Which promotional products work best

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people at tradeshow
Turn trade show promos into sales
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Find the promos that get the results

Is there a trade show, convention or product launch on the horizon for your company?  Amid the planning for presentations, selecting the right booth backdrop and trying to get the demo video finished, you're probably wondering which promotional products work best to get people to pay attention to your brand.

There are just so many choices out there, from caps and pens to mugs and bags. It can easily become overwhelming. No worries!  Here are four simple tips to make picking out promos that get results, just in time for that next deadline.

Forget What You're Selling. Think About Who Buys

When it comes to picking out trade show giveaways or other promotional items, most companies make the mistake of focusing on the products they sell or the services they offer. Unfortunately, that's not what gets eyes on your booth or names on your leads list. 

You need to pick marketing swag that appeals to your prospects. As people, not as customers. So think about it. Who is most likely to buy whatever you're selling? Are they male or female? How old? What's their educational level?  What are they likely to do for fun?  Do they have kids? Pets? Are they probably homeowners or renters? What's their style in clothing? Communication? Technology? 

Starting with the customer will keep you from offering pens to people who live on phones and tablets or edgy t-shirts to buttoned up senior managers. Thinking about your customers as people with lives outside of the convention will help you choose water bottles for the active set, child-safe plush animals for parents of young kids, or reusable grocery bags for the green customer segment. 

Go for Quality

The promotional products you select are a direct reflection on your company. So for a moment, forget about the budget. Think about what image you're creating if the pens you give away run out of ink before the day ends. 

Instead of going for lots of swag at the lowest price, select a few types of giveaways and make sure the quality says the right thing about your products and services. Opt for the nicer pen. Order the bigger mug. Remember, it's your company name on it. 

Add the Element of Chance

Of course you can't give every prospect an iPad or a gift card. But you can give away one. Or a few. Combining the hand out swag like flash drives and keychains with a chance to win a bigger prize is an effective way to turn promos into leads. Gather business cards or entry forms with lead-worthy details, and your sales department will be shouting your praise. 

Scope Out The Competition

Take some time to look at your competitors at the show. What are they offering that everyone is excited to show off?  Is it a video game? A shirt? A backpack?  Are they using prizes, too?  At every event, make it a priority to see what works for your competitors, then add that into your promotional item plans for the next time. 

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