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Old 3rd January 2006, 05:23 PM   #1
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Default Trade Show Giveaways: What Works

Here is one on doing promos at a trade show.

"Many promotional tools are designed to be kept by the customer, and to remind the customer continually of your products and services. This is accomplished through items that have been customized with your company’s information and logo."

Catch it @ http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/ar...ng/003554.html

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Old 24th January 2006, 10:39 PM   #2
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I LOVE the idea of someone doing free massages in their booth...especially at a small biz or WAHM style show. That would certainly catch my eye and make me remember the company...

There have been a few companies that really stood out to me at the SES shows, due to their giveaways. It's funny though, because it's not always about the cost. I'm obviously appreciate of Yahoo! showing the love with a 256MB Flash drive, or with Omniture's remote control cars and scarfs...but I also remember Reprise Media as the company that always has the absolute best pens of any show I've been to. I still use a Reprise Media pen from three years ago.

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Old 25th January 2006, 04:52 PM   #3

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Like anything else, your have to target your audience. We used to do the Cable Television show and used a very nice attaché case. Have it open for people to through their cards in and have a drawing. It worked very well. Got us decision makers.

A bottle of water at the large shows can be worth gold. Open it for them and while they take the first drink, you have their attention.

Have used the massages. Drew people, but not those we wanted. Have given away a lot of water also.

Try thing that one would not buy for themselves. Price is not it. Targeting

Good luck.

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Old 31st January 2006, 12:05 PM   #4
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I love the bottle of water idea. Wish I had thought of it.

This may sound odd but I've never worried too much about people carrying away mementos. I've been the "public" at a lot of trade show and 99% of what I pick up is trashed pretty quickly.

My methods are to get names and addresses for follow up by me, or sales staff.
I want to be in control of the folowup, so a contest that gives away one, fairly desireable, item to people who enter the contest works well. Its also usually no more expensive to buy one DVD player, for nstance, than 500 pens.

My goal is always to first get the appointment right there in the booth or, failing that to be calling for follow up.

Jess Huffman

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Old 31st January 2006, 10:06 PM   #5
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One of the original trade show kings was the late E. Joseph Cossman. He's renown as the "father of mailorder" marketing, though his expertise went way beyond just mail order. He sold much of his merchandise wholesale through trade shows.

His book, "How I made a million in mail order," (possibly now out of print but usually avail. on eBay) outlines his step-by-step strategy to capturing the most attention at trade shows. You would be impressed with his strategy and tactics. The most memorable case history is his "spud gun" toy trade show campaign. The "Spud Gun" was a toy that shot harmless potato pellets 10-12 feet. You likely know of Joe's "Ant Farm."

I understand your focus here is the "premium" or handout, but even its effective use is governed by certain principles. The purpose of the handout is to embed your company into the memory of potential clients. Water is a good idea, but not a lasting benefit. They won't likely remember you even a few weeks down the road. Personally, I would use it in conjunction with something else.

This following campaign example by E. Joseph Cossman may seem a bit dated, since it was done in the early 60's. Just appreciate the creativity element. Here are a few bulleted items he did in this noteworthy campaign:

* To unveil the new "mystery toy, Joe had the press show up at the sidewalk outside the trade show bldg. A truck arrived and dumped 25,000 lbs of potatoes on the sidewalk. A group of local orphans, all wearing a double holster equipped with two Spud Guns attacked the potatoes and had a literal potatoe gunfight in front of the press, attendees, God and the whole world.

* Joe Had attractive women, wearing tight satin dresses, constantly walking up and down the stairs (On the 12th story) for hours (Most attendees were men), with a picture of the toy and its name, "Cossman Spud Gun" silk-screened on their derrière."

* He published a "New Mystery Toy" to be released in the pre-trade show newsletter. Everyone else was giving the "hard sell" while he aroused everyone’s' curiosity by creating a "mistic" in their minds.

* Weeks before the trade show, he sent a many (scheduled mailings) postcards to toy buyers, jobbers, and resellers nationwide, arousing their curiosity about this new mystery toy. Each new postcard whetted their appetite more.

* Some beautiful women dressed in potato sacks, equipped with double holsters holding Spud Guns, stood by a table filled with "Cossman Spud Guns" and next to a mountain of potatoes, which the LONG LINE of attendees, upon their turn, got to shoot potato pellets at a life size picture of a current female pinup. The loser "won" a 5lb bag of potatoes, which they dropped into an orphan donation box upon leaving.

There were several more nuances to this story, but this is enough to illustrate the point. Joe CAPTURED the show and outsold all other competitors dramatically.

Much depends on what you want to accomplish at the trade show. Do you want to capture the attendees’ attention big time "Now," have them remember you down the road, or both?

Creativity here coupled with showmanship is the clear winner. Joe Letterman living in New York, an Insurance salesman, use to handout expensive pocket knives at trade shows and to any potential client he met. Two Americans accidentally meeting in Europe at a hotel became acquainted because one noticed the other had a Letterman pocket knife like his. This conversation starter shows the power of the right handouts when used effectively.

In synopsis, I use items relative to the specific trade show, and my goal. AT music conferences, my record label hands out dozens of "Back Stage Passes" AFTER they are no longer valid. People still cherish these as collectables, and they cost almost nothing to produce. They serve as a premier business card for our recording artist.

We give out free trial memberships with an actual picture membership card, made on the spot. They will put this in their wallet. It services as a business card too. And I ALWAYS have business cards that "stand out." Mine are always "laminated." I learned years ago, that people will keep them for long periods of time. I recently had someone show me my business card they got several years ago and it still looked good because it was laminated.

The handout is a tool that, when used effectively, can bring that desired attention to your business at the right time in a positive and effective way.

FREE "Maverick Tips" Newsletter presenting "Insider Tricks of the Trade," by International Business Consultant "Maverick" aka Bob Dean Stanford http://maverickentrepreneur.com
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Old 25th May 2006, 06:19 PM   #6

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Thumbs up Promotion Stickers work good too

I recently advised a client to use promotional stickers as a way to get more tradeshow booth traffic.

They printed their product's selling message on rolls of 4" stickers and when show attendees registered at the check-in desk, the stickers were handed out and the attendees were told to wear them throughout the show to receive raffle tickets for a free computer drawing. The attendees caught in the hallway or on the floor wearing the stickers during random checks received one or more raffle tickets (behaviour enforcement). However, they could also go to the company's booth to hear about the product and get a raffle ticket.

So it turned the attendees into walking billboards for a two day event, caused a lot of positive buzz around that company and it drove more traffic to their booth.

The show management said of the 50 exhibitors, this was the most creative and widely received promotion at the show.

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Old 25th May 2006, 08:55 PM   #7
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Finally....my area of expertise!!

I could talk about this subject all day long.

10 years and running....still the most-loved promotional product!
Holiday Greeting Cards:
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Old 31st May 2006, 07:48 PM   #8
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I'm a trade show goodie bag junkie, which is probably bad for evaluating the effectiveness of the giveaways ... but what the heck!

T-shirts and baseball caps. Quality items are better.

I still have shirts and caps from decade-old shows, and every time I wear them (and I do wear them) they remind me of the moment I got them. Even if I didn't end up as a customer, those articles of clothing still bring back what the vendor was offering, and I would probably check them out if I had a need.

In all my years, the most memorable cap came from fatbrain .com because they were too late to get a booth and they had fanned out into the parking lot just to give away the hats. Cool logo, too.

The problem with guys like me, though, is that we want stuff that has a pretty high price point and, frankly, we just want the swag. I've still got bags of stuff (squeezy balls, rulers, magazines, weird clingy things, mousepads, etc.) taking up space in my garage because while I had fun getting the stuff, 99.9% of it was useless to me once I left the show floor. And yet, I can't dispose of it.

Maybe it's the cool vendor-branded bags I collected the stuff in ... hmmm.

Oh ... and jellybeans are useless for branding. Ya eat 'em ... ya move on.

James Butler - "Do no weevils"
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