Giveaways and promo items are a dime a dozen at trade shows—but that doesn’t make them any less important. It just means you have to be thoughtful about your incentives, making sure they’re unique, valuable and, most importantly, a good way to engage visitors and keep your brand top of mind once the show is over.

Want to make sure you’re approaching your promo items properly for your next expo? These tips can help:

1. Treat Incentives As Gifts

Your promos can’t help if your visitors don’t like or use them. At their very simplest, your incentives need to provide value to the recipient. Value items are those your potential customers need, want or can utilize during the show or once they return back to the office (if you can swing both, that’s even better!).

You can even take your location on the trade show floor into consideration. If you’re in the first row of stalls, maybe a branded tote bag to carry all their giveaways? Or a business card organizer to keep tabs on who they’ve met? If you’re in the middle, maybe a water bottle or pack of snacks to refuel? Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and consider what items might be helpful or handy while they peruse the floor.

2. Always Include Branding

A promo item without any contact details on it won’t do you any good. When the customer uses the item, it needs to bring your brand top of mind, either with a company logo, motto, icon or other graphic. It should also include a call to action or point of contact, such as a phone number, web address or even just your Twitter handle. When customers decide to use your services or buy your products, you want them to know exactly how to find you.

3. Don’t Give It to Everyone

Just because it’s a freebie doesn’t mean it has to go to every person who visits your booth. To keep a handle on costs, as well as ensure your promo dollars are well-spent, have a qualifying process in place with your team. How will they determine if a visitor is a viable lead? What questions can they ask or information can they gather? Have a checklist and include qualifying visitors as part of your booth training.

You can also have gifts for different levels of customers: one for those who just pop by for a second, another for those who put down their email address, and an even better one for the visitors who sit down and talk with a staffer or watch a demo. 

4. Make Them Easy on Your Staff

Your incentives should enhance your booth, not take away from it. If your staffers have to assemble each item, dig it out of a massive box or go through some other time-consuming or distracting process, it’s not doing your brand any favors. Make sure your promo items are pre-assembled, easily accessible and compact enough for all your staffers to manage, no matter the person’s size or strength.

5. Track Results

Finally, take the time to track how your promo items measure up. A great way to do this is to include a special discount or redemption code. This way, you know when a trade show item has been seen and utilized. You can also send a post-show follow-up email to leads to get feedback on the item, as well as other strategies you utilized on the floor.

Need more help honing your incentive strategy? Want help finding the best promo items for your customers and goals? Let Exhibit Options help. Contact us today to get started.