What to consider when selecting promotional products for event distribution

When properly leveraged, Tradeshows, conferences and other professional events can provide wonderful opportunities for acquiring high quality leads for your business. Professional events not only present invaluable opportunities to re-engage with existing customers, but also to attract new prospects for you business. Other than that, it is a great way of improving your brand recognition and good will for your business. K46G8UZ5ES6H

Running promotional campaigns during professional events provides relatively cheap and effective marketing tactics for your business, but before setting up a booth at the next convention, here are a few considerations you should look at to ensure you run a successful campaign.


What is the purpose of running the promotion? Is it to increase brand awareness. Is it to increase sales leads?  Is it to network with other professionals and marketers? This is the number one question that needs to be clearly answered during the planning stage of your campaign to help you figure out what strategy you need to adopt.

You also need to understand the role of the promotional product. Do you want to just provide contact information to the person who comes to your booth – like a business card? Do you want that person to carry the item around the show and “broadcast” your name and number — like a bag or ID neck lanyard? Do you want the person to carry it back to their office for co-workers to get the message — like a magnet? Do you want the booth visitors to display the item in their office for their customers — like a mouse pad or business card holder?


A budget is the most crucial aspect when planning a promotional campaign. Figuring out how much money is available will help you determine what is and what is not possible. A budget will also help you determine the promotional products to select. If you have limited cash, you will pick small, cheap products while if you have a big budget to work with, you can go for higher end products.

Number of people

The number of people you target to reach helps you determine the number of items to stock. There is nothing worse than running out of your promotional materials while you still have prospective customers in front of your booth waiting for the items. The number of people you intend to reach, will also help you determine the cost per item and ensure you stay within your budget.

Frequency of use

You need to decide whether your promotional products are one-time use products — like fortune cookies or they will be used multiple times — like water bottles.

Generally speaking, products that are used multiple times will mostly be more expensive compared to one-time use products, but they will also be more effective in terms of marketing. This is because even a month after an event, your client will still be able to look at a product and remember your company.


Your product should always be fresh, creative be able to stand out from the rest.

If everyone at the show is handing out bags and pens, then what do you achieve by doing the same? Separate yourself from the crowd. Have a giveaway that would make the customer want your product, and hold onto them. This way it will be easier to attract customers to your booth, and they will remember you even after they leave the event.


Message is very important for your brand. Each product you give out will have YOUR name on it. The products serve as representation of who you are and what your company is all about.

You need to think about what message your product communicates to the customer about your brand. You don’t want to get an inexpensive product (even if it is cool) if it is not the right message for your company/brand.

Color of product and the actual message written on a product can also have a huge impact.

Relevance of customer

How committed is the customer to doing business with you. The main reason of a promotional campaign is to generate leads. There is no need handing out expensive giveaways to people who show complete disinterest in your company.

Since there is no sure way of knowing how willing a potential customer is to becoming an actual customer until you approach them, some companies adopt two-tiered giveaways. Here, the general audience receive low-end items, but anyone who stops to talks, and appears to be a genuinely qualified lead or anyone who refers someone else receives something much nicer that will make it to their office or home and  your company’s brand becomes part of the customer’s life for a long time.


The last thing you want to do is put your name on something that makes a bad impression. It is often tempting to go for some incredibly cheap you see online, but the saying you get what you pay for holds as true in promotional marketing as it does in any other business.

It would be so embarrassing to hand out nice flash disks and have them returned to your booth minutes later because the casing was falling apart or something.

Always invest in high quality products and test them before offering them to your customers,


Another important question to ask is who is your target audience? Whose mind-share do you want to attract? Attendees at a restaurant show have different attributes to attendees at a computer networking show. The nice notebook and pen is great, but not for the under 21 crowd. The USB is great, but not for a market of people who would think first about the possibility of a virus being on there.

The other part of that equation is what level in the organization are the people you need to reach to meet your show objectives.

Whatever you choose for your promotional campaign, always make it functional and memorable.

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