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What is the best cheap promotional product for a trade show?

Posted on 05/08/14 in Best Promotional Products
First off, please tell me that this question is mis-stated. Surely you're not seeking a "cheap" item to represent your brand (I am seeking a cheap item, and don't call me Shirley). If you're looking to build a cheap brand, then promotional items are not for you.

Here's a simple answer to a better question. The best inexpensive promotional product is one that helps you accomplish your goals - at minimal cost. Promotional products are the least expensive cost per impression of any mainstream media available. Not cheap, but certainly an inexpensive way to market!

Check out this mobile phone stress reliever product. Pretty cool, right? mobile-phone-stress-reliever

Follow these five steps to get maximum value out of your trade show promotional items, inexpensive or otherwise.

1. Establish Goals - It's impossible to measure ROI if you don't define the Return you seek. Promotional products for trade shows should produce attendee engagement and brand exposure at least. If your goal is to drive sales, leads or website traffic - such intentions should be made clear. With clear goals in mind, you're on the right path.

2. Hit Your Target - Once goals are in place, we can see that the promotional item is a tactic to help achieve that goal. Understanding your target audience makes it possible to leverage the value of an inexpensive promotional item. If you know something about the mindset of those you seek to influence, you've got a head start. Ask pertinent questions, such as "what do they like and value?" One way to gain insight is to ask a promotional products professional.
jump-rope-promotional-itemWe know from experience that school nurses like products that promote physical activity, hygiene and safety. Seeking to influence sports fans, moms, real estate agents, boat owners? Ask friends, neighbors and coworkers who fall into those categories for feedback. Collecting insights is invaluable when making decisions about promotional products.

3. Consider ALL Costs - If I gave you FREE personalized slabs of Vatican marble, it would still be an expensive promotional item. Trade show promotional products need to ship, store and travel. This is one reason why stress relievers and pens are among the best inexpensive trade show promos. They're lightweight, useful and attractive. In fact, stress relievers are produced in a huge variety of shapes, styles and colors. That means there's always an opportunity to find one that speaks to the core values of your brand and those of your audience. They're also lightweight, so traveling back to a recipient's home or office is not a problem. Trade show promotional items that are abandoned in hotel rooms are priciest of all.

4. Maximize Product Value - With engagement goals, audience insights and cost considerations in place, it's time to pull the trigger. Low priced promotional items have significantly higher perceived value when designed by professionals. An inexpensive magnet can be a great success when the color, shape and messaging are well crafted. A sharp logo and clever tagline may be all it takes to communicated something unforgettable. Bright colors and attractive imprints allow lower cost promotional items to compete and win all the time. Once again, if unsure of what works best for your target audience, consult with a promotional products expert. There's no added cost! magnet-clip

5. Track Results - To assess the impact and value of an inexpensive promotional product, just record the results. If you collect leads at a trade show, you'll want to compare accomplishments versus other events. Counting inquiries and website traffic within the following 30, 60 and 90 days is a good way to measure certain promotions. It also makes good sense to record examples of the interactions at the trade show booth, specifically related to your promotional items. What percentage of people showed genuine enthusiasm about your promos? How did the promotional items help your staff engage with attendees? How did your team react to first seeing the promotional items? When done right, the best inexpensive promotional items create enthusiasm on par with more expensive options. Great trade show promos often make great promos for ongoing distribution.

Here's the litmus test we use for all promotional products - do they make you smile? At Farfromboring, one of the products we like to distribute is a bag clip with a magnet that's handy for keeping snack bags closed. On it reads, "Keeping your promotions fresh for over 800 years!" Never fails to put a smile on the face of someone who reads it.

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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