How you should be using promotional products at events

Most businesses will consider giving away promotional products at events, whether that’s a conference or exhibition, but have you ever considered why you’re doing it?
Guide to using promotional gifts

It can sometimes feel like a thankless task with ‘freebie hunters’ swarming to grab as much of your bounty as possible, regardless of what it is and whether they’re interested in what you have to offer in the search for free stuff. For this reason, promotional items can feel like a waste of money. But let’s take a step back.

The reason why you should be giving away items at events is to help increase brand awareness and recall, to increase the chance of them making a purchase.

83% of people have purchased from companies that gave them a promotional gift, so it’s important to make sure you’re giving out the right item!

That’s a lot of responsibility for such a small item right?

Luckily, it’s not doing it alone. With a bit of thought before the event into the item you’re giving away, how you’re going to brand it and how you’re going to give it away, you can boost its effectiveness while also throwing off most freebie hunters.

Here, we’ve created a great visual guide with facts from BPMA Research to help you plan your promotional gifts with the aim of winning new business and some great tips below.

How to make promotional gifts work for your business

Choosing the right promotional gift is a really important first step in making sure that it can work for you after the event.

1. Choose a useful product

One way to look at it is to choose a gift that’s going to be useful for your visitors while also being relevant to your brand. For example, USB sticks are voted as THE most useful giveaway to receive from events with 21% of the vote, with other technology items coming second with 11% and stationary at 10%.

Promotional products

2. Stand out from the crowd

 What if these aren’t relevant to your business or customers? Well, it’s then time to think about being a little bit different. Consider the fact that 88% of people already have at least one promotional item lying on their desk. How is your item going to be better and more memorable than that one?

Stand out from the crowd

3. Make sure it can last

When thinking about the item you’re going to choose, it’s also good to think about how long you want it to last as 87% of people keep promotional items for over a year. That’s a long time for a potentially dodgy pen to last so it’s likely to land straight in the bin rather than being promoted to the pen pot. Make sure that your gift is a quality item – that the ink will last a respectable time and that it looks comfortable to write with (if choosing a pen!). After all – it could make a bad impression on your business if you are handing out low-quality products.

Keeping promotional products

4. Add a clear call to action

Finally, think about what you want people to do with your promo item. Is it just to remember your brand? Do you want them to have your contact details to hand? Whatever you want them to do, make sure you add a clear call to action by adding words such as ‘call us on…’ or ‘keep in touch’ etc. After all, only 66% of promotional items have a clear call to action, so if your item does then you’re already beating the 44% of items lying on desks that aren’t asking for an action.

Clear call to actions

How to give your promotional items away

This part may seem like the easy bit after choosing the right gift, but really? It’s the part that determines how hard your promotional items can work for you.

Guide to promotional giviaways

You’ll want to place your promotional giveaway in a convenient place on your stand to make sure that people can see them – to attract attention from afar. However, you’ll also not want to put them right at the front of your stand as you may want to decide who can have them.

After all, if they’re not willing to talk to you to find out more about how you can help them, then should they receive your thank you gift? For a ‘grab and runner’, the fact your logo is on the promo item will give them no brand recognition as they wouldn’t have found out what you do!

Using Perspex boxes is often a good idea as this provides a recognisable place for your items, but also makes it pretty tough for people to get to without feeling at least a touch guilty about stealing.

And finally, make sure that you talk to your prospects and find out if they are interested in your products and services before personally giving them your promotional item – don’t leave it for them to pick it up themselves! This then feels more like a gift when exchanged between one person and another than a sample.

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