Trade Show Swagger

I often get asks about trade shows.  Specifically, folks are interested in knowing what’s hot or how to go about choosing your SWAG for trade shows.  Well, I figured I might as well make this little resource that includes product ideas, strategic suggestions and more!

STRATEGY

Having a plan in place when choosing your SWAG for a trade show is essential.  Here are a few things to consider:

  1. OTHER USES
  2. CLIENTELE AT THE SHOW(S)
  3. TIERS

1.) Other Uses

We often see clients gearing up for a large trade show and they want their SWAG to reflect either the theme of the show or a theme they are bringing to the trade show.  If you are going theme specific, then we can get extremely creative.  At ValueBP, we like to look for items that have a larger than normal imprint area and we do this because we can be more creative with your artwork.  Instead of simply, using your normal logo – maybe you have a creative art design specific for the show and we can use that art for any given product we may present.  However, on the flip side say there is no specific theme.  Let’s make sure not to print dates, names of the show or anything like that.  You can order more product to receive better pricing and use the left over items for other purposes like employee/client gifting and even prospecting.

2.) Clientele at the Show(s)

We are always thinking about the recipient that’s going to receive your SWAG… are they salespeople, are they engineers, is it a woman-themed event like Girl Geek Dinner… these are just a few questions we ask at the initial stage.  Say we’re Brand-Storming for a show that is geared towards general contractors… we definitely would not be recommending to do capes.  Which by the way, capes … yea, capes… like super hero capes are really big with some of the tech companies.

We’ll talk about your clientele so we can drill down on the product category(s).

3. Tiers

This is essential to your trade show planning.  I like to recommend at least 3 tiers.

The first is the giveaway that anyone gets just for coming to your booth… think stickers/decals, pins, etc.  Actually, my new favorite are these patches that have a sticky adhesive backing.  You simply peel off the back and can stick the patch to your backpack or even your clothing.  Taking it one step further you can theme it with “find your tribe” or something like that… and you can have a collect them all series of 3-5 different designs. This has been proven again and again to provide engagement or as they say it’s experiential marketing.

The second tier should be an item a bit more expensive and this one you are giving out to the folks that could be leads but you really aren’t sold that it’s the best lead.  Depending on your budget this should be at least in the $5-15 ea range.  Some ideas for these would be PopSockets, Executive Sticky Wallets like these, or even the S’well inspired water bottles.

The final tier is for your FIRE LEADS… you know who I’m talking about.  Sometimes your clients will already be at the show, right? So they are for sure in this tier.  What I’m really getting at here tho is the people that come to your booth that you just know are ready to get passed over to your sales team to close.  Let’s get these folks PUMPED to do business with you!  Chargers… everyone’s got them. But I’m talking good quality chargers and even Bluetooth Speakers.  Actually, anything from OrigAudio is perfect for this tier.

Below are a few products that we just LOVE… here’s a link to a full list of ideas… just leave us a comment for more info or send SwagSam an email at sam@valuebp.com

 

KANGA™ Wallet

 

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About the author, SwagSam

Sam Kabert is the Creative Director of ValueBP Marketing Group and the Creator and Co-Host of the podcast “WhatUp Silicon Valley!” A risk taker who embraces permanent beta, Sam is leading the transformation of his family-run office supplies business into a promotional products’ powerhouse.

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