Should You Always Give Free Products at Trade Shows?

If you go to trade shows often, you’re likely looking for a way to keep attendees interested. Free items are also an effective way to get the attention of potential customers. However, if you give away too many promo items, this could affect your budget. So, how many free items should you give away, and should you always have free items on hand at trade shows? The answers could depend on a few factors. Here are some things to consider.

What’s Your Trade Show Schedule?

If you’re going to trade shows once or twice a year, giving away free items is probably a good idea. After all, the attendees who come to your trade show exhibit are likely to remember your business based on your promo items. This also means they will tell others about your business – especially if your free items are appealing. Just make sure your items are functional and attractive and aren’t too expensive. You want to increase brand recognition while still staying within your budget. If you go to trade shows more often , it’s probably best to give away free promo items at some events, but not others. This will increase the chances attendees will be looking for your booth if they go to trade shows regularly, especially if your last free item was worth talking about.

What Type of Items Are You Giving Away?

Think about the type of items you’re giving away. When you’re coming up with trade show ideas, think of marketing products that will make a lasting impression. If you’re running a health-and-wellness business, attendees may come to know and love your free edible samples. In fact, this could be a selling point for you, since attendees are likely to tell others about your trade show booth and encourage them to visit. If you have a software company, you can give attendees a mousepad or small external storage device. These items are memorable but won’t cost as much as larger promo items. Of course, you can also talk to your team about coming up with a signature marketing item that you bring to every trade show as part of a way to develop brand recognition and retain loyal customers.

Do Your Free Items Lead to Sales?

After each trade show, look at the free items you’ve given away and determine whether these items motivated attendees to buy products or services from you. You can also look at data from previous trade shows to see if attendees who received promo items were more likely to patronize your business in the future. If you find the free items aren’t leading to sales, you may want to simply focus on great customer service or come up with alternatives for your promotional items that will interest attendees.

What’s the Customer Feedback?

Finally, pay attention to the feedback you’re getting from customers. Are the people who follow you on social media mentioning the free items you’ve given away? Are you getting the impression the items are not having a profound effect on customers? See what others are saying and adjust based on their preferences so you can improve your customer service and, hopefully, bring in more customers.

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