5 Tips on How to Choose the Best Promotional Product for Your Next Trade Show

  • Jul 13, 2015

Which is the Right Promotional Product for Your Upcoming Trade Show or Convention?


Austin, Texas: One of the most frequently asked questions we get is: ” Which Promotional Product Should I pick for My Upcoming Trade Show?”

Unfortunately, there is not one perfect promotional product for every trade show. If there was, we would just offer that item and life would be simple.

However, here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before selecting your promotional products for your upcoming trade show or conference:

1) Who is Your Target Audience?

The key to choosing the right promotional product for your event is to visualize the end user that you are trying to attract into your booth and what might make them tick.

Remember to think about the ideal person you want to stop by your booth. If the answer is everyone, then spend more time to really re-think it.

Not everyone who attends a trade show is the right prospect for you.

Once you narrow down your core target audience, then think about the potential lifetime value from that potential customer.

If you think a $2 imprinted pen is the right gift for a buyer with $100,000 in lifetime value, then you should probably reconsider.

You are not trying to buy their business with your choice of promotional gift, but you are trying to me memorable and impactful.

2) Where is the Prospect in the Buying Cycle?

I have many clients that choose the promotional gift based on where they are in the buying cycle. Since not every prospect is created equally, why should their promotional gift be the same?

Some prospects may be only in the information gathering phase. Others may be much closer to purchasing.

It is wise to have different tiers or levels of promotional product gifts to reward–depending on where they are in the buying cycle.

3) How Will You Be Presenting Your Promotional Product Gift?

Noticed that I said “presenting” rather than “leaving in a pile on your table” or “handing out indiscriminately”.

A promotional product in an attractive gift box, when presented to the recipient has a lot higher perceived value than a more expensive gift tossed or handed out like candy.

Think about your presentation.

4) What is the Optimal Size And Weight of your Promotional Product?

I have seen people place $25 laser pointer pens inside recipients’ giant stuffed tote bags — so that it falls to the bottom–maybe never to be seen again.

On the other hand, I have seen companies give away heavy glass jars of salsa, large wooden yardsticks and other items that nobody will want to carry around all day or that will never be taken back onto the plane with them.

Size and weight really do matter when choosing your promotional products for trade shows.

5) What does the prospect have to do in order to get the promotional product?

Trade shows are the perfect vehicle for surveys, questionnaires or short meetings. If you are asking the prospect to spend time answering questions, then the reward must be significantly higher than if you were to reward anyone that stops by to say hello.

You can even put up a full color graphic that says : FREE BLUETOOTH SPEAKER FOR ANSWERING OUR SHORT SURVEY to get more people to answer your questions.

But only reward those that you quickly pre-qualify and that answer your survey or interview questions.

And have a smaller consolation prize for those that do not qualify.

These 5 quick questions can help you to narrow down the best promotional gift for your needs.

Then talk to a promotional products specialist that understands trade show marketing to come up with the optimal gift for your trade show that can yield the highest return on investment.

Because, at the end of the day, all marketing should have an ROI to it.
Happy Promoting!


  • Category: Trade Shows
  • Tags: choosing the right promotional item for trade shows, promotional items for trade show, promotional products, tips for choosing right promotional products, trade show marketing