The first quarter of every New Year is marked by a lot of promoting. Home shows, boat shows, bridal expos, fitness expos, small business events, city and town events all abound in the winter. My theory: Cold weather, captive audience.
The amount of promotional items available is staggering. Don’t believe me? Check out our Promotional tab on the website. Where do you start? So many goodies so little time. Overwhelming!
Some clients know exactly what they are looking for. Most don’t. And that’s okay. Here are some questions we try to ask to help get the brainstorming started.
When is the event? This is BIGGEST and most important question of all. When dealing with promo items try to allow at least six weeks for the idea search, sourcing, sampling if needed, production, and shipping. Who wants to pay rush charges when you don’t have to? We try to work with local companies first. That way shipping time and costs are reduced. When it’s not possible we cast our nets further.
How big is your space? With everything else you are dealing would at a trade show the last thing you want to be doing is juggling more stuff. Remember you have to have a spot to store the items during the event.
Do you have a theme or have very specific branding? If so do you want to stick to the theme or the branding? Do you like to think outside the box and try something that, right off the bat, may not scream your theme/brand but ultimately will remind your clients of you? These are the hardest questions to answer. Just remember your first instincts are usually right. If you find an item you like but don’t think it will fit with the theme/brand don’t discount the idea. There may be something else along that same line that would. Or there could be a way to tailor that item with a clever tag line that will relate to your theme/brand.
Do you want levels of giveaways or just one item for everyone? Would it be to your benefit, for example, to give pens to folks who are just walking by but give a car charger to a client who is a real prospect you will be following up with after the show is over? This is probably the second hardest questions to answer and one that has no right or wrong answer. You may find different level of giveaways work at some events and not at others.
How big is your budget? Having some idea of what you can or want to spend is always helpful but don’t let it get in the way of brainstorming ideas .You may have a tremendous budget but know that what works well in your industry is to give away note pads. On the other hand you may have a smaller budget and feel you only afford note pads when a more expensive item that nails your theme/branding will produce bigger results by the time the show is over.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be highlighting some new productions that have come to our attention for 2016. You may like them, you may not, or you may be hit with an “AH HA” moment and discover that perfect item for your event.
photo courtesy of Illini