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Giveaways
ILLUSTRATION: MARK FISHER
Q.
How do I choose giveaways that will give me the best bang for the buck?

A.
An effective giveaway does a minimum of two things. First, it offers current or future value, as attendees use it immediately or retain it after the show. Second, it provides a reminder of your company, brand, or product – hopefully one that is emotional and authentic – so that whenever the item is put to use, attendees fondly recall its source. So here are four quick tips to ensure that your giveaways meet both mandates.
1. Brand a nonconsumable. Chocolates may encourage people to stop at your booth, but once the candy is consumed, attendees are unlikely to remember the tasty morsel or who provided it. A nonconsumable gift with your brand name or logo keeps you top of mind, making sure guests won't forget who gave them their new favorite tchotchke.
2. Keep it relevant. Your giveaway should somehow be connected to your brand, product, or industry, and it should definitely be relevant to your audience. For example, lollipops and squeeze balls aren't exactly appropriate or memorable gifts for information-technology professionals.
3. Opt for immediate-impact items. Sometimes, a gift that's immediately useful is more impactful than one attendees will employ days or weeks after the show. So take at-show needs into consideration when selecting your swag. For instance, attendees might appreciate a branded notebook and pen if you're holding a lengthy presentation. Or if the locale is typically rainy or sunny, umbrellas or sunscreen, respectively, might prove useful and greatly appreciated.
4. Consider portability and durability. This is the one time when it's good to think small – and strong. Most attendees fly to trade shows, so bulky or heavy swag that's difficult to bring home often gets left behind. And forget about delicate items that can easily break during the trip. Small and durable treasures fit perfectly into suitcases and briefcases, ensuring a second life to your gifts.

When it comes to giveaways, keep your audience and brand in mind at all times. Consider what attendees can use, how they can get it home from the show, how long it will last, and, above all, what it will say about your company and brand.



— Lauren Melnick, customization solutions manager, Poppin Inc., New York
Help Wanted
Send your tough questions about exhibiting to Linda Armstrong, larmstrong@exhibitormagazine.com.

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