industry and from networking with business peers and potential clients, then tradeshow marketing can be a very effective way to spend your marketing budget.

Do I absolutely need to advertise in trade show publications?

Media representatives may contact you and spark fear that nobody will visit your trade show exhibit unless you buy ad space in their show publications. Don't let that get to you, because it is not necessary to advertise in a trade show publication. Your money would be better spent on upgrading your exhibit or on promotional giveaways.

Is it necessary to have giveaways at a trade show?

Giveaways can help drive traffic to your booth and promote brand awareness, especially once trade show attendees see others walking around with your item. Giveaways can be inexpensive and the most popular ones will be useful and something that people can hold on to for a long time after the trade show. Useful tradeshow giveaways that people hold onto can be an effective way to keep your name fresh in the mind of your target audience.

Is it better to spend more on free giveaways, or to offer great raffle prizes?

Some of the most successful giveaway campaigns are tiered. It's a great idea to give everyone a lower priced, but still useful item, like staplers, notepads or even USB flash drives imprinted with a company name or logo. Along with these lower priced trade show giveaways, consider bringing trade show games that allow people to win larger, more elaborate items. Anyone who wishes to play must fill out a contact card, giving you a surefire way to capture leads.

What are some good ideas for tradeshow giveaways?

The best tradeshow giveaways are ones that fill a practical need. Tote bags can be an excellent choice since tradeshows are notorious for providing attendees with catalogs and other literature as they travel from booth to booth. These tote bags give attendees a place for all their information, and they act a moving billboard as attendees walk around with your logo branded tote bags. Other popular ideas are things attendees will reach for long after the tradeshow is over, such as travel coffee mugs, thermal bottles, t-shirts or even customized staplers, calendars, alarm clocks and notepads.

We just spent a lot of money on a new trade show exhibit, but I'm worried that it won't draw people in!

A new trade show exhibit is a great start, but that alone won't draw people in. There are a number of clever and unique tradeshow attractions that are proven to have tradeshow attendees lining up in droves. Some types of unique tradeshow games include prize wheels, money blowing machines, raffle drums, PLINKO boards, and games where you can try your hand at unlocking a prize inside such as a treasure chest promotion or a prize safe. It's a great idea to make playing one of these tradeshow games dependent on the attendee filling out a contact card – that way you can guarantee you'll leave the tradeshow with a set of leads to chase.

Is there anything I can do before the tradeshow to invite people to my booth?

There's nothing worse than standing at a tradeshow exhibit, empty handed, while attendees stream past without looking up. Strategic planning is essential to avoid this scenario. One easy and inexpensive way of encouraging key people to visit your exhibit is to send out scratch off cards to attendees before the show. Attendees can win a special prize with their scratch off card, but they need to visit your booth to retrieve it. This allows you to have them fill out a contact card and gives you an opportunity to engage in conversation.

We can only afford a small booth… is it possible to still make an impact in a small space?

Absolutely! A small booth isn't a problem when you've got a talented staff and tradeshow attractions that capture the attention of passersby. Some big attractions that can fit in a small space are a Promotional ATM Money Machine, a Money Blowing Booth, a Prize Decoder promotion, or a prize wheel. Making a big impact in a small space is easy when you've got the right tools.

We've been sending the same outstanding crew to shows for years, but they're not doing as well as they used to. Any tips?

Yes! You can have the best crew in the world, but times change and it's important to stay ahead of the game. Try changing things up with a new display, new tradeshow games, offering exciting new giveaways, and definitely encourage your crew to participate in training to learn new tips and tricks.

Do I need a fancy expensive trade show display in order to be successful?

Definitely not! More important than a fancy display is a great marketing plan that will drive people to your booth and excellent sales people who can engage and interact with trade show guests. Don't let a lack of a brand-new, top-of-the-line trade show display keep you from making an impact.

I've never done a trade show before, but I'd like to learn about it. How can I become knowledgeable about trade shows before attending one?

Trade shows are an investment in your company's marketing and it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about them before spending the money. Read industry-specific trade show publications and consider attending one as a customer to see if it's the right choice for your company. Subscribe for free to www.tradeshowmarketing.com. We've got tips, tricks and other hints to help you become a successful tradeshow marketer.

There are so many different types of trade show giveaways. How do I choose which ones to give?

The best giveaways are things that people will find useful long after the show has ended. Items like USB flash drives, coffee cups and office supplies can keep your name at the top of a customer's mind long after the tradeshow has ended.

I'm attending a tradeshow in a few months. I know some of my current customers will be there, as well as a number of my competitors. How can I show them I value their business?

This is where it works to have a tiered giveaway system. Consider providing existing customers with a special, more valuable giveaway. Tuck it behind or underneath your exhibit and make a show of pulling out the giveaway that's for 'current customers only.' It's also a good idea to send current customers a note or postcard ahead of time so they know you have a special item for them if they stop by your tradeshow exhibit.

I want to be sure that I'm leveraging my trade show giveaways to generate leads – not just handing them out to everyone who walks by. How can I do this?

This is an age-old question — and a good one! Companies have long worried about handing out a giveaway to anyone who walks up to their booth. If you're attending a tradeshow where only a certain number of attendees have a need for your services or products, consider offering trade show games where only some players win — such as scratch off cards or a prize wheel. In order to play, they must fill out a contact form. This prevents people from just walking by and 'grazing' giveaways from your table. By giving away a few larger prizes to only the winners, you can ensure your money is well spent.

However, don't discount the other attendees entirely — you could find yourself with new customers you never thought possible. If someone suddenly finds themselves in need of your services, that USB drive or coffee mug might just remind them of your company.

We recently returned from a tradeshow and gave away over a thousand pens. We walked away with results that were dismal at best. I know tradeshows are a great way to increase sales leads, but where did we go wrong?

Pens can be a great 'everyone giveaway' because they're inexpensive, but still useful – everyone needs a pen. The problem likely isn't what you gave away, but how you did it. The next time you attend a show, consider an item like a prize wheel to draw in the crowds. Have guests fill out a lead card for a chance to spin a wheel for a prize. Prizes can be small items, like pens or notepads, to larger items like coffee mugs or computer mousepads, to even bigger tradeshow giveaways like 30 seconds in a money machine or gift baskets stuffed with gourmet items. Whatever you choose to give out, make sure you're capturing leads as you go.

About the Author

Jonathan Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.

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