Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to attract new business. But many sabotage their own efforts and waste money on ineffective trade show giveaways. Below I will describe 5 common mistakes that can occur and how to get the most "bang for your buck"!

1. Forgetting the Objective

Many exhibitors forget that the main goal of trade show promotional products is branding and marketing. Giveaways keep your company name in front of qualified leads. When the time comes for your lead to seek a solution to their problem, they think of your company first. In that way, promotional items can be perpetual marketing machines. Cheap pens that run dry after a few weeks, make poor trade show giveaways. Remember why you are using branded products, they should make you look good!

2. Treating Everyone the Same

Everyone loves free gifts, even if they have no intention of working with your company. They will visit your booth and waste your time just to walk away with a free, branded product. Meanwhile, new clients wait to get your attention! Train your booth staff to qualify attendees quickly. Don’t waste valuable time or promotional products on wheel spinners. Save time and your promotional budget on building relationships with qualified leads.

3. Sacrificing Value for Budget

High-quality, useful trade show products can be expensive. But they are an investment in closing future deals that will pay long term dividends. Don’t be tempted to save a few dollars by taking this route: Cheap giveaways seldom last and their low quality is obvious. Instead of ending up on a corporate desktop, they are often brought home to the "kiddies". A total waste of your promotional budget! Using promotional items as part of your trade show marketing strategy can be effective, but only to the extent that they boost your company’s brand.

4. Neglecting Follow Up Information

Exhibitors often hand out trade show products without requiring any follow up information.

This is a mistake. Event marketing success depends on your follow up strategy after the show. Ask qualified leads to leave their information when you offer them your booth gift. When your staff follows up a few days later, your company brand will have been subtly promoting your company.

5. Failing to Reward Loyalty

When customers visit your booth, have a special gift ready for them. Reward their loyalty and show them that you appreciate their business. These gifts should be a level above the trade show product that you’re giving away to qualified leads.

Savvy trade show marketing is more than an attractive booth and friendly staff, although those are two very important requirements. Contact Geminus, Inc. to discuss creative ideas for your next trade show promotion.