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How to calculate quantity for tradeshow promos

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Doing your homework now can pay off in client dividends later

Doing your homework now can pay off in client dividends later

Trade show attendees look forward to promotional items, also known as swag or tchotchkes.

If you are an exhibitor, there is a lot of potential for your business to reach potential and existing clients with the right promo items. If you have the favorite giveaway at the show, it builds buzz about your company and gets people to visit your booth in droves.

So, be prepared and estimate the quantity of tradeshow promo items as accurately as possible. Marketers, past exhibitors and attendees all agree that it comes down to two variables ? expected attendance and budget. 

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Calculating quantity

Do your research and speak with the event sponsor about attendance in previous years. Also helpful is the website, where you can get information on various events and venues. Once you know the expected number of people, you can determine the number of items you?ll need.

For instance, if you know that there will be more than 2,000 attendees, chances are good at least 25 percent of them will stop by your booth. That means you?d want to have 500 items on hand to give away. For smaller shows, expect more people to stop by your booth. This could be up to 75 percent of attendees. So, if 1,000 people are expected, 750 of them are likely stop by your exhibit.


Budget accordingly

Once you know the number of items to have on hand, it?s time to determine your budget. Begin with asking yourself how much you?re willing to spend per person. Knowing this number lets you know how creative you can be with giveaway items. So, if you?re expecting 500 visitors to your booth and can spend up to $10 per person, your budget is $5,000 for promo items. 

Choosing the product

There are a number of points to consider when choosing the right promo item. Here are a few tips:

  • Goal: what do you want to achieve? Are you educating attendees or building awareness of your brand, service or product?
  • Message: make sure your item includes your name, logo and contact information at the very least. If you have a great tagline or thought-provoking message, include that, too. 
  • Value: it needs to be something your audience will desire and value, an item that fills a need. Consider problems you can solve for them ? even if it?s simply making them smile.
  • Durability: items need to be built well enough to last past the initial use. Low-quality products that malfunction, or never work at all, reflect badly on your business, even if you didn?t make the actual item.
Measure effectiveness

How will you know if your message was a good one or if you reached your current and potential customers the way you intended?

By establishing a means to track effectiveness. This could be as simple as a coupon code when an item is redeemed. Another idea is to ask clients if they picked up the item at the show and, if so, what did they think of it. Some companies also create special landing pages, where they can easily track the number of visitors ? people who went to the site because of the promo item.

Also consider having more than one giveaway item. If you want to keep the higher-end items for qualified current and potential clients, that?s fine. Plenty of companies do this.

Also have the pens, bags, water bottles or notepads that seem to be standard trade show fodder as an option to reach more people. Maybe your booth was really packed and an attendee could only get your brochure and a pen. That person could end up being your next best customer, who would have walked away with nothing if you didn?t have the pens, too.

Without a doubt, there are many things to consider when planning your next trade show promo item. Give it plenty of thought well in advance of the show, so there is time to place and fill your order. Take it step by step and chances are good that your item will be a success!


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